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Week-end in Alsace, France, from Mulhouse to Strasbourg

Alsace is one of the most distinctive regions of France, with a very specific architecture that has been inherited from the years this region was German. Most cities from Alsace actually have a German name. Wittenheim, Eguisheim, Orschwiller have nothing French about them. 

It is possible to visit the most important cities in 3 days, which is what we are recommending here, but it is possible to take a few more days so you can enjoy other minor towns and visit the vineyards.
Also, this itinary goes from south to north, but it is possible to do it the other way around.
There's no better season to visit Alsace. If you visit it in winter, particularly in December, you will have a very special atmosphere with its many Christmas markets. But visiting during the warmer days in summer will provide another pleasurable experience. If we had to choose we'd say this trip has to be done twice: one in the summertime, from april to october, and one in December in winter during the Christmas markets.

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Day 1: Mulhouse to Colmar

Starting in Mulhouse

Day 1: Mulhouse to Colmar

Photo credits: @franganillo @Flickr

Start off your trip by going to Mulhouse. This is certainly the least scenic city of the trip, but nonetheless it has some nice things to offer. If you are lacking time you can skip Mulhouse, otherwise we recommend starting from here.

Although Mulhouse is a big city, you can focus on the historic city and walk around for about 2 hours. If you are traveling by car, try to park near the place de la Réunion so you don't lose too much time.

Photo credits: @morio60 @Flickr

Then head over to Eguisheim, to really start getting into the Alsacian architecture.

Eguisheim is an old medieval town with the typical Alsacian style. It is quite small and can be visited in about an hour. Walk and wander through its small streets and enjoy its old monuments and houses.

Photo credits: @franganillo @Flickr

Colmar is bigger than Eguisheim, and it will take more time to visit. 

It is a nice place to stop for the night, as you'll have more hotels than in smaller cities, so we have decided to stop here.
Take your time to enjoy the city, and take a drink and dinner here. 
If you are a quick walker and have done it all soon enough you can anticipate for the next day and visit Kaysersberg, which is very close to Colmar. Otherwise enjoy your evening and night in Colmar and take some rest for the next day.

Day 2: Kaysersberg to Strasbourg

Kaysersberg

Day 2: Kaysersberg to Strasbourg

Photo credits: @julien_maury @Flickr

Kaysersberg is another old medieval town with a typical Alsacian architecture. You can visit it by walking down its main street (rue du Général de Gaulle), where all of the major monuments are. It takes about one hour to visit.

Photo credits: @pug_girl @Flickr

Riquewihr is one of the most beautiful towns of Alsace. You can visit it in one hour by walking down its main street (rue du Général de Gaulle) that goes through the whole city and to the Dolder, which used to be the town's main entrance with a defensive role. 

Orschwiler and the Haut-Koenigsbourg

Photo credits: @sinava @Flickr

This is a must see in Alsace, as it is one of the most unique and well "preserved" castles in France.

Originally built in the 12th century, it was destroyed in 1633 during the 30 years war, and then entirely rebuilt in 1908 identically as it was in the 16th century. This explains why it is in such a good shape, and although some would say it is a not a real original medieval castle, this is one of the best exampled we have today of the castles' architecture from these times.

Sélestat

Photo credits: @franganillo @Flickr

Sélestat is less known by tourists but it has a lot of charm and you can find here some nice buildings worth visiting. 

Take about one hour to walk within its many streets and don't miss the humanist library (bibliothèque humaniste), one of the two that exist in Europe.

Photo credits: @allan_harris @Flickr

Mittelbergheim is quite small and surrounded by vineyards. Today, it is still living off mostly from the vine production and you can find here many winegrowers and their typical houses.

Otrott and the Mont Sainte Odile

Photo credits: @morio60 @Flickr

The Mont Sainte Odile is a mountain with an old covent built on top of it that dominates the region.

You can enjoy a good view on its surroundings from here.
The Abbaye de Hohenbourg was built in 738 and it quickly became a very popular pilgrimage site.
You can visit the covent and its gardens and see the old tomb of Odile.

Photo credits: @jeremyoak30g @Flickr

Obernai is a typical old Alsacian medieval city that is still today surrounded by its battlements.

Walk within the centre and enjoy its old buildings and quiet atmosphere.

Photo credits: @12195219@N02 @Flickr

Molsheim is a very small city surrounded by the vineyards but it is a nice stop to relax and have dinner. There's a lot less tourists in Molsheim than in any other cities, and the main place has a lot of charm, so it's worth stopping here.

Day 3: Strasbourg

Strasbourg

Day 3: Strasbourg

Photo credits: @giewor @Flickr

Strasbourg is a lot bigger than all previous cities.

Take the whole day to visit the city and the many things it has to offer.
Don't miss the cathédrale Notre Dame and its astronomical clock and La petite France, and walk within its small streets and visit the many Christmas boutiques.

Week-end in Alsace, France, from Mulhouse to Strasbourg

This article is also available in French here.

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