Petite France (Little France), Strasbourg

Petite France (Little France), Strasbourg (must see)

Petite France is an area in Strasbourg that is often called the Venice of the North because of its narrow streets and canals. It is a delightful area to visit as it takes you back to Medieval Strasbourg.

In the Middle Ages the beautiful half-timbered houses were the homes of fishermen, millers and tanners, and indeed many of the streets bear the names of the crafts carried out: Millers Street, Tanners Ditch and Lace Street, for example. The houses have the traditional tiered sloping roofs and hides were once hung up to dry on the topmost rafters.

In the late 15th century a hospice was built on the island for small-pox victims and later for French soldiers suffering from syphilis – which the Germans called it “French Disease” to stop the local girls from sleeping with the soldiers! The area became known as “Little France”, more out of derision than patriotism. The name stuck and today it is one of the most expensive quarters in the city.

Just to the west of Petite France, you can visit the Barrage Vauban – a weir that crosses the River Ill. It was built in 1686 from the plan by Marquis Vauban. The weir has two stories with wonderful sculptures on the main level, as well as a roof terrace where you can take superb photos of Petite France.

Why You Should Visit:
The most romantic neighborhood in Strasburg by far, especially at nightfall. There are also plenty of shops and places to try authentic French dishes. Places are open late and buildings are lit up after dark.

Walk around here early in the morning if you wish to get photos without thousands of tourists in your shots. If you have issues walking on cobblestones, you can also take the boat or a little touristic train that goes around the Petit France.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Strasbourg. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Petite France (Little France) on Map

Sight Name: Petite France (Little France)
Sight Location: Strasbourg, France (See walking tours in Strasbourg)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Strasbourg, France

Create Your Own Walk in Strasbourg

Create Your Own Walk in Strasbourg

Creating your own self-guided walk in Strasbourg is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Famous Squares Walking Tour

Famous Squares Walking Tour

Justly reputed as one of the most beautiful cities in all of France, Strasbourg greets visitors with an array of picturesque squares. Among the most famous of them are:

Place Kléber – the biggest square in the heart of the city’s commercial district; a central meeting place since the 14th century.

Place Gutenberg – a definite “must-see” in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, not...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Historical Churches Walking Tour

Historical Churches Walking Tour

Strasbourg, which celebrated its bimillennial anniversary in 1988, is a city with a very rich heritage. Among other historical monuments found here is a wealth of ancient churches and cathedrals, representing a variety of architectural styles. Exploring Strasbourg on foot, one is inevitably drawn to visit some of these locations. Here are some of the best known places of worship in the city.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Strasbourg Downtown Walking Tour

Strasbourg Downtown Walking Tour

Strasbourg – the daughter of the Rhine River – is rich in history, architecture and gastronomy. This is particularly true of the downtown part of the city, the Grande Île or Große Insel in German, which means "Large Island" – a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988.

At the centre of the island lies Place Kléber, the city's central square and main meeting...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Strasbourg Introduction Walking Tour

Strasbourg Introduction Walking Tour

The capital of France's Grand Est region, formerly known as Alsace, Strasbourg is often referred to as the "crossroads of Europe". Indeed, the city's name, emerged after the 5th century AD, is the German for 'town (at the crossing) of roads'. Adding truth to it today also is the European Parliament that has been seated at Strasbourg since 1949.

The vicinity of the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles