Dabbling in Jet Lag
Looking to spend 2 days in Strasbourg?
Well, you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve been living in Strasbourg for the past four years, and I’ve explored every corner of this charming Alsatian city. I’ve wandered through every museum, tried tons of restaurants, and even been on several tours.
So, if you’re looking to make the most of your time in Strasbourg, then this itinerary is for you! I’ve included popular sites like the Strasbourg Cathedral as well as some hidden spots that only locals know about.
Let’s get started!
2 Days in Strasbourg Overview
If you’re short on time, here is a quick overview of my helpful guide and a printable itinerary.
- Day 1: La Petite France, Vauban Dam, Musée Alsacien, the Strasbourg Cathedral, Maison Kammerzell, and the Palais Rohan
- Day 2: European Parliament, Parc de l’Orangerie, Neustadt district, Place Kléber, Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, and a Boat Tour
48 Hours in Strasbourg – Day 1
Kick off your Strasbourg adventure with a day dedicated to exploring the city’s history. You’ll visit engaging museums, remarkable monuments, and iconic landmarks.
Each one has shaped Strasbourg’s history and will help you see how the city has evolved over time.
Walk Around La Petite France
Begin your journey in the heart of Strasbourg at La Petite France, my favorite district.
This enchanting neighborhood is full of winding canals and half-timbered houses. It looks like it’s straight out of a fairytale.
I love waking up early and walking along Quai de la Petite France. It’s one of the most picturesque spots in town.
And, if I’m looking to capture some photos, I head to Ponts Couverts (Covered Bridges) or Pont du Faisan. Both look out onto the quay to give beautiful panoramas of the colorful buildings.
Some other places that are worth checking out are Pont Saint Martin and Rue du Bain-aux-Plantes.
And, if you’re looking for a place to eat, nothing beats Maison des Tanneurs. It’s set in a 16th-century half-timbered house and you won’t find better traditional Alsatian dishes in the area.
Visit the Vauban Dam
Next on your itinerary is the Vauban Dam, a remarkable example of 17th-century military architecture. It was originally designed to protect Strasbourg during sieges by flooding the southern part of the city.
Today, it serves as a testament to Strasbourg’s rich military history. Not only that but the panoramic scenes from its terrace are incredible.
From here, you can see La Petite France, Ponts Couverts, and the Strasbourg Cathedral.
I’ve been to this terrace over a hundred times, and I never get sick of the views. I go either in the morning or before closing. That’s when the lighting is the best and the crowds are fewer.
Address: Place du Qur Blanc
Explore the Musée Alsacien
The Musée Alsacien is the perfect place to learn more about the history of Strasbourg and Alsace. It’s set in three half-timbered houses and is filled with artifacts that show what life was like in the 18th and 19th centuries.
From traditional Alsatian costumes and furniture to farming tools, it’s an impressive collection. But the true highlight is the reconstructed Alsatian rooms. Each one is complete with traditional woodwork and pottery.
Of the museums I’ve been to, this was my favorite. The exhibits gave me a snapshot of how houses were designed back then.
Plus, it’s the only place in town where you can walk through a half-timbered house.
Address: 23-25 Quai Saint-Nicolas
Discover the Strasbourg Cathedral
The Strasbourg Cathedral, also known as Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg, is one of the must-visit attractions.
The original church dates to the 12th century. And until 1874, it was the world’s tallest building.
Today, it’s known for its stunning Gothic architecture and is considered one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the country.
Here, you can admire the intricate carvings, stained glass windows, and the astronomical clock.
Then, if you’re up for an adventure, you can climb to the top of the cathedral’s tower. It’s 300 steps, but the panoramic views are very much Instagram-worthy.
When I went, it was a clear day so I could see as far as Germany’s Black Forest and the Vosges mountains. I checked the weather the day before and I recommend you do the same.
Helpful Tip: I have vertigo, but I was still able to reach the platform. There are benches at the top where you can take a break if you need to.
Address: Place de la Cathédrale
Admire Maison Kammerzell
Next to the Strasbourg Cathedral is the infamous Maison Kammerzell or Kammerzell House.
It dates to 1427 and is the oldest timber-framed building in Strasbourg. Its most striking feature is the intricate carvings along the wooden panels.
While it once served as an administrative building, today, it’s home to one of the best Alsatian restaurants in town.
The inside is even more elaborate and offers beautiful views of the cathedral.
I had to make my reservations several weeks in advance. Sometimes there are last-minute cancellations, but I wouldn’t count on it. I recommend booking a table as soon as you can.
