Although Strasbourg is currently located in France, its German heritage is still very much present. Charming half-timbered homes, cobblestone streets, and one of Europe’s largest medieval districts may all be found in this city. Its food is an intriguing mix of French and German traditions. And this really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
Strasbourg is close to both national borders, and it has alternately been under French and German rule over the years. Today, this ancient city serves as the official home of the European Parliament as well as the regional headquarters of France’s Grand Est.
Top 14 tourist attractions in Strasbourg
Our list of the best and most popular tourist attractions in Strasbourg will help you plan your vacation to this French city.
- Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg
- Église Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune
- Palais Rohan
- Parc de l’Orangerie
- Palais de l’Europe
- Christmas Markets (Marchés de Noël)
- Place Gutenberg
- Place Kleber
- Musee Alsacien
- La Petite France
- Ponts Couverts de Strasbourg
- Parlement européen
- Barrage Vauban
- Eglise de Saint-Thomas
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg
The Cathedral of Notre Dame, Strasbourg, is usually recognized as one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in all of Europe. Up until the 19th century, the 142-meter tower stood as the tallest structure in the Christian world.
The Strasbourg Cathedral, which is both beautiful and spectacular, held the title of the world’s tallest structure for 227 years, from 1477 until 1874. But this magnificent cathedral still holds the record for being the tallest structure erected entirely during the Middle Ages that is still standing today.
This cathedral, also known as Strasbourg Cathedral of Notre Dame, is notable for its spectacular interior, which has stained glass windows from the 12th to 14th centuries and a blend of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. All of these amazing facts and features about Cathédrale Notre-Dame came together to make this structure the most popular and one of the best attractions in the city of Strasbourg.
- Address: Pl. de la Cathédrale, 67000 Strasbourg, France.
- Monday to Saturday from 8:30 AM to 11:15 AM and 12:45 PM to 5:45 AM.
- Sundays from 9 AM to 12 PM and 2 PM to 7 PM.
This stunning structure served as separate houses of worship for both Catholics and Protestants for almost two centuries. This church seems to be of two minds as well. Because of its simple front, it may be easy to be ignored by passing customers. But the interior is a great shock, brightened with vibrant paintings dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries.
Also, this church has a famous organ from the 18th century. We are at an ancient place of worship. In fact, its cloister was built in the 1100s, and its remains date back to the 7th century when it served as a Columban church. Saint-Pierre Le Jeune is regarded as one of Strasbourg’s most significant cathedrals and attractions due to its stunning artwork and fascinating architecture.
- Address: Pl. Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune, 67000 Strasbourg, France.
- Timings: every day from 12 PM to 6 PM.
The prince-bishops and cardinals of the House of Rohan formerly called the magnificent Palais Rohan their home. The architect Robert De Cotte, who also created the royal chapel at Versailles, successfully led its construction in the early 1700s.
Many famous figures, including Marie Antoinette, Napoleon, and others, have stayed at this stunning monument. The House of Rohan held onto this structure until the French Revolution when it was sold at auction. It went through various owners and even served as Strasbourg’s town hall throughout the years.
There are now three museums located here: The Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Decorative Arts, and the Archaeological Museum. The rich history and amazing architecture of this palace are the reasons that this building is one of Strasbourg’s top attractions and a must-visit for every traveler in this city.
- Address: 2 Pl. du Château, 67000 Strasbourg, France.
- Friday to Monday plus Wednesdays from 10 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 6 PM.
- Closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Parc de l’Orangerie
Tourists seeking a relaxing break near the European Parliament will find it at this park. During the French Revolution, the city of Strasbourg was given 140 orange trees that had been part of the grounds of the moated fortress named Chateau de Bouxwiller.
The trees may be seen at the park’s Josephine Pavilion, which was named after Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife. Only three of the original trees have survived. Now, people come here to relax and have picnics. In the summer, visitors may hire rowboats on the lake, which is surrounded by playgrounds, a mini-zoo, and beautiful flora and fauna. Parc de l’Orangerie is, without a doubt, one of the best attractions to visit in Strasbourg.
