Fall is always a nice season to travel. The big summer travel time where everything is crowded and expensive to book is over, yet it is still not that cold in many places. We wanted to do a mix of sightseeing as well as having the opportunity to hike a little, so we ended up goinig to the Alsace region

Since Strasbourg is called the capital of Europe, due to many institutions, like the european parliament, being located here and having a diverse european history, we decided we wanted to see it. 

Strasbourg is located in the Alsace region, which is located in eastern France along the border to Germany. Strasbourg is located right at the border. The city is seperated by the river Ill, which runs from east to west. In its center the historical old town is located on an island, called Grande Île. This is where most touristical sights are located.

We went down there by train, wich turned out to be a bit chaotic, since there was a hugh chaos with german trains this days with many delays. We ended up arriving one and a half hours late to strasbourg, which was sill good, considering we didn't even know if we would make it at all. From the central station we walked to our airbnb, which was located south of the old town and tok us around 25 minutes. Since it was already late we didn't start exploring the city until the next day.

Places to see

Old town

The old town assembles as the city center and this is wheer many sights are to be found. It is located on the Grande Île, an island surrounded by the two arms of the river Ill, which seperates in the west and reconnects in the east. As the name suggestes this is the original city of Straßbourg, protected by the water around it. Over the time the city grew bigger to the outer districts. Straßburg has been involved in many conflicts between Germany in France and has been part of both countries several times in its history.

Many buildings are from the roman and gothic era. In the little streets you can find many little shops, restaurants and cafés. We went on a free walking tour by Happy Strasbourg, they offer different free tours through the city, where you can just join in and leave a tip at the end if you feel like it. There are also other guided tours, either by walking, boat bus or train like van. Whatever you feel like, you will find the right tour here. 


Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg

The Cathedral is located in the center of the old town. It was built during the 12th-15th century. The north tower is the highes building in Strasbourg measuring 142m. It is open to public everyday. You can also visit during services, however access is limited and you are not allowed to take photos during this time.

It is famous for its astronomical clock located in the southern corner. It can be visited daily for its show at 12:30pm, but apparently not on sundays. At least we couldn't access it when we were there. Maybe we get to see it next time. 

On the southern side you cann access the tower and climb up the observation plattform on the southern tower. It cost us 13€ for two persons to get up there.The staircase is very narrow and the way up exhausting. But you get rewarded with a great view over the city of Straßburg.

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La Petite France

In the southwestern part of the Grande Île you find the district calles La Petite France. It is one of the older quarters and features many old buildings and great architecture. Back in the day many tanners and milelrs worked here. Therefore, it used to be quiet smelly in this area and was avoided by most citizens.

In the 15th century the quarter was home to a hospice which grew over time. It was the last resort for many people coming back home from war with Syphillis, also known as frrench disease. The hospice was named as Hospice of the incurable in the 18th century, before bieing refereed to as La Petite France. Later on this name was used for the entire district.

Today there isn't much left of these days, instead it is a very nice quarter to walk through and enjow the old, beautiful buildings.

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Ponts Couverts

Right next to Petit France you can find the Ponts Couverts, the covered bridges. The cross the river Ill and were originally built for defensive purposes. As the name predicts they used to be coved by roofs, but they have been gone since the 18th century.

However, they are still a beautiful sight to see and should be visited. They can best be looked at from Barrage Vauban, an old dam used as a defense technique. it can be walked upon and has a museum inside. Best time to come here is in the afternoon/eveving to have tuhe sun in your back while enjoying the view over the bridges or taking a photo.


St. Thomas Church

The St. Thomas church is located right next to La Petit France. It is an old gothic church erected in hte 16th century. The hurch is the main church for protestants of the region since the bug cathedral is catholic. It is know for its organ.

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European Parliament

Being the capital of Europe Strasburg is home to many european institutions. One is the European Parliament. It normally constitutes in Brussels, but is moved to Strasburg once a month in a ridiculous logistical effort. The european quarter is located in the north-eastern part of the city. You can easily get here by public transport.

The parliament can be visited during weekdays and is free of charge. Visits are restricted during sesions of the parliament however. Inside you can follow  a self guided tour through a little exhibit about the history of the european union and how it all started in Strasburg. The exhibit features an audio guide which can be downloaded on you phone. Unfortunatelly I could not get it to run on my phone.

The tour eventually leads you to the chamber where you can sit on the upper visitor seats. Uppon entering you get a device for the audio guide. Surprisingly this is the same guide you can (or can not) download on your phone. However, you have to return the device upon leaving the chamber. I have no clue why they hand them out in the first place and not offering them for the whole tour.

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In Strasbourg we stayed in an airbnb in the southern part of the city. From there you walk 10-15 minutes to the city center, but can also take a tram. The appartment features two airbnb rooms.

You can find the airbnb in Straßbourg right here
New to airbnb? Sign up through this link and save up to 34€ on your first trip
Find other accomendations on booking.com 

Restaurants and Tips

The Alsace region has some nice local dishes as well as many local wines. Here I have one restaurant I can recommend for your visit.

Caupona Taverne
A nice restaurant located on Grand'Rue on the Grande Île. Nice food

Most places accept payments with credit cards, however paying with AmericanExpress can be difficult on some occasions. It is also good to have some cash on hand some smaller places only accept cash.

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Hey! My name is Max, I am a 24 years old pilot from Germany. My passion is all about seeing the world, both on the ground and from above.

Life goal: Have visited 100 countries by the age of 45!
Countries visited so far: 14

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