Travel from Switzerland to Alsace: Practical Tips from a Travel Expert


Not far from Basel there is the border between Switzerland and France, where the famous Grand Est region is located, which includes the beautiful Alsace. Beautiful cities, delicious food, French charm - all this is available to Ukrainians who can travel for free. It is enough to show your passport to use the services of the railway and travel to France from Basel.

Alsace -  cuisine, wine and UNESCO heritage

The route starts from Basel station. Interestingly, part of the railway station belongs to the territory of France, is used by French railways and is called Basel SNCF. The French part of the station is located to the right of the main entrance: go along the gallery from the entrance, there will be signs to the wing where trains leave for Alsace.

Free travel for Ukrainians throughout the region is available on regional TER trains. Instead of a ticket, it is enough to show a Ukrainian passport.

See the train schedule on this site

Just keep in mind, unlike Swiss, French trains can be late and delayed. Don't be surprised, just be aware that this may be the case when planning your trips.

Below I will describe mine options for the trip, but you can also increase the number of interesting places in this region by studying additional travel information, since there are really a lot of interesting things in the region.

I will only add that you can get to Luxembourg for free, and there is already free travel for absolutely everyone.

Introduction to Strasbourg

Strasbourg is the capital of the Grand Est region, which includes Alsace, Champagne, the Ardennes and Lorraine. It is a very beautiful city and the seat of the European Parliament. It is close to the border with Germany, so its culture and architecture are influenced by both French and German traditions.

Strasbourg in its history has repeatedly passed from France to Germany and back. But since World War II, it has belonged to the French state.

Strasbourg Cathedral in the Gothic style is famous for its astronomical clock, in which the figures of Jesus Christ and the apostles move. From the central part of its spire, 142 meters high, offers a stunning view of the Rhine River.

This is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Europe. The grandeur of this masterpiece is breathtaking. I note that the entrance to the cathedral is free, so do not lose the opportunity to enjoy its beauty and the opportunity to touch the history.

If you are not afraid of a lot of steps, climb to the observation deck, the amazing view that opens up to your eyes is worth the effort.

Strasbourg is also interesting for shopping enthusiasts, there are a large number of various shops.

Grande Ile is considered the busiest shopping area - it is located in the historical center, so you won't have to travel far. There are large shopping centers, and small shops, and designer boutiques, as well as many shops offering a variety of gastronomic delights. And on the street Mercière - a huge selection of souvenirs in shops and craft workshops.

What is a must-try in Strasbourg?

There are many new taste experiences waiting for you in this city.

Tarte Flambée (Flammekueche)

The German version of the name of this dish is Flammekueche, while in French this dish sounds like tarte flambée. It's like a German pizza. Many restaurants in the region specialize only in different types of flammküchen. The name translates as “fire cake”: this is the thinnest dough on which various fillings are placed. The most popular is the classic version of tarte flambée: with cream, onion and bacon. This is the perfect accompaniment to beer. But variations can be very different, including vegetarian ones.

Cost: from 7 euros, with additives - about 10 euros.

Having been in Alsace, it is impossible not to try choukrut - sauerkraut.

Shukrut is often confused with other similar side dishes. Meanwhile, this name refers only to sauerkraut, which is served stewed with meat or fish, or even raw as a salad. The name of the dish comes from the Alsatian word "sürkrüt", which means "sauerkraut". To make this traditional Alsatian appetizer, cabbage - preferably the Alsatian quintal - is finely chopped and sprinkled with salt, placed in a fermentation tank for a period of two weeks to two months. That's all!

If you want to try alcoholic drinks, try Alsatian beers and wines. It's not just drinks, it's traditions and history sealed in bottles.

Colmar - French Venice

No less interesting and in its own way magical city is Colmar. It is called the French Venice, because of one of the districts of the city, where the local river is very reminiscent of the Venetian canals, where you can go boating, enjoying the surrounding beauty.

The journey through the fabulous city begins from the station, which immediately sets you in the right, fabulous mood.

The town itself is very beautiful, bright, as if a living illustration of a children's book. This is a real open-air museum, as it has preserved medieval architecture.

By the way, Colmar is the birthplace of the artist Bartholdi, who created the American Statue of Liberty. His museum is also located here, it is small, but very interesting.

Where to try delicious cheese

France is a country of unusual cheeses and the Alsace region is no exception. It has its own special varieties, one of these "Munster" - a cheese with character! It comes from the Münster Valley, south of Colmar. It is a soft cheese made from cow's milk with a pungent taste and smell. The Alsatians love to eat it after a hearty meat meal...

But besides cheeses for dessert, locals also love sweets, such as Streusel pie, Kugelhopf Bun, Pretzels Pretzels, Good Man Manele, Damfnudel Bun, and of course cheesecake.

For lovers of refreshing low-alcohol drinks, local beer will be a discovery. I recommend the cafe Zum Kragen, located in a very old and historic house, where you will be served by a representative of the city hall.

Colmar is famous for its market where you can buy Alsatian products, as well as taste ready-made meals and drinks.

I’ll tell you a secret, in this market until 2 pm you can taste a dozen oysters and drink a glass of local champagne for 12 €.

Mulhouse - another wonderful Alsatian city

The name of the city comes from the word “mill”, they say that the city grew up on the site of an ancient mill. The historical center of the place is Zboriv Square with a majestic neo-Gothic cathedral. Є theenough gloomy spores of the Diavolsky Vezha. At the dark eyelids, she served as a mass for the aggravation and torturation of women, such an inquisition was ringing at the chaklunstvo.

In addition to attractions and museums, there are chain stores of famous masmarket brands, prices are correspondingly lower than in Switzerland.

But here you should definitely visit restaurants with Alsatian cuisine, a special charm and flavor of France, but I note that prices are slightly higher than in Colmar or Strasbourg.

Nancy and Dijon - we stop by for a visit

I recommend stopping by the city of Nancy in the same region of Grand Est. Oh no more like Paris. Such France-France, the influence of Germany is less felt here. It is not like Strasbourg and Colmar.

 You are probably familiar with Dijon mustard and Dijon blackcurrant liqueur. All this appeared in the city of Dijon.

The city impresses with the number of beautiful houses and temples. There are a lot of museums where you can get free of charge with a Ukrainian passport.

This is no longer the Grand Est region, but very close.


Have a happy and unforgettable trip to France and don't forget to buy postcards and souvenirs.

For example, here is a postcard for the memory of a magical journey.


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