The strategic location of Kehl, just across the Rhine River from Strasbourg, will be immediately obvious to you.
You might try to imagine the tiny fishing village as it was in 1038, but see how it has grown to become one of Germany’s most important links to France and points west.
The helpful people at the Tourism Office on Main Street will provide you with a brochure detailing popular city walks. Use it to plan your itinerary, starting at the Passerelle de deux Rives, a new span (2004) that connects Kehl to Stasbourg for pedestrians and cyclists.
As you stand on the bridge between the two countries, you will see gardens on both banks. Awaiting you are 60 hectares of greenery and extensive hiking trails. Climb 210 steps to the top of the 38-meter-high white fir observation tower for a panoramic view of the Rhine, the Black Forest, and a pirate ship moored nearby.
The memories you carry away from Kehl might also include scenic walks in the Rheinauhafen Forest, a dip in one of two outdoor pools, and playing tennis at a top-class facility. Stop by the Friedenskirche (Peace Church), inaugurated in 1851; discover medieval history at the city museum on Friedhofstraße; or admire the Wiener Stadthalle, a municipal theater with a rich variety of concerts and cultural programs, including the Rhine Opera.
You are sure to notice just how international this town is, home to thousands of French and American expatriates. In fact, city officials claim that 102 different nationalities are represented here.
English and European languages are widely spoken here, so don’t hesitate at all to stop passersby and ask for directions or advice, especially regarding local cuisine.
You will find a delightful mix of foods from both sides of the river, including Alsatian tarte flambée (a type of pancake), tender asparagus in early summer, tasty pork dishes year-round, and river fish in season. Bon appétit!