Attractions & Activities in Alsace

The region knows three big towns. Strasbourg is the cultural and financial capital, housing different European institutions, Mullhouse is the industrial and business center and Colmar is known as a center of agriculture and wine producing. The Alsace and its unique mixture of French and German comes through in city names, language, architecture and the regional cuisine. French is spoken with a special rhythm and accent, and city names such as Kaisersberg and Bergheim remind of German villages. Regarding Alsatian gastronomy, Choucroute is the most famous traditional dish, a plate of Sauerkraut garnished with sausages, meat and potatoes. Alsace also invented the Goose Foie Gras, unanimously and universally celebrated for its smoothness and flavor, and the world known Munster Cheese, with its strong and powerful aroma. To taste these local specialties you should visit one of the many little informal restaurants called “Wystube”. If you are looking for Michelin-starred gourmet restaurants, you are at the right address in the Alsace; the region has probably more starred restaurants then any other region in France, among even a 3 star restaurant! Is a 3 star restaurant to expensive? Do not worry, because there are many other more affordable restaurants where you can enjoy a mouth watering meal, with a nice glass of wine and you will remember the many delicious tastes for ages!

But the Alsace Region has a lot more to offer then great food and wine. Alsace has over 250 museums including the Automobile Museum in Mullhouse with 400 unique vintage and modern cars. Nestled strategically on a high hill, the Koenigsbourg Castle is fiercely dominating the valley. This Castle is one of the most visited sites in the Alsace, because of its interesting history and its spectacular views overlooking the Vosges and the Black Forest. Under the reign of Emperor Wilhelm II the fortress was restored as a part of the re-Germanization of the Alsace. Inside the building, the sheer refinement of the rooms is extremely impressive, with their wall paintings, Renaissance furniture and enormous cast iron stoves. The castle also holds a great collection of medieval armour in the basement.

The city of Colmar is an other attraction not to be missed. This medieval settlement offers a enchanting glimpse of the well preserved past. A part of the old town is called little Venice due to its attractive and gorgeous canals and bridges. Ideally located along the Wine Road, Colmar is the perfect location to visit for a day or to spent the night.

From late November German-style Christmas Markets are held in every Alsatian town and village. These holiday gift and food fairs are set in charming old squares, decorated with Christmas trees and lights. The smell of pine trees, gingerbread and hot spiced wine fills the air accompanied by Christmas carols. For those who want to experience the true Christmas feeling, December is a perfect time to visit the Alsace.

Getting around Alsace

With a total of 161 railway stations served by the regional train service, the Alsace boasts an extremely dense rail network. Coaches operated by the French rail company (SNCF), also provide connections to and from the towns and villages, with departure and arrival times based around the main train schedules. The rail network links the region's main towns from north to south including Strasbourg, Sélestat, Colmar, Mulhouse and Saint-Louis.