Located near the border of Germany, the charm-filled town of Strasbourg, France invites with its architecture, canals, and streetside cafés. According to TripAdvisor, the number one attraction is the cathedral. Victor Hugo referred to this 12th-century Gothic structure as a ‘light and delicate marvel’. It is breathtakingly beautiful and the views from the top of Strasbourg Cathedral on the Rhine River will linger in your heart forever.
Find your favorite scenes casually jaunting through Strasbourg, canal to café on a private barge (captain included), or café to café, indulging in the region’s epicurean delights.
Fast becoming the A-List way to explore, yachting the canals in your private hotel on the water, a luxury barge is a one-of-a-kind experience. Cruise in style, whether you are seeking wine, culinary delights, hot air-ballooning, sight-seeing or more, your 6-star accommodations can transport you to where you need to go.
Strasbourg is in the region of Alsace, and home to a lovely Crémant, a bubbly produced outside of the Champagne region of France. As they say, when in France, a private tour of vineyards is highly recommended. The area is one of France’s great wine regions, producing mostly white wines such as Riesling, follow the Route des Vins, or Wine Route, through picturesque villages like Eguisheim and Ribeauvillé for a journey you will keep with you forever.
I had the opportunity to explore the canals of Strasbourg on a privately owned barge with my dear friend, Joel, a Hollywood producer. Upon arriving in Strasbourg, I spent the first night at Régent Petite France, a five star boutique hotel nestled between the banks of River III and cobblestone magic in the La Petite Historic District. A must in Strasbourg is filling your senses with local food and wine. Wander through cobblestone streets and unsuspecting alleyways to dine and sip at quaint bistro tables all while feeling transported to a simpler time.
Afternoons across the canal locks come to life at the French café courtyards serving a selection of French cheeses, foie gras, and French wine to name a few. Regional dishes derive from German culture. In Alsace, the most famous dish, choucroute, is a version of German sauerkraut – a fermented cabbage cooked in white wine, beer, or cider and seasoned with juniper berries and black peppercorns and garnished with boiled potatoes and a variety of meats. This is a traditional Sunday meal.
True to Strasbourg’s ambience, pastries are a major delight of the area. You will find many patisseries with beautiful écalirs, tartes, macaroons, as well as the traditional kougelhopf, a brioche-type cake, often made with dried fruits and nuts, and baked in a special round fluted pan.
Magret de Canard is a traditional French dish that you will encounter on many restaurant menus, including Michelin Star rated restaurants such as Au Crocodile, Buerehiesel, and Le 1741. During my visit I had an exquisite squid dish at the boutique hotel. I expected the cuisine to be traditionally heavy, yet was pleasantly surprised by the number of options on each of the menus.
One of my personal favorite dining experiences, the formal dining room, under a 19th-century glass skylight, of Buerehiesel. It feels as though you are dining in your own private garden with the comforts of the indoors and fine cuisine.
Unique to the region, the bretzel! A large, freshly baked soft pretzel, salted or unsalted, with options such as melted cheese and accompanying smoked salmon (smoked salmon in this region is absolutely amazing), or even dusted with sugar for something sweet. If you are visiting in the spring, I hear the local white asparagus is something to write about. And Foie Gras d’Alsace is a local delicacy that is often found on menus.
Strasbourg in itself is the perfect place to take a stroll and enjoy the moments of life. The influence of German traits remains and the flowers of Parisian springtime bloom among the storied bridges and historical clock tower. You feel as though you are standing within a photo book as you gaze wonder-filled in awe of the magnificent scenery.
How to get there: Travel Lufthansa First Class direct from Atlanta-Frankfurt. If you enjoy the finer things, champagne, wine, a private bed, caviar, and complimentary pajamas to lounge in, you will fly comfortably.
Once in Frankfurt hire private car service, or transfer on Lufthansa Shuttle Bus from Frankfurt to the Strasbourg Rail Station.