Strasbourg (map) is the capital and the largest city of Alsace, a region in northeastern France bordering Germany. This historic city is home to a renowned university and is also the seat of the European Parliament. In 1988, its historic centre, also called Grand Île (or Grand Isle as it’s situated on a big island in the Ill River), was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Grand Île is a maze of atmospheric medieval streets and stately squares lined by gorgeous buildings. At one end, the impressive Cathedral (a stunning Gothic structure completed in the 15th century, with its characteristic single tower) commands the attention, whilst at the other end, lovely houses perched over the Ill River in the Petit France neighbourhood are the perfect definition of ‘picturesque’. Scroll down for a photo essay of my impressions of Strasbourg as I strolled around the Grand Île.
You can easily spend several days exploring Strasbourg to admire its eclectic architecture, learn more about its colourful history at its museums and palaces, and soak up the wonderful medieval atmosphere. I only spent an afternoon here and wished I could have stayed longer, if only to see the city without the hordes of day-trippers (of whom I was one!). If you’re travelling around France, I definitely recommend adding Strasbourg and the broader Alsace region to your itinerary.
Search for hotels in Strasbourg (Booking.com).
Note: Strasbourg was one of the stops during my Rhine river cruise with Viking Cruises.