Read more about my Self Care Sabbatical and the other places I’ve visited!
I am glad I stayed in Colmar vs Strasbourg. Colmar is far more charming and quaint, Strasbourg is a bigger city and feels like it. Lots of tourists around, far less charming, but nice for a few hours if you want to take a day trip or visit en route to somewhere else. Instead of doing a separate day trip, I took an 11am train from Colmar, stored my bags at the Strasbourg station, and then hopped on a train to Lyon later that afternoon. Having a few hours was more than enough!
Getting There: Major train station in this area of France so easy to get to from Paris, Lyon, Basel, Munich. There’s also an airport here if you choose to fly through from another European city. The train station is close to the center of town, and it’s also easy to store your luggage here, the setup is a bit more secure than at some other stations. The luggage room has an attendant and your bags will have to go through a metal detector before you place them in a locker. Aside from a few lockers not working, it was pretty easy to store the bags here (and I was happy to get both my backpack and my suitcase into one medium-sized locker saving 5 euro!)
The city center is easily walkable from the train station (about 10-15 minutes) and it’s easy to walk around town so no need to use public transit.
I mostly just wandered around the town for the few hours that I was there. On my way into the center, I came across Galeries Lafayette and snuck in for a bit of window shopping and AC. There is a lot of shopping available in Strasbourg, both higher and lower end shops.
The cathedral is in the town center and worth a quick visit. There are a ton of touristy restaurants around here though some places that looked a bit more promising than others. Walk along the river for great views of the town and some of its more charming buildings. You can also take a boat tour if you have time.
There were a few Alsatian and French restaurants that I found had been highly recommended including Restaurant Au Sanglier, Muensterstuewel, Saint Sepulchre, Au Cruchon, Restaurant Au Pont Corbeau, La Corde a Linge, Le Schnockeloch.
However, I ate lunch at Cafe Bâle, across the river from the town center. It was a large cafe that offered various salads, pasta, sandwiches, and a menu du jour. I was desperate for salad so opted for a quinoa salad although the menu of the day options looked quite tasty too.
After lunch, just a bit more wandering (and looking for some sweets perhaps!), and then I was back on the train and en route to Lyon.