Strasbourg in 1 Day: all you need to know

A 24-hour visit may seem insufficient time to tour a city. However, in this post I show you how to enjoy Strasbourg in a one-day trip.

Keyvis Montilva

Keyvis Montilva

10 min read

Strasbourg in 1 Day: all you need to know

Strasbourg sunset | ©Conikon

Something quite convenient is the fact that the best things to see and do in Strasbourg can be completed in a relatively short time. And the fact is that it is quite a touristic city, but at the same time it is not too big and, therefore, you can visit the main attractions even in a trip of less than 24 hours.

So my recommendation is that you follow the itinerary that I have planned for you, because I have organized it in a way that will allow you to know the most representative areas of the city. So that when you return home you can say that you know the major tourist treasures of Strasbourg.

1. Start the day crossing the Barrage Vauban and having breakfast at La Petite France

La Petite France| ©Jorge Franganillo
La Petite France| ©Jorge Franganillo

There are plenty of places where you could start touring the city of Strasbourg during your visit. However, one place that stands out for its logistical convenience is the southwestern end of the Grand Ile de Strasbourg where the Barrage Vauban bridge is located.

This is a bridge that also functions as a dam and stands out for its roofed structure as well as its proximity to the Petite France neighborhood, a must-see stop on the best tours of Strasbourg.

This area is a small neighborhood that stretches along the canals of the River III and stands out for its cobblestone streets as well as its half-timbered houses dating from medieval times. It really is the quintessential tourist epicenter of Strasbourg beyond the cathedral area and is therefore an excellent place to have breakfast before continuing your day.

Restaurants can be found at both ends of the River III. However, my recommendation is that you do so in the cafes that are already on the shore of the Big Island, as this will allow you to move on to the next place on your itinerary more quickly. You should also keep in mind that it is a favorite area to go on some of the private tours that are given on foot or by Segway. Which could be a good alternative if you are willing to invest your money and time in that experience.

Book a Segway tour of Strasbourg

2. Walk to Kleber Square

Kleber Square| ©cjbphotos1
Kleber Square| ©cjbphotos1

When you have satiated your appetite and feel ready to continue with your day, then you should take one of the diagonal streets of the Grand Isle, specifically the Rue des Drapiers, to get directly to the famous Kleber Square. This site is the geographical epicenter of the Grand Isle of Strasbourg and is known for being surrounded by cafes and stores, as well as being home to the famous Christmas tree that is installed annually in this part of the city.

And you should know that Strasbourg is internationally known for its Christmas markets and in fact has one of the oldest in the world. So if your visit coincides with the month of December, then it would be good to spend a couple of hours touring this square and the various stalls that will be exposed knowing that it is undoubtedly one of the best plans to do at Christmas in Strasbourg.

If your visit occurs at another time of year, then you have to know that the square is also usually full of people for being a fairly basic meeting point for social life in Strasbourg. As such, it remains an ideal place to appreciate the medieval architecture that defines this city.

Book a private tour of Strasbourg

3. Arrive at the Place du Chateau and see the famous cathedral

Notre Dame de Strasbourg Cathedral| ©John Mansfield
Notre Dame de Strasbourg Cathedral| ©John Mansfield

Walking from Place Kleber to the cathedral of Notre Dame de Strasbourg will not be complicated, because the truth is that although it is about four streets away, the path is ideal for you to appreciate the beauty that characterizes the historic center of the city.

When you get to the Place du Chateau you will have the opportunity to enjoy different historical and architectural gems of this town among which stands out the Kammerzell, a house built during the fifteenth century that has an iconic wooden facade full of sculptures and dozens of windows.

Of the cathedral you have to know that it is a church known for its facade that perfectly represents the French Gothic and also for having an astronomical clock dating from the sixteenth century. For several decades the building was the tallest in the world, as its bell tower is still today the tallest structure in the city.

In fact, if you had a two-day visit to the city of Strasbourg my recommendation would be to opt for a guided tour of the famous church, because the truth is that this is one of the most important buildings in Western Europe and with the accompaniment of a specialist you will learn many details about its history and construction.

Tour the Rohan Palace

Directly opposite the cathedral is the Rohan Palace. It is a large 18th century residence that is known for the rococo interiors of its spacious facilities. Today it is home to three different museums. The museum of fine arts, the museum of decorative arts and the museum of archeology of the city.

In a slightly longer trip would be a really recommended site to enjoy more quietly. Although the truth is that if you do not feel like doing any of the activities on the itinerary, then you could dedicate your hours to this place knowing that it will be a good investment of your time.

Book a private tour of Strasbourg

4. Cross some of the bridges to get to the Place de la République

Place de la République| ©Patrick
Place de la République| ©Patrick

When you have finished touring the cathedral and its surroundings you will need to start a walk that will take you out of the Grand Isle of Strasbourg to start discovering other parts of the city just as interesting. To do this, you will need to start walking north, as your next stop is the famous garden of the Place de la République.

When you have reached the Place de la République you will notice that the architecture changes significantly. This area was developed during the German occupation after their victory in some of the battles of the Franco-Prussian war. Today it is one of the most important squares of the city and an epicenter of its most modern sector.

To go to this site you will have different alternatives because there are five different bridges that connect this island with the Neustadt neighborhood where the canal du Faux-Rempart is located.

In addition, in this part of the trip you will find the famous Palais du Rhin and the National Theater of Strasbourg, as well as the National University Library of Strasbourg. Together with other equally large and representative buildings, they are constructions of the Neustadt area that tried to demonstrate the German power through the values of Prussian architecture.

