The French, picturesque town of Strasbourg is the capital of Alsace, and one of France’s most beautiful cities.
Also one of the top wine producers in the country, Strasbourg lies 250 miles away from Paris and charms with half-timbered houses, rivers, quintessentially French cafés, lovely parks and canals, a world-renowned cathedral and the iconic Grande Île, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also an urban center with the ninth-largest metro area in the nation and home to the European Parliament, where members of the EU meet for their plenary sessions.
Choose from guided walking tours of various levels or see Strasbourg like many locals do—on a bike. Strasbourg was named one of the most bike-friendly cities by Condé Nast, with over 18,000 bike racks and bike-friendly streets crisscrossing the city. Either way you’re sure to fall in love with this magical city and enjoy some of these magical highlights:
The Strasbourg Cathedral, officially known as the Cathedral of our Lady of Strasbourg, was the highest building in the world from 1647-1874 and is built in Gothic style. Standing on the site of a former Roman temple, it is one of the top Catholic shrines in the world and features stained glass windows. Artists and writers have been inspired by the cathedral for centuries. Victor Hugo wrote that the cathedral was a “gigantic and delicate” marvel.
The Grand Île is one of Strasbourg’s most iconic areas and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. The name “Grand Île” literally translates to “Large Island.” Once home to the region’s Fishermen, Tanners and Millers, it is now a tourist mecca. Stroll through lovely, narrow streets and enjoy quaint, lively cafés and small shops as you take in this storybook-looking region and perhaps enjoy a croissant, macarons or macaroons and many other decadent pastries.
While located near these historic areas, the European Parliament Building is a thoroughly modern glass building called the “Louise Weiss Building” (a French former member of the Parliament) and was built in 1999.
Stroll—or cycle—through the popular Parc de l’Orangerie and discover beautiful foliage, fountains and even a zoo. Popular among locals, the park is named after the many orange trees that were once here. You will also likely get the chance to see the many storks who make this park their home.