MUST VISIT Destination Beyond the Christmas Lights

Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace, has been the focal point of centuries-long conflicts between France and Germany. This unique history has left the city with a rich cultural tapestry, heavily influenced by both nations, yet maintaining its distinct essence.

Strasbourg France Alsace

Known as the 'Christmas City,' Strasbourg attracts numerous visitors during the winter holidays due to its festive atmosphere and historic charm. However, its vibrant activities such as spas, campings, and various cultural and historical neighborhoods make it a year-round destination. In this guide, we'll explore Strasbourg's must-see attractions, activities, and culinary delights, providing valuable insights for visiting in any season.


What to See?

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg

Cathedrale Notre dame Strasbourg

Strasbourg Cathedral, completed in 1439, captivates visitors first by its height. This architectural masterpiece embodies Strasbourg's rich history and artistic heritage. Considered one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture, the cathedral seamlessly blends German and French cultural influences. While the eastern structures exhibit very Romanesque features, the famous western façade is adorned with thousands of figures and stands as a masterpiece of the Gothic era.

Cathedral Notre Dame

Sandstone from the Vosges, used in its construction, imparts the cathedral's characteristic pink hue. Stained-glass windows dating from the 12th and 14th centuries form a particularly enchanting sight along with the rose window.

Cathedral astronomical clock

Located in the cathedral's south transept, the Renaissance Astronomical Clock is one of the largest and most complex in the world. Dating back to 1842, this clock is not just a timekeeper but a sophisticated calculating machine. It accurately indicates leap years, equinoxes, and various other astronomical data. Every day at 12:30 pm, a captivating display of automatons begins. This animation showcases the different ages of life and features a parade of the apostles before Christ.

Observation Deck Strasbourg Cathedral

The spiral staircase with 332 steps leads you to the top of the cathedral. The panoramic view at the top of the platform is extraordinary. The roofs of Strasbourg are incredible and the view extends in good weather to Black Forest in Germany.

Address : Pl. de la Cathédrale, 67000 Strasbourg


La Petite France

Petite France Strasbourg

Just 10 minutes walk away from the cathedral you will find this magical place which is the most charming district of old Strasbourg. This beautiful district, with its traditional Alsatian half-timbered houses, is crossed by canals that once powered mills. Today, it become the best place for leisurely strolls, intimate dining, and boat rides that provide a different perspective on this historic area.

Address : 6 Rue des Moulins, 67000 Strasbourg


European Parliament

European Parliament Strasbourg

Strasbourg is also called as the EU captial with the European Parliament. Although it is strictly guarded, there are times when some areas are open to the public. If you book an observation tour via the website(link), you can enter as an individual traveller.

Address : 1 Avenue du Président Robert Schuman, 67000 Strasbourg


What to Do

Relax in Luxurious Spas

Spa in Strasbourg Hotel and spa regent petit france

In Strasbourg you can enjoy highly-rated spas with calm natural vibes. Among many good spa places in Strasbourg, The Hôtel & Spa Régent Petite France, located within an iconic water mill, provides a sanctuary where visitors can rejuvenate their minds and bodies. Enjoy your spa experience surrounded by sunlight of petite france. For those seeking intensive skin care treatments, the Galeries Lafayette Strasbourg features some exclusive activities with cosmetic brands offering a particularly exquisite experience not to be missed.


Shopping in Strasbourg

Galeries Lafayette Strasbourg Shopping

Strasbourg is a shopper’s paradise throughout the year. Place Kléber, renowned not only for hosting the famous Christmas market but also as the location of Galeries Lafayette Strasbourg, provides an unforgettable shopping experience. Established in 1912, the building has become a significant part of the city’s architectural and historical heritage.

Galeries Lafayette Strasbourg Shopping

Galeries Lafayette functions as a comprehensive multi-brand retail destination, offering a wide range of products including ready-to-wear apparel for both adults and children, luxury beauty products, and home decor items. From high-end fashion brands to unique local artisan crafts, the variety ensures something for every taste and budget.