Address: 16 Place de la Cathédrale
Tour Palais Rohan
The Palais Rohan is another must-see when spending two days in Strasbourg. Built for the prince-bishops of the Rohan family in the 1730s, this stunning palace is now home to three fascinating museums.
First, there’s the Archaeological Museum. It holds a vast collection of items tracing back to the earliest human settlements in the region.
Second, is the Museum of Decorative Arts. Here, you can explore the elegant rooms of the Rohan family as well as the exhibits dedicated to the decorative arts.
Lastly, there’s the Museum of Fine Arts. It has a remarkable collection of European paintings and sculptures that date to the 14th century.
I visited all three museums, and I enjoyed each one. But, if you’re short on time, I recommend the Museum of Decorative Arts.
It’s the only one of the three that shows what the inside of the palace used to look like. They have original pieces of furniture, tapestries, and decorations.
The layout gave me a clear idea of how the Rohan family lived in their grand palace. You will even get to see the type of toilet they used.
Helpful Tip: If you plan to visit more than two museums, the museum day pass and the Strasbourg City Card are great ways to save money on admission.
Address: 2 Place du Château
48 Hours in Strasbourg – Day 2
On your second day in Strasbourg, you’ll visit the city’s modern side. You’ll start with the European Parliament and learn how politics have shaped Strasbourg today.
Then, you’ll stroll through Parc de l’Orangerie and slowly make your way to the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain.
Visit the European Parliament
Strasbourg holds a unique position in Europe’s history. Its strategic location along the Rhine River made it a coveted territory. So much so that it passed between France and Germany several times over the centuries.
And it wasn’t only Strasbourg, many towns in the region had seen the same fate.
After World War 2, Strasbourg became a symbol of post-war reconciliation. And since 1949 it has been home to several European institutions, including the European Parliament.
Today, you can, actually, visit the buildings that house the Parliament.
The Parlamentarium is its visitor’s center. Here you’ll find interactive self-guided tours that cover the history of the European Union. And, if you’re lucky, you can even witness a live discussion.
As an American living in Strasbourg, I loved learning about a government that is different from my own. And getting to see how these 27 countries come together was absolutely fascinating.
Address: Allée du Printemps
Relax in Parc de l’Orangerie
Next to the European Parliament is the largest and oldest park in Strasbourg, Parc de l’Orangerie. It’s a tranquil green oasis and offers a break from the bustling city center.
Here you’ll find giant leafy trees, gorgeous gardens, and a beautiful lake. You can picnic on the lawn, rent a paddle boat, or go for a walk. Then, if you’re visiting in spring, it’s not uncommon to see storks nesting in the area.
This is one of my favorite places to go walking on Sunday afternoons. It’s the busiest day, but there’s so much space that it never feels full.
My favorite gardens are the ones in front of the Pavillon Joséphine, and my favorite view of the park is from the Oeil d’Orangerie (the Eye of Orangerie).
Explore the Neustadt District
Built under German rule in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Neustadt (or New Town) is home to some of the most beautiful architecture in Strasbourg.
From grand villas to magnificent administrative buildings, it has quite a collection. The district’s standout features include Palais du Rhin, Place de la République, and St. Paul’s Church.
It’s the perfect place to go for an afternoon stroll and admire Franco-Germanic heritage. Then, if you’re looking for cultural activities, the Strasbourg National Theatre often hosts events.
But the coolest thing to do here is visit the Planetarium.
It’s part of the University of Strasbourg and it has recently undergone renovations.
They have three 30-minute films, and each one is dedicated to a different concept in our solar system.
I saw Au-delà du Soleil (Beyond the Sun) and loved every minute of the show.
It took place on a new state-of-the-art hemicycle screen, and I had the impression that I was inside the movie.
Plus, it was made for everyone, so it was very easy to follow along. They even had an audio guide that translated the movie into English.
Go Shopping in Place Kléber
At the heart of Strasbourg lies Place Kléber, a bustling square steeped in history. It was named after General Jean-Baptiste Kléber, a native hero from the French Revolutionary Wars. And the square houses his statue as its centerpiece.
Then, surrounding the statue is a collection of Strasbourg-styled buildings.
This vast open space is the city’s main hub for shopping, where you can find everything from high-end boutiques to artisanal shops. There’s even a local market every Wednesday and Sunday.
But that’s not all.
Place Kléber is also where you’ll find Strasbourg’s infamous Christmas tree in December.
