Strasbourg Travel Guide

by Natalie Becci
Text by Molly Wilkinson

A mix of French and German culture makes Strasbourg one of the most interesting towns to visit in France. Located near the German border, the region has a strong identity and traditions built on both country’s customs. Discover the city with us, including how to navigate its legendary Christmas markets.

The historic center features the iconic Alsatian architecture of brightly colored buildings and exposed beams. The center is small and encircled by a canal. We’d suggest exploring the windy streets by foot or bike, using the Cathedral as a guide on the horizon.

Things To Do

Strasbourg Cathedral

At 142 meters tall, it’s hard to miss the Cathedral which dominates the city skyline with its unique solo spire. Inside, marvel at the astronomical clock, built between 1352 and 1354. It comes to life at every day (except Monday) at 12 p.m and is certainly not to be missed.

la petite france

One of the most picturesque areas of Strasbourg. Take your time to admire the colorful buildings and pop into little boutiques.

Parc de l'orangerie

A beautiful park just outside of the city center. Come here and you will see storks – the region’s bird – in their tree-top nests. There’s a boating lake with a romantic waterfall, a beautiful manor home and a little farm and zoo (free) to entertain children.

Christmas Markets

Each year at the end of November, Strasbourg hosts some of the best Christmas markets in France. There isn’t just one but rather several spread across the town in squares and down long boulevards. 

Our best advice, go early in the day and just wander. The stands open around 11 a.m. and are fairly crowd-free until the sun sets. Visiting mid-afternoon allows for a different perspective and certainly less worry that your vin chaud will be jostled by a fellow marketgoer. The markets are often set up in surprising places, so the best is to walk around and see what you find. 

There are authentic stands from local businesses and more touristy stands. How do you tell the two apart? Read the signs that hang behind the counter or at the front of the stand. You are looking for the Alsatian name. If they do not have this sign, they could be a reseller that’s come in to sell for the holidays. 

Keep an eye out for the Mirelle Oster pain d’epices (gingerbread) stand. As well as her famous shop in just two steps away from the Cathedral, she has a beautiful stall in the markets as well. 

Foodie favorites include: kugelhopf, vin chaud made with different wines, and aligot (gooey mashed potatoes and cheese). 


Place Broglie

Chrìstkìndelsmärik is the Alsatian dialect name for Strasbourg’s traditional Christmas Market. First held in 1570, it is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe and for a long time was the only one in France.

Photo Credits: Abdesslam Mirdass & Bartosch Salmanski

Traditional Markets around the cathedral

Place de la Cathédrale, Place du Château, Rue des Hallebardes, Rue Gutenberg

Here you’ll find traditional Christmas goods (candles, Bredle, decorations, hot drinks…). It’s the ideal place to find a souvenir of your visit to the market, either to give as a gift or to keep for yourself.

Place Kléber

Situated in the heart of the city, Place Kléber 8 is an important meeting point and crossroads for the people of Strasbourg. All the key ingredients of Strasbourg’s Capital of Christmas can be found here: togetherness, enchantment, local craftsmanship, and a friendly atmosphere with a dedicated area to sit back, relax, and enjoy a tasty Alsatian dish.

For a more detailed guide on the Christmas markets in 2023 click here.

If you want to widen your Christmas market experience, visit nearby Obernai, Kaysersberg, Colmar, or Barr. Germany is just a 30-minute drive from Strasbourg and the markets in Baden-Baden are certainly worth the trip.

Where To Stay

1 Rue du Bouclier

A walled courtyard makes this 4-star hotel an oasis of peace and beauty, in amidst the busier part of Strasbourg. Rooms are designed with old-world elegance and a touch of modernity. Downstairs, stop by the tea room for breakfast or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. The hotel is located in the heart of La Petite France, where there’s lots to see and do.

23 Rue des Glacières

This 18th-century property was the former Royal breeding stables. In 2005, the horses were removed and the building was transformed into a sophisticated hotel, brasserie and Nuxe spa. Completed in 2013, the 4-star hotel is exquisitely designed and boasts a brilliant brasserie. It is located in a quiet neighborhood, behind high stone walls, and just a 15-minute walk from the center.

4 Rue des Francs-Bourgeois

A beautiful 5-star hotel with classical decor, beautiful lounge areas, and the heart of Strasbourg at your fingertips. Just outside, turn to the left to shop at Galeries Lafayette, or stay inside to enjoy the unique characteristics of this UNESCO World Heritage building that was built in 1387.

6-8 Rue des Couples

With a history traced all the way back to the 16th century, The Crow is one of Europe’s most ancient hotels. Today it is a part of the MGallery collection, a collection of contemporary luxury boutique hotels. A first glance will show a surprising amount of Louis XV furniture strewn around, but rest assured that is all part of a sophisticated decorative scheme that’s reminiscent, at times, of a modern Parisian luxury hotel.

17-19 rue du Maroquin

Its striking surroundings set this hotel apart from the competition: right in the heart of the medieval quarter, and just next door to Strasbourg cathedral. This 4-star boutique hotel offers comfortable rooms and breakfast on one of its two terraces. Nestled in the very middle of Strasbourg’’s most desirable neighborhood, this is an ideal and comfortable place from which to discover the city. 

11 Rue de la Nuée-Bleue

The place to taste, to share, to dream, to dance, to sing, to live. In the center of Strasbourg, this 4-star boasts 116 tranquil rooms, with large bay windows offering beautiful views of the city. The building is also superb, with listed 18th-century frontages that open up onto a sunny 500 square-meter inner courtyard. 

Where To Eat

10 Rue de l’Outre

Do not be scared off by the stuffed crocodile in the window, this restaurant is actually very welcoming! A true Strasbourgeois institution, the restaurant has been active since the 19th-century, and has been a regular favorite of the Michelin Guide. It has recently undergone a top-to-bottom renovation, and aims to quickly add more stars to its impressive collection.

9 Place Gutenberg

Just around the corner from the Cathedral, this restaurant serves delicious classic Alsatian fare. Try choucroute, a hearty and delicious regional dish of sauerkraut cooked with bacon and topped with sausages. Expect red checkered tablecloths, fantastic service, and a good mix of locals and tourists. Get there early (midday) or book – the restaurant fills up quickly.

22 Quai des Bateliers

Located just opposite of Strasbourg’s famous Rohan Palace, an 18th-century classical masterpiece, this classic restaurant enjoys a romantic atmosphere, both intimate and elegant, thanks to a chic baroque décor and soft lighting. Chef Jérémy Page offers delicate recipes complimented by splendid wines that earned him a Michelin star.

6 rue de la Rape

A magical tea shop that specializes in expertly decorated madeleines (themed after a French film or actor) and tea blends inspired by travels that the two owners have taken. The tea room is very cosy and has been visited by celebrities and politicians the world over. Stop for tea or brunch, and finish with a browse in the shop.

3 Rue de la Courtine

Classic bistrot atmosphere in the heart of Strasbourg. An extensive organic wine list, and traditional local food made with fresh and seasonal produce, enjoyed in a cozy yet chic setting.  A true taste of France!

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