what to do for a weekend in Strasbourg?
Have you chosen to go to Strasbourg for the weekend ? Wondering what to do and see?
To help you prepare for your weekend in Alsace, I have concocted a detailed itinerary for you to visit Strasbourg in one weekend.
I start by giving you the program of things to do each day, then I add some ideas for fun and unusual activities.
You will see, thanks to my advice, you will make the most of your short stay in the Alsatian capital!
At the end of the article, I have also prepared my selection of the best hotels for a luxury, spa or inexpensive weekend in Strasbourg.
So, what to do and see for a weekend in Strasbourg? Or sleep?
The best itinerary for a weekend in Strasbourg
I am going straight to the heart of the matter with my itinerary for a weekend in Strasbourg , the planning of which is based on 2 full days of visits.
I also give you tips for a 3-day long weekend at the end of this guide.
If you still have questions to organize your short stay in Strasbourg after having read everything, do not hesitate to ask me your questions in the section dedicated to comments, at the very end of the article.
Day 1: Walk in the center of Strasbourg
A. The Petite France district
Nothing better to start your weekend in Strasbourg than to discover the most picturesque district of the city: the Petite France.
Surrounded by the Ill canal, this area was previously home to tanners, millers and fishermen, who needed to be closer to the water for their work.
Here, you will immediately find the image of a postcard with the half-timbered houses, typical of Alsace, the flowered windows and the small cobbled streets in which you will like to wander at random.
The island being more reserved for pedestrians and cyclists , it is all the more pleasant to walk around . If there is one place not to be missed during this weekend in Strasbourg, it is this one!
If you want to discover Strasbourg with a guided tour, I recommend the following 3, depending on your preferences:
- A guided bike tour of Strasbourg for 2h30 to discover Petite France, the Grande-île, the European district. Visit also available at night by clicking here!
- A 2-hour guided tour of Strasbourg by Segway: an original and fun way to discover the city during your weekend!
- A 2-hour private guided walking tour: More classic, but rich in history. This is a private tour, you will have the guide only for your group.
B. The covered bridges and the Vauban dam
At the end of the Petite France district, continue the walk by going to admire the covered bridges . Although they have kept their name, do not look for real covered bridges because they unfortunately no longer have roofs.
Originally, these bridges, surmounted by a wooden gallery, were built to reinforce the fortifications and connect the 3 medieval brick towers.
Despite the disappearance of the roofs, the whole still looks great today.
Just opposite the covered bridges, then join the Vauban dam . The latter was also built to protect Strasbourg when the covered bridges proved ineffective against artillery.
By blocking the arches of the dam, it was possible to raise the level of the river until it flooded the surrounding fields to trap the attackers.
Inside the dam, which you can cross to reach the other bank , you can see many statues of gargoyles.
Do not miss to climb on the roof of the dam . Fitted out as a panoramic terrace, it allows you to contemplate a very beautiful view of the covered bridges, the canals of Strasbourg and the Petite France.
C. Strasbourg Cathedral
Continue with the essential visit to do for a weekend in Strasbourg: Notre-Dame Cathedral.
It is about 1.2 km on foot from the dam , allow 15 minutes on foot.
On the way, you can pass by the Saint-Thomas church, known to house the tomb of the Marshal of Saxe , a true funerary masterpiece of Baroque art.
Arriving in front of the cathedral, you can only be impressed by its dimensions and its architecture . No wonder it has become the symbol of the city!
The oldest Gothic cathedral in the world brings together 3 main architectural masterpieces:
- Its 143 meter spire which has long been the highest in Christendom. It dates from the 15th century.
- The large rose window that adorns the main facade just above the entrance.
- Its astronomical clock whose set of automatons representing the different ages of life and the procession of the apostles has become one of the most famous attractions of the city.
You can also take advantage of your visit to Strasbourg Cathedral to climb on the platform located on the roof . After climbing 330 steps, you have an unobstructed view of the whole city .
Entry to the cathedral is free but access to the platform costs €8.
It is also necessary to count 3€ to access the parade of the apostles of the clock which takes place only once a day at 12:30 p.m. You have detailed information on the official website here.
To visit Strasbourg for a weekend, you can buy the Strasbourg Pass, which is valid for 3 days.
- Free access to one of the city’s museums
- The discovery of the astronomical clock of the cathedral
- A boat trip.
You can also benefit from reduced rates for going up to the cathedral platform , a visit to a second museum , an audio-guided tour of the old town or even a ride on a little train.
To book online directly with the link below:
Reserve my Strasbourg Pass now!
D. The Rohan Palace
After discovering the cathedral, cross the Place du Château to admire the Rohan Palace.
