Strasbourg: Canals, Cheese, and Charm

I remember several years back, as my sister and I made our way from Colmar to Munich, we changed trains in Strasbourg. While I was planning that trip, I wondered: should we do a longer layover in Strasbourg? Maybe pop out and explore a bit of the city for a few hours?

Ultimately, I decided against it, drawing the conclusion that there didn’t seem to be anything that noteworthy to do there. Now, having visited to hit the Christmas markets, I realize how wrong Laura of Yore (Yora?) was: Strasbourg is a treasure.

And if Strasbourg is a treasure, its crown jewel has to be the canals and the gorgeous, brightly painted buildings that line them. On the weekend my friend and I visited, we were blessed with lots of sunshine and the bluest of skies (a lucky break for a December trip), both of which made the canal views all the more stunning.

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And, oh, golden hour in Strasbourg. It was as if the universe chuckled to itself and said, “You think Strasbourg’s canals are beautiful during the day? Just wait until you see them at sunset.”

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Once you get off the main canals and into Strasbourg’s streets, the city is no less charming, with narrow cobblestone alleyways and those classic Alsatian shutters and beams.

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Strasbourg’s cathedral is also fairly impressive, and quite tall to boot. In fact, it’s basically impossible to get the whole structure in one photo. No wonder, as it was the tallest building in the world from 1647 to 1874! Thanks, Wikipedia!

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As for Strasbourg’s food scene, it’s pretty on point. The regional specialty is tarte flambée: basically, bread covered in a f&$* ton of cheese. What more can you ask for?

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In terms of finer dining, there are plenty of options to choose from. My friend and I wound up at Brasserie des Haras and loved it. I wrote more about it here, but safe to say, it’s a high recommend from me. Pro tip: if you are visiting Strasbourg during Christmas market season, make sure to book ahead for weekend meals; all the restaurants were packed when we were there.

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The Bottom Line: If it’s not abundantly clear, I’m so glad I finally made my way to Strasbourg. It is utterly charming, an easy weekend getaway from Paris, and totally worth the trip.

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