With its cobbled streets, timbered houses and numerous inviting cafes, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Petite France quarter is one of Strasbourg's main highlights. It was once a poor district occupied by tanners, fishermen and millers, but today this area on the western end of the Grand Île is one of the top attractions in the city.
People flock to La Petite France to see the colourful fairy tale-esque buildings and their reflections on the Rhine River, which make for the perfect photo op. To get a feel for this picturesque neighbourhood, have a leisurely wander down the stone streets and soak in the old world atmosphere. You can also hop on a boat tour to explore the canal system surrounding Petite France.
If you've got children in tow, bring them to the playground in Square Suzanne Lacore, which has lovely views to admire while your little ones play. Kids are also likely to enjoy going on a boat tour around the canals and seeing how the locks work. Batorama offers 70-minute tours all year round, and children under six years old go for free.
The neighbourhood was named after a hospital that was established here in the late 15th century to treat soldiers who'd contracted syphilis during the Italian Wars, under the reign of King Francis I. At this time, the disease was known as "the French Illness," as it was typically seen as a French condition - hence the name Petite France.
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