20 Things to do in Strasbourg, France
Nestled in the heart of Europe, Strasbourg is a city that boasts a unique blend of French and German cultures, making it an ideal destination for travellers seeking a truly authentic experience.
From its picturesque cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses to its towering Gothic cathedral and historic museums, there are so many amazing things to do in Strasbourg.
Yet, it’s not just the rich cultural heritage that makes this city an attractive destination. Strasbourg is also home to a unique dining scene, with local specialities like spaetzle, flammekueche and Alsatian wine being just a few of the many treats that await you.
Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply looking for a charming getaway, Strasbourg has something to offer everyone.
Before we cover what to visit in Strasbourg, you should know about the Strasbourg City Card. This card will be your Strasbourg city pass, allowing you to see and do everything you want at a discounted rate.
Now, to help you plan your perfect trip to this beautiful city, let’s take a closer look at 20 of the top things to do in Strasbourg.
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Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg, also simply known as the Strasbourg Cathedral, is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. Located in the heart of the historic centre, this Gothic masterpiece stands at a height of 142 metres, making it the second-tallest cathedral in France.
Although construction first began in 1015, it was not completed until 1439. The west facade of the cathedral is the most impressive, with the two main towers as well as numerous sculptures and carvings depicting biblical scenes, saints and other religious figures.
You can visit the cathedral to admire the stunning stained glass windows, including the rose window, which has a diameter of 14 metres.
The cathedral also houses an impressive astronomical clock, which dates back to the Renaissance period and features intricate moving figures and dials. Other highlights include the long nave and choir, as well as the 7,000-pipe organ, which is one of the largest in Europe.
There are also an array of sculptures and artworks to appreciate, many of which date back to the mediaeval period. Climbing up the cathedral’s spiral staircase to the top of the tower offers panoramic views of the city, with the Rhine River visible in the distance.
Strasbourg Cathedral is not only an impressive architectural structure but also a symbol of the city’s rich cultural and religious heritage, making a visit to this iconic landmark one of the top things to do in Strasbourg.
Maison Kammerzell (the Kammerzell House) is considered one of the most famous historic buildings in Strasburg. Originally built in 1427, the building has served as a private residence, a bakery, a pharmacy and a hotel at various times throughout the centuries.
Today, Maison Kammerzell houses a traditional Alsatian restaurant, which is known for its authentic regional cuisine and mediaeval ambience.
The interior of Maison Kammerzell is decorated with meticulous wooden carvings, frescoes by Alsatian painter Léo Schnug, and beautiful stained glass windows, all of which contribute to its unique character and charm.
Yet, the building is particularly renowned for its incredible Renaissance facade, with ornate wooden sculptures and carvings that depict various biblical and mediaeval scenes. Even if you don’t have time to pop in for a meal here, it’s worth stopping by to admire the amazing architecture.
Parc de l’Orangerie
Parc de l’Orangerie is a picturesque park located in the Orangerie neighbourhood of Strasbourg. Known as the “green lung” of the city, the park covers over 26 hectares and is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
During the French Revolution, the city inherited 140 orange trees from Château de Bouxwiller. The park was first created in the 17th century as a French-style garden, but it was later transformed into an English-style park in the 19th century.
At this park, you can take a stroll along the winding paths, rent a rowboat or pedal boat and go out on the lake, play a game of table tennis, or stop by the playground with your kids.
Throughout the park are several statues, fountains, gazebos, and a beautiful rose garden, making it an ideal destination for a picnic or a romantic walk. There are even some ice cream stands as well as an Haute French restaurant if you feel like a fancy and scenic lunch.
Musee Alsacien is one of the best museums in Strasbourg, as it gives you an insight into the traditional Alsatian way of life. The museum is housed in a 17th-century timbered building and features over 5,000 objects that showcase the region’s rich cultural heritage.
From traditional costumes and pottery to furniture and household items, the museum’s collection offers a unique and fascinating glimpse into 18th and 19th-century Alsatian history and culture.
Alsace Wine Route Tour
One of the best things to do while in Strasbourg is to go on a tour of the oldest wine route in France.