Galeries Lafayette Strasbourg Shopping

To make your shopping here even more affordable, you can get some offers. You can receive a special gift based on your purchase amount. Additionally, you are eligible for a 12% tax refund on purchases over 100 euros. Please bring your receipts from the past 1-3 days to the Detax/Tax refund service location for this benefit. All Receipts within 3 days are applicable for a tax refund, excluding those from restaurants or cafes. Detailed information can be found via the provided link.

Address : 34 Rue du 22 Novembre, 67000 Strasbourg


Batorama Boat Tour

Batorama Strasbourg

Explore Strasbourg from the water with Batorama, which offers guided boat tours along the Ill River. These tours provide unique views of must-see landmarks such as the Palais Rohan, the iconic covered bridges, the Vauban dam, the European Parliament, and the La Petite France district. As you glide through the city, enjoy the scenery and learn about Strasbourg's history at each point of interest. To enhance your experience, an audio guide available in 12 languages with individual headphones is provided. Please check more information and tickets via the link.


Where to Stay

Luxury: Hôtel & Spa Régent Petite France 

Strasbourg Hôtel & Spa Régent Petite France

This luxurious hotel is nestled in the enchanting La Petite France district, offering exquisite views of the Ill River. The rooms at Hôtel & Spa Régent Petite France beautifully blend historical charm with modern elegance. The hotel provides panoramic views of Petite France, making it a perfect retreat for those seeking both relaxation and a touch of historical ambiance.

Address : 6 Rue des Moulins, 67000 Strasbourg


Boutique: Cour du Corbeau Strasbourg - MGallery

Cour du Corbeau Strasbourg - MGallery

Dating back to the 16th century, the Cour du Corbeau hotel exudes a historical ambiance that brings to life tales of the city's past. Recently restored, this hotel masterfully blends antique charm with contemporary comforts, offering an unforgettable stay. The hotel's mood, reminiscent of an animated movie set amidst nature, enhances its enchanting atmosphere.

Address : 6-8 Rue des Couples, 67000 Strasbourg


Chic: Les Haras Strasbourg

 Les Haras Strasbourg

Les Haras Strasbourg is a chic hotel set in an 18th-century former national stud farm. It combines historic charm with modern luxury, with stylish interiors inspired by its past. The Brasserie restaurant, led by 3-star Michelin chef Marc Haeberlin, offers exquisite French and Alsatian cuisine.

Address : 23 Rue des Glacières, 67000 Strasbourg


What to Eat

Strasbourg what to eat Bretzel

Strasbourg is a gastronomic delight, with its local cuisine reflecting Alsatian culture. The traditional Bretzel, a soft pretzel often enjoyed as a snack or with beer, highlights local baking skills.

Strasbourg Traditional food Choucroute Garnie

Choucroute Garnie features sauerkraut topped with assorted meats and sausages. Tarte Flambée, also known as Flammekueche, offers a delectable taste of Alsace with its thin crust topped with crème fraîche, onions, and lardons. Complementing these dishes is Crémant d'Alsace, a refreshing sparkling wine that enhances the dining experience, making it a beloved staple of Alsatian gastronomy whether sipped alone or paired with a meal.


Day Trips from Strasbourg

Strasbourg is a lively city and an ideal base for exploring nearby areas. With its central location and superb transport links, numerous day trips are easily accessible from the city's main station, Gare de Strasbourg. Frequent, fast trains guarantee around an hour travel time to many destinations, allowing a variety of experiences to enrich your visit and create a memorable trip.

- Colmar: Just a short train ride away, Colmar offers a fairy-tale escape with its well-preserved medieval architecture and vibrant floral displays. It’s particularly famous for its wine route, which provides a setting for sampling some of the region's best vintages.
- Basel: Cross into Switzerland to explore Basel, a city known for its vibrant cultural scene, including the Art Basel fair—one of the leading arts shows for modern and contemporary works.


Strasbourg’s appeal as a year-round destination is undeniable. From its Gothic cathedrals and historical quarters to its modern institutions and lively cultural festivals, Strasbourg offers a diverse array of attractions. Whether you're seeking serenity, adventure, or cultural enrichment with a grand history, Strasbourg promises a unique and memorable experience every season.


Author: Saejin

Photos: Yuka and Saejin