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Strasbourg – The True Hidden Gem of Europe

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Photo credit: Strasbourg by night – Le barrage Vauban via photopin (license)

Strasbourg sounds very German, but it isn’t. It does neighbor Germany however, being located in the Alsace region of France. One of the reasons why it sounds so German is because it was annexed by Germany during WWI, but it is now once again part of France. It is an amazing city, and various river cruises run through it, including the Viking River Cruise.

About Strasbourg

Strasbourg is home to some important institutions, including the European Parliament and the European Court of Human Rights. However, it is about far more than modern legalities. Grande Ile, for instance, the city center, was the first center to be registered as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Grande Ile is a medieval town and remains fully fortified. You will find monuments such as the Aubette, the Place Gutenberg and the Place Kleber here. If you visit Strasbourg, it is almost impossible not to go there.

Strasbourg is an old town, but it is young and vibrant in its overall atmosphere. When here, you can enjoy true culture and art in places such as concert venues, museums, theaters and opera houses. And you can hear history as well, as some people speak French, some speak French with a German accent and some speak German.

When there, make sure you also visit the Old Town. This is where you can see the Strasbourg Cathedral, which you will never forget. It is a gothic cathedral that really embodies what this type of architecture and art is all about. It also has a 142 meter high spire, so you truly can’t miss it.

Once you have been to the cathedral, you can start strolling through the little alleys of this old part of town, with half-timbered houses lining the various streets. There are many Alsatian taverns that are truly cozy and perfect to rest your walking feet for a little bit. The best ones are in the Petite France area, which is also considered to be the most scenic of the city. There are some 16th and 17th century homes and ancient waterways, together creating a truly unique charm.

Perhaps you want to experience the city from a different perspective, however. If you have booked on a river cruise, you can experience all the fantastic attractions that Strasbourg offers from the comfort of a luxurious boat. The various river canals are as unique and quaint as those in Amsterdam, and they will take you through many historical sites such as the Vauban Dam and the Neustadt Imperial Quarter.

Depending on how much time you will get to spend in Strasbourg, you should also try to go off the beaten track a little bit. The entire area around Strasbourg is just waiting to be discovered. If you have booked on a river cruise, you will be able to see much of this, gently sailing along the rivers of the Alsace Lorraine valleys. Either way, you will have an experience that you will never forget.