The Alsace Wine Route stretches for over 170 kilometres, through charming villages, lush vineyards and historic towns. On a small-group wine tour, you’ll have the opportunity to stop and explore Dambach-la-Ville, Ribeauvillé, Mittelbergheim and Riquewihr.
You’ll also visit three different wineries and sample some of the best Rieslings the region has to offer. This also gives you a chance to meet and mingle with fellow travellers.
Ponts Couverts and Barrage Vauban
Ponts Couverts (aka the Covered Bridges) is a historic complex of three bridges and four towers across the Ill River. They were first built in the 13th century to defend Strasbourg from invasions, with later expansions in the 14th century.
The bridges were originally covered with roofs to protect the soldiers who guarded them. Despite the roofs being removed in 1784, the name has remained ever since.
Right by the Ponts Couverts is Barrage Vauban, a pink sandstone dam built in the 17th century by the French military architect Vauban.
The Barrage Vauban now houses historic sculptures and has a rooftop viewing terrace overlooking the district of La Petite France.
Today, both the Ponts Couverts and Barrage Vauban are popular attractions for tourists, whether you have an interest in the city’s military past or just love a good photo op. The bridges and towers have been carefully preserved and restored over the centuries and are one of the highlights of a Strasbourg boat tour.
Strasbourg is the official seat of the European Parliament, one of the key institutions of the European Union. A visit to the European Parliament building is a must for anyone with an interest in politics or international relations.
The building is cylindrical and modern, and an impressive example of contemporary architecture. The parliament holds its monthly plenary sessions here, during which Members of the European Parliament debate and vote on key legislative proposals.
Guided tours of the building are offered if you wish to get a glimpse into the inner workings of one of the most important European institutions.
The tour includes a visit to the hemicycle, where the parliament’s plenary sessions take place, as well as the parliamentary chambers and other key areas.
Église Saint-Thomas, or St. Thomas’ Church, is a stunning Gothic church located in the historic district of Strasbourg. Built between the 12th and 15th centuries, it is named after Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The church’s most notable features are its twin spires which can be seen from all over the city. It is also the only hall church in the Alsace region.
The interior of the church is stunning, with beautiful stained glass windows, a late-Gothic fresco of Saint Michael, and an 18th-century pipe organ. The church’s crypt contains the tombs of several notable figures, including Bishop Adelochus.
There is also an impressive late-Baroque mausoleum of military commander Marshal Maurice de Saxe, which was sculpted by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle.
Palais des Rohan
Palais des Rohan, also known as the Rohan Palace, is a stunning 18th-century building next to the river. The palace was built between 1731 and 1742, and is the former home of numerous prince-bishops and cardinals of the House of Rohan.
This masterpiece of French Baroque architecture was designed by the renowned architect Robert de Cotte. Today, the Palais des Rohan is a popular destination for visitors to Strasbourg, as it offers a fascinating insight into the city’s rich cultural and artistic heritage.
The palace houses three museums: the Museum of Fine Arts, the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Decorative Arts. The Museum of Fine Arts features a rich collection of paintings, sculptures and decorative arts from the 14th to the 19th centuries, including works by Rubens, Botticelli and Goya.
The Archaeological Museum showcases the region’s rich history, with exhibits on prehistory, Gallo-Roman civilization and mediaeval Strasbourg.
Lastly, the Museum of Decorative Arts features a collection of furniture, ceramics, textiles and silverware from the 17th to the 19th centuries, with late Baroque, Rococo and Empire-style chambers making up one half of the museum.
A visit to the Palais des Rohan is a must for anyone interested in art, history and culture. The palace’s stunning architecture, beautiful gardens and impressive collections make it one of the most iconic things to do in Strasbourg, France.
Musée Historique de Strasbourg
Musée Historique de Strasbourg, or the Strasbourg Historical Museum, is a fascinating museum located in the city’s historic district.
It showcases the cultural and historical heritage of Strasbourg, with exhibits on the city’s art, architecture and everyday life. The museum is housed in a 16th-century Renaissance building that was completely renovated in 2013.
The museum’s exhibits cover a wide range of topics, from the city’s mediaeval origins to its role in the creation of modern European institutions.
