Visiting Alsace. What to do during one day in Strasbourg?

Alsace is a region which for me was connected only with history lessons and many dates described as “Alsace taken by Germany” or “Alsace returned to France”. It turned out though that Alsace and its capital, Strasbourg are very interesting, enchanting places. Last summer I went there to visit my friend, who also became my guide around his surroundings. I got to know a bit more about the region itself (even though my guide is not very keen on history and I had to read things myself :)), I tasted some local cuisine (my guide’s mum did an awesome job, omnomnomnom!) and some Alsace wine (finally something my guide was very good at!). I will for sure come to Alsace again, both personally and in my blog posts, but for now I would like to tell you what did we do during our daytrip to Strasbourg, the capital of the region

What to do during one day in Strasbourg?

1. Cathedral od Our Lady of Strasbourg (Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg)

I’m no specialist, but they say that there’s an influence of both French and German architecture and culture visible in the building. I can just say that it’s a pretty, big thing 🙂

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One day in Strasbourg: Strasbourg Cathedral

 

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One day in Strasbourg: inside of Strasbourg Cathedral

The interior is not particularly breathtaking, but what is interesting, it’s a renaissance astronomical clock, a technological masterpiece of these times. It’s 18 meters high, which makes it one of the biggest in the world.

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One day in Strasbourg: astronomical clock in Strasbourg Cathedral

 

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One day in Strasbourg: astronomical clock in Strasbourg Cathedral

 

2. Cathedral’s viewing platform

It’s definitely worth climbing 330 steps, get on cathedral’s viewing platform and have a look on Strasbourg from the top. Do you also think that these little windows on the roofs look a bit… disturbing?

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One day in Strasbourg: Strasbourg Cathedral’s viewing platform

3. Little France (La Petite France)

From the Cathedral we walked along river Ill towards a famous district called Petite France (Little France). Interesting thing is that its name doesn’t come from its architecture or a particularly high level of patriotism of people living there. It comes from the fact that in XVth century there was a hospital to cure people with syphilis, so called “French disease”… 🙂

Despite this inglorious history, the district looks very, very enchanting!

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One day in Strasbourg: La Petite France
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One day in Strasbourg: La Petite France
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One day in Strasbourg: La Petite France

Petite France is a perfect place to rest in one of numerous small restaurants and enjoy a glass of Riesling – white wine produced in Alsace.

 

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One day in Strasbourg: A glass of Riesling in Little France

 

4. Park L’Orangerie

From Little France we took a tram to go to a park called l’Orangerie. The park itself is beautiful, but the best thing about it are the storks! When I was hearing before that a stork is a symbol of Alsace I was thinking quietly “yeah, what can you French know about storks, it’s a Polish symbol”… but I have to admit I was completely wrong. I don’t know if during whole my life in Poland I’ve seen so many storks as during this four days trip to Alsace! And in the Parc de l’Orangerie there was mass of them!
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One day in Strasbourg: L’Orangerie

 

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One day in Strasbourg: L’Orangerie

 

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One day in Strasbourg: L’Orangerie

 

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One day in Strasbourg: L’Orangerie
In l’Orangerie we spent quite some time – my friend was resting and pitifully watching me chase the storks with my camera 🙂 It’s a very beautiful park and I really think it’s worth going there, for the storks and not only. Especially if you are there with children, it should be a great attraction for them. It was for me!

5. European Parliament

L’Orangerie is located close to the European Parliament, so we passed near the building on our way back. Even though Strasbourg is officially the parliament’s headquarters, most of the proceedings take place in Brussels.
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One day in Strasbourg: European Parliament
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One day in Strasbourg: European Parliament

6. Light show on the Notre Dame Cathedral’s walls

We planned to stay in Strasbourg till late evening due to light shows taking place on the cathedral in summer time. We came back to the center and went to one of cute restaurants just in front of the cathedral (still impressed with what I saw in the park, I chose a place called La Cigogne – a stork :)). Watching the cathedral we ate French pancakes and drank Kronenbourg, a beer coming from Alsace. Waiting for the show couldn’t be more pleasant 🙂
The show itself is  organized every summer from July till September. It’s displayed on the side wall of the Cathedral at Castle Square (Place Du Chateau) few times every evening. The front  facade is also illuminated constantly from the first show to the last. Exact time of the shows varies depending on a month, when I was there the first one was around 22:30.

The show itself is amazing! In 2015 they were celebrating the Cathedral’s millennium, so probably they tried to make it even more spectacular. I would gladly see it again. And then again, and again. Great thing 🙂

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One day in Strasbourg: Light show on Notre Dame Cathedral
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One day in Strasbourg: Light show on Notre Dame Cathedral
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One day in Strasbourg: Light show on Notre Dame Cathedral
One day in Strasbourg: Front fascade illumination, Notre Dame Cathedral

Illumination of the front facade:

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One day in Strasbourg: Front fascade illumination, Notre Dame Cathedral
One day in Strasbourg: Front fascade illumination, Notre Dame Cathedral
One day in Strasbourg: Front fascade illumination, Notre Dame Cathedral

One day in Strasbourg is definitely not enough to see all the places worth seeing. But I had enough time to feel enchanted 🙂 Usually I advise visiting the cities out of the highest touristic season.  With Strasbourg I would say the contrary. I think it’s worth to go there in July, August or September, not to lose the light show on the Cathedral. There’s not too many tourists and it would be a big loss not to see it.

And you, have you ever been to Alsace or its capital? How did you like it? Let me know 🙂If you liked this post please use the buttons below and share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or pin it on Pinterest! Thanks!

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