Alsace is not the most famous region in France but a very nice one. It shares its border with Germany and Switzerland, which makes Alsace a perfect destination for a weekend getaway.
Even though Strasbourg is a French town and a capital of Alsace, you can see a German influence everywhere. Street signs are written in both German and French, many citizens can speak and understand the German language, and the architectural style is influenced by Germany. After all, Strasbourg is located directly on the border, and Alsace was many times a part of Germany during the last centuries.
However, in Strasbourg, you can directly feel that you’re not in Germany anymore but in France. The colors, decorations, flowers and the atmosphere are not-mistakable French.
The historical center of Strasbourg is quite big and very charming with its half-timbered houses covered in flowers and streets canals.
I think that Strasbourg Cathedral is not less impressive than Norte-Dame de Paris. It shows up quite unexpectedly when you are walking narrow streets and makes a great impression, being the highest building in the Middle Ages. It is still the sixth-tallest church in the world. I could not imagine how impressive it was in the Middle Ages because even today it makes me speechless.
It is possible not only to go inside the Strasbourg Cathedral but also to climb up the tower and enjoy a panoramic view of the city from 66 meters above the ground.
Many people think that Colmar is more beautiful than Strasbourg. I like both and would say that those cities are different. Colmar looks like a quintessence of Alsace.
It is smaller and cuter than Strasbourg. More like a big village. Seems that everything here was the same 300 years ago.
Riquewihr – fairy tale village near Colmar
Our favorite place in Alsace this time was not Strasbourg or Colmar but the small village of Riquewihr. It is very old and surrounded by vineyards. Riquewihr is officially one of the most beautiful villages of France.
The idea for a weekend in Alsace that we would keep in mind for the next time: go directly there and make 2-days hiking or bike trip between Riquewihr, Ribeauvillé and other Alsatian villages such as Hunawihr, Eguisheim or Kaysersberg.
By the way, these villages are located on the Route des Vins (The Wines Road).
What to eat (and drink) during the weekend in Alsace
Trip to Alsace is not only beautiful but tasty. Alsace is also known for the Riesling, Pinot blanc, Gewürztraminer, and other great wines produced in the region. But I still prefer cider 🙂
This food is worth to try in Alsace:
- Tarte flambée or Flammkuchen – crispy thin “pizza” with crème fraîche (rich sour cream), cheese, and bacon/vegetables/fish. It could be also sweet with apples and other fruits.
- Choucroûte – a French version of German sauerkraut, it is a cabbage cooked in white wine, beer or cider with a huge amount of sausages and smoked meat.
- Bäckeoffe – casserole made with sliced potatoes, meats (beef, pork, lamb) or vegetables, covered with cheese and baked in the oven.
- Escargots – a delicacy made of snails, cooked with herbs and garlic.
- Baguette – the first thing we buy and eat in France all the time.
- French cheeses and pastries – many kinds of them, always very tasty and wonderful.
Alsace is a good choice for a short trip on the weekend. We also visited it in winter for Christmas markets, which was amazing and maybe even more beautiful than in summer.
More ideas for France: holidays in Brittany