Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

I recently spent two days in Strasbourg on a budget. Although France & I had known each other for years, this was my first time in Alsace; the eastern part of the country. Alsace is known for two things in particular: the half-timbered fairy tale houses and the food and wine.

Guess how I spent my time? 

MORE FRANCE TRAVEL TIPS: GET MAPS, ITINERARIES AND FRENCH PHRASES

STRASBOURG ON A BUDGET (€36 PER DAY)

The best part is that Strasbourg is cheap. Every sight I went to and all places mentioned in this post were free so the only thing I paid for was food and accommodation. It’s possible to visit Strasbourg for €36 per day.

Where to stay
Budget hostels come at $21 per night, while mid-range cost €30 per night. The area around the train station can be a little shady, so if your budget allows it, try to find a hotel or hostel near the city center (the cathedral).

Daily food budget 
French food is fairly cheap compared to standard European prices. But if it’s possible, try at least one good restaurant because the French food is amazing! Budget meals cost €6-9, mid-range are €10-15 and high-end cost anywhere from €15-40. See my restaurant and food tips below.

How to get around
The main sights are all located at Grand Ile and it’s easy to walk. If you’re visiting other parts of Strasbourg, you can buy a ticket with unlimited tram and bus trips valid for 24 hours (€4.30). Also, you can rent bikes (vélhop) for $5 per day.

PETITE FRANCE, STRASBOURG

The number one attraction in Strasbourg is Petite France (“Little France”), which is the historic part of town. What makes it special is the half-timbered houses that reflect in the water along the canal. The houses date from the 16th and 17th centuries and were originally built for millers, fishermen and tanners, who once lived and worked in this part of town.

Today, Petite France is a UNESCO site.

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

Pont du Corbeau

NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL 

Opening hours: 7am-7pm 

Notre Dame cathedral is one thing you can’t miss seeing in Strasbourg as it towers above the city. With 4 million visitors a year, it’s the second most visited cathedral in France after the Notre Dame in Paris. I’ve been to the one in Paris and this one is just as beautiful, maybe even prettier if you include the historical Alsace houses and Rue de Maroquin surrounding it.

Strasbourg Cathedral was built in 1439 and it’s an outstanding masterpiece of Romanesque and late Gothic art. Inside you’ll find 12th-century stained glass windows, one of the world’s largest astronomical clocks and the 66-meter high viewing platform. It’s touristy as can be expected, but definitely worth the visit!

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

Notre Dame, but without Quasimodo

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

Rue de Maroquin

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

Place du Marché-aux-cochons-de-lait

GRAND ILE ISLAND

On my first day in Strasbourg, I was pretty much lost. It’s not the easiest city to visit if you don’t speak French, and there aren’t many signs, at least not in English. But as soon as I found out that the historical part of town, which is where all the main sights are, is an island (Grand Ill), it was much easier. I used the 142-meter high spire of Strasbourg Cathedral as my compass and within a few hours or five, I had an idea of where things were located.

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

Cleber Square

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

St. Thomas church

STRASBOURG CANALS

Strasbourg’s charm has a lot to do with the many canals running through the city. The canals and the River Ill surround the Grand Ill island where Petite France is located. It’s a beautiful walk around the canals, especially in the spring when flowers are blooming and everything is green and lush.

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

PONTS COUVERTS

I found a great viewpoint of Petite France from top of Barrage Vauban. From there you can see the towers of the historical quarter and Notre Dame Cathedral.

Photography tip: Get there at sunset or after sunset for the best light. Overcast or rain create reflections in the water. 

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

The Barrage Vaubin

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

You can’t see, but it’s actually raining quite a bit

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

AMAZING FRENCH FOOD AND RESTAURANTS

For dinner, I recommend making a reservation. Especially at the good restaurants.

You might think that Petite France or Notre Dame is the top attraction in Strasbourg, but it’s not actually. The real attraction is the Alsace food, and if you have yet to try it, you have something to look forward to!

French cuisine is excellent, including their deserts, pastry and cakes. So when I got to France, I had a list of things I wanted to taste while I was there. Although I didn’t get to the frog legs or snails, I had delicious meals like coq au vin, creme brulee and crepe suzette. The most known dish in Alsace is Flammkuchen (tarte Flambée in French), which is a French version of pizza with creme fraiche and it’s a must if you’re there. But in the cuisine you’ll also find sauerkraut, pork and baeckeoffe.

Where to eat in Strasbourg

  • Flamme & co: Go there for the flammkuchen
  • La Corde á Linge
  • Gurtlerhoft: Amazing food and service! It’s easily the best restaurant in Strasbourg
  • Patisserie Kubler: Great strawberry tarts
Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

Alsace duck in white wine sauce with home-cooked pasta (at Gurtlerhoft)

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

Alsace Flammkuchen (also at Gurtlerhoft)

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

French salad with prosciutto (at Flamm & co)

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

Strawberry cake and chocolate éclair

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

More french deliciousness (at Patisserie Kubler)

BEAUTIFUL ALSACE HOUSES

Aside from the half-timbered houses you find here and in countries like Germany and Denmark, the Alsace architecture has its own style. Think French balconies or decorated balconies, colorful shutters and endless avenues of green, trimmed trees. It’s a sight for sore eyes.

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

The historical quarter of Strasbourg

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

Would you visit Strasbourg? And do you LOVE French food, too?

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The number one attraction in Strasbourg is Petite France (“Little France”), which is the historic part of town. What makes it special is the half-timbered houses that reflect in the water along the canal. Notre Dame cathedral and the Alsace food and wine is also big draws for the city! Here's a list of great things to do in Strasbourg, France.

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Miriam

Travel blogger at Adventurous Miriam
I’m Miriam Risager, and this site has been my scrap-book, playground and home since 2013. I launched this blog as a way to share my journey, as well as share the hows, whys and wheres for other travelers.