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A long weekend in Strasbourg

Two days will be enough to take the pulse of the European capital, of which the Grande Ile is listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 1

Strasbourg (Phovoir)Don’t waste any time and head towards the 142m high Notre-Dame Cathedral which is bound to impress you! If the weather is good, climb up to the platform and enjoy a 360° view of the town.

Another way of visiting the town: the unmissable riverboat tour. Sail from the pier of Palais des Rohan down to the parliamentary district. That is where are located the European institutions which earned Strasbourg its international reputation. You will see the European Parliament, the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe which held its first meeting in Strasbourg in… 1949!

Strasbourg has not usurped its reputation of being a cosmopolitan town where many cultures and influences live together. To convince yourself of it, have a wander around the Place Broglie, where you can have a bite, and around the German quarter. The buildings there are impressive! Ranging from the neo-classic style to the “patissier” style, they are reminiscent of the time when Alsace belonged to Germany. In spring, take the time to walk across the Place de la République, surrounded by colossal buildings, in order to admire the blooming magnolias.

For a younger or more festive atmosphere, end your day by having a drink on a terrace or on one of the canal boats moored to the banks of the Ill River. As they are not far from the student district of Krutenau, the youth of Strasbourg go there. In a friendly atmosphere, drink a glass of Alsacian Muscat and eat a traditional Alsacian dish, like a Strasbourg salad for instance.

Day 2

Strasbourg (Zvardon)The Petite France fully deserves that you spend time strolling there. This is where you will see the half-timbered houses, which build the reputation of Alsace: you must see the house called the Maison des Tanneurs. In this quarter, you will find many souvenir boutiques. The latter will lead you right down to the Ponts Couverts, the vestiges of the town’s former battlements.

On the other bank, you may see a great building made out of glass and pink sandstone, a tribute to the Cathedral. It is the Modern and Contemporary Art Museum. After having visited its permanent collections or its temporary exhibition, some of which regularly make a lot of noise in the field of culture, enjoy a sit down at the Art Café. When the weather is nice, its terrace is one of the most beautiful in Strasbourg: the view over the Cathedral is superb!

Before leaving, Strasbourg deserves one last stroll: for shopping addicts, the boutiques in the Arcades, the Gallerie de l’Aubette or Rive Etoile are a must.