Alsace Wine Region: Visiting Strasbourg

THE ALSACE REGION OF FRANCE

As I mentioned in the post Alsace Wine Region: Visiting Colmar, Alsace is a historical region in northeastern France on the Rhine River plain. Bordering Germany and Switzerland, it has alternated between German and French control over the centuries and reflects a mix of those cultures. Similar to Bordeaux, this region of France is best known for its wine typically dry, medium-bodied Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and other select grapes. 

Wine is such a large part of this region that you can even find wine and cycle maps that allow you to rent a bike and stop at wineries along the route for tastings. The cellars are located in various cities and because cycling through random fields, lost for hours without tasting any wine sounds terrible, guided tours are available from Strasbourg.

  • If you’re short on time this half day tour departs from Strasbourg and visits 2 wineries. Learn about the 7 types of Alsace wines, and enjoy a walking tour of the winding streets and colorful homes in Obernai.
  • On this full day tour from Strasbourg you will visit Colmar and Eguisheim. Explore the fortified town of Riquewirh and follow the Wine Route to Haut Koenigsbourg Castle.
  • Enjoy a full day tour of the Alsace Wine Route with this tour. Visit the Mittelbergheim region, which produces fine Rieslings. Taste wines at 3 different wineries during the day, including 2 afternoon tasting stops in the medieval villages of Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr.
  • Uncover the region’s secrets on a day trip from Strasbourg with this tour. Explore 4 villages on the Alsace wine route: Ribeauvillé, Riquewihr, Kaysersberg, and Eguisheim while the wind blows through your hair in a topless convertible van. 

VISIT STRASBOURG’S PETIT FRANCE 

A quarter that contains the historical center of Strasbourg. At Petite France, the River Ill splits into several channels that cascade through an area that was, in the Middle Ages, home to the city’s millers and fishermen, and is now one of Strasbourg’s main tourist attractions. Petite France also forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Grande Île which was designated in 1988.

THINGS TO DO

  • Kléber square is the main shopping square where you’ll find coffee shops, clothing stores, and a grocery market. 
  • Galeries Lafayette similar to the one in Paris is an indoor mall with large department stores and is the perfect place to stop if you’re needing a bit of retail therapy or need to use a public restroom. It’s located on Rue du Vingt-Deux Novembre and is a quick 2-minute walk from Kléber square
  • Musée Alsacien was on my list of indoor activities if it rained as predicted in the forecast, luckily it was a sunny day and with only an afternoon in Strasbourg, unfortunately, I didn’t have time to visit. If your schedule allows, this museum which opened in 1907 has great reviews online. Located in 3 former houses and linked by a maze of stairways and connecting passages, the museum displays over 5,000 artifacts witnessing the daily life of Alsatians in the 18th and 19th centuries. Furniture, homeware, toys, traditional costumes, tools, sacred artifacts, and images are on display in 30 rooms. 
  • Taste Alsatian Wine at a wine bar like Un Cantalou à Strasbourg, Purgatoire, or Vino Strada Stub.
  • Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg is one of my favorite churches in all of Europe and that’s saying a lot since I’ve certainly seen my fair share of churches in Europe. Construction of the cathedral began in 1176 and by 1647 it was the world’s tallest building, it held this record from 1647 to 1874 (227 years) when it was surpassed by St. Nikolai’s Church in Hamburg. Today it is the sixth-tallest church in the world and the highest extant structure built entirely in the Middle Ages.
  • Try the cheese from La Cloche à Fromage which has tasting trays like the iconic La Cloche à Fromage a fondue available in several variations, and their famous raclette served on a traditional oven. All of their homemade dishes are original recipes made on-site from fresh products and their cheese is matured in their cellar, where they reach maturity and develop all their taste qualities. You can check out their 1,900+ reviews here.

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