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Best Things To Do In Strasbourg, France


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Isabel Wray



Welcome to Strasbourg, an enchanting city nestled in the heart of northeastern France. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and unique blend of French and German influences, Strasbourg offers a truly captivating experience for visitors. Known as the capital of the Alsace region, this charming city is famous for its picturesque canals, cobblestone streets, and vibrant cultural scene.


Strasbourg is not only a popular tourist destination, but it also serves as the official seat of the European Parliament, making it a significant political and cultural hub. The city effortlessly combines its medieval heritage with a modern cosmopolitan atmosphere, offering something for everyone who visits.


Steeped in history, Strasbourg boasts an awe-inspiring architectural marvel, the Strasbourg Cathedral. This breathtaking Gothic masterpiece stands as a testament to the city’s past and is an absolute must-visit attraction. As you explore the charming streets of Strasbourg, you will stumble upon the historic Petite France district, complete with its half-timbered houses, narrow canals, and quaint bridges. Taking a boat tour on the Ill River is an excellent way to admire the city’s beauty and get a unique perspective on its enchanting scenery.


Beyond its stunning architecture, Strasbourg offers a wealth of cultural experiences. From exploring the Palais Rohan, a former royal residence turned museum, to immersing yourself in art at the Strasbourg Museum of Fine Arts, there is no shortage of opportunities to engage with the city’s vibrant artistic scene. The Jardin des Deux Rives, a beautiful park that stretches across the border of France and Germany, provides a tranquil escape and stunning views of both countries.


No trip to Strasbourg would be complete without indulging in the flavors of the region. Delight your taste buds with traditional Alsatian cuisine, known for its hearty and flavorsome dishes. From tarte flambée (a thin-crust pizza topped with cream, onions, and bacon) to choucroute garnie (sauerkraut served with various meats), the local culinary delights are sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate.


Strasbourg is a captivating destination that seamlessly blends history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you are exploring the medieval streets, admiring the stunning architecture, or indulging in the local cuisine, this city promises an unforgettable experience. So, pack your bags, immerse yourself in the charm of Strasbourg, and prepare to be enchanted by all that this remarkable destination has to offer.


Visit the Strasbourg Cathedral

No trip to Strasbourg would be complete without a visit to its iconic landmark, the Strasbourg Cathedral. Standing proudly in the heart of the city, this magnificent example of Gothic architecture is sure to leave you in awe.


The cathedral, officially known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, is a masterpiece of craftsmanship and grandeur. Its construction began in the 12th century and took several centuries to complete, resulting in a unique blend of architectural styles. Admire the intricate details of the exterior, from the stunning rose window to the elaborate sculptures that adorn the façade.


Step inside the cathedral to discover the breathtaking interior. The soaring vaulted ceilings, intricate stained glass windows, and ornate altarpiece create a truly spiritual ambiance. Take a moment to appreciate the stunning astronomical clock, a marvel of medieval engineering that still functions today.


For those feeling adventurous, climb the 332 steps to the top of the cathedral’s tower. The panoramic view from the observation deck offers a spectacular vista of Strasbourg and its surrounding region. On a clear day, you can even catch a glimpse of the Black Forest in Germany.


The Strasbourg Cathedral is not just an architectural marvel; it also holds significant historical and cultural importance. It has witnessed numerous historical events and played a central role in the city’s religious and political life. From crowning Kings of France to hosting concerts and exhibitions, this cathedral continues to be a vibrant symbol of Strasbourg’s rich heritage.


While visiting the Strasbourg Cathedral, be sure to check the schedule for organ concerts. The cathedral’s famous organ, with its majestic pipes, produces an awe-inspiring sound that fills the vast space with music. It is a truly enchanting experience that should not be missed.


Whether you are an architecture enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a moment of tranquility, a visit to the Strasbourg Cathedral is a must. Its timeless beauty and spiritual significance make it a cherished gem in the city’s crown. Take your time to explore every nook and cranny, and let the splendor of this magnificent cathedral leave an indelible imprint on your memory.


