Spending time in the Grand Est region of northeastern France is a wonderful way to immerse your family in the culture. Strasbourg, the capital city of the region, offers spectacular scenery, natural beauty, rich history, and great family attractions and activities.
Your kids will not even realize they are learning while they explore this old city. With so many fantastic outdoor spaces, visiting Strasbourg during the warmer months is ideal when you have kids in tow. Check out these fantastic things to do in Strasbourg with kids and spend quality time with the entire family.
Before setting out to discover all the wonderful things waiting for you in Strasbourg, drop any extra bags at a Strasbourg luggage locker for safekeeping so you can wander the city and not worry about lugging extra bags with you. Streets and public transport can be crowded – make it easier on both you and the kids by stowing bags and backpacks and coming back for them later.
Address: Pl. du Qur Blanc, Strasbourg
Sebastien Vauban, a French military engineer, built the Vauban Dam in 1690 as a part of Strasbourg’s defense and it was the principal canal lock. The dam is located on the River Ill and is approximately 390 feet long. With 13 fantastic stone arches, it is a fantastic place for family photos.
The dam has only been used once as a defensive maneuver, which was during the Franco-Prussian War when the southern end of the city was flooded to thwart an attack from that end. The sheer magnitude of the Barrage Vauban is awe-inspiring and is one of the most well-known and popular landmarks in northern France.
It is also one of the most photographed places in Strasbourg because of its positioning which allows for breathtaking panoramic views of the Old Town canals, Cathedral of Notre Dame, and the Strasbourg Covered Bridges.
It is free of charge to visit, but you do need to have a ticket. Be sure to order your tickets in advance so you can skip long lines, especially with kids in tow. You can also sign up for a guided tour, but this will cost. The Strasbourg Hidden Gems and Local Spots small group tour is an excellent choice for families.
Parc de l’Orangerie
Address: Allée de la Robertsau, Strasbourg
This is Strasbourg’s oldest public park and covers over 6,424 acres. It is one of the main attractions in the Northeastern Orangerie neighborhood or the European Quarter. Pack a picnic and plan to spend a lazy afternoon exploring this interesting park. The park originated during the French Revolution when over 100 orange trees were confiscated and given to the city.
Only a few of the original orange trees still exist today and you can see these trees on certain days when the greenhouses are open to the public. The park is best known for reintroducing several different native plants that were near extinction.
Sign up for the Batorama Canals cruise that starts at the Parc de l’Orangerie. You will spend about 70 minutes in an open riverboat drifting through the canals of Strasbourg. You can request an audio guide that has been created specifically for children so your kids can listen and learn more about Strasbourg. Your kids will love this interesting boat tour. After all, a boat ride is always fun!
Head to the northwest entrance of Parc de l’Orangerie and check out the Europe Parliament building, one of the major attractions in the park. The building has been used by the Council of Europe since 1977. Visitors can tour the building when the council is not meeting. Have fun on this family trip just outside the city.
Address: 23-25 Quai Saint-Nicolas, Strasbourg
This museum opened in 1902 as a way to preserve the Alsace culture during the era when Germany was trying to change the culture and the way it was perceived. It opened as a private museum, but in 1917 the city of Strasbourg bought and expanded the Alsatian Museum.
Housed in several private homes, encompassing 30 rooms, the museum sits on the banks of the River Ill for breathtaking views of the city and river. You will get a glimpse into what the lives of Alsatians were like during the 18th and 19th centuries. You will climb a network of wooden staircases as you move from house to house and floor to floor.
The museum has been expanding since it opened and it has been restructured to be handicap accessible so even those with walkers and wheelchairs can enjoy the full impact of the museum and its artifacts. Check out costumes, furniture, ceramic objects, jewelry, and even religious and non-religious art.
Children under 18 years old have free entrance, making it an ideal place to visit when you are looking for things to do in Strasbourg with kids, and museums are always a hit, too. Stop by the gift shop before leaving to buy souvenirs and gifts that your entire family will love.
Ponts Couverts de Strasbourg
Address: Rue des Ponts Couverts, Strasbourg
The Strasbourg Covered Bridges date back to the Middle Ages and were once an important part of the city’s defense against invasions. While the original wooden covered bridges were completely replaced in 1865 with sandstone bridges, the history of these iconic bridges is still truly amazing.
While they are no longer covered bridges, the original roofs were completely destroyed sometime in the 18th century, they are still referred to as covered. There are three bridges that connect the banks of the River Ill. Many call the Ponts Couverts de Strasbourg the most iconic symbol of the city and your kids will love walking across the bridges and looking down into the canals.
Historical Museum of the City of Strasbourg
Address: 2 Rue du Vieux-Marché-aux-Poissons, Strasbourg
The museum was opened in 1920 and is housed in a slaughterhouse from the late 14th century. Stroll through the museum and learn more about three very distinct periods of Strasbourg’s rather long history: Free Imperial City 1262-1681, Royal City 1681-1789, and Strasbourg 19th and 20th centuries.
