Strasbourg should be a city you have heard about if you have been living in Brussels in the past years. You may know someone who knows someone who works at the European Parliament and has to go Strasbourg once a month, for 72 hours. Within the EU Bubble, you may be familiar with the expression “Stressbourg”, as MEPs and their assistants are subject to a massive pressure when they attend the plenary session in the Alsatian capital.
Strasbourg is, however, something very different from that description. Unlike Brussels, the city has water, which has an incredible relaxing effect! It is impossible to visit Strasbourg without paying attention to the channel that surrounds the city centre.
What to visit in Strasbourg?
You should start with the “Petite France”, which is the Strabourgeoise pearl. With its typical Alsatian houses, Petite France is the most picturesque district of old Strasbourg. Fishermen, millers and tanners once lived and worked in this part of town where the streets have been built level with the waterways.
Your city trip will then take you to the Grand Rue, which is a long pedestrian street that will guide you to the magnificent Strasbourg Cathedral. The building is definitely the most incredible cathedral you have seen in your whole life. Breathtaking. You are allowed to access the rooftop where you can discover an 360° view over Strasbourg. However, be aware that dozens and dozens of stairs are waiting for you. Following this experience, you should go around in the city centre and have an insight into the main squares. Two must-see squares: Place Gutenberg and Place Kleber.
Strasbourg is one of the capitals of Europe and, here, you can discover the “other European Parliament”. The city of Strasbourg created a neighbourhood dedicated to the European institutions, Embassies and where most of the officials live in: Orangerie, where a peaceful park is waiting for you. Most of the Strasbourgeois have the habit of organising picnics in this park.
It should be time to have a first drink, right? Once back to the city centre, you can enjoy the Strasbourgeois lifestyle and go from a bar to another one. If you are quite tired, the sofas at L’Abattoir will sound perfect to you. And if you aim to meet people, Jeannette et les Cycleux could be a very nice option.
When it comes to dinner, the Alsatian food will surprise you. In Alsace, the motto is “In Germany, they eat a lot. In France, they eat well. In Alsace, we eat both a lot and well”. The perfect illustration of this motto is the Choucroute. Tasty but extremely have dish.
Another emblematic dish is the Tarte flambée. Many touristic restaurants and bars will offer you tartes flambées, it is then not obvious to find a good and affordable one. I strongly advice you the Binchstub, You can find one next to Place Broglie and the other one at rue du Tonnelet Rouge – my favourite.
Last advice before booking a hotel: think twice before choosing the period to visit Strasbourg. This city is also famous all over the world for its Christmas markets. Incredible experience but the city if full of tourists. But that’s a story for another piece.