Explore the historic Petite France district

Step back in time as you wander the charming streets of the historic Petite France district in Strasbourg. This picturesque neighborhood, with its timber-framed houses and cobblestone lanes, is a delight for history buffs and photography enthusiasts alike.


The Petite France district is situated on an island in the Ill River, and its romantic atmosphere is sure to transport you to bygone eras. Stroll along the canals and admire the quaint bridges that span them, adding to the district’s charm. The brightly colored facades of the half-timbered houses are a feast for the eyes, showcasing the region’s unique architectural style.


One of the highlights of the Petite France district is the Vauban Dam and Barrage Vauban. This impressive structure, built in the 17th century, offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area. Climb to the rooftop terrace and soak in the breathtaking vistas of the river and the cityscape.


The district is also home to various historical landmarks, including the Maison des Tanneurs (Tanners’ House) and the Hospital of the Order of St. Anthony, both of which have played significant roles in Strasbourg’s history. Explore the narrow streets and hidden courtyards to uncover the intriguing stories behind these buildings.


For a unique and memorable experience, take a boat tour through the canals of the Petite France district. The leisurely cruise allows you to admire the architecture from a different perspective. Listen to the informative commentary as you glide past charming houses and under picturesque stone bridges, immersing yourself in the enchanting ambiance of the district.


In the evening, the Petite France district takes on a magical atmosphere illuminated by the soft glow of the streetlights. The reflection of the lights dances on the surface of the canals, creating a scene straight out of a fairytale. It is the perfect time to enjoy a romantic dinner at one of the charming riverside restaurants and savor the local Alsatian cuisine.


Exploring the historic Petite France district in Strasbourg is like stepping into a storybook. Lose yourself in its timeless beauty, soak in the ambiance of centuries past, and create lasting memories as you wander the captivating streets and canals of this enchanting neighborhood.


Take a boat tour on the Ill River

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Strasbourg by embarking on a delightful boat tour along the Ill River. This leisurely cruise offers a unique perspective on the city’s stunning architecture, picturesque bridges, and scenic landscapes.


As you board the boat, find a comfortable spot to relax and enjoy the gentle sway of the water. The knowledgeable guide will provide fascinating commentary, offering insights into the history, culture, and landmarks of Strasbourg as you glide along the river.


One of the highlights of the boat tour is passing through the charming Petite France district. Marvel at the picturesque half-timbered houses, blooming flower boxes, and charming cafes that line the canals. The reflections in the water create a truly magical ambiance, making it a photographer’s dream.


As the boat cruises further, you will have the opportunity to admire the majestic Strasbourg Cathedral from a unique vantage point. Its towering spire and intricate façade stand out against the skyline, leaving you awe-inspired by its grandeur.


Along the way, you will also pass under the iconic Ponts Couverts, a series of covered bridges that once served as a defensive structure for the city. As you navigate beneath these historic bridges, you can almost feel the echoes of Strasbourg’s past.


The boat tour provides a peaceful and scenic escape from the bustling streets of the city. You can relax and enjoy the stunning views of the riverside neighborhoods, lush parks, and beautiful gardens that dot the landscape.


If you’re lucky, you may even spot locals and visitors alike enjoying various water activities, such as kayaking or paddleboarding, along the Ill River. It is a vibrant and active scene that showcases the city’s love for its waterways.


Whether you choose a daytime or evening cruise, the boat tour on the Ill River is an experience not to be missed. It allows you to appreciate the beauty of Strasbourg from a unique angle, offering a tranquil and immersive journey through the heart of the city.


Wander through the picturesque La Petite France

La Petite France, located in the heart of Strasbourg, is a neighborhood that seems straight out of a postcard. With its charming half-timbered houses, cobblestone streets, and idyllic canals, it is a haven for those seeking beauty and serenity.


