25 Best Things to Do in Strasbourg


Stras­bourg is the cap­i­tal of the Alsace region and the cul­tur­al cen­ter of north­east­ern France, famous for its beau­ti­ful palaces, muse­ums, and parks.


What to do in Strasbourg

Stras­bourg is an ancient city locat­ed in the Upper Rhine Val­ley on the bor­der of France and Ger­many. The first set­tle­ments arose here in the 12th cen­tu­ry BC. For a long time the city was a bor­der zone of the Roman Empire and only at the end of the 5th cen­tu­ry did it become part of the king­dom of the Ger­man­ic Franks. The influ­ence of Ger­many and France caused the mix­ing of two cul­tures and gave the local streets a spe­cial charm that has sur­vived to this day.

Stras­bourg is one of the few cities that play a huge role on the polit­i­cal world stage. It is here that the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute of Human Rights, the Palace of Europe are locat­ed. And the his­tor­i­cal dis­tricts of the city are part of the UNESCO World Her­itage Site. Tourists from all over the world come to appre­ci­ate the unique view of the ancient streets, see the Stras­bourg Cathe­dral, Kam­merzel’s house, and cov­ered bridges.

The cul­tur­al life of Stras­bourg is rich and var­ied:

  • Every autumn, the Musi­ca inter­na­tion­al fes­ti­val starts. For two weeks, clas­si­cal music cen­ters are held in the city, gath­er­ing thou­sands of lis­ten­ers.
  • In Sep­tem­ber, Stras­bourg invites you to the fan­ta­sy, sci­ence fic­tion and hor­ror film fes­ti­val. Famous actors, direc­tors, crit­ics come to the hol­i­day. Guests watch new films, and the jury choos­es the win­ner in the nom­i­na­tion of the best film.
  • On the eve of Christ­mas, Stras­bourg calls to the fair. The tra­di­tion of hold­ing a Christ­mas mar­ket dates back over 400 years. Bright illu­mi­na­tion is lit in the cen­tral squares, ele­gant Christ­mas trees and col­or­ful tents with sweets and sou­venirs are set up. The air is sat­u­rat­ed with the aro­mas of gin­ger­bread and cof­fee, peo­ple par­tic­i­pate in con­tests, have fun and buy gifts.

Stras­bourg is a great place for a fam­i­ly hol­i­day. The city is famous for its parks, squares, ponds. In the shade of trees, play­grounds with tram­po­lines, sand­box­es and slides are equipped. For old­er chil­dren there is a rope town and a climb­ing wall. Adults and chil­dren go on an excur­sion to inter­est­ing places, ride a boat on the riv­er, explore the sur­round­ings.

Interesting places

Grand Ile

grand il

A small island in the his­toric heart of Stras­bourg, rec­og­nized as a UNESCO World Her­itage Site. Its cen­ter is dec­o­rat­ed with a square named after Gen­er­al Jean-Bap­tiste Kléber. The rec­tan­gu­lar area is sur­round­ed by build­ings that house finan­cial insti­tu­tions and lux­u­ry stores.

In the mid­dle is a stat­ue of the gen­er­al him­self, and under the sculp­ture is his grave. At Christ­mas, a huge fir tree is placed on the square and a Christ­mas mar­ket is arranged. Streets lined with hous­es built in the style of brick Goth­ic and Baroque stretch from the square.

Little France

malenikaya francia

In the west­ern part of the island of Grande Île lies the Petite France quar­ter, indent­ed by nar­row trib­u­taries of the Ile Riv­er and rem­i­nis­cent of Venice. In the Mid­dle Ages, millers, tan­ners, fish­er­men set­tled here, so many build­ings have sheds on the roofs for dry­ing skins and spa­cious porch­es near the water, con­ve­nient for trade.

Now Petite France is one of the main tourist attrac­tions. Peo­ple come to see pic­turesque canals, open­work foot­bridges, goth­ic church­es and hous­es.

Cathedral Square

sobornaia ploshad

The his­toric cen­tral square has an orig­i­nal shape, rem­i­nis­cent of the Latin let­ter L. It is framed by four-sto­ry man­sions in the tra­di­tion­al Ger­man style with high roofs. The main archi­tec­tur­al ensem­ble is the Stras­bourg Cathe­dral. Not far from it are the house of Kam­merzel, the phar­ma­cy “At the Deer”, the Impe­r­i­al School of Mil­i­tary Med­i­cine.

Near the phar­ma­cy there is a Büschmess­er col­umn. Pre­vi­ous­ly, with its help, the fig­ure of stone­ma­sons was mea­sured. Today, this pro­ce­dure is so pop­u­lar with tourists that the city author­i­ties had to veneer the col­umn with mar­ble so that it would not wear off.

