France is one of the places that most people visit during the holidays or vacations. However, when you a person where in France they are going to, the answer is Paris. Well, Paris is one of the best places to visit. But did you know Strasbourg is also one of the best places to spend the holiday or vacation?
Strasbourg is the capital and the largest city of the Grand Est region of France. The city is located in Alsace, next to the German border. The town was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998; this means the city has a lot to offer. Therefore it is the perfect holiday destination to take your family, friends, or colleagues.
Things to do in Strasbourg
1. Strasbourg Cathedral
It is also known as Strasbourg Minster and construction was started in 1015 and completed in 1439. The Cathixth-highest building to have been built during the medieval period and it is 142 meters tall. The architectural design is something you would want to see and witness.
The exterior designs are breathtaking in fact when the sun is setting and the rays are cast on the walls. The interior was also designed superbly and it represents the French and German culture. This is seen through the external and internal features that are placed on the walls and windows.
There is the view of the vaults that greets your eyes once you set foot in the building. Plus a trip to the top of the northern tower is something you and the kids will enjoy. That is if none of you is afraid of heights. The tower gives you the view of the Black Forest. Therefore I suggest you tag along with your cameras and smartphones to ensure you capture every moment.
2. Barrage Vauban
This is a bridge that was built in the 1600s and it is found on River ill. The bridge played a significant role during the France-Prussian war in 1870. It was constructed as the city’s defense mechanism during the war.
Vauban who was the French military engineer used pink sandstone that was obtained from the Vosges to build the bridge. The reason for this was to raise the water levels of River ill, which would lead to flooding of the lands to the north. Plus the water would also drop barriers hence preventing invaders from passing through.
If you are into historical structures then this is the perfect monument for you to evaluate. On the other hand, I would insist on you going up the roof through the internal corridor. On the roof, you will have a spectacular view of the Cathedral and Ponts Couverts towers.
3. Ponts Couverts
This refers to a set of three bridges and four towers which is a must-see when in Strasbourg. You will automatically notice the bridges when entering Petite France. The bridges were built in the 1300s and still stand to date. Its construction was started in 1230 and then the bridge was opened to the public in 1250.
Each of the bridges was built with and covered with a wooden roof which acted as a protection to the soldiers who were stationed on the bridge during the war. However, on your visit, you won’t find the roof since it was removed in 1784. The bridge was named a historic monument in 1982.
Apart from the design of the Ponts Couverts, the waters underneath will take your breath away, especially at night. This is because of the lights that make it look remarkable and the water is peaceful. I would recommend you take a walk along the bridge under the moonlight if you are a couple and enjoy the view.
4. Eglise Saint-Thomas
The church was completed in the 1520s and it’s a historical marker to the people of the town. This was the central Lutheran place of worship after Strasbourg become part of France in the year 1681.
The architectural design was well crafted and it will capture your attention immediately you set your eyes on it. Additionally, the building is the only German-style hall church in the city. There is a large gothic fresco of St. which awaits your exploration.
5. Musee Alsacien
The museum is a perfect place to start your vacation. This is because it helps you to learn about the culture and history of the people. The museum was opened in 1907 on 11th May and it contains over 5,000 exhibits that will make your exploration worthwhile.
Therefore clear your schedule if you want to explore the museum in depth. The exhibit contains several reconstructions of the historic home scenes and workshops. Not forgetting the original costumes, ceramics, furniture, tools, and toys that am certain you will find intriguing.
6. European Parliament
Strasbourg is one of the non-capital cities that have an international institution worldwide. The parliament has been a place where faiths, languages, and cultures have reconciled. There is usually a tour being offered in the parliament. However, if you are interested you need to book in advance to secure a spot.
7. Palais des Rohan
The building has a lot to offer you. The palace was built in the 1720s by Robert de Cotte who was the first architect. It was constructed for Cardinal Armand-Gaston de Rohan-Soubise the Prince Bishop. He loved the high classical façade, therefore, built had to resemble this.
The palace contains three museums which will be ideal for you to explore. The first floor contains fine art; therefore you can head to the exhibit and feast your eyes. On the grand floor, you will find decorative arts which I am sure you will also enjoy.
On the other hand, if you are interested in studying fossils and the past human life then the basement is the place for you. The basement displays archaeological items.
See Also: 14 Best Things to do in Paris
8. Le Vaisseau
This is the ideal place to bring your kids during the vacation. Le Vaisseau is a science museum that will help them learn and also enjoy the holiday. One fantastic thing about the museum is that the exhibits are done in different languages. That is French, English, and German.