As you wander through the narrow, winding streets of La Petite France, you will feel like you’ve traveled back in time. The architecture reflects the region’s rich history, with buildings that date back to the Middle Ages. Admire the intricate details of the timber-framed houses, adorned with blooming flower boxes that add a touch of color to the scenery.


The canals that run through La Petite France are a defining feature of the neighborhood’s allure. The calm waters reflect the charming facades and create a peaceful ambiance. Crossing the small bridges that connect the cobblestone streets is a delightful experience, allowing you to soak in the romantic atmosphere of this picturesque quarter.


While strolling through La Petite France, take the time to explore the quaint shops and boutiques that line the streets. You will find a treasure trove of local crafts, handmade goods, and artisanal products. Treat yourself to a unique souvenir or indulge in some delicious local treats.


A visit to La Petite France would not be complete without tasting the famous Alsatian cuisine. Stop by one of the traditional restaurants that dot the neighborhood, and savor classic dishes such as choucroute garnie (sauerkraut served with sausages and potatoes) or baeckeoffe (a slow-cooked meat and vegetable casserole). Pair your meal with a glass of local wine and immerse yourself in the flavors of the region.


For a truly unforgettable experience, visit La Petite France in the evening when the streets are illuminated by the warm glow of streetlights. The reflection of the lights on the water adds a touch of magic to the already enchanting surroundings. It is the perfect time to take a romantic stroll or enjoy a cozy dinner at one of the waterside restaurants.


La Petite France is a place of beauty, tranquility, and charm. Whether you are an architecture enthusiast, a lover of history, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, a visit to this picturesque neighborhood is sure to leave a lasting impression.


Discover the European Parliament

As the official seat of the European Parliament, Strasbourg plays a significant role in European politics and international relations. Exploring the European Parliament gives you a unique opportunity to learn about the workings of the European Union and gain insight into the democratic processes that shape Europe.


The European Parliament in Strasbourg is an architectural marvel in itself. The modern building stands in stark contrast to the historic charm of the city, symbolizing the union of tradition and progress. Its distinctive glass facade and expansive atrium create a sense of openness and transparency.


Visitors can participate in guided tours that provide a fascinating glimpse into the inner workings of the European Parliament. Discover the importance of cooperation among member states, the legislative process, and the decision-making procedures that take place within these walls.


During your visit, you may have the chance to witness a parliamentary session or debates, where elected representatives from different European countries come together to discuss and shape policies. Observing the debates offers a unique insight into the diverse perspectives and challenges facing the European Union.


In addition to its role in politics, the European Parliament also serves as a hub for cultural exchange and educational activities. The visitors’ center hosts exhibitions and multimedia presentations that explore various aspects of European history, culture, and achievements. These interactive displays provide an engaging and informative experience for visitors of all ages.


For those interested in international diplomacy, the European Parliament offers a glimpse into the broader world of global governance. As you explore the premises, you will encounter delegates from different countries, hear various languages, and witness the intricate dynamics of nation-states working together.


The European Parliament is a testament to the spirit of cooperation and unity that characterizes the European Union. It allows visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the institution’s role in shaping the future of Europe and fostering international cooperation.


Whether you are passionate about politics, curious about European history, or simply seeking a unique cultural experience, a visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg is a must. Engage with the democratic process, explore the exhibitions, and allow the spirit of European cooperation to inspire you.


Explore the Palais Rohan

Step back in time and experience the grandeur of the past as you explore the magnificent Palais Rohan in Strasbourg. This stunning palace, once home to bishops and royalty, is now a museum complex that offers a fascinating glimpse into the city’s rich history and cultural heritage.


The Palais Rohan is a masterpiece of architectural design, representing three distinct styles: Baroque, Classical, and Renaissance. Its elegant façade, ornate sculptures, and exquisite detailing make it a true gem in Strasbourg’s architectural landscape. As you approach the palace, you will be captivated by its majestic presence and the sense of history that it exudes.


