At the heart of nature
In winter, the cold of Alsace is just another reason for lovers to huddle together, especially when it comes to walking. Arm in arm, venture into Strasbourg’s vast Jardin de l’Orangerie , a classified monument historique, which blends the classical with the romantic. Watch the storks, which have found a haven of peace here since their reintroduction. For even more romance, rent a canoe to get close to the large waterfall in the lake. Then go to Buerehiesel, a pretty half-timbered house with a gourmet restaurant under its impressive glass roof.
A cathedral wedding
With its majestic Gothic facade and pink sandstone, Strasbourg Cathedral is the dream marriage venue for many couples. But before imagining walking up the aisle here, be captivated by the interior of the cathedral with its imposing Renaissance astronomical clock. Watch the spectacle as it comes alive every day at 12.30. Next door, don’t miss the pillar of angels, which illustrates the apocalypse. All too dramatic? Head to the cathedral platform for a breath of fresh air and a breathtaking view of the city.
The interior of Strasbourg Cathedral, with perspectives to die for
With 330 steps to climb, reaching the cathedral platform is an effort – but the view that awaits at the top is well worth it. The city unfolds from 66 metres up, and thanks to the VR Strasbourg 360° app, you can observe the olden-day skyline, too. Turning west, the city as it was in 1490 will appear on your smartphone; walls bristling with 25 towers, buildings since disappeared, and the site of the second cathedral spire. Turning east, you can see the city as it was in 1730. Back at the present day, other churches are open to view, some home to real treasures (Baroque funerary statues, superb 18th-century organs, 19th-century frescoes). A journey into the past in perspective – but this one is real.
A romantic stroll
In the Petite-France district, half-timbered houses with colourful flowers cheerfully criss-cross the waterways. Corbelled windows adorn the facades and sloping roofs lean towards the sky. Electric boats are a lovely way to admire the scenery, and reflect on Strasbourg’s medieval past as you watch the reflections on the water.
Five MOFs (‘Meilleurs Ouvriers de France’, or ‘best French workers’) have teamed up to open a gourmet establishment in the historic heart of Strasbourg. On the menu are delicious dishes uniting fish and plants, taking a sustainable approach with wholly organic products, all with traceable origins. So for unexpectedly good fish dishes a long way from the sea, go to Le Maïence.
The four-star Hotel Kaijoo offers a romantic night’s stay, its industrial-style decor enhanced with Nordic and Japanese touches. A Zen spot to lay your head – but also keep travelling.
Strasbourg, mon amour
In February, couples unite for ‘Strasbourg, mon amour’, 10 days of balls and more intimate evenings, foodie experiences, exclusive concerts, unusual visits and even a festival of romantic literature. The 2020 festival runs from February 7-16.