One hundred thirty displays are done in the museum; this makes the kids busy. Additionally, there is also a 3D movie being offered in the museum. If your child is between the ages of 3 to 15 then this is the ideal spot for you.
9. Musée Historique de Strasbourg
This is a historical museum that was previously known as the town’s slaughterhouse. It was used in the 18th century but later it was converted into a museum. A visit to the historical museum you will be able to learn the past events of the town.
There are various exhibits such as cloths, sculptures, maps, sketches, and weapons. The exhibition helps to show the social, economic and political events that unfolded in the land.
10. Eglise Saint-Pierre le Jeune
If you are fascinated with historical facts and want to feel like you were part of the critical decision made then. Saint- Pierre le Jeune is the perfect place to begin your vacation. The building dates back to 200 years and it is famously known for the event that happened in the past. The facility was divided into two by the Catholics and Protestants.
The Protestants got the nave while the Catholics were given the choir. The beautiful structure was designed by Johann Andreas Silbermann in the 18th century.
It is a famous church in the history of France and has some of the most astonishing artworks and remarkable architectural designs. Therefore make sure you have your cameras with you.
11. Grande ile
The Grande ile was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. The city was crossed by the ill River which has formed various islands and Grande ile. This is one of the beautiful islands that you should visit when in town.
It is a historical center that has various monuments that you need to explore. There are multiple places to visit while on the island that includes the four medieval Churches, the famous Strasbourg cathedral.
If you are worried about the place to eat and sleep while on your tour, I suggest you head to Grande ile. It has several hotels that are from the 18th century; the historical atmosphere will relax and rejuvenate your mind.
12. Palace Gutenberg
In the 18th century, the palace was regarded as a political and administrative center. It is located a few meters from the Cathedral. The building was named after the inventor of the printing press and a statute has been made in his honor. Plus the facility contains the Chamber of Commerce that you have to see and explore. Here you will get to learn more about the historical events of the peaceful town.
13. Kammerzell House
This is another historic building that should top your to-do list while on vacation. The mansion was built in 1427 but it was renovated in 1467 and 1589. The building historically belongs to the German Renaissance and has a Rhineland black and white timber-framed style. This makes it have a remarkable architectural design.
The wooden sculptures on the beams present an outstanding scene that will blow your mind away. Take a step into the mansion and experience the artwork that has been done on the floor. If you are in love with art then this is the ideal place to hang out.
All the floors have been decorated by lavish frescoes, by Alsatian painter Leo Schnug arts. A good thing about the mansion is that you can explore the artwork while enjoying the different cuisines. The building is now a restaurant.
14. Petite France
It is also known as little France and has been regarded as one of the most visited areas in Strasbourg. In the past, the place was known to be a region where millers, tanners and, fishers used to make a living. Some of them used to live there and that was because of the water nearby which made it easier for them to earn a living.
Various half-timbered houses have been well designed and will surely catch your eyes are found in the town. The apartments are well preserved and maintained to conserve the culture. Plus I would recommend you take a walk in the small cobblestone alleys at the water’s edge. If you like to cycle then the island is the place to come and explore.
15. Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary
For art enthusiasts, the museum was built for you. There are pieces of the famous Monet, Brauner, and Picasso being displayed. Apart from the artwork, you can relax with a drink on the panoramic terrace. Trust me when I say the view is spectacular and worth your time.
16. Strasbourg Historical Museum
This is the ideal place to learn the history of Alsatian and culture. There are exhibitions of various maps, collections of models. There is also a display of daily life objects from the Middle Ages to the French Revolution.
17. Alsatian Museum
After living the Historical Museum I would recommend a visit to the Alsatian Museum. This will give you a deeper understanding of the people. The facility has several traditional Alsatian life scenes on display. This includes the forge or joinery. Plus there is also a collection of traditional furniture and costumes. Hence head into the museum and pick up a few tips on the furniture to know how to decorate your house.
18. Zoological Museum
The facility will be good for the kids during the tour. The museum has units showcasing stuffed animals, naturalized butterflies, and insects. This is a discovery that encourages children to learn more about animals and insects. The children and even you will enjoy exploring the museum during your tour. However, it has been under renovation since 23rd September 2019 and its to open in 2022.
19. Synagogue de la Paix
The building was constructed in 1954 and the aim of it was to replace the historic synagogue that was destroyed in 1940. The synagogue represents the Jewish community in the region. Besides that, there is an expansive Parc du Contades which is a peaceful spot where you can relax with your spouse, fiancé or family.
