Whilst I am off exploring Vietnam with Eleanor (keep up to date with my travels via INSTAGRAM and TWITTER) I have some bloggers taking over my site! Here is Hollie telling us why we should go and visit Strasbourg! I really want to visit Strasbourg and this has given me so many ideas!
Hollie in Wanderlust is a travel and lifestyle blogger who has a permanent itch to explore. She spends most of her time reading books and travelling to as many places as humanely possible, all the while educating young ones. She blogs at www.hollieinwanderlust.co.uk.
Often when booking a trip abroad, it’s easiest to stick to the capital cities, or cities that are popular with tourists. When I made the decision to do a languages degree at university when I was in Year 10, there was only one city on my mind when it came to where I wanted to go and live on my year abroad. Surprisingly, it wasn’t Paris, or Nice, or Bordeaux, or any of the main cities that draw year abroad students’ attention, but a much forgotten and overlooked city in the East of France: the city of Strasbourg.
In spite of tourists’ tendency to overlook the city, there are actually so many beautiful things that it has to offer and it only took about a week of living there to fall head over heels in love with the city.
LA PETITE FRANCE
Possibly the thing that Strasbourg is most famous for, the beautiful La Petite France is a much instagrammed neighbourhood in Strasbourg on the Grande Île, covered in cobblestone roads and picturesque views of the river. The area is full of beautiful restaurants, bars and bakeries, and there really is something there for everyone. It’s really easy to spend hours at a time exploring the winding streets and quite frankly, the view never gets old.
CATHÈDRALE NOTRE DAME DE STRASBOURG
Strasbourg Cathedral is one of my favourites in the world – it really is magnificently overwhelming to look at. Photos don’t really do it justice- build in the middle ages, its gothic architecture draws crowds from all over the country and is so big that on a clear day it can be seen from the surrounding Vosges mountains. Inside you will find the horloge astrologique, one of the largest astronomical clocks in the world and have the opportunity to ‘stroke the dog’ for luck. (Hint: look on the statues inside the cathedral itself for a little carving…)
Possibly my favourite part of the city (and the only place I will ever accept a marriage proposal) is the Pont Couverts – covered bridge. Another relaxing place to get fine views of the city and truly appreciate the beauty of this gorgeous Germanic inspired city.
Strasbourg is the official seat of the European Parliament, along with Brussels, and meetings take place there at least 12 times a year. You can tour the parliamentary buildings if you so wish and see the rooms where speeches and debates take place.
If you’re lucky enough to visit Strasbourg in November or December, you’ll be able to see the city completely overtaken by German Christindselsmarik, the gorgeous Christmas markets that we have all grown to love. The markets in Strasbourg were voted the best in Europe and Strasbourg is the Christmas Capital of Europe as well. The markets are spread across the city and
COLMAR (just outside Strasbourg, this city was voted one of the most beautiful places in France and I completely agree.)
CHÂTEAU DU HAUT-KŒNIGSBOURG (situated in neighbouring Sélestat, the medieval castle gives you incredible views of the Vosges mountains.)
ALSACE WINE ROUTE (wine lovers take note, the Alsace Wine Route has multiple stops and some of the best white wines you’ll ever taste. Gewürztraminer is my favourite.)
Getting to Strasbourg is easy enough: there are direct flights from Stansted and Gatwick Airports to Strasbourg Airport, and you can also fly from Manchester to Bale-Mulhouse airport, on the Franco-Swiss border – an hour train ride will direct you to Strasbourg city centre whilst 5 minutes in the opposite direction will take you to Basel in Switzerland. The city is much cheaper than bigger cities in France and the location is prime for visiting other cities – Strasbourg is around an hour away from Basel and you can physically walk across the border of France and Germany to explore, with Stuttgart around 45 minutes away.
Strasbourg has stolen my heart and the hearts of many – a beautiful, culture filled and incredible city with so much to offer. If you’re looking for a new city in France to explore, hoping to avoid the expense of Paris but experience the same enjoyment, then Strasbourg is definitely the place for you. I may be slightly biased, but there is absolutely no place like it.
For more fun things to do abroad, click HERE