Strasbourg

Strasbourg's most prominent landmark is undoubtedly its cathedral. Notre Dame de Strasbourg was built over about four centuries, from 1176 to 1439. The cathedral is 142 meters high, the highest edifice in the Western world until the 19th Century. It is a richly ornamented building made of pink sandstone, a true Gothic masterpiece. Its astronomical clock attracts numerous spectators to its animated automatons' show at 12:30pm daily.

Another part of old Strasbourg that no tourist should miss is Petite France, an area of half-timbered houses along the Ill River, where fishers, tanners and millers used to live. The district is also known for its Covered Bridges, whose name remained even after their rooftops had disappeared. In addition, you can do a city tour on foot or by boat, the so-called bateau-mouche on the Ill. Those who like to combine travel with culinary pleasures can go on a restaurant-boat tour.

For those eager to learn about the marvels of the universe, Strasbourg's Planetarium (built in 1880) is the place to go. Its Star Crypt is a hall for interactive scientific exhibitions, while the Dome of the observatory offers various telescopic performances. Observations at night are possible once a month. If, however, instead of yearning for the distant stars, you love to stay firmly on the ground and enjoy earthly pleasures, indulge yourself with a visit to the Museum of Chocolate, Les secrets du chocolat. There you will discover the exciting story of cocoa and chocolate production. The museum's Tea Room is the place to relish pastries and chocolate specialties, including hot chocolate from old-time recipes.

Certainly, not only the Museum of Chocolate has such pleasures to offer. Strasbourg is definitively a place where gourmets will feel at home. If the scent of spices fills the air, you are in Strasbourg at Christmas. The Christmas market, or Christkindelmärik, a tradition since 1570, is an unforgettable visual and sensory experience. Because of its turbulent history and geographic location, the city uniquely combines German and French cuisines. Wine and beer have an equally high status, and you can enjoy them at winstubs and brasseries, respectively. Before you leave, don't forget to treat yourself to traditional dishes like choucroute (sauerkraut) in Maison des Tanneurs or a more exquisite option like foie gras in Restaurant Buerehiesel. You will definitely want to come back again.