3 Days in Strasbourg: Everything You Should Know
As the official seat of the European Parliament, Strasbourg is more than just a pretty town on the border between France and Germany. It is also the capital of the Grand Est Region, which was formerly called Alsace, the starting point of the Alsace wine route. Being so close to the border, you get both French and German cultures, cuisines, and history.
The border is drawn by the River Rhine in the upper Rhine Plain in the Vosges Mountains and the Black Forest. With mild winters and warm summers, outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and boating are popular. But the main attraction is the Cathedral, with its astronomical clock and medieval facade.
Strasbourg is such a stunning town, you are going to want to spend every minute you can visiting the most important sites you want to see. With only three days to visit Strasbourg, planning a detailed itinerary just makes sense. Some of the most popular places to visit in Strasbourg on your three-day trip include La Petite France, the Strasbourg Cathedral, the Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, and the Archaeological museum.
The most obvious place to start your 3 days in Strasbourg is in the city center. You can take a Batorama Tour of the city center including the historic city, Orangerie Park (Parc de l'Orangerie), and the Grande île, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. There is another tour that will take you to the European District to see the European Parliament, which is the seat of the European Court.
Start at the Strasbourg train station and work your way out from there to see everything you can. From the Gothic architecture of the cathedral to the day trips to La Petite France through the Alsace wine route for wine tastings, you can see it all on your three-day trip.
Located in eastern France, you can also visit the German town of Baden-Baden or Kehl. In fact, Germany is within walking distance, just across the Rhine River. If you visit the city during the Christmas Season, be sure to check out the Christmas market, which is the largest one in France. Take a walk over River Ill by the three famous covered bridges.
When you get off your plane at Strasbourg Airport, you can rent a car or enjoy the Strasbourg train that goes from Paris to other beautiful towns you may want to explore. If you are busy buying souvenirs or shopping for terrific finds, leave your belongings at a luggage storage facility in Strasbourg. This way you can pop into any attraction that interests you, or grab a bite to eat without heavy bags to carry.
Strasbourg itinerary - Day 1
Morning: Kleber Square
The historic center of Place Kleber, or Kleber Square is the perfect spot to begin your exploration of Strasbourg. In the middle of it all, the Grande île is an island in the center of the city with canals circling the main center of Strasbourg. It is the largest square in the city and features a statue of French General Jean-Baptiste Kleber.
You will see a plethora of buildings from the Middle Ages as well as the Strasbourg Cathedral. The cathedral was built in 1015 and features Gothic Romanesque style inside and out. The pink sandstone facade is stunning and the height, at 466 feet, makes it the third-tallest building in the world.
This part of the European Quarter is where to go during the Christmas markets to see the huge Christmas tree. But during the rest of the year, it is still a busy and invigorating place to visit. Before moving on, take the time to enjoy some brunch at one of the cafes. Some of the most popular include Mamama Bistro, Tzatzi, or Square Delicatessen.
Afternoon: Alsace Wine Region and the Alsace Wine Route
After lunch, try the Alsace wine route for some delicious wine tasting and exploring the Alsace Wine Region. The Alsace Region winegrowers have been producing wine since about 300 AD. You can see the charming villages of half-timbered houses at Petite Franc as well as the charming towns of Eguisheim and Colmar.
During your tour, you will also see many of the vineyards and wineries where you can get wine tastings and cheeses made in the area. The area just happens to be both German and French so you will get the best of both worlds. See the many attractions as well like the Koenigsbourg Castle, many colorful buildings, and the world's oldest cask of wine from 1472.
The Alsatian wine route is 105 miles, so you are not likely to finish it all but you can see 10 quaint villages including the medieval town of Kaysersberg, Riquewihr, and Dambach-La-Ville. Stop in one of the lovely little bistros to get authentic French cuisine or traditional Alsatian dishes for lunch before heading off to your next stop.
Night: Boating on Ill River
In Strasbourg, you can take a boat tour along the canals to see the main attractions of the city. You will enjoy a two-hour ride while getting a history lesson with headphones to learn all about the places along the way. Your first stop will be the European Parliament, where you get a quick tour before passing by the Art Museum.
Then it's off to La Petite France to walk along the cobblestoned streets and get a picturesque view from the panoramic terrace. Next, get a quick view of The Court of Human Rights before you visit Orange Park, the oldest park in the city. Other cool stops include the Notre Dame Cathedral, Elithis Danube Tower, and a quick stop at the Port of Strasbourg.