Come to the Église réformée Saint-Paul if you are already in the area

Taking advantage of the fact that you are in the Neustadt area you should go to the reformist church of St. Paul. This stands out for having been built during the period in which Lutheranism and German Christianity had the religious control of the city and is definitely one of the greatest architectural works of this period in the history of Strasbourg.

5. Drive to the University of Strasbourg via Neustadt and tour the campus

University of Strasbourg| ©Régis MUNO
University of Strasbourg| ©Régis MUNO

Once you have crossed the Pont d'Auverge to see the church of St. Paul, you can go directly to the campus of the University of Strasbourg. This site stands out for its architecture and also for its contribution to the history of Strasbourg, because thanks to this institution it became a city that for centuries has been a reference of academic advances in Western Europe.

When you arrive to this part of the city, the first thing you will find is the university palace and behind this impressive building are the palace gardens, as well as the botanical garden. Just where is located the Strasbourg astronomical observatory, which is another construction dating from the nineteenth century and today offers guided tours show that unfortunately you will not have the time to devote.

If you cross the street from the Boulevard de la Victoire you will find several bars and restaurants with fairly affordable prices that are in this part of the city by the high demand the university public age. My recommendation is that you take the opportunity to have lunch in these places to save money and to understand the true gastronomic essence of this city.

6. Take a cab to the European Parliament

European Parliament in Strasbourg| ©Grzegorz Jereczek
European Parliament in Strasbourg| ©Grzegorz Jereczek

When you have already eaten or simply stopped touring the area of the University of Strasbourg, then you should take a cab that will cost you no more than 10 € in total. You should ask him to take you in a northerly direction to get directly to the seat of the European Parliament.

This building is impressive for its size and for its innovative and modern design. It also does so because it offers totally free guided tours from Monday to Friday for those who want to learn a little more about this legislative body, as well as about the history of the European Union.

On the other hand, if you need to know how to visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg, you should know that it is not necessary to book in advance for these guided tours, but it is important that you are at this place before six in the afternoon, which will not be any inconvenience because if you have followed the itinerary I have recommended you should be at the doors at about four in the afternoon.

7. Enjoy the sunset in the Parc de l'Orangerie

Parc de l'Orangerie| ©Patrick
Parc de l'Orangerie| ©Patrick

Once you have had your guided tour of the European Parliament, including watching some of the plenary sessions, you should cross the bridge over the river III to go to the Parc de l'Orangerie. This site has been the most beloved public park for the local population and is known for having been built during the 17th century, as well as for having a navigable lake and a restaurant with a terrace and an area where waterfowl live permanently.

It is open every day of the week until eight in the evening and, therefore, it is an excellent place to enjoy the sunset during most of the year. In fact it is a recommended plan that is part of the best things to do in Strasbourg during the month of January and is also part of the recommended activities to do in Strasbourg during the month of November.

That's because these are two months in which you can enjoy this outdoor space just at a time of year when it usually dusk quite early.

8. Return to the Grand Isle of Strasbourg for a good dinner with German shepherd cheeses and wines

Strasbourg lunch| ©Dining Car
Strasbourg lunch| ©Dining Car

After walking the park and having enjoyed a beautiful sunset, you will have one last activity to follow depending on how tired you are. Depending on where you are staying, there is the possibility that you can have dinner there. But it is true that it would be a real shame to return home without having had the opportunity to explore the authentic German shepherd gastronomy.

Therefore, my recommendation is to take a cab back to the Grand Isle of Strasbourg, which will probably not cost you more than 10 €. This with the intention that you sit in a restaurant that really convinces you to spend your evening enjoying typical food from this part of the country

And is that the Munster cheese and white wine are two elements well representative of the culinary world of Strasbourg and these dishes are added to other recipes such as the wide variety of sausages that are produced locally. So it would be a good idea to sit down to eat in any of the 30 culinary establishments that are located within the island.

Although it is preferable to visit an authentic German shepherd tavern such as the Winstub Le Clou or La Fignette. Then you will feel that your palate will have traveled throughout the region as if you had participated in some of the best day trips from Strasbourg. A gastronomic tour that takes place during the night is also an excellent alternative, especially because you will have the opportunity to get to know different establishments.

Tips for this 1 day trip in Strasbourg

Streets of Strasbourg| ©dorombach
Streets of Strasbourg| ©dorombach

Although a 24-hour trip to the city of Strasbourg is not something that presents major challenges, it is still true that there are some decisions that can help you to increase the guarantees of success in the experience, because the truth is that with the following tips you can live a much more enjoyable visit that will help you to meet all your expectations so that you stay with much desire to return to this destination in the near future.

Walk calmly and enjoy the tour

The first thing you should do during a one-day visit to Strasbourg that is given under the itinerary that I have raised is to walk calmly and without haste. This city, despite having a wide variety of attractions, is relatively small and easy to walk around.

Most of these sites are very close to each other, which means that with a walk of less than 10 minutes you will get from one attraction to another and, specifically, in the planning I prepared for you, you will make a favorable route that does not let you waste time going in opposite directions.

Wear good coats

The city of Strasbourg is characterized by being very cold during most of the year and these temperatures will remain from autumn until almost the end of spring. Therefore, it is essential that you wear coats that allow you to walk comfortably even if the wind or even rain are present throughout your visit.

Take a chance to try new things

Throughout the trip you will find different restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Therefore, my recommendation is that you take the risk of trying new things, as German shepherd gastronomy stands out in the French culinary world for having many German influences, which creates a wide range of flavors that practically do not exist in other parts of the country.