Inside the palace, you will find three museums: the Museum of Decorative Arts, the Archaeological Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts. Each museum offers a unique collection that showcases different facets of art, history, and culture.


The Museum of Decorative Arts displays a remarkable collection of decorative objects, furniture, and artwork from various periods. From intricately designed tapestries to beautifully crafted furniture, you can admire the skill and craftsmanship of artists from bygone eras.


The Archaeological Museum takes you on a journey through time, unraveling the mysteries of Strasbourg’s past. Discover ancient artifacts, Roman remains, and archaeological treasures that shed light on the city’s rich history and its place in the broader European context.


The crown jewel of the Palais Rohan is undoubtedly the Museum of Fine Arts. As you wander through the galleries, you will encounter masterpieces by renowned artists such as Botticelli, Veronese, and Rubens. From classical sculptures to breathtaking paintings, this museum offers a truly immersive experience in the world of art.


While exploring the Palais Rohan, take the time to appreciate the exquisite interior design and the luxurious reception rooms that once hosted prestigious guests. The opulent décor and intricate details reflect the wealth and power of the bishops and aristocracy who once resided within these walls.


As you stroll through the palace’s gardens, you will encounter beautiful landscaped areas and peaceful courtyards. Take a moment to relax and enjoy the serene ambiance, surrounded by lush greenery and the grandeur of the palace. It is a tranquil escape from the bustling city streets.


Exploring the Palais Rohan is like stepping into a bygone era. It allows you to immerse yourself in the rich history and cultural heritage of Strasbourg, uncovering the stories and treasures that have shaped the city over centuries. Whether you are an art enthusiast, a history lover, or simply seeking a glimpse into the past, a visit to this magnificent palace is a journey you won’t soon forget.


Visit the Strasbourg Museum of Fine Arts

The Strasbourg Museum of Fine Arts is a true haven for art lovers and enthusiasts. Located in the heart of the city, this esteemed museum houses an impressive collection of artwork spanning various periods and genres, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking cultural enrichment and aesthetic inspiration.


As you enter the museum, you will be greeted by a diverse range of artistic treasures. From classical sculptures to contemporary paintings, the collection showcases the evolution of artistic expression throughout the ages. The museum boasts an extensive collection of works by renowned artists, including Botticelli, Goya, Monet, and Picasso, among others.


Take your time to explore the museum’s galleries, each offering a different perspective on the world of art. Marvel at the skill and craftsmanship of the ancient sculptures, admire the vibrant colors and brushstrokes of the Impressionist paintings, and contemplate the thought-provoking contemporary installations.


One of the highlights of the museum is its collection of Alsatian art, which pays homage to the region’s rich artistic heritage. Discover the works of local artists who have left a lasting impact on the art scene, and gain a deeper understanding of the cultural significance of Alsace.


Beyond the permanent collection, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions that showcase a diverse range of artistic themes and styles. From thematic retrospectives to collaborative projects with other museums, these exhibitions offer fresh and exciting perspectives on the world of art.


In addition to its impressive collection, the museum itself is a work of art. Housed in a former 18th-century palace, the architecture exudes elegance and grandeur. The beautiful courtyards and architectural details create a harmonious backdrop for the artwork, enhancing the overall museum experience.


Visiting the Strasbourg Museum of Fine Arts is like embarking on a visual journey. It allows you to immerse yourself in the transformative power of art, appreciating the beauty, creativity, and diverse expressions of human imagination. Whether you are an art connoisseur or simply have an appreciation for beauty, a visit to this museum is sure to ignite your passion for the arts.


Take a stroll along the Ponts Couverts

One of the most iconic landmarks in Strasbourg is the Ponts Couverts, a series of covered bridges that have stood as a symbol of the city for centuries. Taking a leisurely stroll along these historic bridges offers a unique perspective on Strasbourg’s rich history and its captivating blend of natural beauty and architectural splendor.


