Petite France


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The most picturesque place in Strasbourg

Translated by Lottie Davies — 3 years ago

Original text by Maika Cano Martínez

This picturesque neighbourhood of Strasbourg is located some ten minutes walking distance from the cathedral. It was declared part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Grande Île in 1988, and it's no wonder, as when you walk its streets, it's like losing yourself in a fairytale place. Petite France has a lot of charm and is an unmissable visit if you do end up going to Strasbourg. However, what few people know is that its 'boom' (so to speak) only came in the second half of the twentieth century, as it was previously one of the poorest areas of the city and didn't offer anything attractive to its citizens.

The most picturesque place in Strasbourg

In this area, aside from the beautiful little houses, there are several famous restaurants as well as souvenir shops and green spaces next to the canals, where you can sit down and enjoy the views. It's not a very big neighbourhood, and you can get around it on foot, by bike, or even see it from another perspective on the canal, thanks to the tourist boats that travel around the city (known as 'batorama' or 'bateau'). If you have time, do a tour anyway. (The following photo was taken from the bateau. )

The most picturesque place in Strasbourg

One day, we found a muskrat in a grassy area by one of the canals that passes through this neighbourhood, which really surprised us. This is one of my favourite parts of Petite France because you can sit very peacefully on the lawns next to the river with the little coloured houses in front of you, and it's even more perfect if the sun is shining.

The most picturesque place in Strasbourg

The most picturesque place in Strasbourg

I don't know if you know that Strasbourg is one of the best cities to visit at Christmas, as it is meticulously decorated and it's considered to be the European Christmas capital. At this time, Petite France makes for impressive Christmas cards, especially when it snows, or with the Christmas market and the decorations on the houses and restaurants. In this neighbourhood, there is a Christmas market, as well in other areas of the city, but it's not one of the best, as it's smaller and there is a lesser variety of items that we can find there. What is worth visiting, however, especially for children, is "Le Village des enfants" in Saint Thomas Square. Something else that's equally not a bad option is to just simply walk its streets looking at all the decorations and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere.

The most picturesque place in Strasbourg

The most picturesque place in Strasbourg

The most picturesque place in Strasbourg

The most picturesque place in Strasbourg

The most picturesque place in Strasbourg

There are several vantage points that you have to visit to experience the best views of Petite France: one of them is Saint Martin bridge, which would also double as the start of the visit; another spot is the Rue des Dentelles, and the Quai de la Petite France. The Ponts Couverts are also a must-see, as well as the Vauban Dam (Barrage Vauban), both of which I will talk about in future posts. The restaurants that I have been to in this neighbourhood are Le Thomasien, La corde a ligne, and Au Pont Saint Martin, which are all good choices. Don't forget your camera!

The most picturesque place in Strasbourg

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