Located on the edge of France near the German border, Strasbourg blends the best of both countries. With gothic architecture, rich culture, and creative French cuisine, you might want to forget Paris altogether. (We won't tell.) Here is our guide to spending a packed 24 hours in Strasbourg.
The sixth tallest church in the world and the highest extant structure built entirely in the Middle Ages, the Strasbourg Cathedral was once described by French poet Victor Hugo as a "gigantic and delicate marvel," and that certainly still holds true. The building is widely known to be one of the finest examples of high Gothic architecture, and its pink hue derives from the sandstone of the nearby Vosges mountain range. This glorious wonder is a must-see.
Something you may not know is that Strasbourg is the official seat of the European Parliament. Visitors can enter for free and explore the five buildings, each named after European politicians, as well as the Hemicycle and the parlamentarium Simone Veil.
Located inside several traditional houses, the Musée Alsacien is a museum dedicated to all aspects of daily life in early Alsace. Each individual building offers something unique - from an archaeological museum to a museum of modern and contemporary art. There is even a fascinating zoological museum. You'll find something for everyone at the Musée Alsacien.
Michelin-starred Au Crocodile is something you should not miss on your trip to Strasbourg. Television personality Eric Knowles declares this "a temple of gastronomy," and you should definitely see for yourself. Creative dishes combined with traditional flavors bring French cuisine to life under chef Franck Pelux.
Encouraging the sharing of dishes of perfectly-seasoned French cuisine, La Vignette offers a seat at the farm table without leaving the city. Natural products supplied by local French producers give life to this farm-to-table (or sea-to-table) restaurant, specializing in its seafood. Boasting a fine selection of bottles in its wine cellar, La Vignette is a perfect place to connect with friends and family during your trip.
Another exquisite option for Michelin-starred dining is Restaurant Gavroche, serving artistic French cuisine with the freshest ingredients of the season. Carefully-selected market products bring a healthy twist to traditional French dining, and the restaurant's attention to detail shows that Chef Benoît Fuchs wants his customers to experience something so wonderful they come back again and again. Conveniently located on Klein Street, Restaurant Gavroche is an easy walk to the city's historical district, including the famed cathedral.
Related article: Dine Like a Parisian
Mireille Oster Pain d'Epices
After your savory French dinner, you'll be craving something sweet. Mireille Oster Pain d'Epices is a quaint little shop, perfect for gingerbread lovers and all things gourmet. As soon as you enter, the aroma of anise and cinnamon will have your mouth watering for Mireille Oster's warm, crunchy gingerbread and other local treats.
Galeries Lafayette Strasbourg
Similar to the location in Paris, Galeries Lafayette Strasbourg offers high-end luxury shopping indoors with many top brands, and it's especially pretty during Christmastime. A shopping trip here will keep fashion lovers content, and even food lovers, as there is a restaurant on the top floor, perfect for a relaxing lunch during an afternoon of shopping.
Related article: Galeries Lafayette
Le Village de la Bière
This popular beer distributor offers everything a beer connoisseur could ever want. Shelves stocked with thousands of different bottles make Le Village de la Bière a mecca for beer.
For more ideas on Do, Dine and Spend, visit our Destinations page.