Tour Strasbourg, France’s No. 1 Bike City
With more than 330 miles (530 kilometers) of bike lanes, Strasbourg is France’s most cyclist-friendly city and is ranked 4th worldwide. The easiest way to tour Alsace’s capital is certainly to ride around!
Rent a bike from Vélhop, a bike-sharing service with many stations around Strasbourg. Once on the saddle, discover the city where history meets future.
Get to know the Geography
Strasbourg is often mistaken for a German town given its close proximity to the neighboring country (it only takes a few minutes to bike to Germany!). Strasbourg was also fought over for centuries and was annexed by Germany three times!
Surrounded by the River Ill, central Strasbourg – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is picture-postcard pretty. It is a pedestrianized area with winding cobbled streets, canals and half-timbered houses. Wander through the Petite France Quarter to experience an authentic Alsatian atmosphere.
Learn Strasbourg’s Political Significance
Strasbourg is the seat of several European institutions, most notably the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and the European Court of Human Rights. The European Court of Human Rights is especially a sight to see! Its design includes two stainless-steel cylinders symbolically evoking the scale of justice.
Appreciate the Arts
No trip to Strasbourg is complete without a visit to the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg. At the epicenter of downtown, it is one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in France! It hosts a running astronomical clock from the Renaissance Era and offers a gorgeous view of the old town… after climbing up 332 steps.
Feast on Modern France
Strasbourg is a top culinary destination, known for its bistros, brasseries and some of the country’s top-rated restaurants. The cuisine combines Teutonic influences with modern French flavors. Make sure to taste these must-have culinary specialties:
- Choucroute garnie: Famous regional dish composed of sauerkraut, garnished with a variety of pork cuts and sausages, and served with potatoes.
- Tarte flambée also known as Flammeküche: Traditional bread dough rolled out very thinly, topped with a mix of crème fraiche and fromage blanc, sliced onions and smoked lardons, and cooked in a wood-fire oven.
- Kugelhopf: Brioche-type cake, often made with dried fruits and nuts, and baked in a special tall, round ringed-shaped mold.
For those visiting in winter, Strasbourg is also known as the Capital of Christmas, hosting one of Europe’s largest Christmas markets! During December, 300 stalls spread out over the city center. Be sure to visit:
- The Christkindelsmärik: Place Broglie, from Nov. 25 to Dec. 31, 2016
- Cathedral Christmas Market: Place de la Cathédrale, from Nov. 25 to Dec. 31, 2016
- Market of Christmas Treats: Place d’Austerlitz, from Nov. 25 to Dec. 31, 2016
With so much to see, where will you start your Strasbourg visit? Are there any favorites I missed? Tell us in the comments, or tweet us for more recommendations @HiltonSuggests.