Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace, is equally a capital of culture and a treat for the senses. The Hansel-and-Gretel houses, the rich French-German cuisine, and the perfumes of its breweries are testimonials! The charm and attractions of France's seventh biggest city retain its particular Alsatian feel while offering world-class amenities. Come along and see, hear, touch, smell, and feel the city.
Our top 5 sensory experiences -
See the monumental Notre-Dame cathedral with its lacework of pink sandstone, Astronomical Clock, pulpit and stained-glass windows.
Hear a musical light show at the cathedral – at nightfall, its elegant sculptures and façade come to life with sound and colour.
Smell beer in the breweries and microbreweries. Learn about its production and sample this much-loved local tipple, as well as beer-inspired cuisine.
[Taste a good] tarte flambée, also known as Flammekueche. A thin circle of dough is topped with fromage blanc or crème fraiche, thinly sliced onions and lardons, often with the addition of Muster cheese from the Vosges mountains.
Touch the handlebars of a bike as you explore – in [Strasbourg] the bicycle is king! Admire the town on two wheels along the canals, through the parks and gardens and through the historic centre.
Unmissable sights and encounters of Alsace's capital
Walking the tightrope between France and Germany, [Strasbourg] Grande-Île was the first urban centre in France to be listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. There are delightfully twisting alleyways lined with half-timbered houses and [a Gothic masterpiece of a cathedral], described by Victor Hugo as “a gigantic and delicate marvel” and visible from miles around with its 142-metre spire. The [‘Petite France’] is a picture-postcard quarter once home to tanners, fishermen and millers, now a haven of peace at the city’s heart.
The city has also become renowned for its cuisine; visitors can enjoy traditional dishes in the ‘winstubs’ (small Alsatian wine bars). And, of course, if you're visiting Alsace’s capital around [Christmas ]time, the holiday markets are can't-miss. With its large pedestrian centre, gentle waterways, countless green spaces and luxury boutiques, make this place an ideal destination for city breaks.
Splendid and accessible one day itineraries from Strasbourg
The Alsatian Wine Route: a pearl necklace of half-timbered houses and picturesque landscapes, the countryside of Alsace is studded with some of the best wineries in France (meaning, some of the best wineries in the world!). Some of the must-visit villages: Riquewihr, Zellenberg, Andlau and Eguisheim.
Well-being stops: from the La Chenaudière châteax-hotel and spa to Hôtel Le Parc, this region is dotted with amazing getaway hotspots to relax and take in a notable Alsatian welcome.
The Humanist Library in Sélestat: This precious piece of French heritage, dating back to the 16th century, is testimony to the intellectual vitality of the Renaissance. It is now preparing to unveil its brand-new look following a four-year closure for refurbishment – and is positioned as the European centre of books and humanities.
Kaysersberg: the nearby hamlet is one of France's favorites, with typically Alsatian architecture and attitudes. It’s famous for its half-timbered houses and quaint cobbled streets, set in a valley surrounded by vineyards and with forested hills rising above the town. The high fortress that dominates the village serves as a reminder of both its strategic importance and its historic identity.