Strasbourg, France is a place everyone should visit at least once in their lives. Situated perfectly along the Alsace wine route, it’s beautiful, easy to navigate, and there is so much to do. But if you only have one day, building the perfect Strasbourg itinerary might seem like an impossible task.
Luckily, Strasbourg is fairly small and easy to navigate, so everything you’ll want to do in the city can be reached by foot in a short amount of time.
This guide will give you everything you need to build the most amazing one-day Strasbourg itinerary!
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Strasbourg: A Full One Day Itinerary
This itinerary assumes you have one full day to spend in Strasbourg. If you have less, don’t worry! You can still fit many of these things into a half-day visit. Be sure to check out the interactive and saveable map at the end of this post for everything you’ll read about here.
Before you get too far into your Strasbourg itinerary, make sure you have the basic logistics covered:
- How you are getting there
For help with logistics in Strasbourg, check out my planning guide. Everything you need to plan the perfect trip to Strasbourg is in that post including my recommendations on what part of the city to stay in.
The best time of year to visit Strasbourg
When is the best time to travel to Strasbourg? Any time! However, if your goal is to see the Christmas Markets, summer is probably not ideal.
Think about what your Strasbourg goals are. If you are looking for mild temperatures for sightseeing, summer is the perfect time of year. If Christmas markets and the chance of walking through a sparkling French wonderland have been on your bucket list for years, the end of November through the end of December is your best window of time to travel.
No matter what time of year you travel to Strasbourg, you will have a great time in the city. Just keep in mind that Europeans tend to take long vacations during the month of August. It’s possible you might be met with large crowds and closed shops. However, we traveled at the end of August and didn’t have issues at all.
Start your morning off right (and early)
No morning in France should ever begin without a delicious café et croissant! There are so many pastry shops in Strasbourg to choose from, but we loved these two shops for our morning delights:
The best thing about getting a quick pastry and coffee to go is you’ll be able to take your delicious treasures wherever you’d like! Stroll over to the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg for great people watching and plenty of places to sit or head to the river for beautiful views and a peaceful atmosphere. There is no shortage of incredible spots to enjoy your petit dejeuner in Strasbourg!
Start your day early to make the most of your time. You’ll beat the crowds and enjoy some quiet time in a normally very busy city. Strasbourg is a popular spot for river cruise passengers, so they tend to descend on the city in the late morning.
Things to do in Strasbourg in one day
After you’ve had breakfast and soaked in the tranquility of an early morning in Strasbourg, make your way to the Strasbourg Tourism Office. Here, you can speak to a knowledgable tourism employee about the many sights in the city and get free maps to help you navigate.
If you plan on seeing everything you possibly can while you’re in Strasbourg, I would suggest purchasing a Strasbourg Pass. The Strasbourg Pass is good for 3 days, but if you’re ambitious, you can make it work to your advantage in one day. The Strasbourg Pass is €22 for adults, €10 for children up to 12, €15 for children between 13 – 17.
Once you’ve obtained your pass, head next door to the Batorama boat tour office. A 45-minute boat tour comes free with the pass and it’s a smart idea to book this ahead of time to ensure you’re able to get on a boat at your preferred time. For this itinerary, a 3:00 pm tour time will work out well.
9:30 am—Begin your sightseeing at the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg
The earlier you can enter the cathedral, the better. The line to get inside can get very long. If there is no line, consider yourself lucky! Admittance to the cathedral is free. Take some time to wander through the beautiful cathedral before moving on to ascend the stairs to the viewpoint at the top when it opens at 10:00 am.
Note: One of the most interesting things about this cathedral is the astronomical clock located towards the back right of the cathedral. There is a presentation of this clock every day starting at 12:00 pm and it is included in the Strasbourg Pass. My Strasbourg itinerary leaves enough time to catch this presentation if you start the walking tour a bit earlier and shorten lunchtime to a quick 30 minutes after the presentation. However, to ensure those who would rather take their time with the walking tour and lunch can still use this itinerary, I’ve left it out. If you plan your day to include this presentation, you can skip entering the cathedral in the morning and just see it when you go to the presentation. This is what we ended up doing and it worked out perfectly for us.
10:00 am—Ascend the stairs of the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg
If you decide to wait on entering the main part of the cathedral until the presentation of the astronomical clock, then make your way to the stairs on the right side of the cathedral. The stairs can be exhausting to climb, but the views at the top are spectacular!
With the Strasbourg Pass, you won’t have to worry about purchasing tickets for this attraction. Just find the ticket inside your passbook and tear it off to gain entrance to the stairs.
Make sure to take your time and let others pass if you need to take a break. I promise you’ll forget about all of that huffing and puffing once you see the beautiful view. There is also a wonderful small museum at the top to explain how the cathedral functioned in less modern times.
Opening times: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Entrance fee without a Strasbourg Pass: 8€ for adults, 5€ for children
Entrance fee with a Strasbourg Pass: Free
11:00 am—Walking tour of Strasbourg
Once you exit the cathedral, head back to the tourism office to pick up an audio guide for an excellent walking tour of Strasbourg. Normally, I would suggest using a Rick Steves free audio guide, but he doesn’t have a walking tour for Strasbourg yet.
A self-guided walking tour using the audio guide is the perfect way to see the city as well as learn all about its history in a short amount of time. The audio guide does a great job of helping you navigate through the city so you won’t need to worry too much about finding your way.
