How to spend an amazing one day in Strasbourg (France)

Wondering how to spend one day in Strasbourg? Follow my Strasbourg itinerary, as I’ll show you precisely what to do in Strasbourg.

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🫶🏼 Where to stay in Strasbourg

When people ask me what to see in France, I always recommend Alsace. Sure, there are other amazing parts, the riviera, Normandie, Paris. But Alsace is just special. 

The fairy tale vibe, the half-timbered and to-die-for amazing cuisine are just some of the reasons you should visit. And Strasbourg – well, that’s the capital of this dreamy French region.

In this post, I’ll introduce you to Strasbourg and share tips on what to see, where to taste some of the amazing food and where to spend the night, if you decide to do so.

Let’s get to it!

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Introduction to Strasbourg

Strasbourg is famous for several things. First of all, it’s the largest city in Alsace with a population of roughly 300,000 inhabitants (as of 2021). Strasbourg is also a business hub and the seat of several European institutions such as the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and the European Court of Human Rights. 

Strasbourg has been under German and French dominance for the past six centuries. You sense it clearly in the architecture and (fabulous, might I add) cuisine. Although Strasbourg today is completely French, the city has one of the best well-preserved German cities with its medieval and early modern architecture. 

Strasbourg has a modern area and a historic area, which is located at the Grand Ile. This is where the main attractions are.

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

Is one day in Strasbourg enough?

Yes, one day in Strasbourg is enough to experience the best sights. As mentioned, the main attractions are in close range at the Grande Île; a small peninsula close to the train station. 

If you plan your day and sample some great Alsace food, I’d say you can have a fantastic day here!

Plus – the best part is that Strasbourg, France is cheap (compared to European prices). 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.

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Where to stay in Strasbourg

If you decide to spend the night, I recommend staying close to the Grande Île. Preferably near the train station or the cathedral. My personal tip is this lovely hotel:

Hotel des Vosges BW Premier Collection – this hotel comes with spacious rooms and an amazing breakfast. It’s located very centrally, right next to the train station. Find the best prices here.

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget

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). You can also rent bikes (vélhop) for $5 per day.

Things to do in Strasbourg France

Grande Île 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 located on an island (Grande Île), it was much easier.

Grande Île is a UNESCO site with several beautiful attractions. 

Pro tip: Use the 142-meter high spire of Strasbourg Cathedral as your compass and you’ll have an idea of where things are located.

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget
Place du Marché-aux-cochons-de-lait

Strasbourg 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
Strasbourg, France
Rue de Maroquin

Another nearby sight is the Palais Rohan, an iconic monument of Strasbourg. Its beautiful architecture was inspired by Parisian townhouses with strictly aligned windows and harmonious  proportions.

Petite France

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

Église Saint-Thomas

Close to the Petite France district, you’ll find the beautiful St. Thomas church. This Romanesque and Gothic church is unique for its shape and two bell towers. Inside, you’ll find the monumental mausoleum of Marshal Maurice de Saxe, which was created by 18th-century master sculptor, Jean-Baptiste Pigalle.

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget
St. Thomas church

Place Kléber

Place Kleber is the largest square in Strasbourg. It’s named after Jean-Baptiste Kléber (1753 –1800), a general from the French Revolution, whose ashes are kept in a crypt under his statue.

If you visit during Christmas, there’ll be a huge Christmas tree here.  

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget
Kléber Square


On Place Gutenberg Square, you’ll see a stunning symmetrical building, which is a stark contrast to the half-timbered houses. This is the Alsace Eurométropole Chamber of Commerce and Industry, built in the 16th-century.

Visit a museum

One of the popular museums in Strasbourg is the Musée Alsacien or Musée Historique de Strasbourg. It’s dedicated to all aspects of daily life in pre-industrial and early industrial Alsace, like exhibits of clothing and other household artefacts.

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget
Pont du Corbeau

Batorama Boat Tour

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

Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune Church

Free entrance

This Gothic church was consecrated in 1053 by the Alsatian Pope Leo IX. It’s a little gem with a beautiful courtyard.

Don’t miss the 14th century frescoes, tribune and the cloister.

