Strasbourg is the trendy, cosmopolitan and cultural heart of Alsace. Strasbourg means ‘City of the Roads', which is a fitting name for a city that lies on the western banks of the River Rhine and has been at the centre of European trade for centuries.
Today, Strasbourg is prosperous and popular, as both a modern metropolis - the home of the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights and the European Parliament - and a quaint old city, which lends its own distinct Alsatian character to the strong French and German customs inherited from both sides of the Rhine.
Strasbourg's fine Cathédral de Notre-Dame takes centre stage and it's difficult to ignore in the city's low-lying centre. Other landmarks worth visiting on any tailor-made trip to Strasbourg are the Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporian, which displays works by Picasso, Monet and Sisley, among lesser-known surrealist works. La Petite France, Strasbourg's pretty medieval quarter, where millers, tanners and fishermen used to live, is also well worth a visit, with pretty winding streets and old town houses decorated with flowers.
During the winter festive season, the city's Place Gutenberg hosts one of Europe's most vibrant Christmas markets, which makes it an attractive choice for a seasonal short break, although it can of course be visited at other times too.