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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 10 attractions in Strasbourg

#1

Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg

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Towering a half-mile (757 meters) over the Alsace Plain, the striking pink sandstone towers of High Koenigsbourg Castle (Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg) are an unmissable sight, and the fairytale fortress is among the most popular attractions of the famous Alsace Wine Route. Although originally built in the 12th century for the German Hohenzollern family, the majority of the current castle dates back to the 19th century, when it was extensively renovated by Prussian Emperor William II. As well as admiring the romantic spires and richly decorated façade from up close, the highlight of a visit to High Koenigsbourg Castle is the impressive view from the hilltop, spanning over the surrounding Vosges Mountains, Germany’s Black Forest region and as far as the Swiss Alps on a clear day. Tours of the castle interiors are also available, where visitors can explore the windmill, wine cellars, living quarters and medieval gardens.More
#2

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

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Second only to Paris’ famous cathedral of the same name, the Strasbourg Cathedral de Notre-Dame (also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, or simply, Strasbourg Cathedral) is the second-most-visited cathedral in France, drawing up to 4 million annual visitors. With its 465-foot (142-meter) spire (the second-highest in France) and dramatic red façade sculpted from Vosges sandstone, the cathedral is Strasbourg’s most unmistakable landmark and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988. While the cathedral’s history dates back to 1015, the majority of the present-day structure dates from between the 12th and 15th centuries, blending a cornucopia of architectural styles from Romanesque to Late Gothic. Highlights include a series of 12th-century stained glass windows, a magnificent 18-meter-tall astronomical clock and the 66-meter high viewing platform, reached by a grand 300-step spiral staircase and offering unbeatable views over the city.More
#3

La Petite France

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With its lattice of canal ways and assortment of half-timbered townhouses, La Petite France is one of Strasbourg’s most picturesque neighborhoods and an integral part of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage site. Set at the mouth of the River Ill on Strasbourg’s Grande Île, the historic district is the city’s oldest area, dating back to the 16th century, when it was mostly inhabited by fishermen, tanners and millers. Today, the old tanning houses and water mills of La Petite France have been transformed into bijou hotels, waterfront restaurants and nostalgic souvenir shops, but it’s the district’s timeless charm that entices most visitors. Explore the warren of narrow cobblestone alleyways and you’ll find ample photo opportunities—exquisitely preserved medieval buildings, waterside promenades brimming with colorful flower baskets and views stretching down to the nearby Covered Bridges and Vauban Dam.More
#4

Rohan Palace (Palais Rohan)

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Built between 1732 and 1742 for the then-Bishop оf Strasbourg, Cardinal Armand Gaston Maximilien de Rohan, the Palais Rohan has played host to a series of impressive guests throughout its history—Louis XV, Marie Antoinette, Napoléon Bonaparte and Charles X have all spent time at the palace. Today, the remarkably preserved building is one of the city’s most celebrated works of Baroque architecture, designed by Joseph Massol and looking out onto the Ill riverfront. Since 1870, the Palais Rohan has been home to three of Strasbourg’s most important museums, as well as the Robert Heitz Gallery. On the first floor, the Museum of Fine Art includes works by Rubens, Rembrandt, Renoir and Monet, among many others. The ground-floor Museum of Decorative Arts displays an array of 17th- to 19th-century furnishings, sculptures, jewelry and ceramics within the former Cardinal apartments.More
#5

Place Gutenberg

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Named after one-time Strasbourg resident Johannes Gutenberg, who famously invented the movable-type printing press in 1439, Gutenberg Square 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.More
#6

Vauban Dam (Barrage Vauban)

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Built in 1690 by its namesake—legendary military engineer Sebastien Vauban—the Vauban Dam (Barrage Vauban) was designed not only as the city’s principal lock, but as an integral part of Strasbourg’s fortifications. Guarding the southwestern entrance to the Grande Île, the dam spans the width of the River Ill and has the capacity to flood the entire southern end of the town in case of attack. Today the grand lock, with its 13 arches, magnificent sculptures and grass-topped terrace, is among the city’s most recognizable landmarks and makes a popular lookout point, offering panoramic views over the nearby Covered Bridges (Ponts Couverts), the Old Town canals and the distant Cathedral of Notre Dame.More
#7

St. Thomas Church (Eglise St. Thomas)

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The striking Cathedral of Notre-Dame might be Strasbourg’s most famous religious building, but the comparatively modest St Thomas Church still stands out as one of the city’s most unique designs. Combining its 12th-century Romanesque façade with Gothic touches added in the 16th century, the protestant church appears more like a castle than a church and boasts five naves and a single tower. Inside the church, notable highlights include a 10-meter-tall fresco of Saint Michael; an 18th-century Silbermann organ, famously played by Mozart; and an impressive collection of 18th and 19th-century tombs, including the elaborate Marshal of Saxony mausoleum, the work of legendary sculptor J.B. Pigalle.More
#8

Orangerie Park (Parc de l'Orangerie)

