Take a day trip from Germany to Bitche, France

Take a day trip from Germany to Bitche, France

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

Exploring quaint towns with ancient citadels, gorgeous gardens and a museum full of sparkling crystal is a delightful way to spend the day. Situated near Germany’s border, the charming town of Bitche in eastern France holds the Citadel of Bitche, Garden of Peace, Bison Ranch and The Great Place Museum of Crystal — making it an ideal day trip! 

WHAT TO SEE AND DO

Bitche is one of France’s Villes Fleurie, a town where community members volunteer to create visually stunning public garden spaces. More than that, it means the entire area is committed to the improvement of the environment and making it more alluring for the community and its visitors. To witness this enticing landscape first hand, visit the Garden of Peace. Located at the foot of the citadel, this contemporary garden combines multiple artists’ work to make a world of glass, crystal, plants and wrought iron into a stunning show of color and beauty that differs yearly.

The Citadel of Bitche is a historical site and masterpiece of military art that looms over the town on a plateau. Visitors will go on a cinematographic journey through the citadel and relive the heroic 230-day resistance against the German troops from 1870-1871. The museum has a collection of weapons and uniforms from the men who were on the battlefield.

For a taste of the finer things in life, head to The Great Place, Saint Louis Crystal Museum. Originating in 1586, long before the name Saint Louis became established as a “haute cristallerie,” the company is the oldest of French crystal producers. A dazzling 2,000 objects —including glasses, paperweights, chandeliers and more, sparkle on display from the most skilled glassworkers. The objects come together to illustrate four centuries of innovations and creations by the former royal manufacturer.

If the great outdoors are more your speed, take a bison ranch safari at Le Ranch Des Bisons. This family-owned business has been running since 1876 and offers a safari through their bison park, bison meat products and accommodation in wooden cottages overlooking the bison valley. These animals are from the United States and only visible on a guided safari, during which time the guide will educate visitors on the lives of bison during a tour of the farm and park.

For a true taste of French cuisine after touring the town, visit La Tour des Saveurs. This trendy and modern restaurant offers a three-course menu of the day or a la carte items. Try items such as foie gras, pot au feu, gazpacho and quiche. For some moderately priced food and amazing views of the citadel, head to Le Relais Des Chateaux. This lovely restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating and a varied menu of the day. Don’t forget to indulge in a sweet treat of crème brulée at the end of your meal.

GETTING THERE

This small and delightful town is just a short one-hour drive from the Kaiserlsautern area and a two-hour drive from Wiesbaden. Because Bitche is east of Metz and north of Strasbourg, you can turn your day trip into a weekend getaway. With outdoor and indoor options, this inviting little town is a fantastic place to spend the day with your family. From beautiful blooming flowers to fine crystal pieces glimmering in the museum, Bitche is a great place to explore.

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