Best Things to Do in Strasbourg, France: 12 Must-See Attractions

by Jen
Best Things to Do in Strasbourg, France
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Are you planning to visit Strasbourg, France in the near future? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do in Strasbourg. These picturesque sights, activities, and attractions are sure to make for an unforgettable vacation experience.

Strasbourg! A city where medieval charm meets modern elegance, where the Rhine River whispers tales of yesteryears, and where every cobblestone seems to hold a secret. Nestled in the heart of Alsace, this French city is a kaleidoscope of culture, history, and jaw-dropping architecture. When you’re here, there are plenty of things to do in Strasbourg, from strolling through winding alleys framed by half-timbered houses to stumbling upon a gothic cathedral that seems to touch the sky. It’s like stepping into a fairy tale, but better—because the wine is real, and oh-so-divine.

Strasbourg isn’t just a city; it’s an experience that begins the moment you set foot on its ancient soil. From the iconic Strasbourg Cathedral to the picturesque Petite France, every corner is a postcard waiting to happen. And let’s not forget the culinary scene. If your taste buds had a bucket list, Alsatian cuisine would be at the top. Flammekueche, anyone?

But wait, there’s more. Strasbourg is also the beating heart of European politics, home to institutions like the European Parliament. So, whether you’re a history enthusiast, a foodie, or someone who simply enjoys the finer things in life, Strasbourg has something for you.

Ready to explore? Buckle up, because we’re about to embark on an unforgettable journey through one of France’s most captivating places. Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in Strasbourg.

The top places to visit in Strasbourg, France right now
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Best Places to Visit in Strasbourg

Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do in Strasbourg? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this enchanting vacation spot. So keep reading to discover all these unique Strasbourg places to visit.

Are you looking to explore historic districts? Or would you prefer to visit an iconic cathedral and take a scenic boat ride to appreciate the city’s architectural beauty? Whatever you’re planning, these must-sees in Strasbourg can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in Strasbourg that you should know about.

1. Strasbourg Cathedral

Ah, the Strasbourg Cathedral, an awe-inspiring structure that dominates the city’s skyline. This isn’t just a church; it’s a Gothic masterpiece that has stood the test of time, weathering wars and revolutions to remain one of the most visited cathedrals in the world. If you’re wondering about the best things to do in Strasbourg, this is your starting point.

Step inside, and you’ll be greeted by intricate stained glass windows that tell stories of saints and sinners. The astronomical clock is another marvel, a 16th-century wonder that still functions today. It’s a spectacle that draws crowds, especially when the clock strikes 12:30 PM, and the apostles make their daily procession.

What’s the real treat? Climbing the 332 steps to the top of the cathedral. The view from here is nothing short of breathtaking. You’ll see Strasbourg sprawled out beneath you, a patchwork of history and modernity. It’s one of those unique places in Strasbourg that offers a different perspective, literally and metaphorically.

The Strasbourg Cathedral is a must-have in your Strasbourg places to visit. It’s not just a building; it’s a symbol of the city’s resilience and artistic prowess.

Visiting Strasbourg Cathedral is one of the best things to do in Strasbourg, France.
Strasbourg Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece that has withstood the test of time and remains one of the world’s most visited cathedrals.

2. Petite France

Petite France, the heart and soul of Strasbourg! Imagine cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, and canals that look like they’ve been lifted straight out of a storybook. If you’re compiling a list of best places to go in Strasbourg, this charming district should be at the top.

As you wander through the narrow lanes, you’ll stumble upon quaint shops selling everything from handmade soaps to Alsatian wines. Don’t miss the chance to dine at one of the local restaurants, where you’ll get to savor traditional dishes like tarte flambée. It’s culinary heaven!

But what really sets Petite France apart are the stunning views of the covered bridges and the Vauban Dam. These are not just historical landmarks; they’re picture-perfect spots that beg to be captured on camera. So, go ahead, snap away!

Petite France is one of those Strasbourg attractions that you can’t afford to miss. Whether you’re into photography, history, or just want to soak in the atmosphere, this district offers a slice of Strasbourg that’s as authentic as it gets.

