Canals of Petite France
France

Strasbourg, France

 

Are you looking for a magical winter getaway with picturesque sights and delicious smells wafting from every street corner?

Petite France
Petite France
Petite France

Well, I’ve found it in a charming city located in the Alsace region of northeastern France. Once belonging to the German empire, Strasbourg’s culture, cuisine, and architecture are such a unique Franco-Germanic blend that the city has UNESCO World Heritage status. This breathtaking destination is ideal for all seasons, but a visit during winter should not be missed.

Strasbourg Christmas Market
Strasbourg Christmas Market
Wandering in Petite France
Wandering in Petite France

Christmas Markets

To be in Strasbourg during the holiday season is like being a kid in a candy shop. Every street and storefront is decked out in such an extravagant way, you would think it to be the birthplace of Kris Kringle himself.

Strasbourg at night
Strasbourg at night

There are several Christmas markets located throughout the city, each providing a different ambiance. The markets feature local food, vin chaud (hot wine), and beautifully handcrafted items. A few must try dishes include: flammekueche, a thin crispy dough topped with creme fraiche; spaetzle, a German’s version of pasta and bredele, the traditional Alsatian biscuit. Maps are provided at the information booths and are perfect for planning your route.

Spaetzle
Spaetzle
Strasbourg Christmas market
Strasbourg Christmas market

Off Noel was my favorite market, being less traditional you could find unique goods made by local artists, as well as cozy areas to get relief from the cold. Some highlights were the interactive photo booth, vintage clothing boutique, and giant igloo bar.

Off Noel Strasbourg
Off Noel Strasbourg

Other Off Noel activities, such as ping-pong and various Christmas craft stations were scattered around the city and fun to happen upon!

Strasbourg Off Noel
Strasbourg Off Noel

Walking Route

A walk around Strasbourg must include: stops along the charming canals of Petite-France, shops on Grand Rue and Strasbourg Cathedral, just to name a few. Wandering along the cobbled streets while admiring the half-timbered homes lining the canal, will make you feel as if you are lost in the middle of a fairy tale.

Wandering in Petite France
Wandering in Petite France

To see the best panoramic views, head to the Strasbourg Cathedral or the Barrage Vauban. The cathedral requires climbing 332 steps, but you will be rewarded in the most gratifying way.

Strasbourg Cathedral
Strasbourg Cathedral

However, if you’re not in the mood for the stair climber, another vista can easily be reached. The Barrage Vauban is a bridge and dam with free access to views of the historic quarter. It’s located at the end of the Petite France district; head there an hour before sunset to enjoy the golden reflections on the water.

Barrage Vauban view
Barrage Vauban view
Barrage Vauban vista
Barrage Vauban vista

Bars & Restaurants

Being a university city, there are plenty of trendy bars and cozy restaurants to keep you hydrated and warm.

La Corde a Linge, Strasbourg
La Corde a Linge, Strasbourg

A great place to start is a dimly-lit bar called What the Fox, that provides pool tables, happy hour deals, and the famous flammekueche. 

What the Fox
What the Fox
Flammekueche
Flammekueche

Around the corner is Le Douanier, a swanky cocktail bar boasting a creative menu, tropical decor, and comfy loungers.  

Le Douanier
Le Douanier

Along Grand Rue, L’Artichaut is a hot spot with an extensive craft beer menu. It’s ideal for a quaint lunch, happy hour, or as a late night spot.

 

L'Artichaut
L’Artichaut

Three gorgeous restaurants that caught my eye while wandering are Bistrot Coco, La Hache, and Bastardo. I strongly recommend making reservations, as they were all fully booked the night we were hungry and searching. For a typical Alsatian dinner, head to Gurtlerhoft. Housed in a stone cellar with vaulted ceilings, it provides an authentic atmosphere and hearty cuisine.

Gurtlerhoft
Gurtlerhoft

Enjoy this traditional yet contemporary city in Alsace, I bet it will steal your heart as it did mine!

Until next time,

J.

Place Kleber
Place Kleber
Strasbourg night lights
Strasbourg night lights
Petite France
Petite France
Canals of Petite France
Canals of Petite France

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