Lovers of nature are happy in Strasbourg. The city offers many places to relax, to jog, to picnic or to take kids to see animals. I share with you my 10 favorite parks.
The Parc de l'Orangerie, the favorite park of Strasbourg's citizens
Built in the 17th century, the Parc de l'Orangerie is the oldest park in Strasbourg. It is also the favorite of the citizens of Strasbourg. The reasons? They are multiple. The Orangery is a place for walking and jogging with its large paths, its French gardens and its large piece of water on which you can go boating. We like to sit on a bench or in the grass to read, play music or have a picnic.
My daughters especially love the playgrounds and the driving school, a circuit of old cars. They also like to watch storks flying over the park with their characteristic creaking sounds.
The botanical garden of Strasbourg, as a tropical air
In the heart of the university district, the botanical garden is one of those places that are a little hidden and yet very surprising in Strasbourg. Here, you can discover more than 6,000 species of plants.
I particularly like to go to the tropical greenhouse in winter where the air is warm (25°C minimum) and humid all year long. There are palms, banana trees, carnivorous plants and my favorite: the mimosa with sensitive leaves.
The Parc du Pourtalès, a place of European diplomacy
Located in the north-east of Strasbourg, the Parc du Pourtalès is a green setting on the edge of the Robertsau forest. It is especially known for its castle where many European personalities such as the imperial couple Napoleon III and Eugenie, King Louis II of Bavaria, Emperor William II of Prussia, Franz Liszt and Albert Schweitzer have passed through. The owner of the house, Melanie de Pourtalès, was indeed one of the most influential people in European diplomacy at the end of the 19th century.
Today, the citizens of Strasbourg appreciate this discreet park with its vast green spaces and its strange sculptures: trees with ears, a rabbit, a genius of the place or an orange pipe... Works realized with the European Center of Contemporary Artistic Actions (CEAAC).
The Jardin des Deux-Rives, between France and Germany borders
In the European capital, what better symbol than a park located in both Germany and France? The Jardin des Deux-Rives runs along the Rhine on both sides of the border, offering large lawns, wide paths and playgrounds. The two banks are connected by the beautiful Mimram Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge for cyclists and pedestrians.
I particularly enjoy playing leapfrog on the border, falling back into childhood in the theme gardens, and getting some height on the Weisstannenturm.
In summer, children will enjoy the water games on the German side, while parents will enjoy the Rheinschneck, a pleasant biergarten on the waterfront.
Parc Friedel, to see animals in freedom
Located in Illkirch-Graffenstaden, in the south of the Eurometropole of Strasbourg, the Parc Friedel is the ideal place to go and see animals. This animal park allows you to walk in the middle of domestic animals such as goats, sheep, donkeys or ducks. Moreover, it is free!
Children will also appreciate the huge playground at the entrance of the animal park.
Fort Kléber, between history and animals
Former Prussian military fort, the Fort Kléber in Wolfisheim (west of Strasbourg) has been transformed into a pleasant natural park with games, an educational farm and cultural activities. Children especially enjoy discovering domestic animals like chickens, sheep, peacocks, rabbits and even Coco, a Vietnamese pig. Every summer, the park hosts a high quality jazz festival: the Wolfijazz.
The Parc de la Citadelle, from Vauban to slides
The Parc de la Citadelle is the place to be for the inhabitants of the Esplanade and the Neudorf district. Built on the remains of a Vauban fortress used to protect the entrance to Strasbourg, the park now offers many green spaces to relax and play areas that delight children.
In the summer, my daughters particularly enjoy the water games, the walking library and the ice cream truck. I have to admit that I do too.
The garden of scents and touch
Located in the parc du Bartischgut in Meinau district, this small garden has been specially designed for the blind and visually impaired. Here, the senses of touch and smell are used to discover the plants whose names are translated into Braille on the signposts. A great discovery to make with children.
The Parc du Contades
Created in 1764 on the initiative of the Maréchal de Contades, commander of the province of Alsace, this small park was quickly appreciated by the good society of Strasbourg. Today, with its playgrounds in the middle of the city, it is a delight for families on weekends. In summer, with Kiosque en musique, the park hosts many concerts on the stage of its pretty cast iron kiosk. There is something for (almost) every taste and age.
The Jardin d'Apollonia, the artistic and participative garden
At the entrance of the Robertsau, a funny wooden structure made of recycled materials springs up from the ground and runs into a pretty flowery garden. We're at Apollonia, an association that intends to share the most atypical, emerging and innovative artistic creations from all over Europe through an exhibition hall, installations in the city and this famous participative garden, open to all.