WHAT TO DO IN STRASBOURG – ITINERARY FOR 1 DAY
Are you planning your 1-day Strasbourg itinerary and wondering about the best things to do in Strasbourg in one day? Then this post is for you. Here I share my favorite activities in Strasbourg plus some travel tips.
Strasbourg is one of my favorite cities in France – it was love at first sight. If you love beautiful, colorful, half-timbered houses and the medieval feel of a city, I am sure you will love the city, too.Okay, before I spill the beans, just quick info that at the end of this Strasbourg itinerary, you will also find the best travel tips for the city, so this post is not only about the best things to do and see, but it is also a quick guide.
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Best Activities for One Day in Strasbourg
Start your day in Strasbourg quite early as the city quickly fills with visitors from all around the world, and it can feel crowded easily.
Getting Lost in La Petite France
La Petite France is a must-see in Strasbourg. It is a lively hot spot – a city known for cobblestone streets, canals, and well-preserved half-timbered homes. The pretty, pretty houses of La Petite France, date back to the 16th and 17th centuries and are a treat for the eyes. You can get wonderfully lost here and enjoy the gorgeous architecture.Back then, fishermen, millers, and tanners lived and worked in this part of town where the streets were built level with the waterways – just adding more beauty to the lovely houses.
Besides wandering for two or three hours, I also recommend visiting Ponts Couverts and Barrage Vauban, located in La Petite, France.
From Barrage Vauban, the weird-shaped dam, you can also enjoy nicer views for free. Just climb about 50 steps, and you can enjoy the panorama from the terrace. They are not as mesmerizing as the Cathedral’s view, but they are still nice – plus, fewer steps and no entry fee.It really depends on your speed and how “lost“ you actually get, but I estimate that it will take you about 2 hours max. Even though there are many shops and stores, I did not feel the need to spend more time there.
There is a vegan restaurant – Velicious Burger – where you can have some lunch. The burger I had was good, but surely not the best vegan burger.
- From there, I suggest taking a lovely walk.
Banks River – Walk Along the River III
This was actually one of my favorite activities in Strasbourg. Walking along the River III. While I was fortunate with the weather, sunny but not hot, many people flocked and “escaped“ the city to enjoy some “nature“ time. I use quotation marks because I don‘t really mean escape – the river is just in the city center.
There is no real nature, but it felt like a beautiful getaway. It was busy but not crowded.My tip: Take a walk from Petite France all the way to Pont d`Auvergne (which is about 2 km), but do not stop at Grande Ile yet. Along the way, you can make some nice stops and do as the locals do – enjoy some time out by the river.
- Then, slowly head to Grand Ile (which is about one km away). Again, it depends on your speed and the breaks you take, but I would plan 30-90 minutes for this activity.
Strasbourg is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the island of Grande Ile, in the city’s historic center. You will find more half-timbered houses here, and a few more landmarks – one of which is, of course, the cathedral (Münster).
Cathedral Square – Strasbourg Cathedral
Like so many cities and towns in Europe, Strasbourg also has a beautiful cathedral that is one of the main tourist attractions.
The Cathedral of Notre Dame in Strasbourg is one of the most important monuments from the Middle Ages that still exists. It was completed in 1439 and reminded me of the Cologne Cathedral – this Gothic masterpiece is mystical and impressive.The Notre Dame of Strasbourg is a tourist magnet. Luckily, it is located in the center. Its size makes it unmissable, and it is easy to reach and easy to admire.
You can visit the cathedral and admire the beautiful interior. You can also – you might know I have a thing for views – climb the spiral staircase (332 steps) for the panoramic view from the top of the platform, overlooking the rooftops of Strasbourg. On clear days, you can even see the Black Forest in Germany.
Unfortunately, I did not get to do this because the tower was closed when I visited. As someone who is always on the hunt for great views, this was quite disappointing to discover at the tourism office.
You can also see the Astronomical Clock and buy tickets from Monday through Saturday (closed on Sunday).
- Tickets for the tower are around 4€ (there are reduced prices for groups, students, and people under 18 – kids under 6 are free), but do not forget that getting up there is a trek!
- You cannot book in advance and need to buy and pick up the cashier’s tickets at the south doorway (11:30 am to 12:15 pm). Tickets are around 3€ for the cathedral itself (with reduced prices for groups and people between 6-18, younger kids are free).
Boat Tour – Batorama
Yes, I know I have a thing for boats and being on the water, so it’s not surprising that a boat tour in Strasbourg is also on my perfect 24 hours in Strasbourg itinerary.All year-round, you can enjoy a 70-minute boat ride and see, among other things, Petite France, the Covered Bridges, the Vauban Dam, the Neustadt imperial quarter, and the European institutions from the boat.
Guess what? Even though I am such a boat tour fan, I had to pass because dogs are not allowed on the boat and I was traveling with my little dog.
- You can buy tickets at the ticket shop near the cathedral (next to the Tourism Office). The tour starts near Cathedral Square.
- From Grand Ile, it is time to visit another gorgeous and fantastic sight – The Neustadt District. But before heading there, you will pass a few more lovely, fun, and lively places in Strasbourg.
