Alsace is located on the west bank of the Rhine river. It is bordered by Germany on the north and east and by Switzerland to the south. The region is divided into two departments - the Bas Rhin (Lower Rhine) and the Haut Rhin (Upper Rhine). The Germanic influence is readily apparent in Alsace. Known for its steep-roofed and half-timbered houses, the capital city of the Lower Rhine, Strasburg, is the second most visited city in France.
Visitors swarm to Strasbourg in December to visit its Christmas Market which is the largest and oldest in all of Europe. Other tourist attractions include the cathedral, a textile museum, a toy museum, the Palais Rohan which houses three art museums, the Batorama River Cruise, and the Maison des tannereurs, a delightful restaurant located in an historic tannery. Visitors might note that service is already added on your restaurant bill, but for great service, an additional 5-10% tip is recommended. The region is known for its vineyards, so a wine-tasting tour might also be something to add to your list.
There are many places to see and things to do in the Alsace region. The Grand-Ballon is a popular place to go downhill and cross country skiing and to hike. Kids will enjoy a trip to Monkey Mountain which is where 300 Barbary Apes call home. Animal lovers might also like the zoological park in Mulhouse where there are 1200 animals and over 190 species. There is also an interesting place where Eagles soar at the Lavolerie des aigles at Kintzheim Eagle Mountain. The Struthof Museum is located on the site of a concentration camp. Visitors might also like a boat trip on the river Ill.
The capital of the Haut Rhin, Colmar, is just a half hour by train from Strasbourg and is good for at least a half day of sightseeing activities. Other tourists recommend a ride on the green train/bus to get an overview of the city. Colmar is considered one of the best-preserved cities in Alsace. Here you can visit the Mulhouse railway and car museum.
Accommodations in Alsace run the gamut from hotels with spas and restaurants to gites, inns, hostels, self-catering cottages and chalet camping. Hostels may be listed as farm-hostels or backpackers. Don’t forget to take a padlock for your personal belongings when you book with an Alsace hostel.
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the Hostelz.com local expert for Alsace hostels. Welcome.
Strasbourg...Vive la France! I had my first taste of frog's legs (grenouille) here at a Chinese restaurant just outside of the train station. Very tasty. Not to mention, it was pretty darn cool to hear Chinese people speaking French. (I know, I know, I sound like a dumb American tourist). This was my first trip …