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Things to do in Strasbourg

Things to do in  Strasbourg

Welcome to Strasbourg

The fairy-tale city of Strasbourg entices visitors with its Gothic cathedral and meandering streets. Situated on the border between France and Germany, 305 miles (491 kilometers) east of Paris, Strasbourg delights with traditional Alsatian timber-framed buildings that jostle for space along the banks of the River Ill and medieval lanes that run through the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Old Town. Travel with a private or small-group guided tour to take in the city’s sights: Book a walking tour to top attractions such as the Strasbourg Cathedral de Notre-Dame (Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg), widely considered a Gothic masterpiece, as well as the baroque Palais Rohan built between 1732 and 1742. Stroll along La Petite France’s cobbled lanes, and discover the Vauban Dam (Barrage Vauban). Or join a bike or pedicab tour to pedal around the covered bridges or admire the modern buildings of European Parliament. At Christmastime, the historic town squares light up with festive Christmas markets, delighting visitors with the scent of mulled wine. Day trips beyond the city lead you to rolling hillsides lined with vineyards. Take a wine tour along the Alsace Wine Route to sample gewürztraminer and riesling wines, and discover pretty villages like Mittelbergheim and historic Riquewihr. Or schedule a day trip to Baden-Baden, the pink sandstone High Koenigsbourg Castle, the medieval village Eguisheim, or the Black Forest, where centuries of Alsatian history come to life.

Top 15 attractions in Strasbourg

La Petite France

With its lattice of canals and half-timbered townhouses, La Petite France on Grande Île is one of Strasbourg’s most picturesque areas and is an integral part of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage site. At the mouth of the River Ill, the historic district is the city’s oldest area, dating back to the 16th-century when it was inhabited by fishermen, tanners, and millers.More

Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg

Perched high in the Vosges Mountains, overlooking the Alsatian plains, the striking pink sandstone towers of the Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg are an unmissable sight. Built in the 12th century and extensively renovated in the 19th century, the fairy-tale fortress is a popular attraction along the Alsace Wine Route.More

Strasbourg Cathedral of Notre Dame (Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg)

The Strasbourg Cathedral of Notre Dame (also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, or simply, Strasbourg Cathedral) is the second most-visited cathedral in France, after Notre Dame in Paris. Up to 4 million people visit each year to admire its 465-foot (142-meter) spire and dramatic red facade sculpted from Vosges sandstone.More

Christmas Market (Christkindelsmärik)

Among Europe’s most popular Christmas markets, Strasbourg’s annual Christkindelsmärik sees the city transform into a whirlwind of festivity. More than 2 million yearly visitors flock to the seasonal market, which includes craft and gift stalls andvin chaud (mulled wine) vendors, as well as an ice rink and carolers.More

Orangerie Park (Parc de l'Orangerie)

Covering 64 acres (26 hectares in central Strasbourg, the Orangerie Park (Parc de l’Orangerie is the city’s oldest and biggest public park. Dating from the 18th century—and some claim—planted in 1804 to the plans of Versailles’ garden landscaper, André Le Nôtre, it offers flower-lined lawns, a lake, pavilion, stork sanctuary, and family attractions.More

Rohan Palace (Palais Rohan)

Built for then-Bishop оf Strasbourg, Cardinal Armand Gaston Maximilien de Rohan, 18th-century Palais Rohan has hosted an impressive guest list throughout its history—Louis XV, Marie Antoinette, Napoléon Bonaparte, and Charles X. Now, the riverfront landmark on Grande Île plays host to three important cultural institutions: Musée des Beaux-Arts,xa0 Musée Archéologique, and Musée des Arts Décoratifs.More

Place Gutenberg

Named after one-time Strasbourg resident Johannes Gutenberg, who famously invented the movable-type printing press in 1439, Place Gutenberg remains an important commercial and navigational center of Strasbourg’s Old Town, strategically located close to the landmark Cathedral of Notre Dame. Today the square is best known as a meeting place, lined with cafes and restaurants, but a statue of the square’s namesake still takes prize place at its heart—designed by David d'Angers in 1840.With many of its half-timbered buildings dating back to medieval times, Gutenberg Square is also celebrated for its striking architecture, most notably the Renaissance-style Chambre de Commerce (Chamber of Commerce) and the 16th-century Hotel de Commerce, from where writer Arthur Young watched the destruction of the magistrates' records during the Revolution. Place Gutenberg is also the center of many of the city’s seasonal festivities and events, hosting games and fetes during the summer months, a Christmas market and carousel over yuletide and a number of flea markets and book fairs throughout the year.More

Strasbourg Covered Bridges (Ponts Couverts)

A trio of bridges arching over the canal ways of the River Ill, the Strasbourg Covered Bridges (Ponts Couverts) are an iconic symbol of the city, marking the gateway to its central Grande Ile. Somewhat confusingly named, since none of the three bridges remain covered, the bridges once formed an important part of the city’s medieval fortifications and featured wooden canopies from where soldiers could protect the dam below.Today the bridges are a lasting vestige of medieval Strasbourg, and while their ramparts were destroyed back in the 18th century, the remains of the 14th-century square towers that once linked the bridges together still stand. The historic bridges are best viewed from the grass-topped terrace of the nearby Vauban Dam (Barrage Vauban), which offers panoramic views of the surrounding La Petite France district, or on a boat cruise around the city’s canal ways, passing beneath the arches of the fabled bridges.More

Vauban Dam (Barrage Vauban)

One of Strasbourg’s key historical landmarks, the Vauban Dam (known locally as the Barrage Vauban was built in 1686. Designed by military engineer Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, the covered bridge crosses the River Ill and also functions as a defensive fortification. It now houses a gallery and its rooftop is accessible to visitors.More