Strasbourg itinerary - Day 2
Morning: Important Museums
The morning starts off with a buffet breakfast at one of the many eateries in the city from Cafe Bretelles Petite France to Hey Mama. Then, your first place to visit is the Museum of Fine Arts inside the Palais Rohan (Rohan Palace). Here you will find a collection of the old masters. Some of the most popular include names include Raphael, El Greco, Rubens, and Degas.
Also in the Palace, the Museum of Decorative Arts is full of sensational pieces of furniture, ceramics, and statuary. Another fine place is the Archaeological Museum in the basement of the Palais Rohan. You can see items dating back to prehistory and the Merovingian Dynasty.
After, head over to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. The stunning building with a glass front is one of the largest art museums in France with more than 18,000 pieces of graphic arts, paintings, and design. Some of these include works done by Monet, Renoir, Rodin, and Picasso.
One of the smallest other towns in the Alsatian Region is Eguisheim, where you will find some nice trails through the Vosges forests. Although it is a small village, it is a special place to enjoy some hiking in the woods. Muhlbach Natural Park is another hidden gem with hiking trails where you can enjoy the wide green spaces.
Orangery Park is one of the best places in Strasbourg to get out and enjoy the fresh air on the trails. It is the largest and oldest park in the city with over 65 acres. Inside this historic park, you can see a cave dug in the 1800s, the Josephine Pavilion Monument, and the Charmille Fountain. There is even a small zoo and a bowling alley.
If you get tired of walking, you can take a bike tour through the old town to see many different places in a short time. This city is known as one of the most bike-friendly places in the world with all its pedestrian streets you cannot visit with a rental car. Make sure you visit some of the European institutions like the European Parliament and the Council of Europe.
Night: Memorable Dinner
Make a special evening of it and head to a waterside eatery. Try Au Pont Saint Martin, where no matter the season, the food is delicious and the ambiance divine. The restaurant is found in a half-timbered building with stunning views of the Ill River locks and the Petite France Quarter. A popular place to dine, you'll enjoy Alsatian dishes sure to satisfy you after a day of hiking. Take your time and relax, you deserve it!
Strasbourg itinerary - Day 3
Morning: Europa Park
Have fun on your last day by visiting Europa Park. This huge theme park is not just for kids! Located between the Vosges Mountains and the Black Forest, the park boasts more than 85 rides, 20 different shows, and over a dozen shops. This includes 13 roller coasters, featuring the newest Alpenexpress Coastiality which includes VR headsets for a 3D experience.
After you spend all morning enjoying the thrill rides, enjoy a nice lunch at one of the 54 eateries. There are buffets, fast food, or seated dining available. You can also enjoy a show before going back to the rides. If you have the little ones, you can take them on some of the 24 rides just for them. There are even some water rides to cool you off.
Afternoon: Famous Places
The Kammerzell House is a must-see during your visit to Strasbourg. It is one of the most famous buildings that is considered to be the most beautiful house in the city. It was built in 1427 and is made in the German Renaissance style. The Vauban Barrage is also a historic site that was erected in the 1600s. It has sculptures and a spectacular view.
Gutenberg Place is another fine place to visit. The main attraction is the sculpture of Johannes Gutenberg, who scripted the Bible. There is also a merry-go-round called the Carousel 1900 dating back over 100 years. Enjoy a late lunch at Aux Armes des Strasburgh where you can let the food reflect the area.
Night: Dinner and a Show
Have a delicious meal at one of the most popular restaurants in Strasbourg, Les Plaisirs Gourmands. This Michelin-starred eatery is tucked away in a residential neighborhood in northern Strasbourg. This is a place you want to dress up for so enjoying it before going to the opera is a fantastic idea.
The Opera National du Rhin, or Rhin National Opera, showcases spectacular talent with orchestral shows, ballet, and opera. Some of the most popular performances here are West Side Story, Kamuyot, and Trouble in Tahiti. No matter what they are showing, the building itself is a stellar sight to see.
A fun 3 days in Strasbourg
Whether you are visiting Strasbourg for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, there is so much to see and do, that you will need to prepare yourself with a detailed itinerary. You can even trek over the German border to see some of the German attractions as well. Why not take a food tour so you can taste the cuisines of both Germany and France?
Are you into music? Strasbourg has a plethora of music festivals all year round so there is something going on no matter when you visit. You will have to work it into your itinerary somewhere. If it rains while you are in Strasbourg, no need to worry, there is a lot to do even during the wet season.
Still planning your visit to Strasbourg? Check out these guides for more ideas!