Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
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Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
Visit Strasbourg, France
A visit to Strasbourg is a must for any trip to France. The historical and cultural capital of Alsace, now also the capital of the new region Grand Est, Strasbourg is a beautiful and charming city that we know well and really love.
Many people use Strasbourg as the starting point of the Alsace Wine Route or any other road trip in Alsace. Still, Strasbourg is also a destination by itself, easy to visit on a weekend getaway from Paris. The Paris to Strasbourg train ride only takes two hours!
If you are planning to visit Strasbourg, you have come to the right place. Whether you prioritize sightseeing and ticking landmarks off of your bucket list, or simply soaking in the atmosphere of a city, this 2 days in Strasbourg itinerary will help you discover this exceptional city.
HOW MANY DAYS IN STRASBOURG? Two days in Strasbourg are enough to visit the city’s main sights. However, Strasbourg is an excellent base camp to explore other places around on day trips, with accommodation options to suit all budgets. If you can, spend 3 days in Strasbourg and use the third day for a day trip.
Weekend in Strasbourg: Where to Stay?
For your 2 days in Strasbourg, we recommend staying central, close to the proposed sights. The Old Town is central and safe.
The Hotel Cathédrale is located just opposite Notre Dame de Strasbourg, with incredible and spectacular views over the cathedral. The rooms are bright and spacious, with comfortable beds, and there’s public parking available nearby.
Hotel Suïsse is a family-run hotel located only a few steps away from the Place de la Cathédrale. The rooms and the entire hotel are comfortably and meticulously furnished. The breakfast is excellent and does not miss anything.
Hotel Cour du Corbeau Strasbourg is ideal for those travelers looking for a hotel with character. This historic hotel is set in a beautifully renovated 16th-century building in central Strasbourg. It offers a courtyard, free WiFi, and air-conditioned guest rooms with Louis XV-style furniture and satellite TV.
If you visit Strasbourg as part of a road trip, a hotel with private parking is key because all of the Old Town is pedestrian.
Comfort Hotel Strasbourg – Montagne Verte is the hotel we use in Strasbourg for our Alsace road trips. Set near the river Ill, and with free private parking, it’s just a beautiful stroll following the river to reach Old Strasbourg. The rooms are basic, but good-sized and with comfortable beds. The breakfast is excellent!
OR read our article on where to Stay in Strasbourg – best neighborhoods and accommodation options.
How to Visit Strasbourg in 2 Days – A Detailed Strasbourg 2-Day Itinerary
What to do in Strasbourg in 2 days? Here are the best things to do in Strasbourg, good places to eat, and our best tips for a unique weekend in Strasbourg.
Two Days in Strasbourg, Day 1
1. Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Strasbourg
This Strasbourg 2-day itinerary starts at the foot of the Cathedral. Emerging like an apparition between the half-timbered houses of the narrow rue Mercière, the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Strasbourg rises to the sky gigantic and aerial at the same time.
Notre Dame of Strasbourg was built between the 12th and the 15th centuries, and it is one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture in France and the world.
Many architects succeeded in the construction of the cathedral. The name to remember, however, is Erwin of Steinbach who had the idea of moving the sculptures, arches, colonnades, and other ornamentation 30 cm from the facade, which gives this unique appearance of lightness.
The building is characterized by the walls in pink sandstone from the Vosges and the unique bell tower. If the weather is good and the sky is clear, don’t hesitate to climb up to the top of the bell tower for great views over the Black Forest in Germany!
2. Musée Historique de la Ville de Strasbourg
This museum, close to the cathedral, is a kind of time machine. Set in the former Grande Boucherie (the city’s former slaughterhouse), Le Musée Historique helps to understand the unique history of Strasbourg since the Middle Ages and can be an excellent introduction to your next steps in the city.
3. La Petite France
La Petite France is the most picturesque part of Old Strasbourg and one of the top places to visit during your Strasbourg 2-day itinerary. Here, the river Ill is divided into five arms which allowed the construction of mills and the installation of tanneries.
La Petite France is the former neighborhood of tanners, fishermen, and millers and still keeps its original and charming architecture reflected on the water.
Don’t miss rue du Bain-aux-Plantes, with its beautiful renaissance half-timbered houses and picturesque houses. Then go from bridge to bridge, walk along the canals, get lost in the small cobbled streets, and let the charm operate.
La Petite France is also a very touristy neighborhood, and it is often crowded. We recommend visiting it very early in the morning or at night when the day-trippers are gone. Mornings are particularly bright there, and nights are incredibly romantic.
4. Ponts Couverts and Barrage Vauban
After your stroll around La Petite France, it’s time to explore Strasbourg’s covered bridges and the Vauban dam, located a few meters from each other.
Les Ponts Couverts (covered bridges) are three bridges spanning the Ill River, dominated by three imposing square towers, vestiges of the 13th-century city walls. Wooden walkways covered by a large roof are at the origin of their name, but in the 19th century, they were replaced by stone bridges without a roof. A bit further, there’s a fourth tower nicknamed “the executioner’s tower.”
A few meters further stands the Vauban dam. Strewn on 13 arches, it made it possible to flood an entire part of the city in the event of an enemy attack. Its panoramic terrace offers a superb view of the city and the covered bridges!
