A Visit to Charming Strasbourg

posted by Sharon October 26, 2019 33 Comments
Strasbourg France

Strasbourg, a fairy tale French city in Alsace, offers the beauty that comes from combining Latin and Germanic cultures. You will find quaint architecture, winding cobbled lanes dating back to Roman times, and an imposing cathedral with its single steeple towering over the town. The entire center island of Strasbourg, known as the Grand Ile, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. And it’s compact enough that you can explore it all on foot. Here are some highlights from my visit. Strasbourg France Petite FranceStrasbourg France

Petite France

Strasbourg FranceI’ll get to the city center, but I want to start with my favorite area of the Grand Island – Petite France. This western end of the island is filled with half-timbered homes and shops that date to the 1500s. Canals, bridges, flowers, and cafes make this a picturesque place wherever you wander. Strasbourg France

Strasbourg FranceStrasbourg FranceStrasbourg FranceThe Romans were here long ago. This sign caught my attention. Strasbourg France

Later this was a center for the tanning industry. One of the tanner’s houses from 1572 is a restaurant today. Strasbourg France

The Alsatian food is sure to please. We enjoyed dinner on the patio of what once was a business controlling the locks and barges on the river. Strasbourg FranceStrasbourg France

Strasbourg FranceThe Historic Center

The main market square is lively, bordered by shops, eateries, and the cathedral. Strasbourg France

Nearby is the quieter Gutenberg Square, named for Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press. He lived here from 1434 to 1444. His memorial dominates the square. Strasbourg France

Strasbourg FranceStrasbourg FranceAnother famous resident of Strasbourg is the writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who lived here in 1770. Strasbourg France

Strasbourg FranceAn interesting story is how Goethe taught himself to overcome his fear of heights. He would often climb up into the top of the dome of the cathedral and then step out on a ledge that’s since been blocked off. He would look down and hope he could keep from falling to his death. Fortunately, he lived through this regimen. Strasbourg France

A car-free shopping area lies between the main square and the train station. It can be touristy and crowded, so I preferred to take the little side streets. My favorite finds were a bakery and a teddy bear store. Strasbourg France

Strasbourg FranceStrasbourg FranceCathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg

This fine example of late Gothic architecture was the world’s tallest building in the mid-1600s to the mid-1800s. It is certainly ornate – and soars skyward. Strasbourg France

Strasbourg FranceIt boasts colorful stained glass and a large pipe organ. Strasbourg FranceStrasbourg France

Strasbourg FranceStrasbourg FranceThis cathedral is also home to an Astronomical Clock built from the 1500s on. You can see the clock whenever the church is open, but if you buy a ticket in the small gift shop (about 6 euro), you will be able to see the chiming of the clock at midday. A 20-minute video explains how it was designed (though this is in French so I couldn’t follow it very well!) and then at 12:30 the clock strikes. The figures move. It’s well worth seeing. Strasbourg France

Strasbourg FranceIf You Go

You can reach Strasbourg by train as well as by car. It’s only a 2-hour train ride from Paris. And it’s just about 4 kilometers from Germany.

Strasbourg is a tourist destination and gets quite crowded with large groups. Some reviews are negative because of this. But I found that getting out early in the day (8:00 or 9:00) allows you to explore before the groups arrive. Also, taking the side lanes off the main streets is a great way to get a feel for Strasbourg without the crush of people.

We stayed at the Bouclier D’Or, which is on one of these side streets very close to Petite France. Strasbourg France

It turned out to be the ideal location for walking a few blocks to the main area while allowing us to retreat to a quiet neighborhood where locals live. The people who run this hotel couldn’t have been more helpful and friendly when we made a last-minute change to our dates. The breakfast served is elegant and delicious, too. And I loved that the building dates to the 1500s while it is modern and comfortable. Strasbourg France

 

Strasbourg is also known for its Christmas market, and I would love to return for that some year.

This small city has seen so much history, and it is full of beauty. I highly recommend a visit here! Strasbourg France

Linking up with Image-in-ing, The Good, the Random, the Fun, Through My Lens, Seasons, Our World Tuesday, Weekend Wanderlust, Faraway Files, Wanderful Wednesday, Feet Do Travel, My Corner of the World, and Weekend Travel Inspiration.

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33 Comments

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Cathy Keller October 27, 2019 at 6:41 am

Wonderful photos! The ones with reflections are amazing, just beautiful! Thank you!

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Juniper/Jesh October 27, 2019 at 7:41 am

LOve the “fachwerk” (that’s how the Germans call the lines on the walls) and all the picturesque places. WOw, you kept the camera clicking! thanks for the reminder that it is in France, no Germany! THe power is still out, so I hope I can link this on the IPad for All Seasons- have a beautiful week, Sharon!

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William Kendall October 27, 2019 at 11:37 am

What a beautiful place!

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Carol October 28, 2019 at 7:11 am

What a charming place to visit. That cathedral is so beautiful!

