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Help with Alsace Itinerary

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posts: 80
reviews: 7
Help with Alsace Itinerary

I am traveling with my 60-ish mom to Alsace area for 5-6 days during the second week of May. I have several questions but first let me give you my itinerary so far. We fly into Zurich and will spend one nite there, then we pick up a car and will drive to Freiburg, Germany to stay one night. Then we have 5-6 days in Alsace. We are thinking a couple of nights in Strasbourg and then we are not sure what to do next. We like history and natural beauty. I think we would really like to stay in a small village for a night or two. Finally, we have first and last night in Zurich booked. Should we book our other nights in advance? Especially if car parking is an issue in Strasbourg?

Alsace, France
posts: 2,316
reviews: 70
1. Re: Help with Alsace Itinerary

I would certainly consider booking in advance as 8th and 13th May are bank holidays in France ... tourist shops will be open, but banks closed. I'll give your itinerary a thought in the next day or two ... time difference wise I got to this too late at night to think clearly! Perhaps you might advise me on roughly your budget per night, and how mobile you both are for me to make a suggestion, but there are certainly many good things for you to do in Alsace besides Strasbourg, and Zurich is a relatively short hop in terms of USA distances from Alsace! Night night!

Alsace, France
posts: 2,316
reviews: 70
2. Re: Help with Alsace Itinerary

OK here goes!

Day 1 and overnight - Zurich

Day 2 and overnight Freiburg

Day 3 - drive to Colmar via Breisach am Rhein - approx 1 hour's drive. Spend the day in Colmar - using the little train to sightsee overall, then visit the Cathedral and the Unterlinden Museum. Overnight in Colmar

Day 4 - Drive northwards in the direction of Strasbourg, initially using the slower and more picturesque Route du Vin rather than the motorway A35 up to the level of approx Selestat.

Start off from Colmar heading westwards to Kaysersberg for a morning coffee, and then drive to Riquewihr, mosey through Hunawihr, where you might like to stop to see the church with beautiful murals and possibly take in Bergheim which is small and very untouched by tourism even though it is a walled city.

If you find time is getting shorter than you'd like, aim for the A35 to Strasbourg.

Once on the A35, depending on your tastes or timing, you might like to drop in to see the Baroque Church at Ebersmunster - just after Selestat - leave at the last exit for Selestat (check your map!!) and follow directions for Ebersmunster, which looks austere from the outside but inside is a riot of artwork and delicate pink granite stone. It's always really cold inside, so do take something to wrap up in!!

On your way to Strasbourg, if you can get there before 5 pm, I would suggest a delicious visit to the Musée du Chocolat at Geispolsheim - ask for the film in its English version - with an interesting exhibition, a demonstration of moulded chocolate making and of course a free sample of choc with your entrance ticket.

Evening and overnight in Strasbourg.

Day 5 and overnight in Strasbourg - visit the Cathedral, the Astrological Clock - at 12.30 (not 12) for the best 'show' ... entrance tickets apply and you will need to enter by the side door for this -, a boat trip from the Rohan Palace to see Strasbourg from the water and the European Institutions. I can thoroughly recommend the Alsacian museum, just across the river from the landing stage, which shows a lot of 'things Alsacian' in an easy-to-absorb and tasteful manner, but does involve climbing steps inside the exhibition building (3 old houses).

Day 6 is the day that you said you would need to travel back to Zurich and for your overnight. Before spending so long in the car, you might like to stroll in the gardens and mini-zoo of the Orangerie Park - opposite the Council of Europe. You can set off after lunch for Zurich, allowing 1.5 -2 hours for your journey to the border at Basel along the A35, and a further 1.5 hours to Zurich along the motorway N2/N1 from Basel - follow the signposts and observe the speed limits!! Especially in tunnels, where you must turn your lights on too. Overnight in Zurich.