5. Take a Strasbourg River Cruise
A Strasbourg river cruise may sound cliché, but it is really worth it! Apart from admiring Strasbourg and its main sights from the water, this cruise allows visitors to discover other lesser-known neighborhoods which are more difficult to reach on foot from Old Strasbourg: the Neustadt (the Imperial neighborhood) and the European neighborhood.
Batorama offers different cruises, with interesting comments in four languages. The price depends on the circuit, and you have proposals starting from 3.50€.
The Batorama leaves from the Embarcadère (pier) – Palais Rohan. This cruise is included in the Strasbourg Pass.
Two Days in Strasbourg, Day 2
6. Join a Wine or Food Tour
Strasbourg is also a culinary capital, the perfect place to taste Alsatian specialties! From the traditional choucroute in a winstub to the city’s fanciest restaurants, come to Strasbourg to taste delicious food in Alsace and excellent wines, mostly whites.
The wines of Alsace are often dry white wines, sparkling sweet varieties, and roses. Just like in Germany, you can find delicious Rieslings, Gewürztraminers, and Pinot Gris.
A food or wine tour is a great way to learn more about local cuisine when you visit Strasbourg. The top-rated gourmet food walking tour explores the region’s rich culinary heritage by sampling an array of tasty cheeses, pretzels, gingerbread, and regional wines.
If you prefer to focus on wine, this half-day tour along the Alsace Wine Route will make you discover some of the best wines in the region.
7. Visit the European Neighborhood with its European Institutions
It’s impossible to reduce Strasbourg to a center of regional traditions. In 1948 the city was invested seat of the European Council because of its geographical position and particular history.
In 1949 Strasbourg welcomed the European Court of Human Rights; In 1952, the city welcomed the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC); Later, it was the turn of the Human Rights Institute, the European Youth Event (EYE), and in 1979 the European Parliament was chosen for the first time by Universal suffrage. With this background, nobody can deny that Strasbourg is a truly European capital!
For Europhiles, a visit to the European neighborhood will be one of the must things to do in Strasbourg. The European Parliament showcases a glass facade that follows the riverbank, dominated by a 60-meter tower that opens over the cathedral. This amazing building can be visited from Monday to Saturday, 09:30 – 12:00; 13:00 – 17:00; there’s no need to book in advance.
Not far from the European Parliament, there is Le Palais de l’Europe, which is the headquarters of the European Council and its 47 state members.
The European neighborhood is a bit far from the Old Town, but you can rent a bike for the day to cover more ground (and burn the extra calories taken in the food tour) in a tireless, fun way.
Another fun way to explore this area is on this 2-hour Euro guided Segway tour, which visits the old and new landmarks in the city.
Spend 3 Days in Strasbourg (If you can…)
If you can add an extra day to your Strasbourg itinerary and spend three days in Strasbourg, there are many wonderful Strasbourg day trips to picturesque Alsatian villages, impressive châteaux, or other historic sites. For our Alsace road trips, we always add a couple of Alsace villages to the itinerary, and they are all lovely.
If you only have one day to visit the Alsatian villages, taking a guided tour is a good idea. This Alsace Villages Wine Route Day Trip from Strasbourg has excellent reviews, and it explores four villages on the Alsace wine route: Ribeauvillé, Riquewihr, Kaysersberg, and Eguisheim. There is also a stop at one of the region’s finest wineries.
Practical Information for your Strasbourg Weekend Trip
How to Travel to Strasbourg
BY PLANE: Strasbourg-Entzheim (SXB) is a good option for a weekend in Strasbourg. It is one of the main international airports in France, popular among people working in the European Parliament. The Strasbourg airport has regular international flights to Europe, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, and Israel (seasonal flights). Click here for flight schedules and prices
For a smooth start to your weekend in Strasbourg, book a comfortable private transfer to /from Strasbourg airport.
BY TRAIN: Strasbourg is well connected by TGV trains from Paris and other main cities in France. Direct TGV trains travel from Paris Gare de l’Est to Strasbourg in two hours, and there are also direct trains from Paris CDG Airport to Strasbourg. Click here for train schedules and prices.
2 Days in Strasbourg: Where to Eat?
The list of traditional Alsatian dishes include baeckeoffe, flammekueche, cordon bleu, Vol-au-vent, spaetzle, fleischnacka, and bretzel.
For your evenings out in Strasbourg, we recommend the neighborhoods of Krutenau and Finkwiller, both south of Old Strasbourg. They have many cool addresses to eat or drink something.
MAISON KAMMERZEL: located at Place de la Catthédrale, in front of the cathedral, the 15th-century Maison Kammerzell is considered the most beautiful house in Strasbourg, and one of the most beautiful brasseries in the world, Maison Kammerzell is well known for its specialty: the 3-fishes choucroute. A must-try!
LA CUILLER À POT: located at 18 bis Finkwiller, this is a quiet and charming restaurant proposing a refined and creative cuisine made with fresh produce. There’s always great food, good portions, and a warm welcome.
You can also try one of the popular (now trendy) winstubs – a type of traditional wine bar and restaurant specific to Alsace and a veritable Strasbourg institution. In principle, inexpensive and rather popular, frequented by regulars, winstubs are coquettishly rustic, with a warm atmosphere and local food.
The list of best winstubs in Strasbourg includes Au coin de pucelles (12 rue des Pucelles), Le Fink’stuebel (26 rue Finkwiller), Winstub Le Clou (3 Rue du Chaudron) or Winstub Chez Yvonne (10 Rue du Sanglier).