One day in Strasbourg itinerary – a full guide to what to do in Strasbourg for one day (including the best things to see, where to stay and what to eat).
Strasbourg, with its beautiful half-timbered houses and famous Christmas markets, has been on my list for a long time. All I can say after my trip is that I want to go back and explore this charming city in the summer, too!
Where in France is Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital of Alsace region in northeastern France. It’s located less than 4 km west of the French-German border.
Although today the city is a part of France, things looked quite different in the past. The capital of Alsace has been a subject of endless wars between France and Germany. In fact, the city changed its ownership several times during its history!
Is Strasbourg worth visiting
Strasbourg not only worths a visit, but you have to go and see the city both during summer and winter time.
During the summer the city is strikingly picturesque with its half-timbered houses tucked away behind overflowing flowers. Also, the famous light show of the Cathedral takes place in July, August and September.
Yet, no matter how beautiful Strasbourg is in the summer, wait to see it during the Christmas season. This is the time of the year when the city turns into a fairytale. The Christmas decoration is out of this world.
How many days in Strasbourg
From 1 to 2 days.
One day is enough to see the Cathedral, the palaces and tour the Historic Centre. If you’re visiting the city for the Christmas markets, add one more day. There are 11 markets to explore and each one of them deserves a visit.
I visited the city during the Christmas market season, spending 2 nights (1 day and a half). I managed to see everything – all of the markets and the main sights.
It has a strategic location – close to all Christmas markets. Besides, La Petite France is just around the corner.
However, I regret that I didn’t stay one more day and take a day trip to Colmar. It’s a small charming town near Strasbourg (a 30min journey with a train).
Hôtel Gutenberg – Bes for families
8.9/10 Rating – See hotel images and 1,880+ guest reviews
Boutique hotel with a fantastic location right in the Old Town.
Cour du Corbeau – Best for couples
9.3/10 Rating – See hotel images and 1,530+ guest reviews
a 4-star boutique hotel in a superb historical building.
Les Appartements Place de la Cathédrale
9.5/10 Rating – See apartment images and 160+ guest reviews
Comfy apartments with great views of the cathedral.
Check out more awesome places to stay in Strasbourg.
How to save money on your Strasbourg itinerary
The Strasbourg Pass includes:
- a free visit to one museum
- ascent to the cathedral platform
- the show of the Astronomical clock
- boat-tour through the city
- half-price offers for a second museum, guided visits and many more
- 20% reduction in some stores
Although the pass is valid for 3 days, it’s a great value even if you’re in Strasbourg for 1 or 2 days. You can easily fit the included free attractions in one day.
By using the Strasbourg Pass (19.5 EUR) you will save 8 EUR.
- a visit to one of the museums – 6.5 EUR
- ascent to the cathedral platform – 5 EUR
- astronomical clock show – 3 EUR
- boat-tour through the city – 13 EUR
One day in Strasbourg itinerary
How to visit Strasbourg in one day? What are the top things to see and do? Follow this self-guided walking tour of Strasbourg to get the best of the city in such a short time.
Morning – La Petite France and Strasbourg Cathedral
08:30 AM – 09:30 AM
Start your one day in Strasbourg with breakfast at L’atelier 116 or Salon de thé Grand’Rue.
For a quick breakfast try L’atelier 116. It’s an awesome bakery where you can find the best éclairs in the city.
If you’re a tea or cheesecake fan, try Salon de thé Grand’Rue. They offer a wide variety of cheesecakes. The cakes are light, ideal for breakfast and the servings are huge. They have a great breakfast menu, too.
La Petite France
09:30 AM – 10:00 AM
La Petite France is the most photogenic part of the city. The area is crowded with black and white half-timbered houses tucked away in alleyways and cobblestone streets.
The name La Petite France (Little France) is not given for any architectural reasons. In the 15th century, there was a hospital for syphilis in this part of the city. At that time the Germans were calling syphilis a French disease. From here derives the name – La Petite France.
Ponts Couverts and Barrage Vauban
10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Ponts Couverts and Barrage Vauban are part of La Petite France. They were built to defend the city.
