Things to do in Strasbourg – see the best places of the city, most charming streets, fascinating old town and beautiful channels. Strasbourg is the capital of Elzas region in the North East of France, bordering with Germany. For most visitors Strasbourg is a mixture of Germany and France, since it reminds the features of both countries. But still Strasbourg is a very special place, worth going to even if you have a short holidays break.
So you are thinking of things to do in Strasbourg and want to plan a tour in a most effective way? Then consider walking around – this is the best way to explore the jam of Strasbourg.
You will admire the architectural masterpieces, and will not be limited to step by any time for lunch or dinner in one of the amazing restaurants of the city.
When deciding on things to do in Strasbourg keep in mind that this is the second city after Paris, getting funds for the development of culture. Thus number of tourist places to go to in Strasbourg is really huge.
Place de la Cathedrale – place number one in your list of things to do in Strasbourg
What to start your tour from in Strasbourg? Include Place de la Cathedrale into your list of things to do in Strasbourg. Place de la Cathedrale is usually a starting point for travelers visiting Strasbourg. It is located on the highest point of Strasbourg at the height of 144 meters above the sea level, which gives an opportunity to see the whole city from a single point.
Nearby there is Cathedral Square (Place de la Cathedrale ), which used to be a market place, where a lot of goods and food was for sale. Today this is the most popular tourist destination of Strasbourg.
What are most special places to go in Strasbourg? – visit La Petite France
La Petite France – another “must to see spot” in your things to do in Strasbourg plan. This is a special romantic place, where tourists can enjoy the beauty of small town on the water.
La Petite France is the most fascinating district of the city. You would have nice relaxing time walking around, among the channels; have a cup of coffee of tea in one of local restaurants.
The center of la Petite France is in Benjamin Zix Square.
Beautiful buildings along the channels of Strasbourg are creating the atmosphere like in a fairy tail.
Same way like Montmartre, Benjamin Zix square serves as a working place for local artists.
Soborna square – one more popular place to be included into your travel agenda and Things to do in Strasbourg List
If you are putting down a list of things to do in Strasbourg, check Soborna square. It is located on the highest point of Strasbourg, at the height of 144 meters above the sea level. Soborna square used to be a popular market place, where cherries, bread, cakes, old clothes were for sale.
Today Soborna square is also a popular tourist destination, with maison Kammerzeil – one of the most beautiful buildings of Strasbourg.
The Kammerzeil building has 75 windows, decorated with carved frames. Each frame tells a story from the Bible, about mythical heroes from legends, depicts signs of Zodiac, 5 senses and famous musicians.
Interesting places to see in Strasbourg – Maison Kammerzeil
Interesting fact about maison Kammerzeil is that the three female figures are carved on its corner. They are the embodiment of the Christian virtue. Love is depicted with her two children and a pelican.
On the third and fourth floor there is Hope with Phoenix bird and Faith with Griffin bird.
In XVI century Martin Braun, a cheese seller, bought maison Kammerzeil and in 1589 finished its reconstruction. According to his order only the first floor with three decorative arches were left from the initial design.
The other floors were entirely rebuilt in Renaissance style, which is preserved till our days. The Kammerzeil building was known as Alter House till the middle of the XIXth century, and then was bought by the Grocery owner from Vurzburg, Phillip-Fransua Kammerzeil.
As you have already realized he gave his name to the building. Beautiful fresco of Leo Shnut (1878-1933) are decorating the interior of maison Kammerzeil. In 1879 the building was transferred into the ownership of Strasbourg and received the status of the monument of architecture.
Former Pharmacie du Cerf, the first mentioning of which relates to XIII century, is located next to the Cathedral. The first floor of Pharmacie du Cerf is of stones arches. They are beautifully decorated with tree braches and snakes. The upper floors relate to 1567.
Cathedral de Notre Dame – wonderful historical places that you must visit
Notre Dam Cathedral in Strasbourg is one of the most visited sightseeing in the city. This is a beautiful building built in Gothic style, of rosy-brown color. Special feature of the Cathedral is the only tower, which is open for visitors. It is not only the Cathedral that attracts thousands of tourists but also the square on which it is located. You can get inside of the Notre Dam Cathedral of Strasbourg and find ancient watches, which show time, month, year, and zodiac sign, location of planets. Moreover the watches are unique mechanism, which shows a special performance each half an hour.
