Strasbourg Things To Do
Strasbourg is where France and Germany meet. The official seat of the European Parliament, this charming city also draws in millions of visitors. Bordered by the Rhine River on one side, the city is home to a historic section of buildings and canals.
Le Petite France
The medieval heart of the city is the Le Petit France. This is an area of half-timbered houses and ancient canals. Canal boat tours are a fun way to see this neighborhood, and covered boats make it an ideal trip when it’s rainy outside. Look for flower boxes along the water during the summer. Tours can be as short as an hour, or as long as several hours if you combine it with a visit to other parts of the city. Visit the Quai Des Moulins where you can see many historic water mills. This picturesque area is a UNESCO World Heritage site, so it is protected from additional building. Grab a traditional meal of Alsatian specialties such as a casserole called baeckeoffe, a tarte with cheese known as flammekueche,and choucroute, a dish of smoked meats and sauerkraut.
The Notre Dame Cathedral
Dating from the 11th century, the cathedral has an ornate exterior that has been rebuilt again and again after wars and bombings. The gothic interior has vaulted ceilings and multi-colored stained glass windows. For a small fee, you can climb over three hundred steps to the top and be rewarded with views of the entire city. The southern wing has one of the earliest mechanical clocks that shows off the processions of time and the movement of the heavens. For more information about the construction of the cathedral, visit the adjacent Museum of L’Oeuvre Notre-Dame, with thirty-nine halls of exhibits about medieval and gothic architecture. During the Christmas season the Cathedral is home to a large nativity scene. This is also the time of year when you will find many Christmas markets in the city. The largest and oldest one is the one adjacent to the cathedral with dozens of sellers offering items like hot spiced wine, soft pretzels and ornaments that make the ideal souvenirs.
The European Parliament Building
For a look at more modern Strasbourg, head for the European Parliament building. This rounded structure is where officials from all over Europe come to make laws. While you can tour it on your own, you can also book a tour in advance with a tour group. More modern life can be found at the Museum of Modern Art in the city. It’s housed in a large glass building.
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