Ponts Couverts are three bridges and four towers from the 13th century. Initially, the bridges were covered with wooden roofs to protect the defenders. From here comes the name Ponts Couverts, that means covered bridges in French.
Barrage Vauban is a bridge from the 17th century. Its function was to raise the level of the river, flooding everything south of the city in case of an attack. This defensive measure was used during the Franco-Prussian War.
Nowadays Barrage Vauban has a viewing platform on its roof, revealing nice views of La Petite France.
Strasbourg Cathedral and the Astronomical Clock
10:45 AM – 12:30 PM
Cathédrale de Strasbourg is the emblematic monument of the city. Finished in the 15th century, it rises above all buildings at the heart of the Historic Centre. Its characteristic pink hue is due to the sandstone from the Vosges that was used in the construction.
There is a viewing platform at 66m above sea level. It’s accessible only by stairs (330 steps to the top) and it costs 5 EUR. On the first Sunday of every month, there is no entrance fee. During the Christmas markets season, the platform is closed for visitors.
The most famous object in the cathedral is the Astronomical Clock. It’s a real Renaissance masterpiece from the 19th century. There is a presentation of the clock every day except Sunday at noon.
12:30 PM – 02:30 PM
For lunch try Dreher or L’Epicerie. Dreher is a great option for a quick lunch.
L’Epicerie offers tasty open-faced sandwiches on sourdough bread with a variety of toppings.
Afternoon – See the palaces
02:30 PM – 04:30 PM
The Rohan Palace (Palais de Rohan) is a French Baroque masterpiece completed in 1742. The palace served as a residency of House of Rohan, a French noble family. The palace hosted a number of French monarchs such as Emperor Napoleon, Louis XV, Marie Antoinette and many more.
Nowadays the building houses the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Museum of Fine Arts. The restored royal apartments are part of the Museum of Decorative Arts. You can buy a separate ticket for each museum or one for the three. The latter option will save you 6 EUR.
Temple Neuf Church
04:45 PM – 05:00 PM
Temple Neuf Church (Église du Temple Neuf) is a beautiful pink sandstone church from the 19th century.
05:15 PM – 05:30 PM
Palais du Rhin (Palais du Rhin) is the former royal palace. William II commissioned the building in 1889. Today, the palace is an administrative building and it’s not open for visitors.
St. Paul’s Church of Strasbourg
05:45 PM – 06:00 PM
St. Paul’s Church is a stunning church often missed by the tourists. This 19th-century church is built for the Imperial German garrison members that were stationed in the city.
Finish the day with a dinner at Aux Trois Chevaliers or La Corde à Linge.
I just loved the Spätzle with mushrooms at La Corde à Linge. Spätzle are soft egg noodle, typical for the Alsace region. And they are unbelievably tasty, too!
What to do in Strasbourg for one day – more ideas
Explore the city in a different way
Explore the rest of Alsace
See the best of Alsace on a full-day tour from Strasbourg. The tour includes a visit to the enchanting villages of Colmar, Eguisheim and Riquewihr. In addition, you’ll sample some Alsatian wines and see Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg.
Pay respect to the victims of the Nazi regime
I saw such plates on the street for the first time in Berlin. Since then I regularly spot ones in different cities during my travels. They mark a street where people that were deported to Nazi concentration camps lived.
Take an evening walk
The city is lovely at night. Don’t miss the illuminated Ponts Couverts, Barrage Vauban and of course, the Cathedral.
Tour the Christmas Markets
If you’re in the city in December, don’t miss its fairytale Christmas markets.
Getting around the city
The Historic Centre is located on the Grande Île (the Large Island). Despite its name, the island is small and you can easily explore it by foot. The Central train station is right next to the Grande Île.
Find out more helpful information about Alsace in DK Eyewitness Travel Guide France.
Flying to Baden-Baden Airport? Find out how to get from Baden-Baden Airport to Strasbourg.
Planning a trip around France? Then check out how to spend 4 days in Paris.
Visitors often combine Strasbourg with Colmar. For a convenient accommodation, check out these great hotels in Colmar.
If you consider renting a car, compare the car rental prices in Europe.
|I'm a travel blogger based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Travelling has always been my passion and I love to discover new places and cultures. I want to show you how easy it is to organize your vacation all by yourself.|
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