In order to see the whole city from one point you would need to go to the top, to reach the observation platform of the Cathedral. Be prepared to walk upstairs as this is the only way to get there. Entrance to the observation spot is on the right side of the Cathedral. The observation platform of the cathedral can be reached by foot only. The stairs count 332 steps.
The height of Strasbourg Cathedral is 124 meters. It was built on the base of ancient Rome Basil, erected in 1015 by Bishop Wernger von Habsbourgs. The basil was destroyed by fire and a new cathedral was founded on its place.
Interesting fact is that it took almost 400 years to finish the construction of Strasbourg Cathedral – from the moment of its foundation in 1176 till final works in 1439.
Till XIX century Strasbourg Notre Dame remained the highest temple of the Christian world, until the bell towers in Köln and Ulme were built.
Approximately in 1225 the construction works changed the design of the building, by masters from Chartres. Local builders learnt the mystery of magnificent Gothic art from the master, whose name remained unknown.
The Strasbourg Cathedral is open daily from 7am till 11:40am and from 12:40 till 19:00.
What else to do in Strasbourg?
Strasbourg is also world known for the Council of Europe, European Court on Human Rights and EU Parliament headquarters.
There is a river tram in Strasbourg, which will take you round the city and that would be the best alternative for any excursion you would take. You will be able to see all Strasbourg attractions from the boat. There is audio guide, speaking several languages to help you get to know the city in a language you speak.
There are number of parks in the city, but Parc de l’Orangerie is favorite one. It was built according to the order of Napoleon for his wife Josephine. The thing is she never stayed in the park, but the citizens are very happy to have in their area, and bring family and friends for a picnic there.
Location of Strasbourg is such, that you can walk to cross the border between France and Germany. There is a bridge (which is pedestrian area) connecting the two states. The guests of the city and local citizens like to take a walk on the bridge, going to one of the parks beautifully stretching on the territory of both countries. Bus #21 will take you to the bridge, or you can rent a bike.
Plan a visit to the Museums of Strasbourg
There are number of museums on the territory of Strasbourg. Among the museums to visit are the Museum of the History of Strasbourg, Museum of Alsace, and Museum of Contemporary Art.
Archeological Museum of Strasbourg
The Archeological Museum of Strasbourg is the second museum in France after French National Museum, which is located near Paris. The collection presented in the museum of Strasbourg is old, the first artifacts started to be collected in the end of the 18th century.
It took a while till the museum was open officially and for years the collection of historical artifacts was stored in the society in charge of taking care of the historical monuments. In the past century it was decided to create Museum, later it was relocated into another building, and currently the Archeological Museum of Strasbourg is located in Rogan Palace, and its collection grew significantly over the years.
Elzas region was inhabited since 600 000 BC and the exposition of the Museum covers whole this period till the 8th century AD. Among numerous offers, tourists’ excursions and other things to do in Strasbourg visiting the Archeological Museum would be your best experience.
Collection of the museum grows due to the new findings and donations.
Where to start a tour in the Archeological Museum of Strasbourg?
The exposition of the Museum is divided according to several historical periods. The first part is devoted to a man in the period of paleolith. Pottery, arms, bones of the prehistoric animals – these are the artifacts of the collection in this part of the Museum.
The second part of the Archeological Museum of Strasbourg is devoted to the history of Bronze and Iron Ages. During this period of time Celts lived on the territory of the city. All the items of everyday life were found in the forest which is considered to be sacred. This forest still exists and is located not far from Strasbourg.
The next hall of the Museum discloses the 5 centuries of Rome Reigning. Glass, arms, decoration items, pieces of architecture – this is what the collection consists of. During the 5th and 8th centuries Strasbourg was under Alemans and Francs. The collection includes numerous items of daily life of this period of time.
Address of the Archeological Museum in Strasbourg:
Strasbourg, place du Chateau 2, Palais Rohan, Мusee archeologique.
It is open on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10am till 6pm.
Things to do in Strasbourg – try local cuisine
Strasbourg city is a mixture of cultures, which becomes obvious as soon as you enter the city. That is of course reflected in the local cuisine. The main dish here is choucroute (dressed sauerkraft) served with all kind of meat. The dish is rather German then French, but is popular no matter where the tourists are from. The size of sauerkraft is enormous, that’s why you can be sure to order one for two persons, and beer of course.
You will fall in love with this city, where peaceful streets and green parks create a harmony of ideal place for living. Shoud you decide to go to Alsace, make sure to include into your List of things to do Strasbourg city.