When I first looked at moving to Germany from Texas, I was dazzled by the idea of Freiburg, Germany, being just an hour-and-change drive to the Alsace region of Southern France. This part of Europe is the best of Germany and France combined, in my opinion, with half-timber old towns filled with French luxuries like pastries, cheese and lace mixed with the quaint country charm of Germany. Strasbourg with kids is so fun, it became my favorite day trip out of town from our German rental flat when living in Freiburg.
The really farm fresh food in our local German town is so amazing, but we go to “France on Fridays,” almost every Friday off from school that we can grab, to gorge on delicious delicacies that only the French can perfect.
Our first stop off of the Flixbus that takes us straight from Freiburg to France is L’Eden Libre de Gluten Strasbourg, a patisserie in Strasbourg that is also entirely gluten free. I love that it’s close to everything – from the bus station and the cathedral to main shopping corridors, but tucked into its own little corner off the side streets. We get something there as well as a picnic for later and sweets for the bus home.
Another spot we love that’s not fanny in food but perfect in location are the little spots like Caffe – Gelateria directly out front of the Cathedral. Worth every penny to grab a table, cappuccino and ice cream to watch pigeons and people under the ominous Cathedral doors.
I was going to tell you about my daughter’s favorite stop – The Pirate’s Candies – where she fills her bags with the cutest gummies for, typically for us, just a few dollars. However, some reviews speak differently about the experience now that I look it up! Is it an innocent sweet shop or tourist trap? Now I’m intrigued.
A few times, we have ducked into a pub to dry off from rain or get a bite as we wait for the bus and have never gone wrong picking a local spot for hot chicken, potatoes and coffee.
We were also lucky to live in a smaller town and have access to such great shopping – a wonderful mix of metropolitan shopping like Apple and Zara mixed with the best French flea market and local finds – all in one city in Strasbourg!
For toys, the young lady – after much research – always took her piggy banks dollars to King Jouet, which is a charming French toy store with so much inventory of all the best brands, mixed in perfectly with charming European toys.
I find no one celebrates more chic than the French, so I have to go to Fiesta Republic every time I’m in town. They have the all-time best collection of plastic masks I have ever seen, and something funny for every celebration under the sun!
I got two really cute tops from Speak Out Vintage Store made by the owner in fresh designs from vintage fabric.
The little gift shops around town are all so cute! Especially in Altstadt. She goes for storks and I could always use a fresh beret to match my outfit – why not at $8!
The sweet pottery shops like The House of Hanssen et Gretel are perfect for ducking your head in to take in every bit of charm the town drips with, or investing in some new cookware that can come home with you and last generations.
My favorite place in Strasbourg, though, seems to be the streets! Almost every time I’m in town there’s a wonderful flea market filled with finds.
Things to Do
On our little day trips in, we typically have time for a few shopping errands, time at the bakery, and one fun thing to do in addition to walking around.
I think my personal favorite thing to do in Strasbourg is the Train Tour. I loved the audio history that came in perfect English on our headphones on the tour! It was special to get really close in the alleys and cover so much ground at once.
We have also done the Boat Tour, which is pretty and I also enjoyed. You see more of Strasbourg the city on this tour and it also has an audio tour, although I wasn’t very good at handling it! It was convenient on a rainy day that it was glass top and a gorgeous way to see the colors of the town.
I think the inside of the Cathedral is so striking and merits a special visit for all families to see the amazing Astronomical Clock inside. It gives me a chill to think of how intricately this was studied and designed so long ago!
Speaking of great design, we love the Carousel at the Palace Gutenburg. The beauty of the wood carvings and intricate designs really take our breath away, as well as being one of the most fun carousels we’ve ever been on!
Of course, in a town this special we love to just walk around! One favorite thing to do is spot street art, like our favorite Space Invader finds.
Have you thought about visiting Strasbourg before? What’s on your list?