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4 days in Alsace... just long enough to visit the must-sees

Strasbourg, Colmar and Mulhouse await you for a city trip but there’s more! Visiting Alsace is a journey to the heart of history: its fortified castles, its museums off the beaten tracks are some of the many activities to be done a deux or en famille.

Day 1

StrasbourgInevitably, start your visit of Alsace in its European capital: Strasbourg.

Its Grande Ile is a gem listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is worth the trip in itself. Its Gothic cathedral, its workshops of which the eldest were already present in the Middle Ages and its half-timbered houses represent an authentic journey back in time.

Strasbourg is also synonym of shopping! There are many brands present in addition to the galleries entirely devoted to window-shopping: the Place des Halles, the Arcades, the Aubette or Rive Etoile are temples in the matter.

Day 2

Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg (Zvardon)After a good night’s sleep, indulge in a visit of Strasbourg on a riverboat. Head towards the pier of Palais des Rohan where your boat will be expecting you. It will sail down to the parliamentary district: the European institutions are built along the Ill river and you will discover them from a new point of view, that of a resolutely contemporary architecture.

In the afternoon, you will head towards Colmar, the capital of Alsacian wines. On the way, you will find the famous Haut-Koenigsbourg castle: visiting it is necessary especially for enthusiasts of beautiful views! From its battlements, the castle offers an incomparable panorama over the plain of Alsace.

In the evening, you have arrived in Colmar! Walk into one of its winstubs for a bite and a drink and roam around the town under the stars.

Day 3

Colmar (Phovoir)Start by visiting the Petite Venise: it is a charming maze of small canals which you can visit in a flat-bottomed boat. Then, don’t miss the old town’s Gothic or Renaissance gems, particularly the Saint-Martin Collegiate Church, where you can see beautiful terraces during summer or the Unterlinden Museum which displays the renowned Retable d’Issenheim (the Issenheim Altarpiece).

Not far from there, you have the choice between two wonderful discoveries: Neuf-Brisach, one of the twelve Vauban fortresses, a UNESCO World Heritage Site or the Ecomuseum of Alsace in Ungersheim. It is a genuine open-air museum and is the setting of 70 buildings with a remarkable traditional architecture, which were rescued from all over Alsace by half-timbering lovers. In both winter and summer, many activities bring this village to life.

Day 4

Mulhouse (Fred Hurst)Come to Mulhouse, nicknamed the “French Manchester” because of its well-known industrial history. Listed a Town of Art and History, it is the favourite playing field of enthusiasts of technical museums: don’t miss the Automobile Museum and the Railway Museum or the Electropolis Museum.

After lunch in the town-centre, at the top of the Tour de l’Europe or on the Place de la Réunion where the Renaissance town hall proudly stands, enjoy discovering the contemporary side of Mulhouse.

Visit the Kunsthalle, a contemporary art centre set in an old industrial vestige where locomotives used to be manufactured. When the day is over, spend the evening at the Filature, a nation-wide known venue, of which the programme reflects the region’s cultural dynamism.