Kamerzell House (Maison Kammerzell)

One of Strasbourg’s most photographed buildings, Maison Kammerzell stands out for its unique architecture. Dating back to 1467 and largely rebuilt in the 16th century, the historic residence now houses a popular restaurant serving traditional Alsatian cuisine, along with a hotel.More

St. Thomas Church (Eglise St. Thomas)

Amid Strasbourg’s artful jumble of historic buildings, St. Thomas Church (Eglise St. Thomas stands out for its red brick façade and mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Dating back to the 12th century, the protestant church is one of the many highlights of Strasbourg’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Grand Île.More

Alsatian Museum (Musée Alsacien)

Set up in 1907 to preserve the region’s unique cultural heritage, Strasbourg’s Alsatian Museum (Musée Alsacien) is a fascinating tribute to Alsatian folk arts and traditions, displaying more than 5,000 items dating mostly between the 14th and 19th centuries. Housed in a trio of 16th- and 17th-century timber-framed mansions, the museum comprises a warren of rooms, each one providing a snapshot of traditional Alsatian life.Exploring the museum takes visitors on a journey through the region’s cultural history, from the rural farms and vineyards of the Vosges valleys to the homes and craftsmen’s workshops of medieval Strasbourg and Colmar. Period furniture and clothing, ceramics, toys and household items make up the bulk of the collection, but there are also exhibits devoted to wine production, carpentry, rope-making, art and handicrafts.More
Tanners House (Maison des Tanneurs)

Tanners House (Maison des Tanneurs)

At the heart of Strasbourg’s La Petite France district, tucked amid the half-timbered houses and snaking canals of the historic neighborhood, the Tanners House, or Maison des Tanneurs, is one of the area’s most famous landmarks. A lasting vestige of the old tanners district, the former tannery was built in 1572 and is known for its timbered galleries and slanted roofs, where dyed hides were once draped to dry in the sun.Transformed into a restaurant in 1949, the Tanners House is now home to La Maison de la Choucroute, which serves up traditional Alsatian cuisine in authentic surroundings, with the original 16th-century beams complemented by antique furnishings and window boxes overflowing with geraniums. For the most atmospheric spot, book a table on the open-air terrace, from where the views stretch along the riverfront.More
Fort of Mutzig (Feste Kaiser Wilhelm II)

Fort of Mutzig (Feste Kaiser Wilhelm II)

Fort de Mutzig was built by Germany in the late 1800s to defend Strasbourg and Metz during the Franco-Prussian War. It is comprised of a number of dispersed units that are connected by tunnels, which provided shelter and also allowed for the dispersal of artillery—a design that later influenced the layout of the Maginot Line.More
Grande Île

Grande Île

Encircled by the River Ill and the Canal du Faux Rempart, the Grande Île or “Big Island,” is the UNESCO–listed historic center of Strasbourg and home to the majority of the city’s top attractions. The islet serves as the prime focus of sightseeing tours and hosts the city’s world-famous Christmas market during the festive season.More

Trip ideas

Alsace Wine Route Tours from Strasbourg

Alsace Wine Route Tours from Strasbourg

How to Spend 2 Days in Strasbourg

How to Spend 2 Days in Strasbourg

Top activities in Strasbourg

Alsace Colmar, Medieval Villages & Castle Small Group Day Trip from Strasbourg
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Alsace Tour : Wine Tasting, Villages & Castle Visits with friendly Tesla driver
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Alsace Tour : Wine Tasting, Villages & Castle Visits with friendly Tesla driver

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Day trip: Colmar, Haut-Koenigsbourg, Riquewihr and Kaysersberg
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Alsace Villages & Wine Tasting Private Day Trip from Strasbourg
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Alsace Local Villages Small Group Guided Tour from Strasbourg
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Medieval Villages and Wine Tasting from Strasbourg
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People Also Ask

How do I spend a day in Strasbourg?

Strasbourg’s compact center makes it easy to explore in one day. A walking tour of the Grand Île will cover all the top attractions—stroll the cobbled lanes of the La Petite France quarter, admire the Covered Bridges and Strasbourg Cathedral, then take a boat cruise along the canals.

What is the city of Strasbourg famous for?

Strasbourg is famous for hosting France’s largest and most popular Christmas Market, which draws around 2 million holiday visitors. The Alsace capital is also renowned for the picturesque architecture of its UNESCO-listed Grande Île, its unique Alsatian cuisine and wines, and as the official seat of the European Parliament.

Why do people visit Strasbourg?

Strasbourg is renowned for its annual Christmas market, which draws more than 2 million visitors to the city. Travelers also come to Strasbourg to stroll its UNESCO-listed Grand Île (Big Island), admire its half-timbered buildings and magnificent cathedral, and enjoy wine tasting in the Alsace wine region.

What do people in Strasbourg eat?

Strasbourg is known for its Alsatian cuisine, which is infused with French and German flavors. Regional specialties include choucroute (sauerkraut with sausage), flammekueche (pizza-like flatbread), baeckeoffe (meat casserole), and coq au riesling (the Alsace-version of French dish coq au vin). Pair it with an Alsace white wine or local beer.

Is Strasbourg touristy?

Yes, Strasbourg is ranked the seventh most visited city in France for tourists, especially over the holidays. Top sights like Strasbourg Cathedral and La Petite France can get busy, but it’s easy to escape the crowds outside the Grande Ile.

Do they speak German in Strasbourg?

Yes, you will find many people speak German in Strasbourg. The official language in Strasbourg is French, but the city’s close proximity to the German border and the multicultural heritage of the Alsace region mean that many languages are spoken. Expect to hear French, English, German, and even Swiss French.


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