Things to do in Strasbourg, the beautiful capital of Alsace

Is Strasbourg worth visiting? The capital and largest city of France’s region Alsace and the official seat of the European Parliament, even though known for more political and business reasons, there are many things to do in Strasbourg if you are on vacation. Historically on a delicate balance between France and Germany, the beautiful Strasbourg will show you an enticing collaboration between French and German cultures, architecture and food.

Things to do in Strasbourg, France
Buildings in the typical half-timbered style reflecting on the Ill. Walking along the river is one of the top things to do in Strasbourg

Things to do in Strasbourg

Strasbourg knows how to treat its visitors. From museums covering different layers of history to a picturesque traditional architecture of half-timbered houses to be admired from the banks of the Ill River that will make you feel inside a story of the Grimm brothers, many are the places to visit in Strasbourg.

Strasbourg Cathedral

Things to do in Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg Gothic cathedral

If you are wondering what to do in Strasbourg, start your tour from the impressive city’s cathedral, a magnificent example of sacred Gothic art. The works for the Cathedral of Norte-Dame began in 1015 in a Romanesque style, of which today we can only see the crypt and the general footprint. Completed in 1439, it’s now a majestic work of Gothic-style architecture.

The sophisticated facade is made of countless carvings and sculptures create a fascinating light interplay that won’t fail to mesmerize you. Passionate photographers will stare at it for hours snapping innumerable shots.

The pink/brown sandstone used for the facade comes from the nearby Vosges mountain range and the lights of the different moments of the day cause a change of its colour. Calm and balmy early morning, in the evening it conveys an eerie atmosphere.

Inside, you can admire the Renaissance astronomical clock, a beautiful collaboration of the work of sculptors, technicians and mathematicians that every day at half past noon shows a parade of men’s different ages (child, teenager, adult and elderly) going past Death, and the Twelve Apostles parading before Christ.

The interior of Strasbourg cathedral is worth visiting also for its wonderful stained-glass windows dating back to the 12th and 14th centuries.

To complete your cathedral experience, climb the 332 steps up to the church’s platform through the spiral staircase to reach astonishing views of Strasbourg’s medieval rooftops, the Vosges mountain range and if you are lucky enough to find a clear day, even of Germany’s Black Forest.

Address: 17, Place de la Cathédrale.
Opening Hours: Daily 9 am-7 pm. To climb to the platform timings change according to the season: April to September daily 9 am-7.15 pm – October to March daily 10 am-5.15 pm – Late opening on Fridays and Saturdays in June. For info, check the website of Strasbourg Tourism Office http://www.otstrasbourg.fr/en.
Admission Fee: Free for the cathedral, 3€ for the Astronomical Clock (free for children under 6), 5€ for the cathedral’s platform (3.5€ for children, 4€ for groups).

Kammerzell House

Kammerzell House is a must-see in Strasbourg. Initially belonging to the cheese merchant Martin Braun, who bought it in the 16th century to renovate it by building three floors and leaving only the original ground floor dating back to 1467, the house was later acquired by the grocer Kammerzell, its owner in the 19th century, after which it’s now named. The decoration and carvings of the facade reproduce moments from the Bible and ancient Greek and Roman tradition.

Today Maison Kammerzell is a famous brasserie and a hotel right close to the cathedral. A meal here, surrounded by Léo Schnug’s frescoes and the traditional interior, is one of the memorable experiences you can have in Strasbourg.

Petite France Quarter

Immerse in the old working life by wandering the picturesque alleys of the Petite France Quarter, a well-preserved neighbourhood where back in the day fishermen, tanners and millers used to live. This is the best place to admire the traditional half-timbered facades typical of the local architecture that reflect on the river Ill creating fascinating views.

Have a scenic walk along the river or explore the back streets, stop at one of the restaurants for lunch or dinner to enjoy an Alsatian meal and sip some French coffee at a local café to fully blend with the surroundings.

Definitely one of the best places to visit in Strasbourg.

Musée Alsacien (Alsatian Museum)

Things to do in Strasbourg
Musee Alsacien is one of the top things to do in Strasbourg

One of the things to do in Strasbourg for a quintessential Alsatian experience is visiting the Alsatian Museum. If you want to delve into the region’s history, old lifestyle, different jobs, see how people live back in the day in this disputed French region on the border with Germany.

Visitors will take on a charming path along ancient dwellings through wooden stairs and passageways to loyally reproduce the traditional mansions, the interior of rural houses, kitchens and even an alchemist’s workshop. You will see a huge collection of clothes, pieces of furniture, ceramics, toys, sacred objects, working tools and much more that will give you a great view of 18th and 19th-century Alsace.

Address: 23-25 Quai Saint-Nicolas.
Opening Hours: Daily except Tuesday 10 am-6 pm, closed January 1st, Good Friday, May 1st, November 1st and 11th, December 25th.

Admission Fee: 6.5€ for adults, free for under 18.
How to get there: Buses n. 10 (Corbeau stop), 30 (Saint-Guillaume stop), 14 and 24 (Ancienne Douane stop), trams A and D (Porte de l’Hôpital stop).

Strasbourg Archaeology Museum

History buffs will find the Archaeology Museum a treasure trove of information and inspiration. Gathering some 600 thousands of years of local history, from the prehistory to the early Middle Ages, this is absolutely one of the places to visit in Strasbourg.

Located in the undergrounds of the famous 18th-century French-style Palais Rohan (Rohan Palace), for the variety of the objects and the quality of the exhibition, Strasbourg Archaeology Museum is considered one of the most important in France.

The permanent display is constantly revisited as new objects are discovered, and temporary exhibitions show the evolution of the new diggings and research of local archaeology.