PLEASE make sure that your hire car has a Swiss Motorway Sticker on its windscreen when you hire it, and also a GREEN ROUND STICKER for Freiburg where there is an environmental tax scheme in force. If you don't have this sticker you may be fined by the German police. It costs around 5€ .. but as your hire car may not often go to Germany, the hire company may not have one for it. Please ask ahead for your car to have this sticker too. Of course, you may be one of the lucky ones, and 'get away' without a sticker, or simply not run across the police when in Freiburg town centre, but I felt that you deserved to know that this scheme is in force. It only applies to DOWNTOWN Freiburg, so you might like to stay slightly outside the centre and take public transport into town. I suggest you talk to your hotel.

Do let me know if I can help you further. In the light of the volcanic ash crisis, I do hope that you manage to get over here, and enjoy your holiday .. bearing in mind the bank holidays I mentioned earlier. (1st, 8th, 13th, 24th)

posts: 80
reviews: 7
3. Re: Help with Alsace Itinerary

Wow!!! Thank you so much. I love to plan our trips but this time the time has gotten away from me so your help with the itinerary is wonderful! I think we will follow it closely! Also thanks for the tip on bank holidays and the traffic scheme. That is so important. We actually have one more night so at the risk of being seen as greedy for your advice---what do you suggest?

Oh, and to answer a couple of your questions, we are pretty mobile. However, my mom does tire more easily than she used to b/c of an autoimmune disorder. We would really like to spend around $100-$125 average for hotels.

posts: 80
reviews: 7
4. Re: Help with Alsace Itinerary

100-125 Euros not $

Alsace, France
posts: 2,316
reviews: 70
5. Re: Help with Alsace Itinerary

I've had a look at some central Strasbourg hotels and have got some suggestions for you to look at. The problem is two-fold. Firstly I don't have your exact dates, and with the number of bank holidays, there are more tourists than usual visiting Strasbourg, especially mid-week. Secondly if your visit coincides with a plenary session of the European Parliament - one week a month! - rooms can be hard to find and the prices rise.

I've taken your pricing of 100-125 € a night to mean a room with two beds so that you and your mom are sharing. Please note that breakfast is nearly always at a supplement in French hotels, and that parking costs are not included either. Some of these hotels have car parks, others may have advantageous rates at public car parks nearby. I have allowed for a little flexibility at the upper end of your budget but really the final prices will depend on the actual dates you require.

First of all I still maintain that the Ibis hotels in Strasbourg provide good value for money, in particular

Ibis Ponts Couverts

Ibis Petite France

Ibis Gare de Strasbourg (well soundproofed)

Ibis Centre Les Halles.

You can look at these by googling 'Ibis hotels Strasbourg'. Their cold buffet breakfasts are usually good value for money and can keep you full for most of the day.

Then there are these more 'individual' hotels, which I know by sight but haven't stayed at. They are in no particular order of quality but the prices would seem to fit your budget if you don't touch a high-demand day!

Hotel Hannong - www.hotel-hannong.com

Hotel Kleber - www.hotel-kleber.com

Hotel Gutenberg - www.hotel-gutenberg.com

Hotel Maison Rouge - www.maison-rouge.com

Hotel Cardinal Rohan - www.hotel-rohan.com

Hotel des Arts - www.hotel-arts.com

Hotel Michelet - www.hotel-michelet.com

Hotel des 3 Roses - www.hotel3roses-strasbourg.com

Hotel de l'europe - www.hotel-europe.com

Don't forget to look for a lift (ascenseur) in older Alsacian properties ... especially if you have creaky knees or loads of luggage to haul. I'd also back up your thoughts by looking at the reviews here on TA.

If you fancy a little splurge - a hotel I've had guests stay in and enjoy - you might choose is the Hotel Beaucour www.hotel-beaucour.com which offers doubles from 135€. If you do choose this one, say Hi! to the grey parrot in reception for me!

Freiburg im...
posts: 1,795
6. Re: Help with Alsace Itinerary

>we would really like to stay in a small village for a night or two<

Staufen is a quaint small town near Freiburg:



7. Re: Help with Alsace Itinerary

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