Space has leafy pathways where you can enjoy a stroll either in the evening or afternoon. At times you might catch up with the musical concerts that are usually held in summer.
20. Broglie Square
This is not a square as the name suggests; rather it is a long tree-lined walkway. It is the perfect place to head to and stroll in the evening during sunset. The sound of the birds and the whisper of the wind through the trees makes you relax. Every square holds the Strasbourg Christmas market. Therefore if you are lucky you might catch the festival this Christmas.
21. Strasbourg Christmas Market or Christkindelsmarik
This is an event that welcomes the festival seasons. It is the oldest Christmas market in France and it has 300 chalets which are found all over the town. The sites where you will find the sites include the Broglie and cathedral square.
During the festive season, there are decorations, handicrafts, not forgetting the local and regional food products. The streets are usually lit and decorated with Christmas lights.
On the other hand, you will find various dishes that are found in the unique Christmas market in Strasbourg. The market brings together different winemakers, bakers, winegrowers among others. If you love food then this is the place for you.
22. Strasbourg Boat Tour
Taking a tour along the canals is something you wouldn’t want to miss. There are two types of boats you can choose from that include the covered and uncovered. This is an assurance that the tour can be undertaken regardless of the weather.
The departure for the boats is located at the foot of the Rohan Palace. Nonetheless, the tours are packaged into two which is one that lasts for 1 hour and 10 minutes and the other 45 minutes. Therefore you can choose the package that suits you best.
23. Strasbourg Bike Tour
If you are not up to a boat tour there is a bike tour that will be good for you. Plus it will be like exercising and at the same time enjoy the outstanding view of the town. There is a 500km bike path that is designated for you.
Cycling along the canal is refreshing and you can as well go for the Strasbourg’s Forts Trail. The trail covers 85 km which makes it ideal for your cycling experience. Therefore ensure you have your gear ready and tag along with a bottle of water.
24. Europa Park
Your vacation is not complete without visiting Europa Park. The amusement park is located 60 kilometers from the town. It is the largest park and covers 85 hectares. It has more than a hundred rides that will entertain you and your family. Especially the kids will love the amusement park. One thing that you will find amazing is the recently opened flight simulator.
25. The Orangerie Park
The park is the largest in the city and covers 26 hectares. It is the park to bring your family and even colleges to stroll or even play sports. For the kids, there is a merry-go-round and several playgrounds where they can play. If you have our canine friend I am sure he or she will enjoy running in the park.
For you who is on vacation with a spouse or fiancé, there is a lake. Plus there are canoes which you will be required to rent and afterward take a tour of the large lake. This helps you to bond with our partner and enjoy your vacation at the same time. Once you are done with canoeing you can head for ice cream, waffles, and other delicacies. You can do this while enjoying the sunset.
26. Botanical Gardens
The garden is a mixture of science and beauty. It is located in the city’s Imperial district and they feature about 6,000 different plants. The park enables you to learn more about the various plant species and the role they play in the ecosystem. The plant species are unique and it is hard to find them anywhere in France apart from the fantastic Botanical Garden. Other than that there are an arboretum and greenhouses.
27. Alsatian Food
Just as you see the German and French culture blending in the different art and architectural designs the same applies to the food. Various dishes will make your taste buds dance. An example is the Choucroute and Tarte flambee that you have to take a bite before leaving the town. I can’t explain the flavor that the dishes present once in the mouth. I will let you be the judge of that.
28. Wine and Beer
For wine and beer lover this is the ideal place to tour during the holidays or your vacation. The town is known for producing a lot of wine and beer in France. There are different brands that you can choose from and includes Kronenbourg, Karlsbrau and Fischer.
Plus the Meteor which is the manufacturing company has organized for tours into their facility where you can learn more about their production. Though the tour takes 90 minutes, there is a tasting session that is done afterward. Hence you can afford to miss out on tour.
29. Cheese Tastings
Cheese lovers are not left out. Various places in the town offer cheese tasting sessions. One of the places where I went with my family is La Cloche a Fromage. But this is just one of the places along the street where you can excite your taste buds.
30. 3D cinema at VOX Cinema
This is an old school Cinema center which offers 3D cinema, ballet, opera, and café. This is the ideal place to come to and relax after a long day of exploration. Therefore take your kids to the cinema and enjoy the movies.
Strasbourg is the best place to come to during the holidays. Most people have not discovered the hidden treasures that the town has. Hence, I highly recommend that you choose to spend the holidays in the town. I guarantee you won’t regret even a second since it is one of the fantastic places I discovered.