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Things to do in Strasbourg

Popular student areas in Strasbourg

Some of the busiest streets are around place de la Cathédrale, specifically Rue des Soeurs, Rue des Frères and Rue de la Croix. They all boast busy cafes and vibrant bars, making them great places to spend the weekend.

Strasbourg Sightseeing

After Paris, Strasbourg is the second most visited city by tourists in France. It’s always easy to find something to do!

If you love wine, Alsace is one of the country’s largest regions for wine production, most specifically known for its Muscat, Riesling, Sylvaner and Gewurtztramminer. There’s even a wine route of Alsace, which runs through wine-producing villages like Marlenheim and Thann, and is part of France’s wine route as well.

If you love nature, the Vosges Mountains are only about 45 minutes away. They have numerous hiking paths and ski resorts, making it a place for all seasons.

You can also spend a lazy day in one of the many picturesque traditional Alsatian villages. Be sure to take in Eguisheim, as it was voted in 2013 to be France’s most beautiful village.

However, most visitors come for the three most popular attractions.

The Cathedral

Over one thousand years old, the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg is second in visits only to Notre Dame de Paris. It was constructed on the site of a Roman temple in 1015. After it was destroyed in a fire, reconstruction began in the 1100s, utilizing the Gothic style. It took all of the 1200s to construct the nave, and the spire was finally finished in 1439.

Petite France

Overlooking the River Ill, you’ll find a picturesque setting of Medieval-style architecture with half-timbered buildings. Spend a day exploring streets such as Rue du Bain aux Plantes, Quai Saint-Thomas, Rue Mercière and Rue des Serruriers.

Christmas Market

Christkindelsmärik, named after the child Jesus, is the largest and oldest-running Christmas market in all of Europe, completely overtaking the streets and around the cathedral during the entire month of December. At the Strasbourg Christmas Market, you can always find something original, such as Alsacian delicacies like Baeckeoffe, Sauerkraut, Kougelhopf, Bretzels, Mauricettes, Tarte Flambée and Gingerbread.

Food and Drinks

Where to eat in Strasbourg

Traditional restaurants are called winstubs, and they are the ideal place to try choucroute garnie, which is a tasty dish of sauerkraut with sausages. Some additional local dishes worth trying are baeckoffe, a stew made in white riesling of meat, potatoes, onions and spices, served with spaetzle, which are German noodles, and kugelhopf, which is a yeast cake filled with almonds and raisins.

Where to go to for drinks in Strasbourg

Les Frères Berthom is probably the most famous bar in Strasbourg, and it is typically the first a local will suggest. Les Frères Berthom offers an impressive drink list, with dozens and dozens of beers and expertly mixed cocktails. This is also a great place to grab a few bar snacks.

With Strasbourg’s covered bridges being one of its main attractions, Bar au Fantassin is on an ideal spot on the quai de la Bruche, with scenic views of a picturesque bridge or two. Plus, it’s not all about the location, as the bar is also known for its fantastic drinks.

Nightlife in Strasbourg

La PopArtiserie

This trendy gallery, music venue and wine bar is a great place to show off your artistic talents. You can expect free entertainment, ranging from pop to jazz, along with pop-up art exhibitions at La PopArtiserie. There’s also plenty of street art in the general vicinity as well.

Kohler-Rehm

On the main stretch of Brasserie Kohler-Rehm and in the pedestrian-friendly Place Kléber, you’ll find the perfect space for a few drinks. The authentic Alsace beer is brewed by a well-known master directly from the Brasserie Storig in Schiltigheim. Be sure to also grab a warm baked pretzel, or indulge in the happy hour from 4pm to 6pm.

La Laiterie

If you ask any of the locals where they go to see live music in Strasbourg, the answer is usually La Laiterie. One top of that, the venue hosts two festivals each year: the electro-inspired L’Ososphère and the Festival des Artefacts, which showcases rock, folk and indie artists. Be sure to check out their schedule once you relocate to Strasbourg.

Events and festivals in Strasbourg

Strasbourg always has something on the calendar, including festivals and other events such as:

  • Live music festivals
  • Drama and puppetry
  • Heritage festivals and events
  • Dance
  • Street art
  • Storytelling and book festivals
  • European fantasy films

Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival

One of europe’s largest genre events, the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival celebrates the art of cinema. The main draw is geared around international fantastic films and their new productions. However, you can also expect to see thrillers, black comedies and noir films, along with video games and a virtual-reality cinema. Illustrating its connection to the heritage of films, you can also see huge film revivals. To really get involved, you can attend a master class with experts in the industry and film directors. There are also museum exhibits, zombie walks, conferences, workshops and an activities village.

Les Nuits Européennes

Les Nuits Européennes is held every October in Strasbourg, promoting world music on a truly international stage. Along with musical performances, this is also a great way to explore different cultures and to interact with artists in all fields.

European Heritage days in Strasbourg

The European Heritage Days are held in September in Strasbourg, full of fun and activities to explore both heritage and culture. Throughout the city, businesses and organizations open their buildings to the festival every year. You can expect to explore architecture related to religion or culture, along with parks, gardens, archaeological sites and even farmhouses. You can also explore:

  • Both public and private buildings, whose collections might typically be closed to the public at all other times
  • Guided walking and biking tours throughout the different districts in the city
  • Private buildings seldomly open to the general public offering activities like guided building tours, lectures exhibitions and the showing of films.

Activities in Strasbourg

All around the cathedral, you will find a plethora of museums. However, the most popular for art lovers is the Musée des Beaux Arts. An 18th-century palace, the Palais Rohan, contains both the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Strasbourg Archeological Museum. Directly across the street, you’ll also find the Strasbourg Historical Museum.

If you choose to purchase a day pass for all of the museums, it will cost less than the entrance fees for two of the museums. Located across the Barrage Vauban and close to Petite France, the Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, or MAMCS, is also covered under the pass. It contains works from Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Picasso and Miro, just to name a few.

The Culture Card, costing €7, is also available to students to gain discounts all throughout the year, including:

  • Entry to 46 festivals for €6
  • Concerts and show halls, including the the Opéra du Rhin, the National theatre of Strasbourg (TNS) and the La Laiterie concert hall
  • Entry to 7 cinemas for €5
  • Free entry to 23 museums

While living in Strasbourg, you can also visit the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the Opéra National du Rhin and the Théâtre National de Strasbourg.

Plus, you can find the second largest library in the entirety of France in Strasbourg, called the Bibliothèque Nationale et Universitaire. Its collection boasts well over 3 million titles. It was also one of the original book printing centers in Europe, and it houses a collection of books from before the year 1500, called Incunabula.


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