At the end of World War II, the museum added several new exhibits that covered the social, economic, cultural, and political of the area post-war. With several interactive exhibits, children will learn about real-life experiences during Medieval times.
Sign up for one of the guided tours that are geared toward families so your kids will get the most of the entire experience. There are even artistic workshops offered that encourage children to learn through art and create inspirational pieces based on their experiences in the city.
Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg
Address: Pl. de la Cathédrale, Strasbourg
This is an exact replica of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Construction on this magnificent cathedral began in 1015 but was not completed until 1277 when German architect Erwin von Steinbach completed the final stages of his design and construction.
The iconic spire stands over 393 feet tall, which was simply unheard of during those times. This cathedral has become the backdrop of many photos throughout the years and it is a must-see when in Strasbourg. Von Steinbach dreamed of having a double spire cathedral, but it was never realized even after his son and then grandson took over as chief architect.
Ulrich von Ensingen and Johannes Hultz were commissioned to alter some of the design of the Notre Dame Cathedral which was completed in 1439; therefore, it took 424 years for the cathedral to be completely finished. Your kids will love the Gothic style and the history and stories of the cathedral.
The famous astronomical clock, which was built in 1574, is one of the best features in the cathedral and your kids will be mesmerized by the technological and mathematical abilities of this famous clock. Be sure to visit at 12:30 p.m. when the clock sounds off by blowing a horn.
Head up to the observation platform that is about 217 feet in the air and gives you lovely views of the city, as well as the magnificent spire, close up. While here, use the Virtual Reality Strasbourg Cathédrale app to see Strasbourg as it was in 1490. You can try to identify many of the buildings that are still standing all these years later.
Address: 2 Rue de l’Outre, Strasbourg
The central square in Strasbourg just happens to be the biggest and has been the main gathering place since the 14th century. Place Kléber is only a short walk from the Cathédrale Notre Dame. The square had a name change in 1840 when it was named after General Jean Baptiste Kléber. Kléber served under Napoleon during the Egyptian campaign from 1798 to 1799; he was assassinated in 1800 in Cairo.
Kléber was born in Strasbourg and in 1838 a statue of General Kléber was unveiled in the middle of the square. His remains are located in a vault under the statue. Kids will love learning that there is a crypt underneath the statue and they will also enjoy visiting some of the cool toy shops located in the square.
Visit during the Christmas season to see the large Christmas tree and lights that decorate the square. The Christmas market is a must-see where you will find a little bit of everything including some fantastic street food vendors. Your kids will think they are at a small village fair when they visit the Christmas markets.
La Petite France
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, La Petite France is like walking through a living history museum. This is the oldest section of the city and is home to so many fascinating things for the entire family. Drop by the Strasbourg tourist office for more information on the La Petite France area and what to see and do.
There are two wonderful churches to check out when in the area. The Saint-Martin Church sits next to the Saint-Martin bridge. This is actually no longer a church but is the TJP Theater. The Methodist Church of Sion is located on Place Benjamin-Zix across from the half timber houses that were once tanner houses. The area dates back to the early Middle Ages and is a fun place to explore when on a family vacation. The whole crew will find something that grabs their attention and the kids will especially find the old city centre interesting with its Gothic architecture and rich history.
Strasbourg Zoological Museum
Address: 29 Boulevard de la Victoire, Strasbourg, France
Head to the Strasbourg University campus and visit the Zoological Museum which dates back to the 18th century when the city of Strasbourg obtained Jean Hermann’s natural history collection. Stroll through the galleries and imagine what life was like throughout the ages in Strasbourg and the surrounding areas.
Walk through different climates from around the world and learn about the various animals that call these areas home. You will visit the Antarctic, Arctic, the Andes, and the Rainforest, just to name a few. Learn about the importance of insects, lizards, and birds to each climate.
Workshops are available for kids and even the whole family where you can learn together about the animals and their natural habitats. Sign up for a guided tour to learn even more about the different fauna and flora.
What are the best family activities in Strasbourg?
Take a boat tour along the River Ill or visit some of the most beautiful gothic cathedrals in Strasbourg. Explore a public park or enjoy a few cultural events such as the Strasbourg Museum or Strasbourg Cathedral. No matter what cool or interesting activities you choose for your family, you are sure to make memories that will last a lifetime.
Visit Strasbourg, France With the Family
Whether you want to check out modern and contemporary art, visit the European Parliament, stroll through Cathedral Square, or check out the interesting Strasbourg Station, you and your kids will find plenty to do when visiting Strasbourg.
Why not try an escape room or explore an archaeological museum? Head to a theme park or learn more about the fine arts. Taking a local hike is the ideal way to burn off energy. Whatever your family wants to do, you'll find it in this exciting European city. Pack your bags and plan your itinerary for the best family vacation!