Petite France, a picturesque district known for its cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, and scenic canals, is a top must-see in the city.
Petite France, a picturesque district known for its cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, and scenic canals, is a top must-see in the city.

3. Parc de l’Orangerie

Ah, the great outdoors! Parc de l’Orangerie is where locals and tourists alike flock for a slice of serenity in the bustling city. If you’re wondering about leaving the urban hustle, this is your sanctuary.

The park is a living tapestry of lush green lawns, ornamental lakes, and a mini-zoo that’s perfect for family outings. Picture yourself enjoying a leisurely picnic under the shade of century-old trees. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?

But wait, there’s more! The park is also home to the Buerehiesel restaurant, a Michelin-starred gem tucked away amidst the foliage. If you’re a foodie, this is an essential place to visit. The culinary delights here are as enchanting as the surroundings.

If you’re into jogging, paddle boating, or simply people-watching, Parc de l’Orangerie offers a plethora of activities to keep you engaged.

So, if you’re making a list of the unique things to do in Strasbourg, don’t forget to pencil in some time for this verdant oasis. Trust us; your Instagram will thank you!

Parc de l'Orangerie, a serene oasis offering a peaceful escape from the city's hustle and bustle.
Parc de l’Orangerie in Strasbourg, France, is a serene oasis offering a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

4. Alsatian Museum

When it comes to delving into Strasbourg’s rich culture, the Alsatian Museum stands as an exceptional attraction, offering a veritable treasure trove to explore. Housed in a series of 16th and 17th-century homes, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the region’s history and traditions.

Ever wondered a must-see in Strasbourg when you’re keen on understanding its roots? This museum is your answer. With its extensive collection of artifacts, from traditional costumes to antique furniture, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

The museum also hosts interactive exhibits and workshops for families. Kids can try their hands at traditional crafts, while adults can delve into the intricacies of Alsatian wine-making.

And let’s not forget the museum’s courtyard, a charming space that often hosts live performances and seasonal events. It’s one of those best places in Strasbourg where culture comes alive, quite literally!

The Alsatian Museum is a captivating journey into the region's history and traditions, housed in charming 16th and 17th-century homes. | Source: https://www.visit.alsace/en/
The Alsatian Museum is a captivating journey into the region’s history and traditions, housed in charming 16th and 17th-century homes. | Source: https://www.visit.alsace/en/

5. Strasbourg Astronomical Clock

Are you on the hunt for coolest things to do in Strasbourg? Look no further than the Strasbourg Astronomical Clock. Perched within the walls of the St. Thomas Church, this clock is a masterpiece of engineering and artistry.

What sets this clock apart? Well, it’s not just a timekeeping device; it’s a celestial wonder. The clock showcases the positions of the sun, moon, and even some planets! It’s an astronomical marvel that has fascinated visitors for centuries.

Now, you might be thinking, “What to do in Strasbourg that involves a clock?” Trust me, this is no ordinary timepiece. Every day at solar noon, the clock puts on a show, complete with animated figures and chimes that echo through the church.

And if you’re a fan of intricate craftsmanship, you’ll be blown away by the detailed woodwork and engravings that adorn the clock. It’s a testament to the skill and ingenuity of the artisans who created it. Is this among the top things to do in Strasbourg? Absolutely!

The Strasbourg Astronomical Clock in St. Thomas Church is a masterpiece of engineering and artistry.
The Strasbourg Astronomical Clock in St. Thomas Church is a masterpiece of engineering and artistry.

6. The Covered Bridges of Strasbourg

The Covered Bridges of Strasbourg is a trio of ancient wooden bridges that once served as part of the city’s defense system. If you’re wondering where to visit in Strasbourg for a blend of history and scenic beauty, this is your spot.

These bridges, despite their name, are no longer covered but remain an iconic part of the city’s landscape. They’re situated in the historic district of Petite France, offering a picturesque backdrop for your travel photos. It’s one of those Strasbourg attractions that combine the old-world charm with natural beauty.