Classified as historical monuments, this 18th century palace was the residence of 4 cardinals of the Rohan family. Today it houses 3 museums:
- The archaeological museum to discover the history of the region since prehistoric times
- The Museum of Fine Arts and its collection of paintings
- The museum of decorative arts including in particular the visit of the apartments of the cardinals.
Each museum costs 6.50€ but if you have the Strasbourg Pass , you can access one of them for free.
To choose according to your tastes, but personally I found that the part on the historic apartments is the most interesting.
If you plan to visit several museums during your weekend in Strasbourg, you can take the 1-day museum pass (12€) or the 3-day museum pass (18€) instead. You will find the list of accessible museums here.
E. Other places to see on the Big Island
End the first day of your weekend in Strasbourg by exploring the other places on the Big Island.
This part of the city, which represents the historic center , is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I advise you in particular to go through:
- The Kammerzell house. Classified as a historical monument, it is considered one of the most beautiful houses in Strasbourg with its sculpted facade representing profane or sacred scenes as well as certain historical figures.
- Place Gutenberg, former administrative and political center until the 18th century
- Rue des Hallebardes, des Orfèvres and du Dôme for their small shops
- Place Kléber and the Aubette
- Place Broglie and its mansions.
If you want to dine at an excellent table for this first evening, I recommend the restaurant of the Kammerzell house.
On the program , local cuisine with coq au Riesling, Baeckeoffe, Waedele, but above all the house specialty: sauerkraut with 3 fish. A jealously guarded recipe!
To see the menu and book a delicious dinner for this romantic weekend in France, here is the website.
Day 2: A weekend in Strasbourg
A. Discovering Strasbourg by boat
I suggest you start the second day of your weekend in Strasbourg with a pleasant boat trip on the canals.
You will be able to deepen your visit of the city from a new angle and while relaxing!
The departures of the cruises , which are offered by the Batorama company, are at the foot of the Rohan Palace . They take place all year round thanks to the use of 2 types of boats: covered and uncovered.
There are 2 main circuits:
- “Strasbourg, more than 20 centuries of history” which lasts 1h10 and will take you through little France, the Vauban dam and the European institutions.
- “Strasbourg, Grande-Île” lasting 45 minutes which focuses on the city center and will therefore not take you through the European site.
B. Visit to the Strasbourg Historical Museum
For the rest of your weekend in Strasbourg, you can then visit the historical museum of the city of Strasbourg . It is located only a hundred meters from the cruise landing stage.
This museum traces a good part of Alsatian history and culture with a collection of models, plans but also objects of daily life from the Middle Ages to the French Revolution.
You will have a reduced rate with the Strasbourg Pass or free entry with the Museum Pass.
C. The European institutions and the Parc de l’Orangerie
For the afternoon, head to the Parc de l’Orangerie , which is about 2.5 km from the historic center.
To get there on foot, it takes about 30 minutes on foot following the Ill, which is quite a pleasant walk. This will also give you the opportunity to pass in front of the Saint-Paul church , a very beautiful building with its 2 twin spires and its rose window.
You can also take the tram if you don’t feel like walking.
To the left of the entrance to the park, you will find the area of the European institutions that you have already been able to see in the morning if you have chosen the corresponding boat tour.
We can see:
- The European Parliament
- The Council of Europe
- The European Court of Human Rights.
You will not be able to enter it but, on the other hand, if you want to learn more, you can follow the Europe route which includes several explanatory panels and fun installations.
It allows you to go all around the European district while cultivating yourself.
As for the Parc de l’Orangerie located next to the Council of Europe, it is the largest park in the city. If you have decided to go to Strasbourg for the weekend with your children , this is the ideal place to take them.
There is a carousel, playgrounds and a mini zoo. It is also possible to rent canoes for a trip on the lake.
And don’t forget to raise your head because the Parc de l’Orangerie is also known to be home to the emblematic animal of Alsace: the stork. There are several nests scattered in the trees.
D. Dinner in an Alsatian winstub
In the evening, return to the historic center to taste Alsatian specialties in an authentic Winstub, a traditional restaurant.
The hardest part will be choosing between sauerkraut, tarte flambée (flammekueche), baeckeofe, while leaving room for a small portion of the famous kougelhopf .
Small selection of winstub serving homemade to avoid tourist traps:
- Le Tire-Bouchon : 100% guaranteed home cooking thanks to the label of master restaurateur
- Le Mun’s : for lovers of Munster cheese since the regional specialties are revisited here with this cheese
- La petite Mairie : a family restaurant with local suppliers and fresh products. To test one of the 8 kinds of flamekueche where the dough is homemade, you will tell me the news!
Extended weekend in Strasbourg
If you are lucky enough to have a long weekend of 3 days to visit Strasbourg, on the last day, I advise you to discover the surroundings:
1) Visit typical Alsatian villages.
