Located in northeastern France's Grand Est region near the German border, Strasbourg is a pleasant melange of French and German cultures. It’s also the seat of the European Parliament, giving it a worldly prestige.
In the old town, you’ll find medieval churches alongside half-timbered houses and stately French homes along the Rhine River. Twisting cobblestone streets, quaint canals and a multitude of cultural activities help make Strasbourg a top destination in the Alsace and Europe in general.
The top attraction in Strasbourg has to be Strasbourg Cathedral, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame, a magnificent example of Gothic architecture with great spires that loom over the Rhine river. Once inside, admire the scenery from the viewing platform and pay a visit to the cathedral’s 16th-century astronomical clock.
Be sure to time your cathedral visit to coincide with a performance by the little wooden figurines that revolve around the clock (there are shows every 15 minutes and once an hour.)
Foodies will also feel right at home in this city, which takes gastronomy very seriously. Countless Alsatian specialties include choucroute (cabbage sauerkraut served with sausages and slow-cooked pork) and flammekueche (flatbread topped with onions and bacon bits). And thanks to the student population from Université de Strasbourg, the city has a vibrant nightlife scene as well.
If you happen to visit Strasbourg over Christmas, you’ll witness the city in its prime. Streets are covered in fairy lights, festive decorations adorn the town and a massive Christmas market opens up with hundreds of stalls touting sweet treats and knick-knacks.
Strasbourg is such a hotspot during the Christmas season that it can be a bit overrun with tourists. If you’re not a fan of crowds, it might be worth booking your trip a bit later, in January or February. That way you’ll avoid the hubbub but still be able to see the city in all its wintry charm.