Address: 2, Place du Château
Opening Hours: Daily except Tuesday 10 am-6 pm, closed January 1st, Good Friday, May 1st, November 1st and 11th, December 25th.
Admission Fee: 6.5€ for adults, free for under 18.
How to get there: Bus 10 (Corbeau stop).

Museum of History of Strasbourg

If you are into more modern history, the Museum of History is one of the top things to do in Strasbourg. Walk through history from the Middle Ages to the European Union institutions, this museum offers historical and interactive routes for visitors of all ages telling them about the city’s past and allowing the interaction with different objects during the tour.

Here visitors will get in touch with Strasbourg national and international influences it has had throughout the centuries. A great experience for kids who will have the chance to learn history by drawing, interacting, touching and even trying on a medieval war helmet.

Address: 2, rue du Vieux Marché aux Poissons.
Opening Hours: Daily except Monday 10 am-6 pm, closed January 1st, Good Friday, May 1st, November 1st and 11th, December 25th.
Admission Fee: 6.5€ for adults, free for under 18.
How to get there: Bus 10 (Corbeau stop), trams A and D (Porte de l’Hôpital stop).

Musée des Beaux-Art (Museum of Fine Arts) and Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Museum of Decorative Arts)

Are you still wondering what to see in Strasbourg? Located on the first floor of Palais Rohan, the Museum of Fine Arts displays a collection of European painters from the dawn of this form of art up to 1870 and is one of the top things to do in Strasbourg. Among the artists you can admire are the Italian Giotto, Botticelli, Raphael and Canaletto, the Spanish Goya, the French Delacroix and the Flemish Rubens.

The Museum of Decorative Arts is located on the ground floor of Palais Rohan, the former residence of the prince/bishops built between 1732 and 1742. The museum comprises two sections: the luxurious and finely decorated apartments of the Cardinals Rohan (outstanding Napoleon’s bedroom and the library), and a collection of decorative arts of the city of Strasbourg.

Address: 2, Place du Château.
Opening Hours: Daily except Tuesday 10 am-6 pm, closed January 1st, Good Friday, May 1st, November 1st and 11th, December 25th.
Admission Fee: 6.5€ for adults, free for under 18.
How to get there: Bus 10 (Corbeau stop).

All museums in Strasbourg are free of charge for visitors younger than 18 and for disabled, and for everyone on the first Sunday of the month. Entrance ticket to a museum is €6.5, you can also buy a 1-day ticket for 12€ or a 3-day ticket for 18€ that will give you access to all the museums, both permanent and temporary exhibitions.

There is also the possibility to buy a Strasbourg Pass (21.50€ for adults, 10€ for kids aged 4-12, 15€ for teenagers aged 13-17) that will give you several free admissions and discounts. For more info check the website of Strasbourg Tourism Office http://www.otstrasbourg.fr.

Where to stay, hotels in Strasbourg

Cour du Corbeau – MGallery by Sofitel. Enjoy your stay in Strasbourg at this fantastic 4-star hotel set in a 16th-century building in the heart of the city. Its air-conditioned rooms and modern amenities such as LCD TV, minibar, WiFi access and tea and coffee-making facilities become even more pleasant when adapted to its original Louis XV-style furniture. A buffet-style breakfast with fresh local produce is served daily.
Click here for more details on booking and current prices at Cour du Corbeau Hotel.

Pavillon Régent Petite France. In a mix of modern and old style, Pavillon Régent Petite France offers comfortable rooms equipped with all necessary amenities from WiFi access, tea/coffee making facilities, private bathroom, a great breakfast and parking facilities in the quaint Petite France Quarter.
Click here for more details on booking and current prices at Pavillon Régent Petite France.

Hotel Kammerzell. Not just a restaurant, Maison Kammerzell is also a hotel. Located right close to the cathedral and a stone’s throw away from all major landmarks, this hotel boasts a truly unbeatable location. One of the Strasbourg attractions itself, here you will enjoy a perfect blend of tradition and modern comfort with amenities such as free WiFi, TV, air conditioning, and modern bathrooms. The hotel features also a gourmet restaurant.
Click here for more details on booking and current prices at Hotel Kammerzell.

Hotel Maison Rouge. Literally “Red House”, Hotel Maison Rouge ensures comfortable rooms and modern comforts in the perfect location in the heart of Strasbourg. Historic house with elegant decorations, Maison Rouge features rooms equipped with all modern comforts such as mini bar, satellite TV, ensuite bathroom with shower or bathtub.
Click here for more details on booking and current prices at Hotel Maison Rouge.

Meublé Saint-Thomas Strasbourg. If you’d rather stay at an apartment, Meublé Saint-Thomas is your best option. Located in the city centre and set in a historical building, this fully-equipped apartment made of one bedroom and living room features TV, DVD player, phone, free WiFi, a washing machine, clothes dryer, and a kitchen furnished with a stove, a dishwasher, a microwave. A free Strasbourg Pass is a nice token included in the amenities.
Click here for more details on booking and current prices at Meublé Saint-Thomas Strasbourg.

Need more reasons to visit northern France? Here is why you need to go beyond Paris.

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Things to do in Strasbourg, France
10 Comments
  1. What is shipped on the canals? Is it a touristy spot in the summer? In my mind your photo says Europe. Nice job.

    • I don’t really know how they use the river, the only boats I saw were for tourists. It’s quite a touristy spot, I think winter and summer alike, even if winter time is very cold. It’s a great starting point to visit Alsace, a very beautiful region.

  2. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Strasbourg. Your photo captures it beautifully. Love the reflection, too.

  3. That is so gorgeous! I love half-timbered buildings. They make me want to move right in and read books by the fire. :-)

  4. Beautiful shot! I love the reflections.

    Thanks for posting to TPThursday!

  5. Brilliant shot! I could have it as a poster on my wall. Simply beautiful…:)

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