Strasbourg cathedral rose window

Strasbourg: an alsace wine adventure

Strasbourg was my beginning and my end … of a three-day, two-night trip through the vineyards of Alsace, guided by Clos Driver Wine Tours (see my itinerary below).

Strasbourg, the capital of the Alsace region of France, is a city of European institutions: the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, to name two.

For the tourist, it is a city of brightly coloured flowers (albeit not in winter), mediaeval architecture, wine brasseries (winstubs), cobbled streets, chiming church bellsoutdoor markets, canals, the river Ill, and, above all, Strasbourg Cathedral. The street names are in French and Alsatian dialect, and historically the region has ping-ponged between France and Germany.

Strasbourg Rue des Couples sign

Famous designers

The three most famous designers from Alsace are: Frédéric Bartholdi, of New York Statue of Liberty fame (born 1834 in Colmar); fashion designer Thierry Mugler (b. 1948, Strasbourg); and Jean-Jacques Waltz, aka Hansi (b. 1873, Colmar) of Alsatian folklore fame, and whose work inspires the silhouetted characters so popular in Alsace, especially on table cloths in the Alsatian colours of red and white.

Strasbourg table cloth Hansi

Food & wine in Strasbourg

My favourite was Jour de Fête Restaurant & Wine Bar – discover more in my blog post, but unfortunately the restaurant is now closed. I was also recommended Au Point de Corbeau.  Both are in the Krutenau district, on the other side of the river Ill from the city centre. I liked this district … not many tourists, and a leisurely 25-minute walk along pedestrianised streets from my hotel near the train station.

Cake & coffee in Strasbourg

For coffee lovers, Café Bretelles is also in Krutenau. Their beans come from Mokxa in Lyon, where Mokxa runs one of my favourite cafes, La Boîte à Café.

For a taste of the round, sponge-like Alsatian cake, Kugelhopf, I would suggest Au Pain de Mon Grand-Père, almost opposite La Boîte à Café. I ate my kugelhopf in the little square round the corner. Strasbourg has a continental climate, so you should be safe – it doesn’t rain that much.

Strasbourg Cafe Bretelles exterior

My hotel in Strasbourg

I stayed at Hotel Graffalgar. The 38 rooms are decorated individually by 38 artists. I chose Room 205, Tino, a single ‘under water’ room, designed by Tino, a local artist. When I turned off the lights at night, I was watched by the beady eye of a luminous star fish looking down from the ceiling. We are all children at heart. If I’d been 3 or 4 people, I would have gone for Room 209, Williann:

Graffalgar Hotel, Strasbourg

The trip with Clos Driver

Here is my Alsace itinerary with Clos Driver Wine Tours. Click on the links to discover more.


Depart Strasbourg

Domaine Kumpf et Meyer (Rosheim)

Visit the town of Obernai

Lunch at the Le Bistro des Saveurs – 1 Michelin star

After-lunch stroll in Bergheim

Domaine Marcel Deiss (Bergheim)

Supper at Flamme et Co & evening stroll in Kaysersberg.


Stroll in Riquewihr

Domaine Hugel (Riquewihr)

Lunch at 64° Le Restaurant at the Hotel Chambard – 2 Michelin stars

Domaine Weinbach (Kaysersberg)

Spa visit at Hotel Chambard

Evening stroll in Colmar


Visit Belbenheim to buy Münster cheese at Maison Fischer

Domaine Marc Kreydenweiss (Andlau)

Lunch at Am Lindeplatzel (Mittelbergheim)

Afternoon stroll through the vineyards towards the ruined Château d’Andlau

Domaine Catherine Riss

Return to Strasbourg

A unique, unforgettable experience.

Strasbourg old quarter on river, cup of coffee at Cafe Bretelles, bicycles for hire

Travelling to Strasbourg

I took the train from London to Strasbourg: Eurostar to Paris, a ten-minute walk from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de l’Est and then a 1h 50-minute journey to Strasbourg. You can also go via Lille.

Other travellers take the plane. From London, Easyjet to the Swiss town of Basle, which is 135km and a train ride away from Strasbourg, and at the southern tip of the Alsatian wine route, which winds down from north to south.

Train has a big advantage: I returned with five bottles of wine in my suitcase.

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