This Strasbourg itinerary will now lead to a beautiful square. From the cathedral, head to Place Gutenberg first. It is just a few minutes’ walk and one of the main squares in Strasbourg. Gutenberg, a German, invented the printing press in Strasbourg – a statue in the middle of the square that honors him.The statue was built in the middle of the 19th century, and the French words on the paper in his hands say, “and there was light.“
- From Place Gutenberg, it is just a stone‘s throw to the very lively and busy square – Place Kleber.
Place Kleber square seems gigantic given Strasbourg´s quite small size, with less than 300,000 inhabitants.Like in all of Grand Ile, many cafes and restaurants are lined up here, but there are also enough seating options for those who don’t want to sit in a restaurant. This is definitely a great place for people-watching.
- From there, you will slowly walk toward “Neustadt“ via Place Broglie or the Hotel de Ville.
This town hall located at Place Broglie looks lovely in the springtime. It was built in the 1730s, and it is the seat of the mayor of Strasbourg.
This area was built after the German annexation (between 1917 and 1918) and is completely different from the other areas you visited before. Though the old areas have their charm in spring, there are a few absolutely gorgeous places.
Place de la Republique
Formerly named “Kaiserplatz,“ the Place de la Republique looks absolutely stunning in spring (and I am sure at any time of the year), with all the magnolia adding so much color to the area.You will find a memorial building (erected in 1936) in the middle, and there are governmental and imperial buildings, like the University Library, the Palais du Thin, and the National Theater, too.
This was the perfect place to relax and end the first day in Strasbourg before Puppygak, and I headed back to the hotel (you can just lay down on the lawn and don’t have to sit on the numerous benches, so bring a little blanket, a book, and/or a drink to top off your day here).
MORE IDEAS FOR STRASBOURG
I think that day 1 in Strasbourg is already pretty great, but of course, if you are into museums or want to skip one of the activities/places mentioned above, here is a tip for you.
Oeuvre Notre-Dame Museum
Strasbourg also houses several museums. Traveling with a dog normally means skipping the museums in many countries (not that I am all that sad about it), but next to the cathedral is a museum I would have loved to visit. It contains one of the finest collections of medieval art in France, spanning seven centuries.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR ONE DAY IN STRASBOURG ITINERARY
Here are some more essential travel tips.
How to Get to Strasbourg
Strasbourg has an international airport – Strasbourg-Entzheim International Airport. It is about 10km from the city center (you could then rent a car, take a taxi, or take a train shuttle to the city center).
- By Train – There is the main train station (Gare) close to the city center. From Paris, it takes less than 2 hours via the high-speed train (TGV).
- By Car – I arrived by car. I drove most of the time on German highways and only crossed borders close to Karlsruhe to avoid possible tolls in France. Parking is a bit tricky, though there is paid parking available. Getting here by car is not the best idea (unless you do an Alsace Wine Route tour) because you will not need it often, so you will probably be better off arriving by train.
How to Get Around
- Strasbourg is very walkable, and most sights are located at Grand Ile (the old part) and Petite France. Tip: For around 5€, you can rent audio guides and get information on each main attraction.
- If you’re visiting other parts of Strasbourg (if you want to see the European Union institutions or prefer less walking), you can buy a ticket with unlimited tram and bus trips, valid for 24 hours (€4.30). I did not use public transportation, but to my knowledge, it is good, on time, and definitely not expensive by European standards.
- You can also rent bikes for only $5 per day (you will see many rental bikes in Strasbourg, so it is definitely a good way to get around).
- There are also segways to rent, and boat tours (batorama) are a popular means of seeing Strasbourg from the water. There is a mini sightseeing train that shows you some parts of the old town (it costs around 7€, with reduced prices for groups and people under 15 years of age; free for kids under 6). It takes about 40 minutes.
Best Time to Visit Strasbourg for One Day
Since I have visited Strasbourg only once, I cannot give tips for each month of the year, but I know for sure that visiting at the end of March is a good time.
- Strasbourg in spring is charming and absolutely gorgeous, with magnolias and blossoms everywhere you look. I think that April would have been even better, though, because it is probably even greener. My tip is to visit Strasbourg in the spring – we can be sure about the weather, but spring is magical in Europe. It gets busy but not crowded. You do not have to fight your way through all the other visitors (and believe me, Europe in the summer can be crazy). Also, prices for accommodations are lower, and it does not get as hot and sticky in spring.
- Strasbourg is also known for its Christmas Markets – so the first few weeks in December would also be a good time to visit.
Where to Stay in Strasbourg
- If you are looking for a 5-star hotel in the old town of Strasbourg, right in Petite France, then this hotel might be the perfect choice for your stay in Strasbourg – check out rates for Hotel Regent Petite France & Spa here.
- If you are looking for a more budget-friendly hotel close to the old town, check out this Ibis Style hotel (and find out more about rates).
- Check out my Alsace itinerary – the best places to see in 3 days
- 1-day itinerary for Colmar (a perfect day trip from Strasbourg)
Hopefully, this guide with tips about the best things to do in Strasbourg in one day helps you plan your perfect itinerary! This city is surely worth a trip!