Alsace is a cultural one-off. With its Germanic dialect and French elegance, the passion for foie gras and choucroute (sauerkraut), and rich wine and beer, this region often leaves you wondering where you are. Why? Because Alsace has a little bit of everything! Vineyards fade into the distance as hilltop castles send spirits soaring high. Half-timbered villages with garlanded gardens look like they were created for an animated Disney film set.
Strasbourg is a perfect introduction to Alsace's cultural customs, straddling France and Germany. This city has an old-world charm while maintaining a progressive mindset. Strasbourg will only become more unique as it progresses into the future.
Tear your eye away from that magnetic Gothic cathedral, and you'll be roaming the old town's serpentine alleys striped with half-timber houses à la Grimm, eating in the coziest of wing stubs by the canals in Petite France.
Colmar still looks like it's from the Middle Ages, with old alleyways and narrow lanes. These days the Route des Vins d'Alsace provides wine tourism to the region, but at times you'll feel like you were in 1454.
Half-timbered white houses with no paint in different shapes and sizes crowd dark cobblestone lanes and bridge-laced canals. Most visitors walk around the city in a daze, taking photos of all their beautiful surroundings.
As you would expect from a city in the heart of French Alsace, Colmar's past is like an open book. There are glorious churches and museums with stories ranging from Bartholdi of Statue of Liberty fame to the revered Issenheim Altarpiece.