The bridges overlook a series of defensive towers, adding an extra layer of historical intrigue. These towers, known as the Ponts Couverts, are a testament to Strasbourg’s strategic importance in the past.

What makes this one of the coolest activities in Strasbourg is the opportunity to take a boat tour that passes under these bridges. As you glide along the Ill River, you’ll gain a distinctive perspective on these architectural gems and their role in the city’s history.

Crafting your Strasbourg bucket list? The Covered Bridges should definitely make the cut. It’s a serene yet historically rich spot that offers something for everyone.

Exploring The Covered Bridges is one of the best things to do in Strasbourg, France.
The Covered Bridges offer a blend of history and scenic beauty worth exploring.

7. Strasbourg Opera House

For those with a penchant for the arts, a visit to the Strasbourg Opera House is among the Strasbourg things to do you don’t wanna miss. This grand edifice is more than just a venue; it’s a testament to Strasbourg’s rich cultural tapestry. If you’re searching for unique places in Strasbourg that offer a blend of history and entertainment, look no further.

Built in the 19th century, the Opera House boasts a Neo-Renaissance architectural style that’s a feast for the eyes. But it’s not just the exterior that will leave you spellbound. Step inside, and you’re greeted by opulent interiors that scream elegance.

Now, let’s talk about performances. From classic operas to contemporary ballets, the lineup here is as diverse as it gets. And let’s not forget the acoustics—simply divine!

What makes this house special is its commitment to artistic excellence. Whether you’re an opera aficionado or a newbie looking to dip your toes into the world of classical performances, the Strasbourg Opera House offers an experience that’s both enriching and enthralling.

If your Strasbourg itinerary is still open for some high culture, make sure to pencil in a night at the opera. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

The Strasbourg Opera House is a must-visit for arts enthusiasts, offering a blend of history and entertainment.
The Strasbourg Opera House is a must-visit for arts enthusiasts, offering a blend of history and entertainment.

8. Strasbourg Botanical Gardens

Yearning for a slice of nature amid the urban landscape? The Strasbourg Botanical Gardens are your go-to sanctuary. Situated in the University of Strasbourg campus, this lush expanse is among the cool destinations in Strasbourg for nature lovers and casual strollers alike.

Established in the 17th century, the gardens are home to over 6,000 species of plants and trees. From exotic orchids to towering redwoods, the variety is staggering. It’s a living, breathing encyclopedia of flora that offers a peaceful respite from the city’s hustle and bustle.

But it’s not just about the plants. The gardens also feature a small lake, complete with adorable ducks and swans. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic paddleboat ride or a leisurely picnic. And if you’re into photography, the opportunities for capturing the perfect shot are endless.

If you’re wondering where to visit in Strasbourg for a tranquil yet engaging experience, the Strasbourg Botanical Gardens should be high on your list. Whether you’re a botany enthusiast or simply someone looking to escape the urban jungle, this verdant oasis offers a refreshing change of pace.

The Strasbourg Botanical Gardens offer a natural sanctuary in the heart of the city.
The Strasbourg Botanical Gardens offer a natural sanctuary in the heart of the city.

9. Strasbourg Wine Tours

Known for its delectable wines, it’s no surprise that one of the best places to go in Strasbourg involves sipping on some local vino. Strasbourg Wine Tours offer an immersive experience into the world of Alsatian wines, right from the vineyard to the glass.

You’ll be whisked away to scenic vineyards where you’ll meet local winemakers passionate about their craft. They’ll walk you through the entire winemaking process, from grape selection to fermentation. It’s not just a tour; it’s an education in the art of winemaking.

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And then comes the most exciting part: the tasting. Sample a variety of wines, each with its distinct flavor profile. From crisp Rieslings to robust reds, your palate is in for a treat. Don’t forget to pair your wines with some local cheese or charcuterie for the ultimate gastronomic experience.

Are you a wine enthusiast or simply someone who enjoys the finer things in life? This is one of the best things to do in Strasbourg. It’s a celebration of Alsatian culture and a testament to the region’s rich viticultural history.

