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Discover Strasbourg

PUBLISHED: 15:18 05 February 2016 | UPDATED: 15:30 05 February 2016

The pretty network of small canals and bridges in Strasbourg ©iStockphoto

The pretty network of small canals and bridges in Strasbourg ©iStockphoto

Archant

The capital of the Alsace region has plenty to offer visitors

Black and white timber-framed buildings line the historic centre of Strasbourg © FotoliaBlack and white timber-framed buildings line the historic centre of Strasbourg © Fotolia

I’ve heard of it. It feels quite German.

Yes. Located to the west of the River Rhine, Strasbourg lies just 2km from the German town of Kehl. Capital of the Alsace region, the city is a quirky cross-cultural place boasting a fascinating blend of French and German architecture.

That’s interesting! So what’s there?

Strasbourg is the seat of several EU institutions, including the Council of Europe, comprising the European Court of Human Rights, and the European Parliament, all housed in ultramodern buildings. On the other hand, the historic centre, located on Grande-Île, is a UNESCO-listed area comprising black and white timber-framed buildings (pictured inset) and crooked alleyways criss-crossed by a network of small canals and bridges (main picture). Towering above the historic centre is the beautiful sandstone Cathédrale de Notre Dame. The city’s biggest tourist attraction is the Christmas market or Christkindelsmärik, one of the oldest in France. Visitors will find all sorts of gifts including local gingerbread biscuits known as bredele, as well as kugelhopf cakes and sweet Alsatian wines.

Any good places to eat in the city?

Yes. The city is home to a good number of winstubs, typical Alsatian restaurants exuding a country pub feel. For hearty local fare try the Au Coin des Pucelles (tel: (Fr) 3 88 35 35 14, menus from €12) where specialities include choucroute au canard. For further Alsatian fare, head to Maison Kammerzell on Place Cathédrale (tel: (Fr) 3 88 32 42 14, menus from €17.50) which has wonderful views of the cathedral and serves the tasty stew known as baeckeoffe. For a sweet treat look out for Thierry Mulhaupt (tel: (Fr) 3 88 23 15 02, www.mulhaupt.fr), an award-winning pâtisserie serving unusual cakes such as a kirsch-infused chocolate truffle. For more sophisticated dishes, try Le Stras’ (tel: (Fr) 3 88 35 34 46, www.lestras.fr, mains from €18), which serves Mediterranean dishes such as swordfish samosas and scallop-Parma ham rolls cooked in pastis.

It sounds great. Where should I stay?

For a comfortable stay try the 42-room Hôtel Gutenberg (tel: (Fr) 3 88 32 17 15, www.hotel-gutenberg.com), which is steps from the cathedral. Doubles from €94.

How do I get there?

Strasbourg International Airport is located in the village of Entzheim 10km southwest of the city and is served by Easyjet from London Gatwick. Return flights from £29.99.

For more information visit www.otstrasbourg.fr

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