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Expat in Germany: Visit Strasbourg

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Visit Strasbourg

One of the reasons I was so excited to move to Germany was the close promiximity of so many countries.  This past weekend we visited Strasbourg, France, which is only ~150km from Stuttgart, Germany.  This is terribly exciting being from Canada when (not counting the U.S.), the next closest country is Mexico which is still a 5 hour flight!  I had heard that Strasbourg was a charming city, but it exceeded my already high expectations and if you have the chance to visit Strasbourg, I can't recommend it enough!

Why You Should Visit Strasbourg

Visit Strasbourg to see the cathedral of Notre Dame (pictured above).  This gothic style church is truly breath taking, especially at dusk and is very old.  Construction first started on the cathedral in 1015 and it wasn't completed until 1439, imagine, over 400 years to build a cathedral!
The Petit France Quarter is beyond charming, with storybook houses lining canals, not to mention the great selection of restaurants that can be found here.

The city of Strasbourg is declared a World Hertage Site by UNESCO and it is the only city in all of France to have this honor, where the whole city is declared a World Heritage Site.  After spending a couple of days wandering around this charming city, complete with swan and stork filled canals, it was clear to us that Strasbourg certainly deserved this honor.
The European Parliament is another reason to visit Strasbourg.  Check ahead for tours since availability depends on when Parliament is in session.
Strasbourg is also home to the European Parliament, which is a strikingly modern building in contrast with the center of historic Strasbourg.  Tours are available and I think would be very interesting, but we were visiting on a holiday when everything was closed. 
On our visit to Strasbourg we saw lots of swans and storks in the waterways which was a wonderful surprise!
Strasbourg also has the honor of having more bike paths, a whooping 500 km, than any other city in France.  Bikes are everywhere and are a good option if you are sight seeing outside the city center, not to mention environmentally friendly.  They can be rented from hotels at reasonable rates.
I loved the half-timber houses that are found throughout Strasbourg, but especially in The Petit France Quarter.
Although I haven't visited Strasbourg during the Christmas markets, a friend of mine who lived there for six months, said they're not to be missed and I believe it.  Strasbourg is already such a charming city, I can only imagine it at Christmas time.
Another reason to visit Strasbourg is for the shopping.  Strasbourg is famous for its antiques shops, but we also saw lots of high end French designer stores as well.

We plan to visit Strasbourg next in December and check out the Christmas markets (sorry J.P. if this is the first you've heard about this).  I can't wait!  Am I alone in my love of Strasbourg?  I think not.  Please share your experience of Strasbourg below.
St. Paul's Church is outside of the tourist district, but it's a beautiful walk along the river to visit this beautiful church, that is currently being restored. 



At November 2, 2010 at 10:10 AM , Anonymous Matt Hope said...

I want to get over to Europe ASAP for the same exact reason. Being from the U.S. there just aren't any super cheap/easy ways to get to other countries. Even more true for Canada, at least we have access to the Caribbean and Central America for some relatively decent prices.

At November 3, 2010 at 11:16 AM , Blogger Expat in Germany said...

I hear ya, but at least in the U.S. you can get cheap flights, Canada not so much. In Europe you can get some unbelievably cheap flights, which I'm definitely taking advantage of.

At November 3, 2010 at 6:08 PM , Anonymous Devin the Travel Writer said...

I still have mixed feeling from my last trip to Germany. Of course, it was a long time ago

At November 4, 2010 at 4:02 PM , Anonymous enlargement said...

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At November 13, 2010 at 12:20 PM , Anonymous Auto Accident Attorneys Utah said...

I visited Strasbourg in 1998. Very pleasant place! Enjoyed my stay. Would also recommend it.


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