Oh, Strasbourg! A wonderful small city in the northeastern region of Alsace in France. It is home to the European Parliament and is located nearby the German border, which you can also clearly see in its cultural, historical and architectural influences. Strasbourg might not be one of the first cities that people choose to visit in France, yet, there is a lot of things to see in Strasbourg. In this post, I will tell you what to see in Strasbourg on your own visit – including all kinds of places and activities.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to get to Strasbourg
- 2 Getting around Strasbourg
- 3 What to see in Strasbourg
- 4 Accommodation in Strasbourg
- 5 Best time to visit Strasbourg
- 6 Visit Strasbourg: Additional tips
Updated: May 2019
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How to get to Strasbourg
Getting to Strasbourg is quite easy, and there are several options to do:
- By plane: Strasbourg has its own airport “Aeroport Strasbourg”, which is located just a short train ride from the city center (10-15 minutes). The airport has many national connections but is also connected with some major international cities, such as London, Istanbul, Madrid and many more. I personally use Skyscanner to find the best rates for my flights.
- By train: The train station of Strasbourg “Strasbourg-Ville” is located within walking distance of the city center (15-30 minutes depending on which part). Additionally, there are also trams that can bring you almost everywhere in the city.
- By car: Obviously, you can also travel to Strasbourg by car/motorbike. There are many highways and roads leading to Strasbourg from every direction, so you shouldn’t have any troubles getting there.
I personally arrived in Strasbourg by train from Switzerland – as we have some easy connections from Basel. Either way, reaching Strasbourg is really easy!
Getting around Strasbourg
There are a few ways to get around Strasbourg comfortably – the easiest probably being just walking! Strasbourg is not a huge city and most attractions are within walking distance, which makes it perfect to stroll around while exploring some of the best places to see in Strasbourg.
Yet, if you’d like to visit some places further away, you can easily use public transportation to get around in Strasbourg. There are six efficient tram lines which cover almost all of Strasbourg and are usually operating until 12.30 AM. During weekends there are even some night buses, running from midnight to 5.30 AM – stopping at hotspots of the nightlife scene. Day-Ticket costs 4,30 Euros, a single ticket 1,70 Euros.
If that is not enough, you can also use local taxi drivers (especially at the tourist spots, the train station, and the airport) or UBER. Another option is to rent a bicycle, with which you could cover all the tourist attractions in Strasbourg.
What to see in Strasbourg
Cathedrale Notre Dame
The Notre Dame Cathedrale in Strasbourg is a masterpiece of Gothic art and honestly one of the most impressive buildings I’ve seen till this point during my travels. Its construction began in 1015 as a Romanesque Cathedral and the building was finished in 1439.
The best thing about the cathedral is, that there are basically 3 attractions at once! While it looks absolutely stunning and impressive from outside, it is also possible to get on top of the cathedral, from where you can see some incredible views over Strasbourg’s old town.
Thirdly, every day at 12.30 PM you can experience a parade of the Renaissance astronomical clock, which dates back to 1842. This is definitely one of the highlight attractions in Strasbourg that you shouldn’t miss.
As there are sometimes big lines in front of the Cathedral to actually enter (I’ve waited ~20 minutes) it is possible to book a “skip the line” ticket in advance – if you’re interested in it.
When someone asks me about what to see in Strasbourg my response always includes the Barrage Vauban, which is basically a dam that was built in the 17th century and used as a bridge and form of defense. The Barrage Vauban has not only a historical meaning, but also offers some of the best views in Strasbourg.
I especially loved to see it during night time, as the whole scenery looks even more magical.
The building of the European Parliament is stunning to see – but the true highlight is hidden inside: If you’re interested in politics or simply want to know more about the importance and what the European Parliament exactly does, it is possible to visit the Parliament! You can find all the information about a potential visit online.
I personally skipped the inside visit but decided to see the Parliament area anyway, as the architecture of the building is quite cool!
Parc de l’Orangerie
One of my favorite places to see in Strasbourg was the “Parc de l’Orangerie”, which is a big park with a lake, lots of flowers and even some birds. It is not only the oldest park of Strasbourg but also a place were both locals and tourists go to relax, spend time with their loved ones and simply have a great time.
Inside the park, you can also find the “Pavillon Josephine”, which hosts different exhibitions and events, as well as a bowling center and a gourmet restaurant.
Not exactly a place, but definitely one of the things to do in Strasbourg during your trip: A river cruise. While cruising on a boat in the Rhine river you can enjoy fabulous views of the city – that you can’t see while walking around on your own.
The river cruises start from the city center, so you really can’t miss it. I recommend taking an early cruise to avoid big masses of tourists!
Colmar is a lovely little town nearby Strasbourg – and its Little Venice is an absolute highlight of the Alsace region. For me, this is probably the perfect day trip from Strasbourg. If you’re in a rush, you can also do a quick visit and see everything in a few hours. After my visit, I definitely understood why they call Colmar the little Venice of France!