Among the most famous easy to visit for a weekend around Strasbourg, I recommend Colmar, Obernai, Riquewihr or Eguishem . All have very pretty historic centers with beautiful traditional houses.
And good news, if you don’t have a car, you can opt for an organized excursion to visit certain villages.
You will find all the information and can book this excursion by clicking on the link below:
Book my excursion to the villages of Alsace now!
2) Discover the Alsace wine route.
The oldest wine route in France brings together more than 300 wine estates. Some offer to visit their cellars, to walk in the vineyards and of course a small tasting of the best wines of the region!
You can choose to take the wine route on your own if you have a car or go through an organized excursion with transport from Strasbourg + guide and driver.
This discovery is possible for half a day:
Book my Alsace wine route tour now!
Or for a full day:
Book my 1d excursion on the Alsace wine route now!
3) Discover the castles around Strasbourg.
The 2 best known are the Haut-Koenigsbourg castle and the Haut-Barr castle. They both offer a magnificent view of the plain of Alsace.
If you have a car, you can absolutely mix the 3 ideas in the same day: visit the Haut Koenigsbourg castle , discover Colmar and go through the wine route for a small tasting.
Other activity ideas to do during a weekend in Strasbourg
Do you want to add other activities and ideas for your weekend in Strasbourg by modifying my itinerary a little?
Carefree! Here are some examples of other visits and things to see for a short stay in Strasbourg or the surrounding area:
- Visit the other museums of the city: the museum of modern and contemporary art , the Alsatian museum of Strasbourg , the zoological museum , the museum of the work of Notre-Dame or the Aubette 1928.
- Discover the historic cellar of the Hospices Civils de Strasbourg which houses several barrels of the best Alsace wines and where you will find the oldest wine in the world still kept in barrels: a vintage from 1472!
- Lunch in the former national stud farm at the Brasserie Les Haras . A very beautiful address renowned for its exceptional setting and of course for its excellent cuisine whose menu has been prepared by a chef with 3 stars in the Michelin Guide.
- A gastronomic stroll with 7 free tastings . This visit is free (without a guide), just pick up the booklet and the map of the partner shops at the tourist office. Book in advance here!
- A one-hour tour of the historic center in a Pedicab.
If you have decided to go to Strasbourg for the weekend with your children , you can also take them to spend the day at Europa Park.
The largest amusement park in Germany is only 60 km away.
To avoid queuing, I strongly advise you to book your tickets directly with the button below:
Reserve my ticket for Europa Park now!
If you want to book a round-trip private transfer from Strasbourg that also includes park entrance tickets, it’s here!
Weekend in Strasbourg for the Christmas market
A small special section reserved for all those who plan to go to Strasbourg for a weekend at Christmas.
At this time, if there is one unmissable visit to include in the program, it is the Strasbourg Christmas market! It is renowned throughout the region and is even one of the busiest in all of France.
More than 300 chalets are scattered throughout the town, but more specifically around the Place de la Cathédrale and along the Promenade Broglie. Here you can buy all kinds of Christmas decorations , local crafts and local products.
The huge fir tree, more than 30 meters high, is erected on Place Kléber.
Visiting Strasbourg for a weekend at Christmas also allows you to admire the shop fronts and the houses adorned with illuminations and magical scenes.
There are even special guided tours to discover the most beautiful illuminations and survey the market. Your local guide who will be able to advise you on the best places to drink a good mulled wine or taste the traditional biscuits.
Here are the different guided tours to do for a Christmas weekend in Strasbourg:
- A guided walking tour of the Christmas market:
Book my guided Christmas Market walking tour now!
- A guided Christmas bike tour in Strasbourg. Discover the most popular tourist sites like the cathedral or the Petite France district at the end of the day, when the lights and decorations are on:
Book my guided Christmas bike tour now!
You will find the complete list of hotels in Strasbourg by clicking here and I have also selected a few for you just below.
Weekend ideas in Strasbourg: where to sleep?
There you go, now you know what to do for a weekend in Strasbourg! It’s time to move on to the last step in preparing for your short stay: choosing your hotel.
To help you and make your job easier, I have therefore prepared a selection of the best hotels in the city.
Here below, my super nice weekend ideas to spend one or 2 nights in love.
Luxury weekend in Strasbourg
For this luxury weekend in Strasbourg, I recommend that you sleep in one of the most beautiful 5* hotels in the city and even in the region: the Hotel & Spa Régent Petite France.
The establishment, with a romantic atmosphere, occupies a very beautiful building: an old 17th century mill . It is located in the Petite France district, which makes it an ideal location to visit everything.
Its rooms and suites all offer a magnificent view of the Ill river and the typical half-timbered houses , emblematic of Alsace.