Here you can see artefacts and objects from the city’s past, including paintings, sculptures, furniture and clothing. The museum also features exhibits on the city’s famous Christmas markets, which are a highlight of the winter season in Strasbourg.
Speaking of the winter season, the Strasbourg Christmas Market is one of the most popular attractions in the city. It is one of the oldest Christmas markets in the world, dating back to the 16th century.
Held in the Old Town each year, the market is a festive wonderland of twinkling lights, mulled wine and handmade treasures.
There are over 300 stalls at the market, each selling unique gifts, decorations, ornaments, jewellery, and homemade treats like gingerbread. There are always carollers and live music playing too, which adds to the magical atmosphere.
One of the best things to do at Strasbourg Christmas Market is to get a cup of mulled wine and make your way through all the delicious traditional Christmas foods on offer, like bredele and mannele (also known as stutenkerl).
Eglise Saint-Pierre le Jeune
Eglise Saint-Pierre le Jeune, or St Peter’s Church the Younger, is a historic church dating back to the seventh century and is considered one of Strasbourg’s most significant religious buildings.
It has undergone several renovations and additions over the years, resulting in a unique blend of architectural styles.
One of the church’s most notable features is its striking Romanesque entrance portal. The interior is equally impressive, with colourful stained glass windows and a stunning choir screen.
The 14th-century Gothic-style main building features a stunning rib vault and many beautiful frescoes.
The small lower church is the oldest part of the building and is used as a burial crypt. Make sure you also see the church’s impressive pipe organ, which dates back to the 18th century.
Strasburg’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site is Grande Île, an island located within the historic centre of the city. The island is surrounded by the Ill River, with the main channel on one side and the Canal du Faux-Rempart on the other.
Grande Île is home to many of Strasbourg’s most famous landmarks, including the Cathedrale Notre Dame, the Maison Kammerzell and the Palais Rohan. However, walking around and admiring this picturesque historic district is a worthwhile activity of its own.
The charming La Petite France neighbourhood is one of the most popular areas here, with cobblestoned streets and gorgeous canals.
Get lost for a little while as you make your way through the island’s many quaint pedestrian streets and squares, discovering charming shops and cafes along the way. Another unforgettable way to explore Grande Île on a guided bike tour.
Russian Orthodox Church
If you feel like seeing something a little different, why not check out Strasbourg’s Russian Orthodox Church?
This stunning example of Russian Orthodox architecture and art sits next to the Marne-Rhine Canal, not far from Parc de l’Orangerie.
The church was built in the late 19th century to serve the growing Russian community in Strasbourg, and its distinctive golden dome and bell tower are instantly recognisable. Inside the church, you can admire the impressive collection of icons and religious artefacts.
Le Vaisseau is a science centre in Strasbourg dedicated to inspiring and educating children about science and technology through interactive exhibits and informative activities. It’s one of the best attractions in Strasbourg if you are travelling with kids.
The centre’s exhibits cover a wide variety of sciences, including physics, chemistry, biology and maths. Visitors can explore the world of science through hands-on activities, such as experimenting with electricity, exploring the properties of water, and learning about the human body.
Église Réformée Saint-Paul
Église Réformée Saint-Paul, aka St Paul’s Church, is an incredible Gothic Revival landmark in Strasbourg.
Built in the 1890s, its unique location by the Pont d’Auvergne at a fork in the Ill River allows the church and its 76-metre-high spires to be seen from various points in the city. The Pont Royal provides a particularly scenic view from a distance and is a great place to snap some photos.
The interior of St Paul’s Church is impressive too, featuring soaring vaulted ceilings, intricate stained glass windows, and two magnificent organs.
As the church is still an active place of worship, you should be respectful when you enter and make sure you don’t interrupt mass or service.
Place Kléber is Strasbourg’s main central square. It is named after General Jean-Baptiste Kléber, a famous French military leader who was assassinated in 1800. The square is one of the largest in Europe, measuring 125 metres by 175 metres.
Place Kléber is surrounded by historic buildings, including the Aubette, a former military barracks that has been transformed into a cultural centre, and the Hôtel de Ville, the city’s historic town hall. There are also a ton of high-end shops, cafes and restaurants located here.