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image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup October 28, 2019 at 10:02 am Reply
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Fun 60 October 28, 2019 at 11:20 am

os.A beautiful city which you have documented really well. Great phot

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Lydia C. Lee October 28, 2019 at 11:21 am

That looks delightful!! #Ourworldtuesday

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Mother of 3 October 28, 2019 at 1:09 pm

What a beautiful city!

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Tamar A Strauss-Benjamin October 28, 2019 at 4:47 pm

That architecture!!

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Photo Cache October 28, 2019 at 5:14 pm

So beautiful and charming. My husband returned from a work-related trip to Strasbourg a couple of weeks ago and with his little free time was able to snap some shots too. I am enchanted by this charming town.

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Margy October 29, 2019 at 9:39 am

I love the look of canals, but they must be very hard on structures and foundations. – Margy

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Rosi October 30, 2019 at 3:52 am

wonderfull pictures
I was there many years ago

Rosi

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Esther October 30, 2019 at 5:03 am

Oh my, Strasbourg looks absolutely amazing. I never even gave this city a thought… I guess I really should. Look at those half timbered houses and the canals. Lovely!
#WanderfulWednesday

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beatravelling October 30, 2019 at 6:12 am

Haha, I never thought Strasbourg would look like that 😀 I’ve only associated it with the European Court of Human Rights, and for some reason I pictured a big modern city. This looks very nice! #wanderfulwednesday

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Mandy October 30, 2019 at 8:49 am

Glad you loved exploring Strasbourg! I hope I get to go back one day. Your photos are so gorgeous! And I loved learning about how Goethe overcame his fear of heights! How neat!

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Allison October 30, 2019 at 10:51 am

Strasbourg looks so charming. I love towns on the water and the architecture is beautiful. #wanderfulwednesday

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Lady Fi October 30, 2019 at 10:24 pm

wow – what an amazing place! Your shots are stunning.

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Janis October 31, 2019 at 8:37 am

Strasbourg is a beautiful city, I love the German influences that creep in, we’ve visited at Christmas time and it is magical. #farawayfiles

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betty - NZ October 31, 2019 at 12:26 pm

What a fabulous place, Your description of charming is absolutely correct!

I’m so glad to see you at ‘My Corner of the World’ this week!
My Corner of the World

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Andi Fisher Bardeau November 1, 2019 at 8:59 am

I have been to Strasbourg during the holidays and it is a wonderful time to visit, the food is amazing and I would love to go back and visit in the spring or fall as well! You have inspired me to plan that!

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Laureen Lund November 1, 2019 at 4:28 pm

I’ve been to France several times but never to Strasbourg! We will be returning to France in 2020 and I need to make sure we get this on our itinerary. Thanks for all the great photos and tips.

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USHA SITAARAAM November 2, 2019 at 11:16 pm

It reminded me of Rouen. I loved the astronomical clock. I would love to visit Strasbourg. Such a lovely post, and beautiful photos. #feetdotravel

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Ann November 2, 2019 at 11:50 pm

Oh how cute!
Its looks like a town that could inspire a new disney movie 🙂

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Bryna - Dotted Line Travels November 3, 2019 at 11:45 am

Amazing photos. Just when I thought the photos couldn’t get any nicer, I looked at the next one and was in awe! I’d really like to visit Strasbourg.

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Angie Vincent November 4, 2019 at 10:59 am

This looks like a perfect weekend mini break destination! The architecture is stunning. Another place to add to my wish list!
#farawayfiles

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Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) November 5, 2019 at 5:44 am

Strasbourg looks utterly enchanting, Sharon. I’ve spent so much time in France but never made it to that north eastern corner. You’re convincing me to plan a trip sooner rather than later. Thanks for sharing on #farawayfiles

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Anna November 6, 2019 at 3:22 am

Strasbourg is such a fairytale town! We visited in December for the Christmas markets! It looks so pretty on your pictures, would love to come back and experience the city with a warmer weather!

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Karthika November 6, 2019 at 11:50 am

These pictures are amazing. And looks like such a quaint town that you can easily spend days wandering and exploring.

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Rudy @ Backpack & Snorkel November 6, 2019 at 6:23 pm

I had visited Strasbourg before the millennium and I remember a couple of the places. Your post brought back good memories.

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Sarah November 7, 2019 at 12:37 am

Strasbourg has been on my wishlist for years. Can’t believe I’ve not been there yet. Love your photos. You mentioned large crowds of tourists so will plan to visit out of season, but looks like you had a lot of fun there 🙂

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Georgina November 7, 2019 at 2:49 am

A lovely city which you have captured really well both in your narratives and the photos. I do like those architecture and the canals! Beautiful sunsets.

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Sharon November 7, 2019 at 10:34 am

This is such a beautiful place and the photos are stunning!

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Tash November 9, 2019 at 8:17 pm

Wow, Strasbourg certainly is charming. What a beautiful place to visit, it certainly has everything you could ask for from an historical viewpoint. #farawayfiles

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