You should come here. This is definitely the most underrated place I’ve visited in Europe so far – the tourist board need to do a better job of promoting it because it’s beautiful. This was the penultimate city of my European birthday trip, and I’d booked a night here as a way of breaking up the long journey from Munich to Paris.

I walked down from the platform to the station concourse – a beautiful old building surrounded by a curved glass roof – and walked down the street to my hotel as smart-looking trams passed by on grass tracks in the middle of the main road. I checked into my hotel – a modern 3* hotel with a pool that was pretty good value. This was kind of what I’d been expecting – a modern city geared towards businessmen and diplomats here for the extensive European parliament buildings. How wrong I was.

I walked into the centre of town and noticed some nice small squares then turned up a narrow street, looked up and was confronted by the sight of a huge beautiful cathedral looking down at me. Next to this was a gorgeous large square with fountains, surrounded by open air cafes and a band playing in the centre of the square. Leading off the square were small streets of historic buildings lined with pubs, shops, ice cream stalls and cafés. I sat outside one of these and had a delicious meal of carpaccio of beef.

 

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Main square in Strasbourg

I followed one of the streets down to a picturesque canal and walked along this to the Petite France area. Wow. People sat outside restaurants eating under the thatched rooves of historic buildings. They sat on flower-covered terraces overlooking the canals. I decided to join them – a beautiful setting and a wonderful place to spend a summers evening.

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Canal in Petite France, Strasbourg
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Bar and terrace in Petite France
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Cafe in Petite France

I was quite taken aback by how beautiful it was and had a final drink outside a bar by the main square contemplating what I’d just seen, before retiring to my hotel. The next morning it was time to move onto Paris.

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