As the capital of France’s Alsace region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to the European Parliament, there’s plenty to see and do in Strasbourg. With two days you can cover a lot, including the city’s historic heart, its top sights, the nearby wine region, and, in December, the legendary Christmas markets. Here’s how.
Start the day with a walking tour of Strasbourg’s historic center, including the atmospheric Petite France quarter. Highlights include the much-photographed Covered Bridges (Ponts Couverts) and Vauban Dam (Barrage Vauban), the beautiful Rohan Palace (Palais Rohan), and the striking 19th-century Maison Kammerzell. For lunch, pick up a slice of tarte flambée (German-style pizza).
Prebook skip-the-line tickets for Strasbourg’s magnificent Cathedral of Notre Dame, timing your visit for 12:30pm to watch the automated display of the Astronomical Clock. The views from the cathedral tower span the whole city, but for a closer look, hop aboard one of the Batorama sightseeing boats for a cruise around the city’s canals.
Continue sightseeing into the evening and experience Strasbourg’s magical illuminations. Take a scenic pedicab ride around the Grande Île, then head to one of the traditional winstubs (pubs) to sample Alsatian cuisine accompanied by regional wines.
The Alsace is one of France’s most unique wine regions, and a half-day tour is a great way to explore the famous Alsace Wine Route. Learn about the winemaking process as you visit two different wineries and sample regional varietals such as gewürztraminer and riesling during guided wine tastings.
Back in Strasbourg, take a bike or Segway tour of the European Quarter, home to the official headquarters of the European parliament. On the way, stop off to admire the German-style architecture of the Neustadt district and spot storks—the symbol of the Alsace—in the Jardin de l’Orangerie park.
If you’re visiting during the festive holiday season, spend the evening hours browsing Strasbourg’s renowned Christmas markets—the largest are on Place Kleber and Place Broglie. Alternatively, the city’s best bars, restaurants, and nightclubs are located around the cathedral.