Republic Square

ploshad republics

The square, built at the end of the 19th cen­tu­ry, is locat­ed near the embank­ment in the Grand Île area. It is a rec­tan­gle with a ring road, inside which is plant­ed a park with bench­es, flower beds, foun­tains. In the mid­dle of the park is a mon­u­ment to the inhab­i­tants of Stras­bourg who died in the war between Prus­sia and France. On the west­ern side of the square ris­es the Rhine Palace. Next to it are the Stras­bourg Nation­al The­ater and the uni­ver­si­ty library.

Place Broglie

ploshad brolia

A long square in the north of the Grande Île is named after Mar­shal François-Marie de Broglie. It is famous for the fact that it was here that the Mar­seil­laise was first heard after France declared war on Aus­tria. This song lat­er became the coun­try’s nation­al anthem.

The mod­ern Broglie Square resem­bles a boule­vard: a wide alley is laid in the cen­ter, plane trees grow along it and there are trade pavil­ions. In Decem­ber, the square becomes the main venue for the Christ­mas Mar­ket.

Vauban Dam and Covered Bridges

plotina vobana

The 16th cen­tu­ry mil­i­tary engi­neer Sebas­t­ian Vauban designed a sys­tem of defen­sive for­ti­fi­ca­tions on the bor­der with Ger­many. Part of them is the dam, which received the name of the design­er. The struc­ture is 120 meters long and con­sists of 13 arch­es. Inside there are locks, which once could block the water in the riv­er and flood the near­by ter­ri­to­ry, pre­vent­ing the ene­my from mov­ing for­ward.

Stone fig­ures of gar­goyles, brought here from the Rohan Palace and Stras­bourg Cathe­dral, are exhib­it­ed in the cor­ri­dor. Next to the dam are the Cov­ered Bridges span­ning the Ile Riv­er and four gloomy tow­ers.

european bridge

europiski most

A road bridge was laid across the Rhine, con­nect­ing Ger­many and France. The con­crete and steel struc­ture, 245 meters long, 18.5 meters wide and 5 meters high, was put into oper­a­tion in 1960. The bridge is a sym­bol of the com­mon­wealth of the two coun­tries. With 130,000 vehi­cles pass­ing through it every day, it is the most vis­it­ed bor­der cross­ing point between Ger­many and France.


House Kammerzell

dom camera

Kam­merzell is con­sid­ered to be the most famous medieval house of Stras­bourg. The mul­ti-storey build­ing built on the Cathe­dral Square attracts atten­tion with its rich exter­nal dec­o­ra­tion.

The Goth­ic man­sion is dec­o­rat­ed with 75 win­dows. Each of them is fin­ished with skill­ful wood­en decor depict­ing the fig­ures of saints, zodi­a­cal sym­bols, mytho­log­i­cal ani­mals. Mul­ti-col­ored stained-glass win­dows shim­mer­ing in the sun are insert­ed into the win­dows.

The orig­i­nal wall dec­o­ra­tion has been pre­served in the inte­ri­or. Kam­merzell has a hotel and an upscale restau­rant serv­ing cukrut, foie gras and flammkuchen.

Rogan Palace

dvorec roganov

The beau­ti­ful Baroque palace was erect­ed by order of Car­di­nal de Rohan-Soubise in 1742. The facade of the build­ing over­looks the embank­ment. You can enter the court­yard through mas­sive gates dec­o­rat­ed with columns, carved orna­ments, and sculp­tures.

King Louis XV, Queen Marie Antoinette, Emper­or Napoleon and his wife stayed at the Rogan Palace. Today, under the roof of the archi­tec­tur­al com­plex there is an archae­o­log­i­cal muse­um, a muse­um of his­to­ry and applied arts.

Fetes Palace


The Art Nou­veau palace appeared in Stras­bourg at the begin­ning of the last cen­tu­ry. The orig­i­nal build­ing was intend­ed for the city choir, and for many years it housed the Stras­bourg Phil­har­mon­ic. The man­sion is con­sid­ered a his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ment and is under state pro­tec­tion.

The four-storey build­ing is dec­o­rat­ed with arched win­dows and grace­ful ter­races. The main con­cert hall is dec­o­rat­ed in the Baroque style. The inte­ri­or is dom­i­nat­ed by fres­coes, stuc­co, crys­tal chan­de­liers. The palace is cur­rent­ly under­go­ing restora­tion — the open­ing of the con­cert hall is sched­uled for 2020.

town hall

town hall

The Baroque man­sion, built in the ear­ly 18th cen­tu­ry for Count Jean Rey­nar, has a large por­tal, an impos­ing court­yard and two dec­o­ra­tive facades. The inte­ri­ors are dec­o­rat­ed with gild­ed stuc­co pan­els, col­or­ful paint­ings, paint­ings, and tapes­tries.