- Address: Parc de l’Orangerie, 67000 Strasbourg, France.
- Timings: every day from 7 AM to 8 PM.
Palais de l’Europe
As a symbol of peace and unity in the wake of World War II, the city of Strasbourg seemed just a natural choice to serve as the EU capital. The ultramodern, fortress-like Palais de l’Europe was constructed from 1972 to 1977 and was designed by French architect Henry Bernard.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe meets mostly at the Palais de l’Europe. The Assembly Chamber is where MEPs gather; it’s a huge, circular room designed to evoke a tent.
Tours of the Palais de l’Europe are offered in English, French, and German, and the building is accessible to the public. It is one of the best and most interesting attractions to visit in Strasbourg. In addition to seeing the building, visitors may learn a lot by sitting in on a plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly, which takes place in the Assembly Chamber.
Christmas Markets (Marchés de Noël)
The city of Strasbourg promotes itself as the “Christmas Capital” of Europe. Why? Because it hosts one of the biggest and most iconic Christmas markets in all of Europe. That’s why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the winter holidays (the latter two weeks of November and all of December) are among the greatest times to visit this stunning metropolis.
About 300 Christmas booths filled with one-of-a-kind arts and crafts, seasonal decorations, and delectable meals can be found in Strasbourg’s old town. The Christmas Markets in Strasbourg are a sensory paradise, full of delicious aromas, fantastical sights, and cheery music. The Strasbourg Christmas Markets are a must-see and one of the city’s greatest attractions if you’re in the area over the holiday season.
In the lead-up to Christmas, Strasbourg residents adorn their homes, streets, and churches with lights, and a massive Christmas tree is set up in the center of town at Place Kléber. Around 300 vendors offer Christmas decorations, handcrafted gifts, gingerbread, and other seasonal Alsatian treats around the city’s historic center.
Because of his role in the development of the printing press with moveable type in 1440, Johannes Gutenberg is honored with the naming of this public plaza. Place Gutenberg is now considered to be one of the best attractions to visit in the dreamy city of Strasbourg.
The plaza now has a memorial honoring the innovator and an old-fashioned carousel that serves as a popular attraction for kids. In addition, there are a variety of high-quality dining options within walking distance of the plaza. The cathedral and the neighborhood of Petite France are both within walking distance of Place Gutenberg.
- Address: 7-8 Pl. Gutenberg, 67000 Strasbourg, France.
Place Kleber is the heart of the old district of Strasbourg. Jean-Baptiste Kleber, a famous general in the French Revolutionary War, was born in Strasbourg in 1753 and is honored with a monument there. The old Aubette Palaces stand tall in the center of the general’s namesake plaza, which is now surrounded by well-known shops.
You may also enjoy people-watching from this location. During the winter months, Place Kleber has transformed into a winter wonderland thanks to the addition of a massive Christmas tree and other booths selling handmade goods, traditional decorations, and delectable regional treats. Make sure you visit this stunning square on your trip to this city, as it is one of Strasbourg’s best attractions.
- Address: Pl. Kléber, 67000 Strasbourg, France.
- Timings: every day from 9:30 AM to 7 PM.
Another one of Strasbourg’s best attractions is Alsatian Museum, aka Musee Alsacien. This intriguing museum is housed in multiple interacting homes from the 17th century and focuses on rural life and art in the Alsace area throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.
There are around five thousand artifacts in this museum, including toys, furniture, and elaborate costumes. The Musee Alsacien, which was opened to the public in May 1907, also has exhibitions of the historical house and factory interiors. It’s possible for tourists to compare the inside of a mansion from the wealthy to something like a modest home from the middle class.
- Address: 23-25 Quai Saint-Nicolas, 67000 Strasbourg, France.
- Friday to Monday plus Wednesday from 10 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 6 PM.
