A few weeks ago I spent 5 days in Strasbourg. To me, Strasbourg is a city that represents some of the quintessential aspects of France and the French lifestyle but there were also other unexpected delights.
As per usual, I did my favourite things – walking, eating and taking photographs (I am sure if you have read enough of my blogs, you will sense a theme). I downloaded a French playlist on Spotify (Fréquence Hits) which I listened to sometimes when I walked around. This definitely enhanced my experience and for some reason, I get a lot of joy out of listening to French music, especially because I don’t understand French.
On my first full day, I visited Notre Dame Cathedral. The details on the outside of the cathedral were simply incredible. I also climbed the tower to get a view of Strasbourg (pictures are below) and went inside the Cathedral – altogether this cost me 8 euros (around 12AUD).
I recommend climbing the tower definitely. I, however, am not entirely sure I would recommend going inside. They were playing a video very loudly through speakers about an astronomical clock that was inside (I am not sure how often they do this) and the actual astronomical clock (pictured below) was mostly covered up by scaffolding.
Going inside churches is one of my favourite things to do in a city but this wasn’t very enjoyable due to the noise. However, as you can see (below), the inside of the Cathedral is as spectacular as the exterior.
Moving on from the cathedral, I highly recommend taking some time to visit (and if possible revisit) La Petite France which is a historical quarter of Strasbourg. The architecture in this quarter is incredibly charming and the main street (Grand’Rue) is full of great places to buy a meal, treats and gifts.
My two recommendations for Grand’Rue are Jeff De Bruges for the finest chocolate I have ever tasted in my life so far and if you are having a craving for fries I recommend visiting La Frituur Van Hecke & Fliegans.
I was a bit underwhelmed visiting Barrage Vauban which is nearby to Petite France, there is no harm in passing by briefly if you are wandering around by foot.
On my last day, I had 10 hours to kill before I took my night bus to my next destination. I spent several hours in cafe’s reading my kindle as it was very cold and snowy for that entire day. I also spent a number of hours in the Historical Museum of Strasbourg which was full of intriguing artefacts and information.
I was fortunate to visit on a ‘free-day’ which is the first Sunday of every month. For more information on fees on normal days check out this link. I definitely recommend visiting this museum if you are interested in history in general.
Now, I have told you mostly all of what I did in Strasbourg but there is a very important component I haven’t mentioned yet. In the title of this blog post, I state that Strasbourg stole my heart and it did however for reasons that surprised me and might surprise you: the people of Strasbourg were extremely warm and friendly! When I ate fries alone on the street I had 3 people wish me ‘Bon Appetit’ haha I really thought that was something. People were very patient with my lack of French skills (I can say very basic things) and I even used German to communicate sometimes. I had a number of interactions that I won’t go into detail about that really, really warmed my heart. As a solo female traveller, I also felt very safe in Strasbourg. So, the vibe of this city very much worked for me.
I have one more massive food recommendation – here I ate the best dessert of my life, a chocolate creme filled doughnut (Beignet) at a small patisserie/chocolatier called Kretz Salon De The Patisserie. I have to admit, I ate a lot of pastries and sweets in Strasbourg but eating this doughnut took me to another planet of pleasure, so you MUST have one.
In terms of accommodation recommendations, I stayed in 2 different places and I highly recommend them both. At the start of my trip, I stayed in Adonis Hotel which was very fancy for a 3-star hotel, it was at a great price (for France) and in a great location. I then moved onto Montempo Aparthotel – not at all fancy but more practical as I had a full kitchen which was definitely necessary as I was spending far too much money on eating out, so this was a more cost-effective option. If you can afford to eat out for most of your stay, I would recommend Adonis Hotel above Montempo Aparthotel as it is just a much nicer place to be in general. I booked these both through www.booking.com where I got great last minute deals. If you use my link as a first time booker you will receive a $20AUD discount on your first booking.
If you are in search of a charming French city to spend a few days, full of delicious traditional food and wine and with some of the friendliest people you will ever meet, don’t go past Strasbourg. You won’t regret it!
PS. I wasn’t exactly blessed with the best weather, so unfortunately despite visiting one of the most beautiful cities in the world I am not totally satisfied with my photographic efforts. I hope you still enjoyed my photos and post.