Each year during the holiday season, the centre of the square features a giant 30-metre-high Christmas tree, decorated with thousands of lights and ornaments. Regardless of when you visit, it’s a great place to sit and people-watch while soaking up the bustling atmosphere.
Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
Wondering what to see in Strasbourg next? The Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg, or MAMCS for short) is a renowned art museum near the Petite France district.
It is one of the largest and most significant museums of its kind in Europe, with a collection of over 18,000 works of art spanning the late 19th century to the present day. The museum was founded in 1973 and is housed in a modern building designed by the architect Adrien Fainsilber.
The collections here include works by major figures of modern and contemporary art, including Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky, Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock and Jean Dubuffet. The museum also has a significant collection of art from the 1960s and 1970s, including works by Yves Klein, Daniel Buren and Sol LeWitt.
In addition to its permanent collection, the museum hosts a range of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, featuring works by both established and emerging artists, as well as workshops and lectures.
One of the coolest places to visit near Strasbourg is Mutzig Fort, located about half an hour west of the city. This historical fortification was built between 1893 and 1916 by the German Empire as part of a system known as the Fortified Sector of the Vosges.
Also known as the Feste Kaiser Wilhelm II, the fort was designed to be one of the most advanced and heavily fortified structures of its time. It features a complex network of tunnels and underground bunkers, and was also equipped with a variety of artillery pieces, including heavy howitzers and rapid-fire guns.
Today, the Mutzig Fort is a popular tourist attraction and is open to the public for guided tours. You can explore the various tunnels and bunkers, learn about the fort’s history, and see the various artillery pieces that were once used to defend the fortification.
House of Tanners Restaurant
The best spot to sample the local Alsatian cuisine is at the House of Tanners Restaurant, one of the highest-rated eateries in all of Strasbourg.
The Michelin-starred restaurant is located in Petite France, inside a beautiful 16th-century half-timbered house along the banks of the river. While particularly famous for its choucroute, you can’t go wrong with any of the dishes here.
FAQ for things to do in Strasbourg
Is Strasburg worth visiting?
Yes, Strasbourg is definitely worth visiting! The city has a rich history and culture, stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and many unique attractions that make it a popular destination for travellers. Whether you are interested in history, culture, food, or simply want to visit one of the world’s oldest Christmas markets, Strasbourg has something for everyone.
What is Strasbourg famous for?
Strasbourg is famous for its stunning architecture, including its half-timbered houses and landmark Strasbourg Cathedral, as well as its world-renowned Christmas Market. Strasbourg is also a gateway to the Alsace Wine Route.
What are fun things to do in Strasbourg at night?
One popular nighttime activity in Strasbourg is a private night tour of the city, which allows you to see the city’s famous landmarks and attractions lit up with beautiful lights. Another fun thing to do in Strasbourg at night is to visit one of the city’s many music venues and jazz clubs, which offer live performances and a cosy atmosphere. Some of the top clubs to check out include Espace Django, Les Savons d’Hélène and Jazzdor.
What are fun things to do in Strasbourg at Christmas?
Some of the top things to do in Strasbourg during Christmas are visiting the famous Christmas markets, seeing the city’s 30-metre-high tree in Place Kléber, attending a Christmas concert, drinking mulled wine, and trying traditional Alsatian Christmas treats.
Recommended tours in Strasbourg
- 2-Hour Strasbourg Euro Tour by Segway
- Alsace Colmar, Medieval Villages & Castle Small Group Day Trip from Strasbourg
- lsace Wine Route Wineries & Tasting Small Group Guided Tour from Strasbourg
- Private tour of Strasbourg in a privatized boat with Skipper
- Strasbourg Traditional Food Tour – Do Eat Better Experience
- Cellar visit with Tasting of 5 Alsatian and Kougelhopf wines to Strasbourg
- Day trip: Colmar, Haut-Koenigsbourg, Riquewihr and Kaysersberg
- Alsace Christmas Markets Day Tour from Strasbourg
- Alsace Private Tailored Tour in a Tesla with a Local
- Strasbourg City Sightseeing Private Guided Tour including Cathedral Visit