Step into the storybook-like region of Alsace, France; Where the streets are full of half-timbered houses in soft, colorful hues. Located near the French-German border, this region has it’s history of being passed between these two countries. Its’ history and geographic location has aided to Alsace’s irresistible charm. Alsace melds together it’s French and German heritage in a way that is uniquely its’ own. In order to get an overview of Alsace, discover the cities, towns and small villages of this region.
Strasbourg, Alsace’s capital city is seemingly quaint and quiet. Yet, there is a lot more in Strasbourg than meets the eye. This city is considered to be the capital of Europe. Because this, the city is quite modern on the outskirts with political buildings. Yet, it’s the historic center that drawers visitors to Strasbourg.The historic center, including the Grande-Île and the Neustadt form the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Strasbourg.
Neustadt or the modern city is centered around the Strasbourg Cathedral. The Strasbourg Cathedral is a gothic cathedral that stands tall over the historic center. To get a panoramic view of Strasbourg, climb up to the cathedral’s platform.
The quintessential Alsatian charm can be found in the streets surrounding the canals, La Petite France. This area is full of half timbered houses along flowing canals. La Petite France is a relatively large area in Strasbourg. Spend some time wandering the canals, taking in the pops of color among the black and white half timbered houses.
Colmar is perhaps the most well known place in Alsace and for good reasons. This small town is brimming with charm, color and canals. The Little Venice area is where Colmar comes alive. While Little Venice is a small section of Colmar, its’ vibrant colors makes it feel big. The small canal flows through the center of town, where row boats are available for rides. It’s hard not to fall for Colmar with its’ heart details and year round Christmas decorations.
The small villages in Alsace hold the most charm. For a true fairytale experience, head to Riquewihr or Ribeauvillé. These two towns were the inspiration for the “little town” in Beauty and the Beast. Riquewihr’s cobblestone streets are lined with half timbered houses in colorful hues. Each detail creates the fairytale-like setting in Riquewihr; from the water wells to the flower planters. Located in the village center is the Dolder, a 13th century defensive gate. Walking toward this gate, past the cheerfully colored houses, it is easy to see why this town inspired the village from Beauty and the Beast.