Enjoy Strasbourg

Best 15+ Things to Do and See in Strasbourg, France

Are you planning to visit Strasbourg for a weekend or for vacations? Welcome! Here are 15 things that I think are must-to-see during your stay.

Riding a bike

Strasbourg is THE French capital of cycling, with 560 kms of bike paths! It is an excellent way to enjoy the city at your own pace.

There are many ways to rent a bike in Strasbourg! You can choose between children's bikes, tandem bikes, electric bikes and cargo bikes. Strasbourg has many parking lots where you can safely hang your bike up.

Bikes in Strasbourg

Seeing the Covered Bridges and the Barrage Vauban

This is a very good base to start your visit of Strasbourg. Especially if you come by train and just picked up a Vélhop at the station. The Covered Bridges (Ponts Couverts) were originally built over the Ill River to protect the city from attacks from the South of Strasbourg. You'll see the House of Covered Bridges. It's obviously a must-see photo to do in Strasbourg.

Then the techniques of combat having evolved, the Ponts Couverts were not enough and the Barrage Vauban (a dam) was then built. You can go inside, there are often free exhibitions. There is also a very nice panoramic terrace above. You will then have a magnificent view on the big island and the Cathedral of Strasbourg.

View on the Covered Bridges in Strasbourg
View on the Covered Bridges in Strasbourg

Visiting the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Strasbourg

Finally, go to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Strasbourg. It covers the period from 1870 to today with works by Monet, Renoir, Pissarro or Gauguin. There is also an important collection of the Strasbourg painter Jean Arp. You can see the Fibonacci sequence in blue neon lights at the top of the façade.

Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Strasbourg (MAMCS)

Taking a walk in La Petite France

Once past the Ponts Couverts, you enter La Petite France quarter, which represents THE postcard of Strasbourg. This picturesque district of the Grand Ile is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You will find there half-timbered houses including the Maison des Tanneurs (probably one of the most photographed monuments in Strasbourg), restaurants, canals and a swing bridge. There is also the unmissable and impressive plane tree of the Quai de Turckheim planted in 1667.

La Petite France in Strasbourg

Eating an ice cream

You can now walk up the main street (Langstross Grand'Rue) towards the Cathedral of Strasbourg. After crossing the tramway, go into the rue Gutenberg and turn left at the next street. You will arrive at Toscani, my favorite ice cream shop in Strasbourg. It offers delicious homemade ice cream at reasonable prices.

The other great ice cream shop in Strasbourg is Franchi in the rue des Francs-Bourgeois (opposite the Vox cinema). You may have to wait a little before being served. Note that you can find Franchi's artisanal ice creams at Les Affranchis in the Rivétoile shopping center.

Going to Place Gutenberg

Once you have well eaten, go to Place Gutenberg.

It was named in honor of Gutenberg who invented printing during his stay in Strasbourg between 1434 and 1444. There's a statue that pays tribute to him. Gutenberg is represented holding a parchment in his hands where it is written: "And the light was". The square is bordered by the former City Hall, now the Chambre du Commerce et de l'Industrie (CCI).

Place Gutenberg with a merry-go-round and a statue

Visiting the Cathedral of Strasbourg

The Notre-Dame Cathedral is truly the symbol of Strasbourg with its pink Vosges sandstone and its unique bell tower.

You should take the opportunity to admire the Kammerzell house, the oldest in Strasbourg. It is today a famous restaurant known for its fish sauerkraut.

Maison Kammerzell at the bottom of the cathedral of Strasbourg
Maison Kammerzell at the bottom of the cathedral of Strasbourg

There are so many things to say and to see about the Cathedral... It is in any case a must for its engravings, its astronomical clock and its platform which offers you a panoramic view of Strasbourg. The cathedral can be visited very well with children.

View on the European district in Strasbourg from the Cathedral
View on the European district in Strasbourg from the Cathedral

The Cathedral's also a nice place to see in Strasbourg during the nightlife.

Taking a boat trip

You can find the Batorama pier near the Cathedral of Strasbourg. The boat trip is really worth it. It will offer you a condensed view of Strasbourg around the Grande Île - passing by the magnificent Lycée des Pontonniers with its Harry Potter school look - up to the European institutions. An audio-guide, translated in different languages, gives you very instructive comments on the city and its stories.

Enjoying a boat trip is also quite an unusual activity to do in Strasbourg!

The magnificent Lycée des Pontonniers with its Harry Potter school look

Seeing the Place de la République

The Neustadt (or German Quarter or Imperial Quarter) contrasts sharply with the Grande Île. Built from the 1880s until the First World War, it was intended to be a showcase for the German Empire after the annexation of Alsace. It also tripled the area of Strasbourg.

The Place de la République includes the train station, the court, the Parc de l'Orangerie and the Avenue de la Forêt Noire. I find it the most symbolic. It's even more charming at springtime when its magnolias are in bloom.

