Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg, France

Where to stay: ​Strasbourg is a pretty expensive city to stay in, especially during the holiday season. If you’re okay with a 20-30 minute public transit ride into Strasbourg (which was fairly inexpensive), I’d recommend staying in the nearby city of Kehl, Germany. I stayed in this Airbnb listing, which is only $39 per night (only $10 a person if you fill up the room with 4 people!), and the host was super sweet- she also provided a great breakfast! There’s one other slightly more expensive listing in Kehl, or otherwise you can try your luck finding something inexpensive in proper Strasbourg. I’ve also been told that they’re upgrading the public transportation between Strasbourg and Kehl, so it may soon be even easier to get between the two cities.

Where to eat: If you’re in Strasbourg during the holiday season, be sure to check out all of the food offerings at the different market stalls. I can personally attest to the fact that the waffles, beignets, crepes, and pretzels are out of this world, and these options are budget-friendly (of course, you’ll also need to try the hot mulled wine while you’re at it). As far as restaurants go, I had the best luck in the section of the city called La Petite France. It’s such a quintessentially Alsatian part of the city with the gorgeous architecture you probably associate with Strasbourg, and you can find a lot of restaurants with traditional fare. I loved the restaurant called Au Pont St. Martin, which as the name suggests, is right off of a bridge along the river. It’s such a great building, and the food was delicious without a hefty price tag.

What to do: ​I think that the best time to visit Strasbourg is around Christmas-time, because Strasbourg is considered to be Europe’s Capital of Christmas. If you are there during Christmas, you’ll want to be sure to spend ample time wandering around and exploring the Christmas markets. The markets take over the entire city, and each vendor sells different types of things. You’ll be able to find all types of Christmas decorations and ornaments, crafts and gifts, teas and wines, and all those good food items. The square in front of the cathedral has rows of market stalls, but for a truly special experience, head over to Le Carré d’Or, which is a beautiful pedestrian street that lights up gold with the holiday lights. If you’re not in Strasbourg during the Christmas season, there are still plenty of beautiful things to see and do! I would highly recommend walking up to the top of the cathedral, as there is a beautiful view over the whole city. You’ll definitely want to spend some time wandering around La Petite France as well, it’s the most “classic” looking section of the city, and is a charming little gem. There is a boat ride you can take along the river there, where you’ll get a good view of all of the gorgeous buildings- otherwise just spend some time walking around and getting lost! I found the greatest little buildings and areas just wandering around.

Overall Opinion: I absolutely LOVED Strasbourg! I chose to go during the Christmas holiday because I had heard how beautiful and Christmas-y Strasbourg was, and it far surpassed my expectations. Whether or not you’re able to visit during the holidays really doesn’t matter, I would definitely recommend a weekend in Strasbourg. I also thought that staying in nearby Kehl, Germany only enhanced my experience visiting the area. Kehl had its own Christmas market that was perfectly charming, and our host was really incredible. In the summer, I’m told that there are some outdoorsy activities that are easily do-able from Kehl, so that would be an even greater advantage to staying there if you’re visiting in the warmer seasons!

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