Situated in one of the most beautiful regions between France and Germany, Strasbourg straddles the border between the two countries, following the Rhine. This region’s beauty has switched nationalities four times since 1871 as the two countries have long played tug-of-war over this area, leaving behind both architectural and cultural aspects.
After lunch, we made our way over to “Petite-France” where the Île river splits up into many different canals. To find this area, we simply walked along the canals leading from the Palais Rohan (next to the cathedral) for about 10 minutes before we came upon Pont des Moulins. From here we crossed over the canal and walked around the entire Petite-France. I suggest walking this way at least to or from Petite-France because it offers some pretty great views of the canal, the houses as well as a glimpse of the cathedral.
The Grand Île where Petite-France is located would later become a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988 as it is one of Strasbourg’s most picturesque districts with half-timbered houses, flowing canals with cafes and restaurants which light up the night. Many of the houses here date back to the 16th and 17th centuries.
Take an Evening Stroll
I couldn’t get enough of this area and we decided to come back in the evening and enjoy it when it was a bit cooler. I’m so glad we did this because it turned out to be incredibly romantic and it felt like walking through a fairy tale. There is just something about dusk and the town lights coming on which transforms a town into a lover’s paradise.
While here, it is recommended that you take a boat cruise down the canals as the best way to experience the city. However, with it being so hot on the day we went, we felt that the covered boats would be too hot to enjoy. As much as I love taking boat cruises, sometimes its just better to walk the town and truly see all of it.
If ever there was one place in the world that embodied the spirit of Christmas, it would most definitely be Strasbourg,
.Historically known as the town which held the very first Christmas Market in 1570, making it the oldest market in Europe.
Since 1570, the “Christkindelsmärik” (market of the Infant Jesus) has grown exponentially and today caters to some 2 million visitors every year, with hotels being booked a year in advance and selling out quickly.