483km (300 miles) SE of Paris; 217km (135 miles) SW of Frankfurt

Situated about 483km (300 miles) southeast of Paris and tucked in the elbow of northeastern France, Strasbourg ping-ponged between Germany and France for centuries. Today this capital of wine-growing Alsace blends Teutonic might with a cosmopolitan flair. With the majestic gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame and its astronomical clock, the maze of cobbled streets, half-timbered houses and the poetic canals of La Petite France, this UNESCO World Heritage Site on the River Ill weaves fairy-tale charm with the European Parliament’s political clout.