For me, Colmar was simply beautiful and I recommend everybody to include it to your Strasbourg Itinerary. From Strasbourg to Colmar it takes around 30 minutes by train.
La Petite France
One of the main tourist attractions of Strasbourg is La Petite France – which is the touristic center of the city. It is well-known for the canals, cobblestone streets and well-preserved historical buildings like the “Tanners House”.
La Petite France is full of highlights and it’s a great idea to just stroll around there with no real plan – as you’ll end up seeing little secret spots that you could otherwise miss. I had a great time there and loved the atmosphere, even though there were many other tourists.
It is also a great area to try some local specialties, as there are tons of restaurants available.
Krutenau is a trendy village like area located nearby the university. It is known for global eateries, fancy stores, and tattoo parlors. It is also home to the Alsatian Museum which displays different kinds of information about life in Alsace.
In the evening Krutenau turns into an area to hang out with friends – with cool bars and places to eat. As also locals go to Krutenau, it is a great place to see in Strasbourg to experience local life.
When thinking about what to see in Strasbourg this place can’t be missing: The St.Paul’s Church might not be as majestic as the Notre Dame Cathedral, yet, it is an absolutely stunning building that is worth checking out.
The church was opened in 1898 and eventually became a world heritage site in 1998. If you decide to visit St.Paul’s Church I highly recommend walking towards it, as you’ll enjoy some beautiful views along the canals by doing so.
The Strasbourg Christmas Market, a UNESCO World Heritage, is one of the oldest Christmas Markets in all of Europe. It is famous for its charm and wonderful atmosphere, making it a major tourist attraction of Strasbourg. The Strasbourg Christmas Market usually runs from late November till the end of December.
I didn’t visit Strasbourg during Christmas time, so, unfortunately, I missed the Christmas Market. If you visit Strasbourg during this time, it is certainly one of the things to do in Strasbourg though!
The region of the Alsace is famous for its vineyards, therefore it is a great idea to visit some of them while visiting Strasbourg – and enjoy some amazing French wine while doing so. The best way to get a glimpse into the wonderful wine region is to book a half-day wine tour from Strasbourg, which will bring you to 2 wineries and teaches you more about the wines of the region.
There is even the possibility to explore the wine region in a special vintage tour with a VW Bus!
More things to do in Strasbourg
If this list wasn’t enough for your trip to Strasbourg, you can find some more activities like Segway Tours, Food Tours and much more online on this link.
Accommodation in Strasbourg
Hotels in Strasbourg
Strasbourg is home to many hotels & guesthouses. To find your best option I made a short list with some options suitable for every type of traveler, no matter if you are a luxurious traveler or a budget backpacker.
- 5* Hotel Regent Petite France: Luxurious 5 star hotel in the heart of the city. The hotel offers incredible views, a restaurant, and an extensive wellness area. This is definitely the best choice for a luxurious stay in Strasbourg.
- 4* BOMA easy living hotel: Modern 4* hotel with fancy rooms and exceptional ratings. The location is also great, being only 300 meters from La Petite France.
- 3* Hotel Origami: Great 3* hotel that suits budget travelers while maintaining a good standard. Easy to reach the city center with public transportation and generally great value for your money.
- Aparthotel Sejours & Affairs: Budget aparthotel for under 50$/night, which is a great deal for Strasbourg. The aparthotel is located a short walk from the city center (5-10 minutes) and includes a kitchenette.
To see all available hotels in Strasbourg, you can check out this link for an overview.
Airbnb in Strasbourg
If you prefer to stay in an apartment, Strasbourg has over 300 options to choose from on Airbnb, with fits for every budget and situation. Click here to get 40$+ towards your first booking on Airbnb.
Best time to visit Strasbourg
Like in most parts of Europe, it is generally possible to visit Strasbourg during the whole year. However, it is most recommended to visit Strasbourg from mid-May to late September, as the weather is generally pleasant during this time. Another great time to visit is during the Christmas Market (end-November + December), as it is one of the highlights of the city.
Visit Strasbourg: Additional tips
Now as you know what to see in Strasbourg already, I will give you some final tips & personal recommendations for your time in Strasbourg:
- When traveling to Strasbourg I highly recommend getting the 3-Day City Pass, which allows you free entrance into one museum, to the cathedral platform, to a boat tour and to the astronomical clock of Strasbourg. Additionally, you’ll get discounts to other attractions in Strasbourg. If you plan to visit most of the sites anyway, this is a great deal!
- Try out the “Flammekueche”, a local dish, which is basically their own version of a pizza – and super yummy! You can find it in every traditional restaurant in Strasbourg.
- While most people in Strasbourg speak French, many of them also know some basic German – which could be helpful if you speak one of these languages.
I hope you liked my blog post about what to see in Strasbourg and I hope you are having a great trip! If you have any questions or feedback please comment down below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!
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