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Day Tripper: What Not to Miss in Strasbourg

Got only a few hours to enjoy this quaint French city? We’ve got you covered

Cute buildings line a river in Strasbourg in the daytime

Paris and Nice are probably at the top of your travel bucket list for France. But if you have time, there’s plenty of food, fashion and culture to experience in Strasbourg as well—even if it’s just for a day. Follow our itinerary to make the most of your trip.

9:45 a.m.: Take a boat tour around Strasbourg

Ease into the day with a languorous boat ride on the River Ill and float past waving tourists, ornate bridges and charming architecture. The trip comes with in-depth storytelling by the guide, who will point out areas of interest, like Petit France, and share historical anecdotes (did you know Strasbourg changed nationalities six times? Or that it’s the seat of the European Union?) and restaurant recommendations.  

The River III floats down the river in Strasbourg in the daytime 

11:30 a.m.: Grab a moment of solace in the cathedral

From centuries-old stained glass windows to 3-D ornamental sculptures, it’s all about the details in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. The Gothic structure was constructed from rosy Vosges sandstone, the hue of which magically changes in the light depending on the time of day. Climb the 332 steps of the tower for sweeping city views, then linger in the cathedral until half past noon, when the astronomical clock comes alive.

The details of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame lit by lights at night 

1 p.m.: Savour local French cuisine

A meal at Maison Kammerzell means classics like foie gras and coq au Riesling, but save space for the house special: sauerkraut with fish. With its frescoed walls and stained glass windows, the restaurant’s traditional decor rivals the food.

 A street view of a hotel and restaurant in Strasbourg

For a more casual alfresco lunch, head across the street to Au Dauphin. Order an Alsatian beer, which pairs perfectly with a crisp tarte flambée (pizza-style flatbread with fresh cheese, bacons and onion).

3 p.m.: Indulge in some souvenir shopping

Enjoy post-prandial retail therapy in the Galeries Lafayette department store or window shop along the Carré d’Or, where luxury stores stock everything from perfume to jewelry. Stop by the Marché des Producteurs for samples of regionally sourced gourmet honey and cheeses, which make great edible souvenirs. For beautiful handmade pottery, Poterie d’Alsace will leave you spoiled for choice with its selection of colourful cooking pots.

A street view of the Galeries Lafayette department store in Strasbourg at night 

5 p.m.: Escape to the past in Petit France

Once the domain of tanners, fishermen and millers, Petit France is a slice of the past frozen in time. You’ll walk along streets lined with half-timbered homes, old-school storefronts and snaking canals—a backdrop straight out of a fairy tale for memorable pictures. After sightseeing, find a winstub, a local take on the pub-restaurant, to rest your feet and unwind with a glass of Riesling. Then treat yourself to a hearty meal of choucroute (sauerkraut) with all the garnishes.

Colourful buildings along the river in Strasbourg 

Looking for a new destination?

Get inspired for your next vacation with a virtual visit to one of these global gardens, or check out free museums around the world you might enjoy.

If you need help with planning, a CAA Travel Consultant will be happy to help. And take CAA Travel Insurance along on your trip to ensure you have complete peace of mind.

Image credit: Office de Tourisme de Strasbourg et sa Région and iStock