A Day in Strasbourg, France
Ryan had a business trip to Paris earlier this year. Since we had visited Paris twice before this trip already, we decided to use Paris as a hub to take a quick weekend trip to the Alsace region of France via train. Alsace region is in northeastern part of France and also borders Germany.
How to get to Strasbourg from Paris
We took the train from Paris, which takes about approximately 2.5 hours each way. We booked our train tickets about 2 weeks before the trip online (www.trainline.com) and paid under 80 euros for roundtrip per person. We left Paris late morning on Friday and left Strasbourg early afternoon on Sunday. I’d recommend booking your train tickets as early as possible to get cheaper tickets. The train ride was super easy and actually quite comfortable. You can also enjoy the views on your to Strasbourg!
We wanted to visit both Strasbourg and Colmar this trip. After doing some research, we decided to stay in Strasbourg Friday-Sunday and do a day trip to Colmar on Saturday. Strasbourg is the capital city of this region and thus bigger than Colmar. We thought there would be more hotel options and more things to do in Strasbourg.
We had 2 half days in Strasbourg and 1 day in Colmar which felt enough time to explore both cities in our opinions.
Hotel Du Dragon (Strasbourg)
We stayed at Hotel Du Dragon, a 36-room boutique hotel in Petite France, which turned out to be an excellent location! From the outside, this hotel looked old, so we were a bit worried before we went in. However, the inside was all newly renovated and modern, a pleasant surprise!
We actually got upgraded to a Superior Room, which is on the top floor. Once you open the door, you have to get up these narrow stairs (luckily we had a small luggage). Then, you are in your attic-style room with a slanted shape. Nice and cozy and actually pretty comfortable.
The bathroom also had a slanted wall - since i’m really petite, I didn’t have any problems with it, but obviously my husband, Ryan, had a bit of an issue with the slanted wall as you can see in the picture! We had a good laugh about it. Our stay at this hotel was very nice and we would recommend it to others as well. The only downside to this place was its slow internet… so if you need fast internet for whatever reason, this may not be the best choice.
Petite France is the number #1 tourist attraction in Strasbourg. It’s known for its cobble-stoned streets, canals, and unique architecture influenced by its neighbor, Germany. It really looks like it would be straight out of a fairy tale!
We both really fell in love with this little cute town!
Another popular thing to do here is to take the cruise and admire the beautiful canals and buildings from a boat. We decided not do to this but instead explore Strasbourg by foot.
Even though Strasbourg is a bigger city than Colmar, it’s still fairly small. You can walk around Petite France within 15-20 minutes and the whole city pretty much in an hour or two depending on how many stops you make. That’s why spending 1 full day or 2 half days here like we did is enough to see the entire city.
Cathedral Notre Dame of Strasbourg
Cathedral Notre Dame is a Gothic-styled catholic church in Strasbourg. It’s quite massive and impressive from the outside - a very, very intricate design to it! You can go into the cathedral during non-service hours. We didn’t go in but apparently there is an astronomical clock and a beautiful stained glass window inside.
Other areas to visit in Strasbourg include Grande Ile (an urban island with churches, palaces, shops, and restaurants), Barrage Vauban (stone bridge), Place Kleber (square with shops and restaurants), and Parc de l’Orangerie (park).
Opposite from Petite France, there was another more modern walk-way area that seemed to be built recently. Though not as historic as Petite France, this walk was also very nice along the water. We saw many locals taking walks and enjoying a peaceful break on the benches here.
After dinner, we decided to take a walk before going back to our hotel to digest, and Voila! We got to see the beautiful pink sunset!! It was definitely one of the best sunset views I’ve seen. Though we weren’t totally planning on taking a walk during sunset, after seeing this gorgeous view (way better in person!), I’d highly recommend everyone visiting this area to take a walk during sunset hours. It had the prettiest pink and orange hues.
If you’ve been to France a few times visiting the major tourist cities like Paris and Nice and now looking for a more quaint place to visit, Strasbourg and Colmar on a quick weekend trip from Paris would be an awesome choice!