The Ponts Couverts, meaning “covered bridges” in French, were originally built as fortifications in the 13th century to protect the city from invaders. The bridges were designed to be easily defendable, with towers at each end and wooden roofs protecting the entire length of the bridge.


As you walk along the Ponts Couverts, you will be immersed in a truly atmospheric experience. The cobblestone pathways and the moss-covered stone walls evoke a sense of timelessness, transporting you back to medieval times. The tranquil waters of the canals that flow under the bridges add to the serene ambiance of the surroundings.


From the bridges, you can enjoy splendid views of Strasbourg’s skyline, including the famous Strasbourg Cathedral and other architectural highlights. The observation platforms on the Ponts Couverts provide excellent vantage points to admire the city’s unique blend of old and new, as well as the natural beauty of the Ill River.


The Ponts Couverts are not only a picturesque spot for sightseeing, but they also offer a glimpse into the city’s storied past. Each bridge has its own fascinating history and architectural features, such as the remains of old gateways and towers. As you cross each bridge, take a moment to appreciate the intricate details and imagine the centuries of history that these structures have witnessed.


While exploring the Ponts Couverts, consider visiting the Barrage Vauban, a flood control dam that also offers panoramic views of the city. Climb to the rooftop terrace and take in the breathtaking vistas of Strasbourg and the surrounding areas.


The Ponts Couverts are particularly enchanting in the evening when the bridges are beautifully illuminated, casting a warm glow over the water below. This creates a magical ambiance that is perfect for a romantic stroll or for capturing stunning photographs.


Taking a stroll along the Ponts Couverts is like stepping into a living history book. It allows you to immerse yourself in the architectural legacy of Strasbourg, enjoy breathtaking views, and appreciate the city’s unique blend of medieval and contemporary charm. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the enchantment of these iconic bridges during your visit to Strasbourg.


Explore the Jardin des Deux Rives

Escape the bustling city streets of Strasbourg and discover a serene oasis at the Jardin des Deux Rives. Situated on the border between France and Germany, this expansive park offers a tranquil retreat where nature and culture seamlessly intertwine.


The Jardin des Deux Rives, meaning “Garden of the Two Banks,” spans both sides of the Rhine River, connecting Strasbourg with its German counterpart, Kehl. The park was designed to symbolize the friendship and cooperation between the two countries, and it truly embodies the spirit of unity.


As you meander through the Jardin des Deux Rives, you will encounter beautifully landscaped gardens, open green spaces, and paved pathways. The park’s design incorporates elements of both French and German landscapes, creating a harmonious blend of aesthetics.


The Jardin des Deux Rives offers a wealth of recreational activities for visitors of all ages. Enjoy a leisurely bike ride or go for a jog along the dedicated paths that wind through the park. Admire the vibrant colors of the flowers in bloom and relax under the shade of the majestic trees.


One of the highlights of the park is the panoramic tower, offering breathtaking views of Strasbourg, Kehl, and the surrounding countryside. Climb to the top of the tower and witness the stunning panorama that stretches as far as the eye can see, providing a unique perspective on both France and Germany.


Art enthusiasts will appreciate the various art installations and sculptures that adorn the park. These thought-provoking works evoke emotions and spark contemplation as you explore the tranquil setting of the Jardin des Deux Rives.


For those visiting during the summer months, the park comes alive with cultural events and festivals. From open-air concerts to theater performances, there are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene while enjoying the natural beauty of the surroundings.


Whether you’re seeking tranquility, outdoor activities, or a cultural experience, the Jardin des Deux Rives offers it all. It is a place where you can find respite from the busy city and connect with nature, while also celebrating the enduring friendship between France and Germany.


Take a break from the urban landscape and explore the Jardin des Deux Rives. Breathe in the fresh air, embrace the natural beauty, and revel in the harmonious blend of cultures and landscapes that this unique park has to offer.