And since a luxurious weekend would not be complete without taking a short trip to the Spa , the Régent Petite France invites you to take advantage of its 200 m² space dedicated to well-being with jacuzzi, sauna, hammam, sensory shower and massages!
In the evening, I advise you to try the Champagne bar and its 20 types of champagne (perhaps not all on the same evening!).
You can then dine at the hotel restaurant: “Le Pont Tournant” . Rewarded with a plate in the Michelin Guide, the chef invites you to taste creative and delicate cuisine .
It is definitely the best choice for a luxury weekend in Strasbourg!
Romantic weekend in Strasbourg
For a short romantic weekend in the center of Strasbourg , I also recommend the Régent Contades hotel, BW Premier Collection.
The property is located by the river , just a 10-minute walk from Notre-Dame Cathedral and right next to the very beautiful Saint-Paul Church.
It features charming and comfortable Belle-Époque style rooms . You will also have the opportunity to enjoy the sauna for free and just for you by reserving your slot in advance.
Reserve my romantic weekend in Strasbourg now!
Spa weekend in Strasbourg
Another well-being weekend idea in Strasbourg with a stay at the Golden Tulip Strasbourg Center The Garden hotel.
The hotel is 500 meters from Place Kléber and 2 km from the cathedral.
It has a magnificent spa and wellness center with a large indoor heated swimming pool , a hammam and Physiotherm cabins with infrared radiation. Massages and facials are also offered.
You can also take advantage of your spacious room and very comfortable bedding to relax between 2 days of visits.
And a special mention for the plant decoration of the hotel which is superb and gives a truly relaxing atmosphere.
Book my relaxing weekend in Strasbourg now!
Charming weekend in Strasbourg
For a charming weekend in Strasbourg , I have found a great address for you: the Cour du Corbeau hotel.
This small 4* hotel is located just 100 meters from the Alsatian museum . It occupies a magnificent 16th century house which has been superbly renovated and has retained all of its character.
The rooms are very elegant and cozy with wooden floors and some stone walls and exposed beams.
With its romantic and warm atmosphere , this establishment is perfect for a getaway for two in the Alsatian capital!
Cheap weekend in Strasbourg
I end this selection of establishments with some cheap weekend ideas in Strasbourg:
- Comfort Hotel Strasbourg – Montagne Verte: located in Strasbourg, a 20-minute walk from the Petite France district, in a quiet area by the river. Modern and bright room from €50 per night, all-you-can-eat breakfast at €10. The pluses: free parking, breakfast with lots of choice and even a candy bar. Don’t leave without having eaten at least once in the hotel restaurant, which offers Alsatian specialties (the spaetzels and breaded camembert are delicious!). An excellent choice for a cheap weekend in Alsace in Strasbourg!
- Hotel Victoria : Located 10 minutes from the Cathedral, near the station, ideal if you arrive by train. Spacious and colorful room, quiet, from €70 per night, buffet breakfast at €9. Most: quiet location in a pedestrian street, very welcoming staff and very generous breakfast with quality products. One of the best choices for a budget hotel in Strasbourg!
- Hotel ORIGAMI: located 1.8 km from the cathedral, this brand new hotel offers modern and comfortable rooms from 70€, breakfast at 7.90€. Most: close to the tram, the reception, the calm, the quality of the bedding.
- Château de Pourtalès: estate located north of Strasbourg, just 2.5 km from the Parc de l’Orangerie and the European institutions. You will have the choice between traditional rooms located in the castle and more modern accommodation in an annex, from 80€.
- Okko Hotels Strasbourg Centre: located 200 meters from a tram stop, 3 km from the Grande-Île. Design double room from €90, breakfast at €14. The pluses: the aperitif offered with cheese, charcuterie, savory pies every evening, the excellent breakfast.
Map of your weekend in Strasbourg
To help you visualize your routes during this weekend in Strasbourg, I made you a map listing the places to visit day by day . You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button with a small arrow.
You will then be able to view the routes for each day.
When to go for a weekend in Strasbourg?
It is of course possible to go on a weekend in Strasbourg all year round.
The schedule that I have proposed to you can be followed in any month. The city is always lively , the museums and tourist sites are open and even the boat trip is possible at any time given the types of boats.
Afterwards, it is certainly more pleasant to go to Strasbourg for a weekend between the months of May and the beginning of October in order to take advantage of the good weather and the warmer temperatures.
In July-August, as everywhere in France, it is the high tourist season, there are many people.
For me, the best time to go to Strasbourg for the weekend is therefore from May to the end of June and from September to the beginning of October.
And of course if you want to enjoy an exceptional Christmas atmosphere, the month of December is ideal!
Do you need help organizing your weekend in Strasbourg? Do not hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments.