If you’re coming to Strasbourg for anything, chances are it’s this place. La Petite France is like a film set. A beautiful arrangement of Germanic buildings set alongside the flowing rivers and canals, it’s a photographers dream.
Oh it gets better – you can eat here too. In amongst the souvenir shops and street performers, there are actually decent establishments with menus designed to activate your cravings for Alsatian cuisine. We stopped by a restaurant that’s relatively new to this area, Chez L’Oncle Freddy.
At Uncle Fred’s we guzzled down plates of choucroute and all it’s garnishes along with an iced Kougelhopf, it’s a miracle that we made it back over the bridge. That said, you don’t have to come to Petite France to stuff your face. You can just chill out on the many restaurant terrace’s sipping on a tall Picon Biere – a speciality beer of Strasbourg with a shot of fruit bitters. Very refreshing.
One incredible feature, among the many, in the Petit France is the rotating bridge. Walking on up to cross over, things seemed normal. That was until the staff responsible for the waterways pulled a chain across to prevent anyone crossing.
What happens next is remarkable. The bridge swings around to sit vertical, allowing a passing boat through. Once the boat has passed the bridge returns to its original position. This is something that we’ve never seen before and it was a genuine pleasure to see the whole routine happen before our eyes.
Petite France is accessible from the nearest tram stop at Langstross/Grand Rue, reachable by lines A or D. The area is well signposted from the city centre and is simple to reach on foot. If, like us, you are lucky enough to catch Petite France on a sunny day – do make the most of it.
Strolling around this incredible area to the tune of flowing water (probably not the best after a few Picon’s!) is the perfect way to experience the beauty of Strasbourg. Chuck a meal into the deal and you’ll leave the city with a memory to last a lifetime. La vie est belle ici!
Nearest Tram: Langstross/ Grand Rue