Strasbourg
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Strasbourg iStock / yasson7

Strasbourg, France

The seat of the European Parliament is chockablock with timbered houses, traditional taverns, cobblestoned streets, and spired churches positioned alongside picturesque canals. Bordering Germany in eastern France, Strasbourg is a cross section of the two countries’ cultures and is a popular stop on Rhine River cruises.

What We Love

Winstubs: Serving up hearty meals, these rustic taverns are a Strasbourg tradition. Pair the popular “choucroute” (sauerkraut with sausages and salted pork) or “baeckeoffe” (a terrine-cooked stew with marinated mutton and beef) with a glass of Alsatian riesling or gewürztraminer (a local white wine).

Christmas Market: There's a reason why river cruises stop at Strasbourg in the wintertime: The holiday market here is among the most enchanting in Europe. Expect the air to be filled with the scent of hot mulled wine and “pain d'épices” — gingerbread — as you wander among the sloped chalets strewn with sparkling lights.

Best Known For

La Petite France: Part of the UNESCO-designated Grand-Île, this cobblestoned quarter, crisscrossed by canals, is where millers, tanners, and fishermen plied their trades in the Middle Ages. Don’t miss the Ponts Couverts, a series of defensive towers and bridges located downstream.

Notre Dame Cathedral: The pink-hued facade of this landmark is so ornate that you might not guess it's made out of Vosges sandstone. Inside, there's a marvel of stained glass windows and tapestries dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Once a day, crowds gather at the astronomical clock for the parade of apostles.

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Who It's Best For

Francophiles: The regions of France are diverse, and a stop here promises a fresh perspective on one of the world's most stereotyped destinations. 

Museum Lovers: Strasbourg has many beautiful institutions that celebrate the region’s cultural heritage. The 18th-century Palais Rohan, a former palace for the prince-bishops, houses three museums under a single roof.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Wear Walking Shoes: The cobblestoned streets are likely to cause some trips and falls if you don’t watch your step (and what you wear). Flat shoes with traction are best.

Lisa Cheng

Lisa Cheng is a New York-based writer for ShermansCruise who also writes for Travel + Leisure.

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Itineraries Including Strasbourg, France
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