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Visit Strasbourg, in Alsace
A visit to Strasbourg is a must of any trip to Eastern France. The historical and cultural capital of Alsace, now also the capital of the new region Grand Est and European capital, Strasbourg is a beautiful and charming city great for a perfect weekend at any season. La Belle Alsatienne is a city that we know well and that we really love!
Many people use Strasbourg as the starting point of the Alsace Wine Route or to explore the picturesque Alsatian villages but Strasbourg is also a destination by itself, very easy to visit on a weekend getaway from Paris. TGV trains connect Paris to Strasbourg in only 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. Learn what to do in Strasbourg, good places to eat and stay, and our best tips for a fantastic weekend in Strasbourg.
Things to Do in Strasbourg in 2 Days Map
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2 Days in Strasbourg, Day 1
START AT THE FOOT OF THE CATHEDRAL
1. Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Strasbourg
This Strasbourg 2-day itinerary starts at the food of the Cathedral. Emerging like an apparition between the half-timbered houses of the narrow rue Mercière, the Cathedral of Notre Dame 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 in 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 its walls in pink sandstone from the Vosges which give it its very particular tone and by its unique bell tower. If the weather is good and the sky is blue, 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 (big butcher shop), 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. Lunch at Maison Kammerzell
By now, you must be hungry! For lunch, we recommend going back to Place de la Cathédrale: just in front of the cathedral, the 15th-century Maison Kammerzell deserves all your attention. 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!
4. La Petite France
La Petite France is the most picturesque part of Old Strasbourg and one of the must places to visit in Strasbourg in 2 days. Here, the river Ill is divided into 5 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 mirroring in the water.
Don’t miss rue du Bain-aux-Plantes, with its beautiful renaissance half-timbered houses and its pretty tanners’ 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 often comes with the crowds. 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 incredibly romantic.
5. Les Ponts Couverts and Barrage Vauban
After your stroll around La Petite France, it’s time to explore the covered bridges and the Vauban dam, located a few meters from each other.
Les Ponts Couverts (the covered bridges) are three bridges spanning the Ill River and 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 the name but in the 19th century, they were replaced by stone bridges (without 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!
6. Strasbourg River Cruise
A Strasbourg river cruise (Batorama) 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 like the Neustadt, the Imperial neighborhood or the European neighborhood. In addition, the comments about the city (in 4 languages) are very interesting
The Batorama leaves from the Embarcadère (pier) – Palais Rohan and the cost is 16,60€ (2020). This cruise is included in the Strasbourg Pass.
Apéro Time and Dinner
For the first evening 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.
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 include 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).
2 Days in Strasbourg, Day 2
STRASBOURG CULINARY CAPITAL
Strasbourg is also a culinary capital, the perfect place to taste Alsatian specialties! From the traditional choucroute in a winstub to the fanciest restaurants, come to Strasbourg to taste delicious regional specialties and excellent wines, mostly whites.
The list of traditional Alsatian dishes include baeckeoffe, flammekueche, cordon bleu, Vol-au-vent, spaetzle, fleischnacka, and bretzel.
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.
Join a wine or food tour
A great way to learn more about local cuisine when you visit Strasbourg is by joining a food or wine tour. The top-rated A Taste of Strasbourg Wine Tour explores the Alsatian cuisine through six tastings of the local specialties whilst listening to the stories behind them.
If you prefer to learn about wine, this half-day tour along the Alsace Wine Route will make you discover some of the best wines of France.
STRASBOURG, EUROPEAN CAPITAL
7. 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 pilgrimage to the European neighborhood is 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 at 09:30 – 12:00; 13:00 – 17:00 and 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 by joining this top-rated 2.5-hour bike tour with a local that covers the Old Town, the Neustadt district and the European district
This 2 days in Strasbourg itinerary ends with another good meal. For the second and last evening in Strasbourg, we propose La Cuiller à Pot (18 bis Finkwiller), a quiet and charming restaurant proposing a refined and creative cuisine made with fresh produce. Great food, good portions, and warm welcome.
DO 3 DAYS IN STRASBOURG (IF YOU CAN…)
If you can add an extra day to your Strasbourg 2-day itinerary and spend three days in Strasbourg, don’t miss some of the most picturesque Alsatian villages, they are wonderful! We visited some of the best Alsatian villages during our road trip following the Alsatian Wine Route from Strasbourg to Mulhouse and we had a great time.
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 explores 4 villages on the Alsace wine route: Ribeauvillé, RIquewihr, Kaysersberg, and Eguisheim with a stop at one of the region’s finest wineries.