What to see and do in Strasbourg? The crossroads of Europe

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Martí Micolau


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Discover its Franco-German origins, on the one hand, but also its most modern and dynamic face. A real journey to the heart of Europe, a stay in Strasbourg means enjoying the old town, before visiting the EU institutions district or even tasting a traditional sauerkraut. Discover 10 things to do in Strasbourg!

Stay in the heart of Europe

After Brussels, Strasbourg is the other major city of the European Union. Chosen to host the Council of Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War, an entire district of Strasbourg is now dedicated to the European institutions. On the banks of the Marne and Ill Canal, the area includes the European Parliament where the deputies sit, as well as the European Court of Human Rights.

The European Parliament in Strasbourg

Spend a weekend on the Big Island

The heart of Strasbourg beats on the Big Island, surrounded by one of the tributaries of the Rhine: the Ill. This district is fully classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. and is obviously one of the highlights of the stay. After admiring the city's imposing cathedral, a visit to the Petite France district is a must. With its half-timbered houses, the most famous of which is the Kammerzel House, the district is representative of Alsatian architecture. A must visit to do in Strasbourg!

The Kammerzell house

Discover Strasbourg gastronomy

After the visits, when the meal time strikes, Strasbourg reveals another of its strengths: its gastronomic know-how. The restaurant menus are full of regional dishes such as onion tart, flamekueche, coq au Riesling and of course, the most famous of all: the sauerkraut. According to a local proverb, “to eat and drink unites body and soul”. The cellars of the restaurants are therefore full of Alsatian wonders: Gewurztraminer and Riesling, the most famous dry whites.

The famous sauerkraut

Sleep in the old town

The seventh largest city in France is also, behind Paris, the one that attracts the most congresses. The accommodation offer is therefore up to par of the crowds experienced by Strasbourg. The most typical hotels can be found in the old town, located on the Big Island. The latter also offers more atypical rooms, such as guest rooms. In times of high traffic, during the Christmas market for example, it is better not to book your hotel at the last minute.

The old Town

Walk the Christmas market

From the last weekend of November to the end of December, the old town of Strasbourg hosts a huge Christmas market. A unique opportunity to do your shopping there as the holidays approach and to discover this Alsatian tradition dating back 5 centuries! After browsing all the shops and stalls, the Cathedral and Broglie squares allow you to rest in one of their many bars. And, why not, to warm up before going out to explore the dance floors of Strasbourg nightclubs!

Christmas market

Taste the delicious wines of the region

You will be spoiled for choice to savor the exquisite Alsatian wines. This essential wine discovery can take the form of a classic wine cellar tour or that of a tasting circuit more picturesque. Combining sightseeing, escape from the city and culinary pleasure is a winning bet! This activity to do in Strasbourg is unforgettable, especially since it takes place in some of the most beautiful vineyards in the world!

Alsatian vineyard

Observe the Alsatian storks in the Parc de l'Orangerie

This Strasbourg public park, located in Neustadt, invites you to disconnect for a moment. This green space is appreciated by the local population for a moment of relaxation, with family or friends. A pleasant stork park also delights the day visitor. Storks nest with pleasure along this park and more and more are taking up residence there. A moment not to be missed!

L'Orangerie Park

Getting lost in the Robertsau forest

This natural peri-urban place, on the banks of the Rhine, is just right for the traveler in search of green spaces and tranquility. A little foray into this forest, irrigated by numerous rivers, offers you a few moments of pause and relaxation at the edge of some splendid ponds. Want to stretch your legs? Many hiking and cycling trails are accessible throughout the site.

The Robertsau forest

Marvel at an incredible panorama from the top of the Cathedral

Of course, the majestic Strasbourg Cathedral is essential for you in your choice of visits to do in Strasbourg! Sumptuous, seen from the outside, it is just as much from the inside. To close this discovery, do not miss to climb the 300 or so steps that separate you from the top of its tower and enjoy a breathtaking view of the European capital.

Aerial view of the cathedral

Take a boat trip in the heart of the city

Strasbourg is crossed by innumerable rivers which give it a very particular charm. Why not consider a city tour from these canals? You will thus enjoy a different point of view on neighborhoods that are sometimes inaccessible during a more classic visit of the town. The passing traveler who opts for this option will also be delighted to learn more about the historic past of this alluring city.

Take a boat trip

Useful information

Want to go to Strasbourg? To make your stay a success, here is some practical information to help you organize your stay.

  • Tourist Office : You will find ideas for activities to do on the Strasbourg tourist office website
  • When to go to Strasbourg? Consult our month by month climate sheet to find out when is the best time to go to Strasbourg.
  • Discount card : With the Strasbourg Pass, visitors benefit, for a period of three consecutive days, from several free activities (visit to a museum, boat trip on the Rhine) and a multitude of reductions on other activities (guided tours of the city) or shopping in partner stores.
  • Getting to Strasbourg: Strasbourg international airport receives flights from the main French and foreign cities. It is located in the southwest of the city, only 15 minutes from the city center. A shuttle also connects the airport to Strasbourg train station. By train, the opening of the TGV Est line has considerably reduced the Paris – Strasbourg journey. Today it only takes 2 hours and 20 minutes to connect the two cities, instead of 4 hours previously.
  • Getting around Strasbourg: the Alsatian city is at the forefront in terms of cycling development. Developed cycle paths and numerous rental points make cycling a great way to get around the city center. For longer journeys, the Tram network extends its ramifications throughout the city thanks to its 5 lines. As for the buses, there is a 24h ticket.
  • Know the history of the city: A border town with Germany, Strasbourg has been greatly influenced by its two identities. Sometimes French, sometimes German, it symbolizes relations between the two countries. Tumultuous at first, then calmed down later, when Strasbourg became the seat of the Council of Europe in 1949 and of the European Parliament in 1979. Today, Strasbourg is appreciated by visitors for its quality of life and its cultural offer: a stay original and unmissable!

The essentials of Strasbourg… and after?

Were you one of those people who only find interest in Strasbourg during its Christmas market? You are now tempted to consider a getaway there, even if you are still wondering what to do in Strasbourg and especially in its surroundings! Thanks to our tips, set off to discover this explosive Alsatian town!

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