Prior to taking on this internship with CroisiEurope, I had only heard of Strasbourg twice in my life.
The first was when I was a freshman in university, and I met an exchange student in one of my classes from Strasbourg who brought me cookies because I helped him with homework. The second was when a girl I knew traveled to Strasbourg for school, fell in love with her assigned exchange ‘buddy’ (like in the movies!) and is now happily engaged to him, while living a dream life together in Paris.
So, I suppose you could say, I had some very positive feelings towards Strasbourg long before I ever set foot in its pretty streets. In my mind, Strasbourg was a dazzling fairytale city of cookies and love.
And here’s the crazy thing: it absolutely is!
Today, on our way cruising up the Rhine to Amsterdam, we stopped in Strasbourg for the afternoon to enjoy a walking tour of the city. Let me tell you: this city oozes charm. Walking into Strasbourg is like entering one of those storybook villages you see inside snowglobes. Throughout the city’s historic center, you’ll find half-timbered buildings, winding canals and bright flower boxes that come together in postcard-perfect scenes that would melt any heart.
While brief, our bus and walking tour provided us with a small taste of Strasbourg’s offerings. Around the historic center, you’ll find photogenic scenes at every turn and marvels of architecture like the Strasbourg Cathedral, which towers 142 metres above the city. Once the world’s tallest building for over 200 years, it still dominates Strasbourg today with its incredible blend of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. I mean, just look at it. NOTE: This view is best enjoyed with a gelato in hand.
Besides sightseeing, there are also plenty of opportunities for shopping. Throughout the tour, I was captivated by the cute shops that seemed to line every street. In the historic center, you’ll find storefront windows crammed with displays of giant meringues, tins of foie gras, gingerbread cookies, giant blocks of nougat and countless other goodies to marvel at. It should come as no surprise then that Strasbourg is world famous for its Christmas markets, which fill the city each winter with handmade crafts and the delightful smell of mulled wine and Christmas goodies. After my visit today, there is no doubt I want to come back in the winter someday!
Of course, there is far more to Strasbourg than just being a “cute town”. During our tour today, in addition to exploring the Petite France and Grand Île districts, we also got a taste of the modern side of Strasbourg. Along with Brussels, Strasbourg is the official seat of the European Parliament, which is why throughout the city, you’ll find impressive modern buildings housing European institutions like the Council of Europe and of course, the European Parliament. This blend of the old and new, the classic and modern, is what makes Strasbourg so exciting.
So, why must you visit Strasbourg? The answer is simple: you’re going to love it.
I’ll leave you with that thought. Get planning, friends!