A daytrip to Strasbourg in the region of Alsace near the eastern border between France and Germany, is a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of Paris. If you have been staying in Paris for sometime and want to go on a short trip to a quiet scenery, then Strasbourg is a perfect option.
Strasbourg is a quiet French city with German influence evidenced in its housing and building structures, food and culture.
Just two and half hours away from Gare de l’Est train station. Most tickets are cheaper if booked in advance or ahead of your travel dates. Tickets are around 50% cheaper if your travel dates fall on a weekday instead of the crowded weekends. You can check the train schedules and ticket prices via this link.
To prepare for this short daytrip, all you need to pack is your camera, something to read for the 2-hour train ride, passport for tourists (it is randomly checked, mine was) and some snacks.
Here are some things you can do on a daytrip to Strasbourg.
Visit the magnifi’que Strasbourg Cathedral
The Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg is the major landmark of this idyllic city. The cathedral is huge, amazingly intricate and detailed, and showcases a century-old gothic architecture.
A quick trivia, the Strasbourg Cathedral is the 10th tallest church building in the world at 142.0 m (466 ft). It did held the title of being the tallest structure in the world in 1647 and held on to that recognition for 227 years.
Around the Cathedral grounds leading to the ticket office of batorama. #thattravelblog #LiveTravelChannel #TravelStoke #lonelyplanet #BBCTravel #justgoshoot #TheGlobeWanderer #passionpassport #theculturetrip #worlderlust #WeAreTravelGirls #AdventureCulture #lessismoreoutdoors #departedoutdoors #earth_deluxe #worldcaptures #Artofvisuals #TravelAwesome #followmefaraway #travellingthroughtheworld #nakedplanet #CreateExploreTakeOver #CreateCommune #travelingpost #awesome_earthpix #WeLiveToExplore #LetsGoEverywhere #igshotz #exploretocreate #travelandlife
You should go visit inside or stay around for a mass celebration. The angelic choir will surely haunt you for hours. I never heard such beautiful choir singing!
Hop on a Batorama Tour
Just by the Palais Rohan, a few meters from the alley from the Strasbourg Cathedral, you will find a ticket booth for a boat tour provided by Batorama. This an hour and a half river cruise is another great vantage point to get a better view of Strasbourg and its personality.
There is an audio tour guide in different languages. Ticket prices during my visit was 12Euros. You can check this link for the latest on ticket prices or promos. Use the google translate to translate the site to English if your French is as good (or as bad) as mine. Make sure to book early because the lines can be long during summer and Christmas season.
The boat tour will cruise the Grand Île, which flows thru major parts of Strasbourg. I loved seeing the beautiful architectures of houses, buildings and churches which took me back, for a brief moment, to children’s fairytales of Hansel & Gretel and Beauty and the Beast.The tour continues toward the Rhine and the European District, home of the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and the Human Rights Building.
The tour was a lovely way of being introduced to Strasbourg and its many faces. I particularly loved when the boat went thru La Petité France with its old houses and buildings built centuries ago, then after a while, on the other side, you see the modern building of the European Parliament.To travel is to discover, that everyone is wrong about other countries - Aldous Huxley Click To Tweet
Go on a photo walk
After alighting from the batorama tour, I strongly suggest you to go down by sidewalk that leads to the river edge and walk towards La Petité France via this sidewalk. There are a lot of amazing photos you can take from this vantage point. And those structures with their window sill full of lovely blooms hanging are a sight to behold.
There are also some benches where you can take a rest and breathe in this beautiful scenery. There are some narrow bridges that you can cross that takes you to the other side of the river.
Go on a food trip
After all that cruising and walking, filling your eyes and soul with beauty of Strasbourg, by now your stomach must be growling hungry. Strasbourg has so much to offer too in this department, its location between France and Germany mainly contributing to this rich culinary tradition.
The Ill river flows through the city, providing numerous spots for romantic interludes, and in the middle of town, the Strasbourg Cathedral perches much like a castle from the middle ages. During the holiday season, people flock to the Strasbourg Christmas Market, one of the best holiday markets in all of Europe.
Everything here is delicious. But I totally went crazy with Strasbourg’s iconic Tarte Flambéee. It’s like a pizza, but never call it a pizza. I made that mistake, and the lovely lady, just looked at me, waiting for me to acknowledge that big mistake.
Tarte Flambée is a bread dough rolled out thinly, so it’s really crispy when hot fresh from the oven. And it’s topped with bits of onion and bacon and overloaded with gruyère cheese. Your Tarte Flambée is prepared and cooked right when you ordered it and you wait for a few minutes before its served on a thin plyboard. Then you grab a bench by the park side or the river side and savour the crispy and gooey treat!
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If you are travelling during the Christmas holidays, I heard that berawecka is a must experience. A popular holiday treat, and similar to Christmas bread or fruit cake, this soft little bun, delicately spiced and consisting of fruit confit, dried fruit and toasted nuts, is one of Alsace’s specialities for year-end celebrations. It is enjoyed after dessert or goes great with some well-seasoned foie gras.
Grab a seat and people watch
You got the best seats in the house when you do sit on a park bench around the city center or by the river side. I enjoyed observing other tourists and locals go about their usual day. I did have a short chit-chat with an old lady who was tending to her own lovely souvenir shop. Most of her crafts are made from the school where she taught some years back. Its stories like these that make a journey more worthwhile.
Strasbourg is too beautiful for a short visit. There is just so much to uncover in this idyllic town. Time has come for me to walk back to Gare du Strasbourg for my train ride back to Paris. Back to reality, but I let me leave you a short video to sum up how you can enjoy a daytrip to Strasbourg. Enjoy!
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