- Closed on Thursday and Tuesday.
La Petite France
Petite France is one of the most beautiful European cities because of its medieval half-timbered homes, many of which date back to the 16th and 17th centuries, and it is also one of Strasbourg’s top attractions. There are several of Strasbourg’s most popular attractions located there as well, such as the Pont Couverts. You may take in the medieval ambiance while strolling around the charming canals and cobblestone lanes of Petite France.
In the mood for some authentic Alsatian cuisine? Then, you may get a bite to eat at any of the many eateries in the area. Also located in the heart of Petite France are several of Strasbourg’s festively decorated Christmas markets.
The Tanners’ House, built in 1572, is only one of several well-preserved half-timbered residences in Petite France, the city’s bustling tourist district. The terrace atop the Barrage Vauban, a covered bridge and dam built in the 17th century, provides breathtaking vistas in all directions. Shops on and surrounding Grand’Rue offer apparel and goods, including china, wine, and specialty teas, while Alsatian restaurants dot the landscape.
Ponts Couverts de Strasbourg
The Pont Couverts was built as part of a fortification system to protect the Old Town of Strasbourg. The three bridges and four towers from the 1300s are still there for tourists to see today.
These bridges, which are located over the River Ill’s channels, used to have roofs to protect the men guarding them until the early 1700s. Pont Couverts, which literally means “covered bridges,” refers to structures that used to have roofs but no longer do. The attractive buildings are now often used as picture backdrops, and they are considered to be one of Strasbourg’s most popular attractions among both locals and tourists.
- Address: Ponts Couverts, 67000 Strasbourg, France.
In addition to its beautiful historic district, Strasbourg is well-known as the location of the European Parliament. Every month, these members gather for what is called plenary sessions, when they vote on and discuss a wide range of ideas. Open to the public since its completion in 1999; the European Parliament building has guided tours and interactive learning exhibitions.
The Parliament consists of five separate buildings, the largest of which is the Louise Weiss building. This is one of the city’s largest and most prominent structures and also one of its greatest attractions, with a chamber that can hold up to seven hundred and fifty people. There are tours of the European Parliament available, and those who schedule their trips just so may even be able to sit in on a session.
- Address: All. du Printemps, 67070 Strasbourg, France.
- Monday to Saturday from 9:30 AM to 12 PM and 1 PM to 5 PM.
- Closed on Sundays.
The Barrage Vauban, made of pink limestone, was constructed on the River Ill as an anti-Stasbourg measure. When it was initially built in the 17th century, the Barrage Vauban—also called the Vauban Dam or the Great Lock—was regarded as a technological marvel.
With the dam in place, the River Ill might have been flooded to block off access to Strasbourg from an outside invasion. Today, sightseers may explore the building’s internal hallway and ascend to the top for breathtaking vistas of the city. Make sure you visit this structure on your trip to this magnificent city, as it is one of Strasbourg’s top attractions.
- Address: Pl. du Qur Blanc, 67000 Strasbourg, France.
- Timings: every day from 8 AM to 7 PM.
Eglise de Saint-Thomas
The existing Church of Saint Thomas was constructed on the site of an even earlier church, dedicated to the Apostle Saint Thomas and dating back to the early 6th century. The original Saint Thomas Church burned down in the 11th century, causing a reconstruction that was completed in the 12th century.
The Church of Saint-Thomas is 800 years old and is well known for its part in the Protestant Reformation in Alsace. To Lutherans, the church represented the heart of the movement in the area.
The clock in the church has been four minutes fast for 400 years. The plan was to shout loud enough so that it would be heard before the Cathedral clock struck.
The church is still in use as a place of worship, especially for Protestants, who gather there on Sundays to worship. On weekdays and weekends, tourists are welcome to explore the church, it is one of the most popular attractions in the city of Strasbourg.
- Address: 11 Rue Martin Luther, 67000 Strasbourg, France.
- Monday to Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM.
- Sundays from 12 PM to 5:30 PM.