After the French Rev­o­lu­tion, the house was con­fis­cat­ed. Since 1805, it housed the city hall, a draw­ing school, and a munic­i­pal muse­um. Today, the city hall is locat­ed in a new build­ing, and the old town hall is used for cel­e­bra­tions and offi­cial events.

Bishop’s Palace

episkopskii palace

The French Baroque palace belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. The archi­tec­tur­al ensem­ble, erect­ed in 1732, is the res­i­dence of the Bish­op of Stras­bourg, so the entrance there is lim­it­ed. Tourists can admire the appear­ance of the orig­i­nal build­ing and exam­ine the facade, dec­o­rat­ed with arched win­dows, stuc­co, curly lat­tices. A small gar­den is plant­ed in the inner court­yard, open to vis­i­tors.

European Parliament building

sdanie evroparlamenta

The Euro­pean Quar­ter is locat­ed in the east­ern part of the city, where inter­na­tion­al insti­tu­tions are con­cen­trat­ed. The build­ing of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, built in 1999, is con­sid­ered the cen­tral com­po­si­tion. The house has an elon­gat­ed shape and ris­es along the Ile Riv­er, as if hang­ing over it.

The glazed mul­ti-storey façade is adorned with a tall tow­er. In front of the main entrance there is a sculp­ture by Lyud­mi­la Che­ri­na “Europe in the Heart”. A pedes­tri­an bridge cross­es the riv­er, con­nect­ing the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment with oth­er parts of the city.

Palace of Europe

dvorec europi

The grand open­ing of the Palace of Europe took place in 1977. Out­side, it resem­bles a fortress, thanks to the numer­ous nar­row win­dows that look like loop­holes. The nine-sto­ry pink sand­stone build­ing has 17 board­rooms and over 1,000 offices.

The flags of the mem­ber coun­tries of the Euro­pean Union flut­ter in front of the entrance. Inside are the Par­lia­men­tary Assem­bly and the Con­gress of the Coun­cil of Europe. Near­by ris­es a futur­is­tic build­ing with two slop­ing tow­ers — the Euro­pean Court of Human Rights.


Strasbourg Cathedral


The con­struc­tion of the Goth­ic cathe­dral in Stras­bourg was com­plet­ed in 1439. The red sand­stone struc­ture is a mas­ter­piece of medieval archi­tec­ture. The west­ern facade is dec­o­rat­ed with open­work pat­terns, lancet win­dows, thou­sands of stone fig­ures. On the north side ris­es a tow­er with a stepped nar­row spire.

Out­stand­ing ele­ments of the decor are mul­ti-col­ored stained-glass win­dows, tapes­tries, busts of saints at the main altar, and a pipe organ. In the south transept there is an astro­nom­i­cal clock cre­at­ed in 1843. A com­plex mech­a­nism shows the orbits of the plan­ets of the solar sys­tem, cal­cu­lates leap years and the dates of church hol­i­days.

Church of Saint Thomas

cerkov st tomasa

The first Chris­t­ian church was erect­ed on this site in the 6th cen­tu­ry. The struc­ture was burned sev­er­al times, destroyed dur­ing wars, but always restored. In 1521 the tem­ple was rebuilt in the late Goth­ic style. The inte­ri­ors are dec­o­rat­ed with fres­coes, stained-glass win­dows and sculp­tures.

In the crypt are the mau­soleums of Mar­shal Mau­rice de Sachs and Bish­op Ade­loch, dec­o­rat­ed with life-size stone stat­ues. Sil­ber­man’s 1741 organ stands in the cen­tral hall.

St. Paul’s Church

cerkov st pavla

The grace­ful church stands proud­ly on the banks of the Ile Riv­er in the cen­ter of Stras­bourg. The build­ing, designed by Leo Müller in the 19th cen­tu­ry, resem­bles a medieval cathe­dral: the Goth­ic facade is dec­o­rat­ed with intri­cate orna­ments, a round rose win­dow in the cen­ter, and two point­ed tow­ers on the sides. There are bells at the top.

The walls of the tem­ple are paint­ed with fres­coes illus­trat­ing the lives of saints and lead­ers of the Ref­or­ma­tion. Church ser­vices are held to the sounds of an ancient organ.


Museum of Fine Arts

musei iso

On the ground floor of the Rogan Palace there is a muse­um of fine arts. The col­lec­tion includes paint­ings, sculp­tures, engrav­ings by Ital­ian, Flem­ish, Dutch and French mas­ters. Among the best can­vas­es are “Por­trait of a Young Lady” by Raphael, “Por­trait of a Beard­ed Man” by Tin­toret­to, “Por­trait of Luidia Cat­ta­neo the Pagan” by Antho­ny van Dyck, “The Beau­ti­ful Stras­bourg Woman” by Nico­las de Largillière and “Van­i­ty” by Hans Mem­ling.