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Stretching over 2,600 hectares, the Parc de l’Orangerie is Strasbourg’s largest and oldest public park and the principal attraction of the city’s northeastern Orangerie neighborhood, or European Quarter. The tranquil, flower-lined gardens were created in honor of Napoléon’s wife Joséphine (although the empress never visited the park) and were laid out in 1804 by André Le Nôtre, who was best known for designing the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. One of the Orangerie’s principal landmarks is the Europe Parliament building, which fronts the northwest entrance to the park and has served as the seat of the Council of Europe since 1977. It’s an impressive sight, lined with flags from the EU’s 28 member states. Additional highlights of the park include the Joséphine Pavilion, a small zoo and stork sanctuary, a rowing lake and several playgrounds, as well as a network of walking and cycling trails.More
#9

Kamerzell House (Maison Kammerzell)

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One of Strasbourg’s oldest and most famous buildings, the Maison Kammerzell (Kammerzell House) is a remarkably preserved example of medieval architecture, and its traditional timber framing and ornate carvings make it a popular subject of tourist photographs. Although originally built in 1427, the house owes much of its modern-day appearance to renovations undertaken in the 16th. It also takes its name from its 19th-century owner, grocer Philippe Kammerzell. Today, the Kammerzell House is home to a period-style hotel and restaurant, and makes an atmospheric dining venue, with its authentic décor including vaulted ceilings, arched stained-glass windows and a series of elaborate frescos by early 20th-century painter Leo Schnug.More
#10

Christmas Market (Christkindelsmärik)

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Held in the city’s Old Town since 1570, the Strasbourg Christmas Market (Christkindelsmarik) is France’s oldest one and among the oldest in Europe, drawing up to 2 million annual visitors over the festive season. Strasbourg is renowned as one of the most atmospheric holiday destinations in France, as the Grande Île is adorned with dazzling illuminations, a giant Christmas tree is erected on Place Kléber and an open-air ice-skating rink opens on Place du Château. The historic market, however, is the focal point of the city’s seasonal entertainment. Kicking off at the end of November each year, more than 300 traditional wooden chalets take over Place Broglie, selling an array of handcrafted gifts, Christmas decorations and seasonal produce. Enjoy live carolers, street bands and festive lightshows while sipping a steaming cup of Vin chaud (mulled wine), then take a break from Christmas shopping to tuck into local specialties like baeckeoffe stew.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

Recent reviews from experiences in Strasbourg

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Informative and fun
Lauren_M, Mar 2020
Strasbourg Old District Private Walking Guided Tour
This was a wonderful way to see the the old district of the city and get to know what all Strasbourg has to offer!
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Day trip from Strasbourg
dede A, Jun 2019
Alsace Colmar, Medieval Villages & Castle Small Group Day Trip from Strasbourg
All day trip to see charming villages outside of Strasbourg.
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Alsace Day Trip from Strasbourg: Colmar, Eguisheim, Riquewihr, High Koenigsbourg Castle
markhorvath, Oct 2018
Alsace Colmar, Medieval Villages & Castle Small Group Day Trip from Strasbourg
our guide was very articulate in describing all the attractions in the area.
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Ideal Tour
FarAway14216767845, Dec 2018
Germany Freiburg & Black Forest Private Day Trip from Strasbourg
Our guide, Florence, spoke excellent English.
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An Outstanding day in beautiful Alace
Global15390205682, Jun 2019
Alsace Wine Route Wineries & Tasting Small Group Guided Tour from Strasbourg
What made this tour special was the opportunity to visit family wineries and taste some superb Alsace wines.
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We chose this trip because it would...
spwisner, Oct 2017
Strasbourg Sightseeing Kehl Bike Guided Tour
I would recommend this tour to anyone wanting to see the sights and get a good feel for what's what in and around Strasbourg and Kehl.
star-5
Great tour! Our guide was fantastic...
Will M, Jul 2015
Alsace Wine Route Wineries & Tasting Small Group Guided Tour from Strasbourg
What a great way to see this region near Strasbourg!
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The tour was just terrific, all...
Kathy P, Jul 2018
Strasbourg City Sightseeing Private Guided Tour including Cathedral Visit
Danielle was very personable, her English is excellent and she indulged my efforts in French and even pointed out good bakeries and got us samples of Alsatian macaroons coconut YUM!
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This is an excellent trip if you...
Gregory W, Jul 2017
Alsace Colmar, Medieval Villages & Castle Small Group Day Trip from Strasbourg
This is an excellent trip if you want to have a wine tasting as well as be able to visit some fantastic cities outside of Strasbourg.
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We loved this tour! Alvaro was an...
Savannah K, Jul 2016
Alsace Wine Route Wineries & Tasting Small Group Guided Tour from Strasbourg
And as an added bonus, he offered so many great ideas of other things to do while we are in Strasbourg!
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We were very fortunate to be the...
cynthiae, Oct 2016
Alsace Colmar, Medieval Villages & Castle Small Group Day Trip from Strasbourg
Who would have thought that we'd be there to see his vintage arrive and be pressed before our eyes.
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We had great time in Strasbourg. It...
aommy10, Aug 2015
Alsace Colmar, Medieval Villages & Castle Small Group Day Trip from Strasbourg
It was one of the best places to visit in France.
star-5
This tour was a very good fast view...
Aingell, Jul 2015
Alsace Colmar, Medieval Villages & Castle Small Group Day Trip from Strasbourg
A great day to visit Alsace and to appreciate this region of France.

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