Your audio guide rental will be for 3 hours, however, the tour will only last about 1.5 hours depending on how fast you walk. It only took us an hour.
Cost without a Strasbourg Pass: 5.50€
Cost with a Strasbourg Pass: 2.75€
- Bring your own headphones (with a normal jack) so you won’t have to hold the device up to your ear the whole time.
- Do the audio guide in order. The route will not make sense and some of the commentary won’t make sense if you do it out of order.
- Bring a form of ID with you to leave as collateral. They will ask you to either leave a form of identification or 50€ with them while you are on your tour. You will obviously get this back when you return the audio guide.
1:00 pm—Return audio guide and grab lunch
Make your way back to the tourism office to return your audio guide. By now you’re sure to have a big appetite!
We typically do not like a full-service lunch when we are sightseeing. If you’re the same way, check out Au Pain de Mon Grandpere which is located very close to the tourism office. It’s a bakery with great lunch specials. I loved their croque monsieur! We took our sandwiches to-go and headed to the river to enjoy on a bench by the water. It was beautiful, peaceful, quick, and delicious!
If you’d rather have a full-service lunch, check out the options below:
- Les Chauvins Pere et Fils – Alsacian tapas
- Pizz’arOme. – Pizza! This is a great option for vegans
- Winstub S’kaechele – Traditional Alsacian food
2:00 pm—Extra time in your Strasbourg itinerary? Get dessert!
If you find yourself with a little extra time after lunch and in need of something sweet, make your way to Au Fond du Jardin for some exquisite madeleines. Not sure what a madeleine is? It’s a cake-like French cookie. They are delicious and Au Fond du Jardin makes some of the most beautiful madeleines I’ve ever seen. In my opinion, this is well worth working into your Strasbourg itinerary (especially if you have a sweet tooth).
If you decide you’d like to try some, check out their menu online first to familiarize yourself with the flavors. The person we spoke to in the shop wasn’t very helpful and did not care to speak much English (although he definitely understood us). Your experience will be much better if you already have an idea of what you want ahead of time.
3:00 pm—Boat Tour with Batorama
If you scheduled your boat tour for 3:00 pm, make sure you arrive about 15 minutes before and get in line. The line will start to form early and you’ll want to make sure you aren’t stuck in the very back.
- If you opted for an open-top boat, bring a hat. In the summer, the sun will be very hot and the boat doesn’t move very fast (read: no breeze). You will be thankful for some shade. No umbrellas are allowed since it blocks the view of others.
- Bring water! Again, if it’s hot, you’ll be thankful for some hydration while you’re heading down the river.
5:00 pm—Head back to the hotel to rest and recharge or relax at a cafe
If you are staying one full day and have a hotel to retreat to, use this time before dinner to put your feet up and possibly change before dinner.
If you don’t have a hotel to go back to, pop into a cute cafe for a pick-me-up and some great people watching.
7:00 pm—Dinner time!
No Strasbourg itinerary is complete without a delicious dinner. There are so many options to choose from, but if you only have one night, I highly suggest making a reservation at La Cloche à Fromage.
La Cloche à Fromage is basically a cheese lover’s paradise. From the most incredible fondue you’ll ever taste to the visually interesting raclette, you will not leave hungry. This won’t be your most inexpensive meal, but if you took my advice from earlier and got a sandwich to-go for lunch, you made up for it (do you like my travel budget logic?).
There are other food options to eat at La Cloche à Fromage, but if you choose this for dinner, fondue and raclette should be your go-to items. Eric and I couldn’t choose, so we said “when in France” and got both to share. Both options are endless which means once you finish a pot of fondue, they whip up another pot for you. Really? Yes. It’s incredibly filling.
- If you get hot easily, try not to sit where the raclette heater is facing you. It’s extremely hot!
- If you need to choose, go with the fondue. The raclette was fun, but the fondue was by far the best part of our meal. The dipping options were amazing too!
- Make a reservation ahead of time. Head to their website and use the contact form or send an email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We noticed the staff weren’t completely fluent in English. Although it took a little more pointing, this did not affect our night at all. They had an English menu which they gave us, but we already knew what we wanted so we didn’t even use the menus. So if you are an English speaker do not let this deter you from visiting.
If you’re lactose intolerant or vegan, this is obviously not the best option for you. But don’t worry, I have more options below.
- La Corde a Linge – We ate here the night we arrived in Strasbourg. Both of us ordered different versions of Spaetzle (a traditional German dish that is similar to gnocchi). We loved our food and the atmosphere of the outdoor seating under the giant tree by the river.
- Velicious – A great place for both French and vegan food. You’ll find that most of the highly-rated vegan restaurants in Strasbourg are Indian or Mediterranean. However, this is one of the few vegan spots with a focus on French cuisine.
- Les Chefs d’Oeuvre d’Alsace – This is a great spot to try a tarte flambee (essentially an Alsacian pizza).
10:15 pm—Light show at the cathedral
Visiting in the summer? You’re in for a treat! Every summer the city of Strasbourg puts a spectacular light show set to music on the outside wall of the cathedral. It lasts about 15 minutes, but make sure to arrive at least 10 minutes early to find a good spot.
Strasbourg Itinerary—Interactive Map
Are you exhausted from reading this itinerary? Consider spending two days in Strasbourg and spreading these activities out. There’s so much beauty in this Alsacian city and so much to discover. One day is possible, but two days will give you more time to relax and wander.
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