strasbourg in one day

How to spend a day in Strasbourg

Strasbourg is the center of France’s Alsace cultural region. The adorable town is easily accessible by train from major cities in France and Germany, which it borders, so it’s an attractive place to see on a day trip. Though we stayed one night in Strasbourg, if you pick and choose what you want to do, it’s possible to see the city in one day. So what is there to see and do when you’re in Strasbourg for a day?

Walk around La Petit France

things to do in strasbourg

La Petit France is Strasbourg’s biggest draw. The charming old neighborhood has traditional half-timbered houses that line the area’s canals. As you can imagine, this small area gets inundated with tourists so I recommend going as early or as late as you possibly can – in this way, staying one night in Strasbourg is quite advantageous. In addition to the city’s iconic vistas, you’ll also find plenty of places to eat and relax in La Petit France. For instance, Square Louise-Weiss is a park adjacent to a canal where you can sit with a bottle of wine and enjoy the afternoon.

things to do in strasbourg

Just on the perimeter of La Petit France, you’ll find the Barrage Vauban, a 17th century military dam that protected Strasbourg from flooding. Today you can find some small exhibits with sculptures and a terrace where you can see a nice view of the river and the historical center.

Visit Cathedral Notre-Dame de Strasbourg

things to do in strasbourg

One of the city’s most impressive sights is the Notre-Dame of Strasbourg, which towers imposingly high over the rest of the city. It’s one of the tallest churches in the world, and you can see for yourself on your visit by climbing the 300 steps to the bell tower. It’s so high that you can see far into both France and Germany from the top. If you’re not amped about that much physical activity, you can see the inside of the church for free. The Notre-Dame’s stained glass windows date back to the 12th century, and if you don’t mind visiting during the busiest time of the day, you can see the animated astronomical clock every day at 12:30 pm.

Take a tour European Parliament

If you’re into modern history, Strasbourg also happens to be the seat of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. You can take self-guided tours through the important building, which is open six days a week, and they’re actually free. You don’t have to book your visit in advance either, unless you’re a group larger than 20. The guided tour is available through the EP Visit Strasbourg app, which offers information in the 24 official languages of the EU member states. If you’re visiting during plenary season, you can attend a session of parliament from the visitor gallery. Yay, democracy!

Enjoy Alsatian cuisine and wine

strasbourg in one day

The Alsace region of France is located right on the border with Germany, and despite the fact that the French don’t love the comparison to Germany, the food in the Alsace region is a wonderful blend of French and German flavors. So you’ll find hearty dishes like baeckeoffe, which is a meat and potato casserole; coq au Riesling, chicken cooked in Riesling; and Flammkuchen, which is a bacon onion flatbread.

The Alsace region is also famous for its wine, particularly its white wines (hence the coq au Riesling). One of the benefits of staying for more than one day in Strasbourg is that you can dedicate at least half a day to the Alsace wine region. There are guided tours that provide transportation, though you can always arrange tastings on your own if you’re driving. If you’re only in Strasbourg for a day, you can enjoy Alsatian wine at any of the city’s wonderful restaurants or bars, like L’Oignon and L’Alsace à Boire.

Discover the city’s museums

If you want to get away from the city’s busy streets on a hot day, you can also explore some of Strasbourg’s museums. If you’re into sociocultural history, the Alsatian Museum takes you on a cultural journey where you can learn about life in Strasbourg and the Alsace region by visiting the inside of a traditional home. If you prefer more ornate museums, the Palais de Rohan houses three museums in an 18th century palace: The Musee des Beaux Arts, The Musee Archeologique, and the Musee des Arts Decoratifs. The latter consists of the restored rooms of the prince-bishops who once inhabited it.  

strasbourg in one day

With so much to do, Strasbourg is a lovely French city that can serve as a gateway to one of the country’s most famous cultural regions. Though Strasbourg in one day is perfectly doable, there’s enough to do to enjoy the city in a more leisurely way over a few days.


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