Explore vineyards, meet passionate winemakers, and learn the art of winemaking.
Explore vineyards, meet passionate winemakers, and learn the art of winemaking.

10. Strasbourg River Cruise

Thinking about Strasbourg things to do that combine relaxation, sightseeing, and a dash of romance? Consider the Strasbourg River Cruise. These cruises offer a unique perspective of the city, allowing you to see iconic landmarks from the water.

As you glide along the Ill River, you’ll pass by stunning architecture, historic sites, and picturesque neighborhoods. The onboard guide will share fascinating tidbits about Strasbourg’s history, making it an educational yet leisurely experience. It’s a perfect way to see the city, especially if you’re short on time or want to give your feet a rest.

The evening cruises are particularly enchanting. As the sun sets, the city lights up, creating a magical atmosphere that’s perfect for a romantic date or a serene solo journey. You’ll find yourself captivated by the reflections of the city lights on the water, making it one of the coolest activities in Strasbourg.

A river cruise in Strasbourg is an experience you won’t want to miss. More than just a boat ride, it’s a journey through the heart of a city steeped in history and culture.

Experience enchanting evening cruises as the city lights up, creating a magical atmosphere perfect for romance or solitude.
Experience enchanting evening cruises as the city lights up, creating a magical atmosphere perfect for romance or solitude.

11. Strasbourg Public Library

For those who find solace in the written word, the Strasbourg Public Library is a must-see in Strasbourg, France. This isn’t your average library; it’s a sanctuary for book lovers, researchers, and anyone who appreciates a quiet space to think or read.

Housed in a stunning modern building, the library offers a vast collection of books, manuscripts, and digital resources. Whether you’re into classic literature, contemporary fiction, or academic journals, you’ll find something to pique your interest. The architecture itself is a marvel, with expansive glass windows that flood the space with natural light.

What sets this library apart is its commitment to community engagement. Regular events, workshops, and exhibitions make it a dynamic space that goes beyond just books. It’s one of those best places in Strasbourg where you can lose yourself in a novel one minute and engage in a stimulating discussion the next.

So, if you’re a bibliophile looking for Strasbourg attractions that offer more than just sightseeing, make sure to add the Strasbourg Public Library to your itinerary. It’s not just a place to read; it’s a hub for intellectual exploration and cultural enrichment.

Explore the Strasbourg Public Library, a sanctuary for book lovers, researchers, and anyone seeking a quiet space to think or read.
Explore the Strasbourg Public Library, a sanctuary for book lovers, researchers, and anyone seeking a quiet space to think or read.

12. Strasbourg Zoological Museum

Curious about where to go in Strasbourg if you’re in the mood for an educational adventure? The Strasbourg Zoological Museum is one for the books that you shouldn’t miss. Located in the heart of the city, this museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the animal kingdom, from the tiniest insects to the most majestic mammals.

The museum’s exhibits are both educational and interactive, making it a perfect destination for families or anyone keen to learn about biodiversity. You’ll find a range of displays, including taxidermied animals, skeletal structures, and even some live specimens! The museum also delves into the importance of conservation, providing valuable insights into the challenges faced by various species.

Thinking about what to do in Strasbourg when you’ve seen all the historical sites? Well, this museum offers a refreshing change of pace. It’s not just an exhibit; it’s an experience that invites you to ponder the intricacies of life on Earth.

Looking for unique things to do in Strasbourg that combine education with entertainment? Make sure the Strasbourg Zoological Museum is on your list. It’s a place where you can marvel at the wonders of nature while gaining a deeper understanding of the world around us.

Exploring Strasbourg Zoological Museum is one of the best things to do in Strasbourg, France.
Explore the Strasbourg Zoological Museum for a captivating journey into the animal kingdom, from tiny insects to majestic mammals. | Source: https://www.visit.alsace/en/

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Strasbourg

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Strasbourg, France? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Strasbourg:

Is Strasbourg worth visiting?

