Strasbourg is the ultimate European city. It has flavors of both France and Germany, and sits right on the border of the two countries. It's picturesque "la Petite France" neighborhood looks like something straight out of a fairy tale book, a riverfront neighborhood with timbered buildings accented by colorful flower boxes.
The home of the European Parliament, this often-overlooked and surprisingly cosmopolitan destination hosts France's oldest Christmas market and features a stunning cathedral. In fact, Strasbourg has often changed hands between the French and Germans over the centuries.
The Black Forest and the legendary Rhine River are just at or beyond the city's edge. There are several wonderful daytrips here into France's Alsace or Germany.