Strasbourg…one of the most radiant towns I’ve ever visited in my life…and certainly one I’ll never get enough of, mostly in autumn which I absolutely love. You know that everything looks better in autumn, nietwaar?
So what’s so special about Strasbourg in autumn time?
Strasbourg is situated along the Rhine River in France, across from Kehl, Germany. An appealing blend of German and French influences can be found in the city’s cuisine, culture and appearance. It’s not just geography that links these two countries, though. In the late 17th century, Strasbourg seceded from the Roman Empire and declared itself part of France. The city was seized 100 years later and became part of the German Empire. In 1918, Strasbourg was reborn as French. Then the city was taken by Hitler in 1940 and again was declared part of Germany. Four years later, the city was liberated by the Allied Forces, making Strasbourg French. With each conquest, Strasbourg’s citizens were forced to speak only French or German (or Alsatian, a German dialect) by those in power, creating today’s bilingual and multicultural city. Thankfully, the two countries reside happily side-by-side today. And if you like the nature, animals…birds especially… Strasbourg will introduce you to storks which are the pride of Alsatian region and can be admired in Strasbourg’s Parc de l’Orangerie. Thought to bring good luck, the stork is the symbol of Alsace. The majestic birds happily nesting, flying around, and clacking with their long beaks can be seen without binoculars.
okay guys let’s be real; doesn’t this look THOROUGHLY like Amsterdam?? Love it! Not my pic, I randomly found it on Pinterest, copyrights goes to the owner.
Talking a leisurely walk across the center of Strasbourg is like treading the pages of a history book. The oldest part of Strasbourg stands on an island formed by the river formed one side, by the main channel of the Ill River, and the Canal de Faux-Rempart. The entire Grand Île is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site (since 1988), and its westernmost corner houses the famous district of Petite France with its covered bridges, quaint streets, bridges, and interesting houses.
La Petite France is definitely one of the most distinctive and stunning parts of Strasbourg. The French have decided to give it the name of the ‘Small France’, because there was a hospice here to cure those with syphilis, which was known as the French disease. Apart from the covered bridges, the area is filled with rustic, charming half-timbered houses and buildings that were built almost entirely using sandstone.
It’s grape harvest season in France, meaning lots of lovely wines to come and watching the harvest take place in the vineyards. Strasbourg is the gateway to Alsace’s great wine route. Not just offering wine bars, cellars, and tasting opportunities, wine makers open their doors to visitors and provide the secrets of centuries of know how and the history of wine-making in the capital.
Founded in 1953, this is the oldest wine route in France, stretching over 150 miles (in the shadow of the Vosges, roughly from the west of Mulhouse to the north of Strasbourg) with more than 1,000 vignerons welcoming visitors to their cellars for a free wine tasting. In September and October the tourism offices of villages along the wine route organise half-day excursions for tourists to join in the grape harvest.
The Alsace wine villages have a fairytale quality with their brightly painted cottages, medieval ramparts and distinctive stork nests delicately balanced on church spires. The most beautiful – Riquewihr, Eguisheim, Kaysersberg and Bergheim – are very popular with visitors over the summer, so autumn’s a good time to visit, but there are plenty of quieter hamlets such as Saint-Hippolyte and Katzenthal waiting to be discovered. For a cultural break from eating and drinking, visit the medieval Haut-Koenigsbourg, an imposing hilltop chateau, or drive up to the mystic Mont Sainte-Odile, a seventh-century abbey which has its own hotel for visitors who want to stay the night (doubles from €86, breakfast €9.80, mont-sainte-odile.com). A great stop-off for anyone travelling with kids is the bewitching Gingerbread Museum (paindepices-lips.com), in Gertwiller, where master baker Michel Habsiger has created a museum dedicated to Hansel and Gretel filled with a cornucopia of retro toys. His boutique is a wonderland of gingerbread and paver varieties.
It’s time for heart-warming French dishes: pot-au-feu, boeuf bourguignon, cassoulet and roasted chestnuts, s’il vous plait!
Only Île-de-France and its capital city Paris boast more starred restaurants than the Alsace region in France. Alsatian cuisine incorporates the best of French and German culinary tradition – many foodie favourites have German-origin names such as Kugelhopf cake, choucroute, bretzel or flammenkuche, the Alsatian answer to pizza. Strasbourg is home to winstubs, bakeries, breweries, and bistros, as well as Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurants, boutique chocolatiers, indulgent street food and Food Festival each autumn. In addition to delicious German-style beers, you can sip the region’s renowned Riesling wines with your meals.
Tarte flambée (Flammekueche) is the incredibly crave-worthy Alsatian equivalent of pizza, served on a thin, crispy rectangular crust and topped with crème fraîche, white cheese, thinly sliced onions and lardons (a French-style bacon of sorts). Pop into a local bakery to purchase another local specialty, kugelhopf, an Alsatian brioche cooked in the shape of a crown and typically flavored with raisins and almonds.
A city with mixed cultures, Strasbourg’s cuisine reflects the city’s past influences. Visitors should try the choucroute garnie, which is the most famous dish and is composed of sauerkraut with sausages and usually mashed potatoes. The coq au riesling is another typical dish, and has distinct German culinary elements, since it is served with spaetzle, a German type of noodle. For dessert, travelers can enjoy a tasty kugelhopf, already mentioned before.
And what’s even better? Sitting en terrace with a blanket and a steaming mug of hot chocolate, overlooking the Rhine River!
okay I literally have no idea what are these but both are AMAZING.
Also, La rentrée means new book and film releases, new seasons at the opera and the theatre. That means many interesting stories to discover! Weather is not predictable in this time of the year anymore, and cinema is a great way to spend a rainy, windy evening!
Have a great day!