Enjoy traditional Alsatian cuisine at a local restaurant

No visit to Strasbourg would be complete without indulging in the flavors of traditional Alsatian cuisine. From mouthwatering dishes to delightful pastries, exploring the local culinary scene is a must-do for any food lover.


Alsatian cuisine is a reflection of the region’s unique blend of French and German influences, resulting in hearty and flavorful dishes. Head to a local restaurant and prepare your taste buds for a gastronomic adventure that will leave you craving for more.


Start your culinary journey with a classic Alsatian dish – tarte flambée, also known as flammekueche. This thin-crust pizza-like creation is topped with crème fraiche, thinly sliced onions, and bacon, creating a harmonious blend of flavors. It’s the perfect appetizer to share and pairs wonderfully with a glass of local Alsatian Riesling wine.


Another beloved Alsatian specialty is choucroute garnie, which is sauerkraut served with various meats such as sausages, pork, and sometimes even duck or goose. The tangy sauerkraut perfectly complements the richness of the meats, creating a delectable combination. Be sure to savor each bite, as this dish is a true showcase of Alsatian culinary heritage.


For seafood enthusiasts, don’t miss the opportunity to try Matelote, a flavorful fish stew made with freshwater fish, such as pike or perch, cooked in a rich and tangy broth of white wine and onions. This comforting dish is a true delight, especially when paired with a side of boiled potatoes.


If you have a sweet tooth, Alsatian cuisine has a treat for you too. Indulge in a slice of kougelhopf, a traditional Alsatian cake. This light and fluffy brioche-like cake is adorned with almonds and often flavored with rum and raisins. It pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee or tea and is the perfect way to end a delicious meal.


To truly immerse yourself in the local dining experience, seek out a cozy, family-owned restaurant in Strasbourg. These establishments often pride themselves on using locally sourced ingredients and preserving the culinary traditions of the region. The warm and friendly atmosphere will make you feel right at home as you savor every bite of your Alsatian meal.


Strasbourg is also famous for its charming winstubs, traditional Alsatian wine bars, where you can sample a wide variety of local wines. These cozy establishments offer a convivial setting to enjoy a glass of Gewürztraminer or Pinot Gris and to pair it with regional specialties.


So, whether you’re an adventurous foodie or simply looking to indulge in the flavors of the region, be sure to make time to enjoy a traditional Alsatian meal at a local restaurant. Your taste buds will thank you as you savor the rich and hearty dishes that define the unique culinary heritage of this charming region.



Strasbourg, with its rich history, stunning architecture, and unique blend of French and German influences, offers a truly captivating experience for visitors. From exploring the majestic Strasbourg Cathedral to wandering through the enchanting Petite France district, there is an abundance of things to see and do in this charming city.


The boat tour on the Ill River allows you to admire the city’s beauty from a different perspective, while a stroll along the Ponts Couverts takes you back in time to the medieval era. The Palais Rohan and the Strasbourg Museum of Fine Arts offer cultural enrichment and a chance to immerse yourself in the world of art and history.


For a peaceful escape, the Jardin des Deux Rives provides a serene oasis where you can connect with nature and revel in the harmonious blend of both French and German landscapes. And of course, no visit to Strasbourg would be complete without indulging in the flavors of traditional Alsatian cuisine at a local restaurant.


Strasbourg is a city that seamlessly combines its medieval heritage with a modern cosmopolitan atmosphere. It is a place where history comes alive, where art flourishes, and where culinary delights await at every turn. The unique blend of cultures, the architectural marvels, and the vibrant cultural scene make Strasbourg a destination that truly captivates the senses.


So, pack your bags, and get ready to embark on a remarkable journey through the charming streets of Strasbourg. Explore the historical landmarks, immerse yourself in art and culture, indulge in delicious cuisine, and create lasting memories in this enchanting city that will stay with you long after you leave.