A Local’s Guide to Strasbourg with Julien Renouf
Julien Renouf has lived in Strasbourg since 2003 and founded the website Blog Kapoue as a way of sharing news about events, restaurant openings and interviews with locals living in the Strasbourg and Alsace region. As something of an expert on the city’s latest happenings, we couldn’t think of anyone better to lift the lid on Strasbourg’s most interesting sights and attractions…
“When a friend visits me in Strasbourg, the first place I take them to is the La Petite France district. It’s full of traditional cobbled streets and canal-side houses with typical half-timbered architecture from the Alsace region. You can take amazing photographs here, but you get the best view of Strasbourg from the platform of the cathedral. It’s one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in Europe. You can see the whole town, the lovely terraces, all of the European institutions , the distant mountains of the Black Forest or the Vosges. Biking is the best way to get around Strasbourg. There’s a huge network of secure cycle paths, the city is flat, bicycle rentals are cheap and it’s a nice way to take your time, seeing the city sights. You can even cycle to the neighbouring town of Kehl in Germany.
Where to Eat in Strasbourg
Brunch at SOUL Meat (le Diable Bleu) is my favourite breakfast in Strasbourg. They have the best brunch, the portions are always generous, the dishes are homemade and the service is very nice… but sadly it’s only available on Sunday! A good place to enjoy a coffee is Oh My Goodness Café – the decor is stylish, it’s quiet and there are also English speaking staff. Bistrot Coco is one of my favourite spots for lunch in Strasbourg, I always order whatever they’re offering as the dish of the day. I know it will be good. Their food is always full of flavour and not very expensive, especially if you’re on a budget. Les Innocents is a great place for dinner in Strasbourg. It’s a new restaurant with 1930s style decor, there are portraits of gangsters and a cage that serves as a wine cellar. The food is delicious and the chefs are now earning a fantastic reputation.
Before You Visit Strasbourg
Before you come to Strasbourg you should read something about Tomi Ungerer, an illustrator who’s famous worldwide and hails from Strasbourg. People think Strasbourg is like Germany but it’s actually a city that mixes the best of two cultures : French and German, it’s an attractive blend!
Shopping in Strasbourg
For shopping , you can’t beat La Place des Halles et Rivétoile. It’s a huge shopping mall where you’ll find plenty of clothing stores and places to eat. I also recommend doing a tour around Rivétoile on the docks , this neighbourhood is very nice! During the weeks running up to Christmas, the city looks especially great. It’s the perfect time to visit Strasbourg – Strasbourg ‘s Christmas market is famous for being one of the most beautiful in Europe. There’s nothing like drinking a hot wine in the streets of the market, just as it starts to snow.
Strasbourg for Free
The best thing to do for free in Strasbourg is visit the city’s museums on the first Sunday of every month when they’re free. I recommend the city’s beautiful Museum of Modern Art. Parc de l’Orangerie is somewhere else that not many visitors know about but they should go there because it’s a peaceful spot for a picnic , a walk , bowling or you can even visit the animals in the petting zoo.
Strasbourg has the second biggest student population in France, so you’ll find plenty of bars and taverns in the city. If you’re looking to enjoy a drink in nice surroundings, head to Le Troquet des Kneckes. It’s a relaxed bar, the atmosphere is always great and it’s the perfect spot to sink one or two beers or grab a game of table football in the evening…”
These are Julien’s tips for Strasbourg. Are you a Strasbourg local? Have you visited the city recently? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear your recommendations and advice.