Strasbourg is a city bordering the German city of Stuttgart. For this reason, it can be called a meeting point of two cultures. The French culture is surely more prominent but Germanic traces, specially in architecture are impossible to miss.
I would personally label Strasbourg as a “cittaslow” although it is not enlisted in the official list. Maybe it was the time period or the season of our visit that affected my views but the city was mere tranquility. Strasbourg is a great city for those who would love calm strolls, cycling by the river and slow mornings. It is definitely a perfect place to visit for a resting getaway. You can wake up with the sunrise, have a walk around the river and even have your breakfast by the riverside with a go-to croissant and café au lait.
An important factor to know about Strasbourg is that it is the Alsace capital. Alsace is the name of this territorial and cultural region. The Alsace can be classified as a blend of Germanic and French influences. It is safe to say that the Alsatian culture is very distinct from today’s French culture. Although, it has faded into the French culture in the modern days, even their language differed with an Alemmannic dialect that was closely related to Swabian.
Although, the effects of the culture may have faded for the most part today, you may find several Alsatian traces throughout the city. You can find many restaurants that serve Alsace food in the streets of Strasbourg and examine the beautifully ornamented Alsatian houses along the river.
Besides its cultural position, Strasbourg is also the home of several international bodies such as the European Parliament and the Palace of Europe, making it a diplomatic capital specially for Europe.
We haven’t had much time to discover the rich blend of French and Alsatian cuisines in Strasbourg, however, can definitely recommend the Tarte Flambée which is an Alsatian style pizza that is based with cooked onions and cream cheese. You can also choose any of the topping selections in your restaurant of desire.
It is just another meat and vegetable stew but you can also give a try to the famous Baeckeoffe that translates as ‘the baker’s oven’. It gets its name for being slow cooked in the oven for over 10 hours.
You can find most of the traditional Alsatian restaurants close to the Petit France that you should absolutely visit regardless of the food options. You will feel like you are walking in a historic movie set as you wander around the gothic houses by the river.
It is impossible to miss but we will still remind you. Do not forget to visit the gigantic cathedral! Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-Strasbourg is a breathtaking structure that we found much more paramount than domes to be seen in other cities. You will spend tens of minutes just studying its majestic door and its intricate details.
With its diversified culture, unique cuisine, astonishing architecture and slow life, Strasbourg is a definite must visit!