Absolutely! Strasbourg is a city that effortlessly blends history, culture, and modernity. From its stunning architecture to its vibrant food scene, there’s something for everyone. It’s a must-see in Strasbourg and beyond!

How many days do you need in Strasbourg?

A stay of 2 to 3 days in Strasbourg is ideal to explore its main attractions, including its historic districts, the Strasbourg Cathedral, and a relaxing river cruise. This duration allows for a well-rounded experience, but longer visits offer the opportunity to delve deeper into the city’s culture and cuisine.

What is Strasbourg famous for?

Strasbourg is famous for several reasons, including its stunning Gothic cathedral, Strasbourg Cathedral, its picturesque canals in the La Petite France district, its status as the official seat of the European Parliament, and its renowned Christmas markets, which are some of the oldest and most charming in Europe.

La Petite France District: Quaint streets and historic charm in Strasbourg, France.
La Petite France District: Quaint streets and historic charm in Strasbourg, France.

Is visiting Strasbourg expensive?

Visiting Strasbourg can vary in cost depending on your preferences. Accommodation, dining, and activities can range from budget-friendly options to high-end experiences. Generally, it’s possible to enjoy Strasbourg on different budgets, with plenty of affordable and delicious dining options available, especially in local markets and bakeries.

What’s the best time to visit Strasbourg?

The best time to visit Strasbourg largely depends on your interests. Spring (April to June) and early autumn (September to October) offer pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and vibrant outdoor scenes. The Strasbourg Christmas Market in December is famous, while summer (July and August) attracts more tourists with warm weather.

What is the prettiest part of Strasbourg?

The prettiest part of Strasbourg has to be Petite France, a historic area brimming with half-timbered houses, quaint canals, and cobblestone streets. It’s like stepping into a fairy tale, complete with picturesque bridges and flower-lined balconies. A must-see in Strasbourg for anyone seeking charm and romance.

What is Strasbourg best known for?

Strasbourg, the capital of the Alsace region in northeastern France, is a city steeped in history and rich in culture. Here’s what Strasbourg is best known for:

  1. Strasbourg Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg): A stunning example of Gothic architecture, this cathedral boasts an impressive astronomical clock and offers panoramic views of the city from its platform.
  2. La Petite France: A picturesque and historic quarter with half-timbered houses, canals, and cobblestone streets. It’s the most iconic part of Strasbourg’s old town.
  3. European Institutions: Strasbourg is home to several important European institutions, including the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and the European Court of Human Rights.
  4. Alsatian Cuisine: Strasbourg is renowned for its traditional dishes such as choucroute garnie (sauerkraut with various meats), tarte flambée, and kugelhopf.
  5. Christmas Market: One of the oldest and most famous Christmas markets in Europe, Strasbourg’s Christkindelsmärik attracts visitors worldwide.
  6. Covered Bridges and Vauban Dam: Historic defensive structures that once protected the city.
  7. Alsatian Wine: Located near the Alsace Wine Route, Strasbourg is known for its local wines, particularly Gewürztraminer and Riesling.
  8. Museums: The city boasts several museums, including the Alsatian Museum (Musée Alsacien) and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.
  9. Strasbourg University: One of the oldest universities in France, founded in the 16th century.

Is two days enough to visit Strasbourg?

Two days in Strasbourg can give you a good taste of the city’s highlights, from the awe-inspiring Strasbourg Cathedral to the fairy-tale charm of Petite France. However, if you want to fully immerse yourself in Alsatian culture, explore museums, and take day trips, you might crave a longer stay.

Concluding Thoughts on Exploring Strasbourg

And there you have it, folks! A comprehensive guide to the best places to go in Strasbourg, tailored to give you an experience that’s as unique as the city itself. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or someone who simply loves to explore, Strasbourg has something to offer. From its cobblestone streets filled with history to its modern-day marvels, this city is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. So pack your bags, book that ticket, and get ready to explore one of Europe’s most enchanting cities. Trust us, it’s a trip you won’t regret!

The top things to do in Strasbourg, France for all types of travelers
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