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Strasbourg for a month

I know it's probably not everyone's idea to spend such a long time in, but the accommodation was an excellent price, I have a good school in mind, and it's giving me easy access to visiting other countries.

That being said. Give me your favorite places in Alsace and across the border to Germany, Luxembourg etc. Off the beaten path, and not necessarily with tons of things to do, but lovely scenery, hiking, architecture, history. With public transport and also renting a car for a day or long weekend. Thanks.

Posted by
16762 posts

Colmar is touristy but lovely. It's close enough (with good train service) that you could hit it several times on school days and save your weekend days for longer, more complicated side-trips. The Unterlinden Museum is really good, and there's a lot of beautiful architecture to enjoy. Colmar is as little as 30 minutes from Strasbourg by train (cheap TER).

I day-tripped to Selestat and confirmed what I had read: It's an attractive, non-touristy town. Everyone else will tell you about the little wine villages around Colmar (some accessible by infrequent bus); I thought Selestat was a nice, low-key place to go. Eighteen minutes from Strasbourg by train (cheap TER); can't beat that.

Nancy, home of French Art Nouveau, is 1-1/2 hours from Strasbourg by train (TER). There's enough to see there that if you like that type of architecture, you might not want to cram Nancy into a day-trip.

Basel has a nice historic center and is about 80 minutes from Strasbourg by TER. A day-trip to Basel would be a cheap way to see a bit of very-expensive Switzerland without having to pay Swiss hotel prices. You could also push a bit beyond Basel, but beware the cost of Swiss trains.

Posted by
1514 posts

Acraven - Thanks for sharing the info about Nancy. Some areas have wonderful architecture similar to the designs of the Versailles palace. The town look fabulous. Thumbs up for Selestat too. Thanks Acraven!

Posted by
449 posts

acraven I know that I can't get away from touristy areas, and Colmar I definitely want to see. But sometimes, even RS members stumble upon areas that Rick never mentioned in his book. That's the sort of hidden gems I would like to explore. Nancy sounds lovely. I will have to rent a car to travel to some of the smaller villages, so might overnight somewhere along the way in order to see a lot, and have time to stop and take it all in. I love photography, and I also paint, so I'm always looking for unusual inspiration.

Posted by
132 posts

We spent 3 nights at Barr a short train ride from Strasbourg. A lovely old town full of the typical 16th C Alsatian buildings. There are charming little wine villages nearby. On the edge of town is the forest of the Vosges mountains. There are 3 13th C castle ruins tucked away in the forest that we were free to explore.
The town and surrounds seemed very short on for tourists.
We found it a delightful place.

Posted by
16762 posts

Wurundjeri's mention of castles reminded me of Haut-Koenigsbourg, which is often recommended here. I've never been there; I assume it would be difficult without a car.

Posted by
4654 posts

If you are at all interested in either motor cars or railways, the French national museums of both are in Mulhouse and world-class.

Posted by
763 posts

I believe it is asparagus season in Alsace then. Look for festivals. Yum.

Posted by
8889 posts

Colmar, Wine villages and Haut-Koenigsbourg have already been mentioned. Add:

  • Freiburg im Breisgau across the Rhine in Germany.
  • Basel for a touch of Switzerland
Posted by
89 posts

In Alsace -- Colmar, Kaysersberg/Riquewhir/Ribeauville/Eguisheim (bus from Colmar), Selestat, Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg (private shuttle from Selestat train station), Neuf Brisach (UNESCO site, well-preserved impressive fortified town/citadel designed by Vauban. Tourist office offers guided town/ramparts walk. https://www.visit.alsace/en/246001403-neuf-brisach-fortified-town/.) Alsace has cheap 24 hr tickets for unlimited TER and city buses -- https://www.ter.sncf.com/grand-est/offres/forfaits/alsace/alsace_alsa-plus

Farther in France -- Nancy & Metz (I visited both in one long day-trip)

In Germany -- Esslingen/Ludwigsburg (both are right outside Stuttgart, Stuttgart is 1 hr ICE/TGV train ride from Strasbourg), Gengenbach, Baden-Baden, train ride thru prettiest part of Black Forest (Hausach -- Donaueschingen) all the way to Konstanz, Lake Constance towns (Knostanz, island of Minau, Uberlingen, Meersburg, Lindau). You can visit all these towns using Baden-Württemberg-Ticket for up to 5 people, unlimited local train ride in one day. https://www.bahn.com/en/view/offers/regional/regional-day-tickets.shtml.
https://fahrkarten.bahn.de/privatkunde/pauschalpreisbuchen/pauschalpreis_start.post?lang=en&country=GBR&redirected=1&dbkanal_007=L04_S02_D002_KIN0060_REGIO-LAENDERTICKETS-KARTE-BAWUE_LZ03#stay.

Baden-Württemberg-Ticket train network map -- https://www.bahn.com/en/view/mdb/bahnintern/angebotsberatung/regio/laender-tickets/pdfs/2018/mdb_270079_streckenkarte-badenwuerttemberg_a2-bwegt-look-rz.pdf

Baden-Württemberg-Ticket does not cover Strasbourg. You need to take Strasbourg tram D to Kehl Bahnhof which is 15 min ride from Strasbourg historic center to get on the SWE train at Kehl. I would recommend 1-2 nights at Konstanz.

There's a all day ticket that covers both Alsace and Black Forest area -- The RegioElsassTicket is valid on DB Euregiobus 1076 b/w Colmar-Freiburg and in the entire area of the Regio-Verkehrsverbund Freiburg (RVF) on all bus and train lines. Also on the Kunegel buses from Colmar to Alsace's Münstertal, to Kaysersberg, le Bonhomme, St. Hippolyte, Rouffach and Guebwiller. This ticket is valid for 24 hours and costs 16 euros for 1 person and 32 euros for 5 people.

Freiburg-Colmar RegioElsassTicket: https://www.rvf.de/fr/fahrkarten-tarife/ueber-die-verbundgrenze/fahren-nach-frankreich/regioelsassticket-colmar-en-bus

Map of all the towns covered by RVF ticket -- https://www.rvf.de/en/fahrkarten-tarife/travelling-with-rvf. This RVF ticket covers 2 towns many folks on this forum often recommend to others: Titisee and Staufen.

Posted by
449 posts

I am making notes of all the suggestions. We may run out of time, rather than places. They all sound very doable. Thanks so much. Yes, a trip to Mulhouse to see the museum was on the list, thanks.

Posted by
103 posts

"Wurundjeri's mention of castles reminded me of Haut-Koenigsbourg, which is often recommended here. I've never been there; I assume it would be difficult without a car."

We visited in 2017, and it's well worth the effort. It would however be a lot easier with a car.

As you exit the train station there is a sign at the edge of the parking lot with phone numbers for several taxis. Ours spoke pretty good English and was happy to take us up the long winding road like he was driving in the French Formula One :)
Getting back, however, is more of a problem. We called the same taxi driver and he didn't want to come back to pick us up. Three other taxi numbers produced people who were off work. We finally found someone to pick us up with major assistance from the nice lady running the concession stand.