Modern Art Museum

museum sovr isk

The Art Muse­um of Con­tem­po­rary Art was found­ed in 1973. 18 thou­sand works of art are exhib­it­ed in the spa­cious halls. Among the exhibits are paint­ings, draw­ings, sculp­tures, engrav­ings, pho­tographs. Per­ma­nent exhi­bi­tions include paint­ings by Claude Mon­et, Camille Pis­sar­ro, Wass­i­ly Kandin­sky, Pablo Picas­so. The muse­um’s pho­to library con­tains thou­sands of pho­tographs by famous pho­tog­ra­phers: Nadar, Eti­enne-Jules Marey, Robert Map­plethor­pe.

Archaeological Museum

archeology museum

On the ter­ri­to­ry of the Rogan Palace there is a huge col­lec­tion of the archae­o­log­i­cal muse­um. The exhi­bi­tion depart­ments cov­er the his­to­ry of Alsace, from the Neolith­ic era to the present day. Guests are shown the bones of ancient ani­mals, rit­u­al objects, stone weapons, kitchen uten­sils.

The atten­tion of vis­i­tors is attract­ed by things found in Celtic bur­ial mounds, Roman tem­ples, Frank­ish cas­tles. Among the valu­able exhibits are ancient coins, bronze fig­urines, jew­el­ry.

Le Vaiso

le vaico

The Sci­ence Cen­ter opened its doors in Stras­bourg in 2005. Its goal is to inter­est chil­dren, teenagers and increase the intel­lec­tu­al lev­el of chil­dren. Muse­um exhi­bi­tions intro­duce young guests to the ani­mal and plant world, teach them to under­stand the phys­i­cal prop­er­ties of water, talk about the struc­ture of the human body and nat­ur­al phe­nom­e­na.

On the tour, chil­dren solve puz­zles, rid­dles, con­duct chem­i­cal and phys­i­cal exper­i­ments. Le Vaisot Sci­ence Cen­ter has a large gar­den in the court­yard. It is equipped with play­grounds, pic­nic areas, areas for observ­ing nature.

Museum of Zoology

musei zooligy

In the 19th cen­tu­ry, the author­i­ties of Stras­bourg acquired the col­lec­tion of the nat­u­ral­ist Johann Her­mann and hand­ed it over to the man­age­ment of the city uni­ver­si­ty. The exhibits became part of the nat­ur­al his­to­ry muse­um, which grew and devel­oped rapid­ly.

Today the muse­um has a huge col­lec­tion of amphib­ians, inver­te­brates, fish, mam­mals, birds and insects. Vis­i­tors can see stuffed giraffes, tigers, skele­tons of pre­his­toric ani­mals. In a sep­a­rate room, per­son­al belong­ings, diaries and doc­u­ments of Johann Her­mann are stored.

Fort Rapp

fort rap

In the vicin­i­ty of Stras­bourg, a fort has been pre­served, built by order of Gen­er­al von Moltke after the city came under the con­trol of Prus­sia dur­ing the Fran­co-Pruss­ian war. The for­ti­fi­ca­tions, designed to pro­tect against French attacks, con­sist of high mas­sive walls, watch­tow­ers, pow­der mag­a­zines, barns.

After the return of Alsace to France, the fort was named after Gen­er­al Jean Rapp. Today, the archi­tec­tur­al com­plex is equipped with a muse­um. The guests are shown the gar­ri­son, sol­diers’ rooms, guns, maps of the area, doc­u­ments.


Botanical Garden

bot sad

The botan­i­cal gar­den in Stras­bourg is con­sid­ered one of the old­est in France. It was found­ed in 1619 for the sci­en­tif­ic research of the med­ical acad­e­my. After the First World War, the area fell into dis­re­pair, and many green­hous­es col­lapsed. The restora­tion took many years.

Today the gar­den is man­aged by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Stras­bourg and con­sists of an arbore­tum, a trop­i­cal green­house, a pavil­ion with med­i­c­i­nal herbs, a rose gar­den, and a lake with lilies.

Friedel Wildlife Park

park dikoi orirodi

In the south­ern sub­urbs of Stras­bourg, it is easy to find a wildlife park that can inter­est chil­dren of all ages. The area of ​​2 hectares is plant­ed with conif­er­ous and decid­u­ous trees. The cen­ter is equipped with a large arti­fi­cial pond, which has become a home for ducks and swans.

Walk­ing near the water, guests can see pheas­ants, pea­cocks, pink flamin­gos. In the green zone there are enclo­sures and spa­cious pens with domes­tic ani­mals: sheep, cows, rab­bits, guinea pigs, tur­tles. Chil­dren will be allowed to stroke and feed the ani­mals, ride a pony.


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