Blooming magnolias in Strasbourg with the cathedral in the background

The Place de la République is surrounded by remarkable neo-renaissance and neo-classical buildings such as the Palais du Rhin (former imperial palace), the Théâtre National de Strasbourg (former Landtag) and the Bibliothèque Nationale Universitaire (BNU).

Place de la République in Strasbourg, France

Going to the European Parliament and the European quarter

Going up the German quarter along the streetcar line, you arrive at the Wacken and the European Institutions. Like Brussels and Luxembourg, Strasbourg is the European capital and home to the European Parliament. Other European institutions are also located there such as the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights, the Agora or the European Pharmacopoeia. They are all concentrated between the Wacken, the Orangerie quarter and the Robertsau quarter.

European Parliament in Strasbourg...with Batorama!

Visiting the Botanical Garden

On your way back east from Strasbourg, stop by the Botanical Garden. It is the second oldest in France after Montpellier's one. It has a botanical, historical and academic vocation. You can discover particular species or simply walk in the shade of its trees. I particularly like to go to the tropical greenhouse in winter.

Walking in the Parc de l'Orangerie

The Parc de l'Orangerie is one of the most emblematic parks of Strasbourg. You can go there to walk among the flowers, take a ride in a boat or a small car, have a drink or an ice cream, enjoy the children's games or see the animals in the small zoo.

The Orangerie Park

Strolling around the Rivétoile district

Rivétoile is a recent neighborhood built on former port docks. It includes a modern shopping center, housing, the UGC Ciné Cité complex and the Malraux Media Library. It is becoming a dynamic and lively place and mixes modernity and rehabilitation of old port buildings. I find this district inspiring and increasingly more pleasant to live in. It is more alive in the summer with the Docks and Rivétoile Plage: a sandy beach, pedal boats, self-service deckchairs and games for children.

The Rivétoile district in summertime
The Rivétoile district in summertime

Going up the bassin d'Austerlitz, we come across the Vaisseau. It is like the City of Sciences of Strasbourg for children. It has the particularity to be bilingual French-German. My kid loves going there.

Kid having fun at the Vaisseau

Going to Germany by tramway

Strasbourg is a border city with Germany. It is very common for us from Strasbourg to walk or shop in Kehl, Germany.

To get there, take the D tramway line direction Kehl-Rathaus, get out at the last stop, and enjoy your short visit in Germany!

The Tramway from Strasbourg to Kehl

Since you are on the Rhin river, take the opportunity to visit the Jardin des Deux Rives. The park was inaugurated in 2004. It extends on both sides of the French-German border. A bridge - that can be walked on - links the two countries. Take the opportunity to climb the Weißtannenturm and observe Strasbourg, the Rhin river, the Vosges and the Black Forest - at 44 meters high.

Sightseeing in the most colorful street in France

The Rue du Jeu des Enfants is a pedestrian zone. By proposing animations, the inhabitants of Strasbourg wish to revitalize this street of the city center.

Eating good food in a good restaurant

Strasbourg has 904 traditional restaurants, including 6 Michelin starred ones. It's easy to find a place to eat in Strasbourg. The cosmopolitan character of Strasbourg can be found in the plates with Lebanese, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Indian restaurants, ... and of course the unmissable winstub - traditional Alsatian restaurants.

Among my favorite restaurants in Strasbourg, there're Winstubs, but also starred restaurants and even a floating restaurant on a boat!

Floating restaurant on a boat
Floating restaurant on a boat near the Rivétoile shopping center

The best Alsatian restaurants in Strasbourg

In the traditional Alsatian restaurants, I recommend: the Tire Bouchon, the Zehnerglock, the Gurtlerhoft near the Cathedral or the Corde à Linge in Petite France. The Maison Kammerzell is also worth a visit but only during the winter promotions (1 fish sauerkraut offered for 1 purchased).

If you are looking for the traditional Winstub, you will find at the Raven Bridge, next to the Alsatian Museum. You sit at a large table that you share with the other guests. The food is excellent.

If you are looking for a more modern place to eat a good tarte flambée (or flammekueche), I recommend the Méteor brewery or the Brasserie du Tigre which has the particularity of having an inner courtyard particularly pleasant in summer!

Tarte flambee in Alsace
A tarte flambee in Strasbourg - typical Alsatian food

Gluten-free restaurants in Strasbourg

Strasbourg finally has some very good gluten-free addresses. Among them, we have 2 essentials: Pur Etc, Presqu'Île Malraux (Rivétoile quarter) or the Venezolatino, Rue de la 1ère Armée (it has vegan and gluten-free options!). There're also very nice gluten free bakeries in Strasbourg!

Well, are you now ready to visit Strasbourg during your stay ?

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About Thibaut
Strasbourg Website
Strasbourgeois in love with my city, I make you discover my city through my photos and the places I appreciate. Also happy father of 2 little girls.
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