Petite France

Lonely Planet review

Criss-crossed by narrow lanes, canals and locks, Petite France is where artisans plied their trades in the Middle Ages. The half-timbered houses, sprouting veritable thickets of scarlet geraniums in summer, and the riverside parks attract the masses, but the area still manages to retain its Alsatian atmosphere and charm, especially in the early morning and late evening.

Drink in views of the River Ill and the mighty 17th-century Barrage Vauban (Vauban Dam), undergoing renovation at the time of writing, from the much-photographed Ponts Couverts (Covered Bridges) and their trio of 13th-century towers.