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Strasbourg: A Marriage of French and German Culture
It's a fitting moniker, both literally and as a representation of Strasbourg's identity as a political, administrative and economic hub. Formal seat of the European Parliament. Student city and venue of choice for international congresses and conventions. Centre for tourism, with top things to do in Strasbourg ranging from strolling the UNESCO-recognised neighbourhoods of the Grande Île to sampling authentic Alsatian cuisine and enjoying day trips to nearby places of astonishing natural beauty – including the Vosges Mountains and Germany's Black Forest. With so much to offer, there are a thousand reasons to visit Strasbourg – on a family holiday, a cultural break, a romantic weekend or a productive business trip. Whatever your reason for visiting, we pride ourselves on offering some of the best hotels in Strasbourg for every kind of stay.
Top Sights to See Around Strasbourg City Centre
Located in the region historically known as Alsace, Strasbourg can trace its origins back to the Roman camp of Argentoratum in 12 BC. Since then, its story has been one of considerable turbulence, with periods of massacre, plague, siege and warfare defining France and Germany's constant struggle for control of the city. After the end of the Second World War, the Alsace region reverted to France for the final time. Nevertheless, German influence is evident in many Strasbourg attractions, from the city's architecture to its cuisine.
Top Activities for Families in Strasbourg
No city break or romantic weekend in Strasbourg would be complete without a tour of the regional capital's most iconic landmarks. Foremost among these is theCathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg, a wonder of Gothic architecture built from blush-coloured sandstone and completed in 1439. Gaze in awe at the many statues that adorn its soaring façade, or walk through pools of coloured light cast by the interior's stained-glass windows. The spire was once the tallest in all of Christendom – and if you're feeling particularly energetic, you can climb it for panoramic views of Strasbourg and the surrounding riverine countryside. Don't miss the mechanised show put on by the cathedral's Renaissance-era astronomical clock, held at 12:30pm every day. Another of Strasbourg's best places to visit isPetite France, a maze of narrow canals, footbridges and alleyways at the western end of the Grande Île. Abandon your map and allow yourself to get lost there, amid the district's quaint half-timbered and pastel-painted 16th- and 17th-century houses. Don't feel up to walking? Join a Strasbourg Batorama river tour instead, or take in Rhine views from the rooftop terrace of the picturesqueBarrage Vauban dam. Even outside the historic quarter, Strasbourg is a city that lends itself to exploring on foot. Discover beautiful municipal squares, including Kléber Place – the city's central gathering place at the heart of the Grande Île – and Gutenberg Place, named in honour of the legendary printer and inventor, whose statue still stands there today. In Strasbourg's German quarter, Place de la République is a particular highlight, thanks to the 19th-century grandeur of the Palais du Rhin – this imposing building is a relic of the city's time as the capital of the German province of Alsace-Lorraine. For a sense of what life might have been like for the people of Alsace during the 18th and 19th centuries, be sure to visit theAlsatian Museum. Here, painstakingly restored private residences bring the period vividly to life, thanks to a collection of more than 5,000 household items displayed in reconstructions of centuries-old farmhouses, kitchens and a healer's workshop. Many other museums also deserve a place on your itinerary for a lovely weekend in Strasbourg. Three of the best – the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Museum of Fine Arts – are all housed in the former episcopal residence known asPalais Rohan. By visiting this masterpiece of French Baroque architecture, you'll be following in the footsteps of French history-makers who stayed there, including Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte.
Strasbourg, Capital of Christmas
If you're travelling to Strasbourg with small children in tow, never fear. There's more to the city than historic landmarks and high-brow cultural venues. Among the top attractions for families areLe Vaisseau , an interactive science centre aimed especially at children aged 3 to 15, and a wealth of beautiful Strasbourg gardens. Children can play hide-and-seek around the old fortress walls and tranquil waterways ofParc de la Citadelle, where sunbathing and feeding the ducks are popular pastimes. Alternatively, the city's oldest green space, theParc de l'Orangerie, is a haven for families with a vintage miniature-car track, boating lake and petting zoo. At the end of your day of adventures, retire to one of our top-rated family hotels in Strasbourg.
Strasbourg's Best Restaurants and Vineyards
If you happen to visit Strasbourg in December, you can't fail to be caught up in the wonder of Strasbourg Christmas Market – the oldest of its kind in France, and one of the best in Europe. Every year, more than 300 wooden chalets are erected in the city's major squares and around the cathedral, all of which are beautifully illuminated for the festive period. Each stall sells traditional gifts and artisan crafts, while the sound of Christmas carols carries through the streets and the scent of cinnamon and spice drifts from stalls selling mulled wine and bredle cookies. Don't miss the 30-metre Christmas tree in Kléber Place, a spectacle of twinkling lights erected at the opening of the Christmas market in Strasbourg, in the last week of November.
Strasbourg Hotels in the City Centre and Beyond
December isn't the only time for indulging in the city's fine food and drink. Winstubs, or traditional Alsatian taverns, provide the city's most authentic dining experience – whether for Strasbourg's best brunch or a leisurely supper. These cosy establishments in La Petite France serve regional specialties includingchoucroute (the Alsatian version of sauerkraut, fermented in white wine and typically served with deliciously salty pork), tarte flambée (wood-fired dough topped with crème fraîche, onions and bacon) and baeckeoffe (Alsatian stew). For dessert, sample kougelhopf*,*a staple of every good Strasbourg restaurant that's part fruit cake, part brioche and prepared in a special circular mould. For more refined dining, you'll find plenty of gourmet options in Strasbourg. The Alsace region also has a reputation for excellent white wines, and is particularly renowned for its Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat and Gewürztraminer varieties. These can be tasted on a day trip to the vineyards that litter the Vosges Mountains foothills, or with a visit to theCaves des Hospices Strasbourg. This fascinating 14th-century cellar was founded to provide wine for the patients at the hospital, in an era when alcohol was deemed to have significant curative properties. Nowadays, it's a must-visit attraction for history buffs and wine connoisseurs alike, offering a chance to view medieval vats and casks, and to sample fine Alsatian wines curated by expert sommeliers. Prefer beer to wine? Strasbourg is home to the famous Kronenbourg Brewery, founded in 1664, while German-style artisanal beers take centre stage in many local taverns. There's even aStrasbourg Craft Beer Festival in October.
Our Strasbourg accommodation portfolio caters to every kind of traveller. Options range from boutique hotels in Petite France to dedicated business choices with coworking space and facilities for memorable events in Strasbourg. Stay in a charming hotel in Strasbourg old town, with a 16th-century façade and walking-distance proximity to the cathedral, or splash out on a luxury hotel in Strasbourg – one with a spa, perhaps, or our flagship with its opulent décor, gourmet restaurant and private urban vineyard. We also offer deals for bed and breakfast in Strasbourg as well as a choice of hotels near Strasbourg train station, convenient for TGV links to other major cities including Paris and Lyon.