Strasbourg is famous for its half-timbered houses and Christmas markets. I’m sharing my experience on the first one. The markets can wait in December.
Being a student again provides certain limitations when it comes to travel, especially if you don’t have a very long break in between semesters. Good thing a family matter came up and we got invited to the confirmation of my boyfriend’s goddaughter so it was worth taking a break from school.
We initially already had our trains booked from Paris-Ingwiller but ever since SNCF announced their strikes, we had to change it. And for the better I might say. Well except for the fact that a 3hr train ride turned into a 6hr bus ride, we are now spending one night in Strasbourg!
With such a gorgeous city famous for so many picturesque places I wondered how we can profit from this stay? This list from The Culture Trip proved helpful in listing and showing the ‘must-see’ places in Strasbourg. But we ended up just going with our guts aka going to nearby places because we didn’t have much time.
The bus ride
We arrived at the Eurolines bus station around 7h15 even though our departure wasn’t until 8h and it was a good thing. Looking at the departure timetable, we weren’t able to find our bus so we queued up. Unfortunately, we queued up at the wrong booth so that was 15 minutes wasted. Not to worry, we still had 30 minutes left. Apparently you need to ‘check-in’ to one of the booths and they will give you a laminated boarding pass:
It was the first time I saw a boarding pass like this but I thought it was actually a good alternative to the paper ones which you always throw afterwards, unless you’re one of those people who keep it for their scrapbook. You’ll hand it over to the bus conductor and voila, they’ll use it again. This conductor wasn’t the nicest of all people though.
The bus was way better than the ones we have in the Philippines but apparently according to european standards it wasn’t up to par. As long as it doesn’t smell of pine trees and had a toilet, I was happy. I brought my Mac Air to keep us company and we watched Young Sheldon to prevent boredom. Although half of the time we just slept.
Finally arriving at Strasbourg, we checked in at Best Western Hotel which was within La Petite France so that was very ideal since you’re in the heart of the historic area. It wasn’t that hard to find quaint corners and instagram-worty cafés. It’s also just 10-min away on foot from the bus and train station.
The receptionists were really nice (as they all should ideally be) and they offer free coffee and tea for guests (and some viennoiseries in the morning left over from the breakfast buffet so voilà, free breakfast!). It’s worth noting that I loved the smell of the lobby. In retrospect, I should have asked for this scent so we can use it at home.
Except from the fact that we sometimes hear some external noise from inside, the room was not bad and we were able to eventually sleep comfortably. They also offer a buffet breakfast which include cereals, ham, bacon and eggs, viennoiserie and plain old bread (sorry asians, no rice). You can opt for a standard breakfast for half the cost but according to Spongebob, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so stuff yourself up with the buffet.
As my boyfriend and I have the passion for photography, we mainly just walked around and took photos. I created a separate article for the top spots for photography around the historic area.
When I saw their tramways I immediately thought of Amsterdam. They might be completely different but hey, it’s the first thing that came to mind.
Instead of describing it to you I think it’s better if you watch this travel video that I made!
We didn’t search for ‘the best restaurant in Strasbourg’ but we ended up in one we loved anyway. We initially had a choice between a cozy-looking restaurant with wooden walls and everything, and a chic alternative with golden menus and white table cloths. I actually picked the cozy one (because I get a bit intimidated by the minimialist, fancy types) but it was unfortunately full. Although after eating at Le Stras’ (the chic option) it was actually a fortunate choice.
Entrée: Not quite sure what this is because it was offered on the house. Since it tasted amazing, my expectation of this restaurant was already high! As you will see below it didn’t disappoint.
Plat: Noix de St Jacques en croûte de noisette, just bourguignon
I love St. Jacques anyway, but it was so good it almost melts in your mouth. The sauce also, was superb.
Desserts: Tartre au crémeux passion et croustillant à la noisette, nougatine au sésames glace à la noisette torréfiée
We really loved this tart, I kinda prefer it than the cheesecake but that’s just me liking lemon-based pastry at the moment.
Cheesecake à la vanille et panna cotta à l’orange, orange confite au chocolat et sorbet clémentine
I would love to go back during Christmas season to experience their famous Christmas market!