One day in Strasbourg

Barrage Vauban

Barrage Vauban is a bridge and defensive work erected in the 17th century on the River Ill. But more importantly, it’s a probably the best viewpoint in Strasbourg. 

From the top, you get a panoramic view reaching from Petite France to the Notre Dame Cathedral. spire. 

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

Two days in Strasbourg on a budget
The Barrage Vaubin

Ponts Couverts

Just across from Barrage Vauban, you’ll see the Ponts Couverts. Originally erected as a defensive work in the 13th century, they’re a set of three bridges and four towers. 

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

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, colourful 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
The historical quarter of Strasbourg

Best restaurants in Strasbourg

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.

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.

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
Strawberry cake and chocolate éclair

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

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    1. It does, doesn’t it? 😉

      Before I visited Strasbourg, I thought it was much smaller and much more cosy. It is a beautiful city, but it wasn’t at all what I had expected.

    1. In that case you will love it! Paris is very different from Strasbourg – it’s more stylish and metropolitan whereas Strasbourg is more slow-paced and typical Alsace with half-timbered houses. They both have their charm!

  1. Hey Miriam! Lovely post. Next Thursday evening we’ll arrive in Strasbourg as well and we’ll stay till Saturday evening. Do you think we have time to visit Colmar as well for a couple of hours?
    Lots of hugs from Romania

    1. Hi Bee,

      Sure thing! Colmar is only an hour from Strasbourg and you can take the train there. It’s definitely worth the trip!

      Have fun and enjoy Romania 🙂

  2. Thank you for this helpful post! I’m going in June and it looks so beautiful- will try making a trip to Colmar like another comment suggested, too! It looks like a more laid-back area compared to Paris

    1. You’re welcome, Eve! And yes, you should definitely visit Colmar since it’s so close. Strasbourg is beautiful, but Colmar – wow, that a whole other league!

    1. Sorry, but not really. I had a hard time finding a nice place myself and I ended up staying near the train station (not such a nice area). You should look at accommodations near the city center (the cathedral or Petit France). This is where the main sights are located.

  3. We will be coming to Strasbourg in early May and staying near the train station. How not nice of an area is this, is it safe after dark?

    1. Hi Harry, it’s not unsafe. It’s just a bit shady, like most areas around train stations are. There were groups of young guys in the park out front the train station and they seemed a little dodgy, but nothing alarming.

      I was a solo female traveler and didn’t feel particularly unsafe, and I ventured out after dark – it’s just not the classiest of areas.

  4. Hi Dear
    I liked your post very helpful. we are coming to Strasbourg by end of July 2019 and will stay at comfort hotel Montagne verte not in the center but far by 20 min walk. Is it safe there to walk to the center of the city? thanks

    1. Hi! Unfortuantely I don’t know hotel Montagne Verte, so I can’t say anything about the area and safety. But my guess is that it wouldn’t be a problem.

  5. Thank you so much Miriam for such a great blog! We are going to Paris this October and I was looking for a romantic smaller scale town in France we can visit besides busy Paris and reading your blog made my decision right away 🙂 We are definitely going to Strasbourg !!! Just looking at your pictures and more pics online, that’s the must to see!
    Thank you for your content!

    1. Oh, I’m so glad to hear that! I can really recommend Alsace – it’s such an amazing area. The best in France, if you ask me. Make sure to visit Colmar, too. It’s not far from Strasbourg and more quaint.

  6. Greetings Miriam.
    Is Strasbourg a large or small city ?
    Is 2 days going to be enough before I head to Colmar , or should I made myself there instead?

    1. Well, it has a population of around 280,000 people and feels like a larger city. The good thing though is that most sights are located in or around Petite France, which means you can explore the city in a day and on foot.

      I stayed in Strasbourg and visited Colmar from there. But if I could do it over again, I would do it the other way around – stay in Colmar. But it depends on what you prefer – a quaint city (Colmar) or a larger city with nightlife and more restaurants (Strasbourg).

  7. Hi im leaving for strasbourg in a while for a day trip. Your post gives me some idea what to do but is it far from the train station to grand Ile? Thank you

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