Truth be told, I had not planned to visit Eastern France this summer. Most flights to the popular destinations in France were overloaded with an influx of tourists and available tickets were far and few between. It was then that I decided to explore a new region of France and venture into the roads less traveled – Strasbourg and Colmar.
Despite their modern influences, Strasbourg and Colmar are renowned for their beautiful and well-preserved timber houses and floral balconies. With most the houses congregated along cobbled streets and narrow canals, Colmar is lauded as one of the most photogenic old towns in the Alsace region of France.
Due to their close proximity to Germany, Strasbourg and Colmar are heavily influenced by the German culture in many ways. From their cuisine to architecture and even their languages, Strasbourg and Colmar offer a unique blend of French and German cultures, which can be seen in their daily lives. If your time permits, I recommend taking the canal cruise and city cycling tours to gain deeper insight of both cities.
One of the must-see attractions in Strasbourg is the Strasbourg Cathedral. Built in 1015, the original Romanesque building gradually took on the gothic architectural style after it was repeatedly destroyed by fire and underwent multiple renovations. As one of the tallest churches in the world, Strasbourg Cathedral is an astounding sight to behold with its distinctive pink hue, colorful stained glass windows and the legendary Astronomical Clock.
How to get there:
From Paris to Strasbourg: There are regular TGV rail services from Gare de l’Est, Paris to Strasbourg. The journey takes slightly more than 2 hours 20 minutes.
From Strasbourg to Colmar: There are regular TGV rail services from Colmar to Strasbourg. The journey takes less than an hour