Since moving to Strasbourg, I must have walked around this square a million times. It’s central and has all the stores I need in one spot.
But if I just want to hang out, I head to Café l’Aubette.
Discover the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain
Housed in a striking glass building, the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain (MAMCS) is perfect for anyone who loves modern and contemporary art.
It opened its doors in 1998 and has since been dedicated to showcasing artwork from the 19th century onward. From paintings and photography to graphic art, it’s an incredible display.
The museum’s vast collections include works by renowned artists like Monet, Picasso, and Kandinsky.
There are also temporary exhibitions on display throughout the year, so you can be sure there is always something new to see.
The last time I went, they had a section on Alice in Wonderland. It showed how Alice, the main character, is represented in surrealism.
There were several rooms with each one offering an interactive activity that was related to the story.
I enjoyed the room on perspectives. There was a viewing hole and when you looked through it everything in the room appeared much larger, like when Alice ate cake that made her grow.
Address: 1 Place Hans-Jean-Arp
Go on a Boat Tour
A boat tour on the Ill River is the perfect way to finish your two days in Strasbourg.
It offers a relaxing way to visit the city’s historic heart, Grande Île.
As you cruise down the river, you’ll have a beautiful view of Strasbourg’s iconic sights like La Petite France. It provides a unique perspective that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Plus, the commentary dives into the city’s rich history.
The most popular company is Batorama. Their boats are equipped with audio guides in several languages, so you don’t have to worry about speaking French.
I took the Strasbourg: 20 Centuries of History tour and used my Strasbourg City Card to get a five percent discount.
Overall, it was one of the best tours I did in Strasbourg. The audio guide was easy to follow and the stories about the city’s history were fascinating.
The only thing I didn’t like was the covered boat. I went in the summer on a clear day and still got stuck with a covered one.
If you want an open-topped boat, you’ll need to book your ticket the same day, which is risky, if you’re short on time.
Batorama Boat Tour Address: 18 Place de la Cathédrale
How to Get Around Strasbourg
Getting around Strasbourg is very easy.
Of the options available, I prefer to walk. The city center is compact and pedestrian-friendly. Most major attractions are within walking distance of each other. But the streets are cobblestoned, so you should wear comfortable shoes.
Strasbourg also has an efficient public transportation system.
The city’s network of trams and buses, operated by CTS, covers all corners of the city, making it simple and convenient to get around. You can buy a single-ride pass or, if you plan on using public transport a lot, there are 10-ride passes.
Helpful Tip: The European Parliament is about a 70-minute walk from downtown Strasbourg. When I visited, I took the tram to save time. It’s the only place in the above itinerary where you might want to use public transport.
Finally, Strasbourg is one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe. There are tons of rental options around town but Vélhop is the cheapest.
Helpful Tip: I don’t ride my bike downtown Strasbourg. The bike lanes are very close together and nobody respects the rules. I only recommend this mode of transport if you plan on biking outside the city.
Where to Stay
If you’re in Strasbourg for only two days I recommend staying in the center. Like this, you won’t waste time trying to get to and from your hotel. Below is a list of hotels that I recommend.
- Hôtel & Spa Le Bouclier D’or – A cozy hotel right in the heart of La Petite France. The staff is friendly and the service is outstanding.
- Hotel Suisse – It’s next to the Strasbourg Cathedral, so you’ll be right downtown. You can even request a room with a view!
- Hôtel Tandem – Close to the train station, so if you need to leave early you won’t have to rush. The breakfast is also top-rated.
Where to Eat
There are so many delicious places to try in Strasbourg. Below is a list of my top favorites.
- Binchstub Broglie – This is the best spot to try a tarte flambée. They even have dessert versions.
- Restaurant Gurtlerhoft – The best traditional Alsatian restaurant in town. It’s set in a 14th-century wine cellar next to the cathedral, and the sauerkraut is incredible.
- Hey Mama – This is my go-to place for breakfast. On the weekends they serve the best brunch in town.
Conclusion: Strasbourg in 2 Days
Spending two days in Strasbourg may seem short, but it’s enough to get a taste of the city’s charm and beauty.
From its stunning architecture to its fascinating museums, there is something for everyone here.
I designed this guide to take you through the best places to visit and give you a complete overview of the city.
So, now, all that’s left to do is book your trip. Why not start with the apps and websites that I use and recommend?
Read More Articles About France
I hope you enjoyed my post and found it helpful. Here are some other articles that I think you might find interesting.
- 21 Amazing Things to Do in Alsace (Local’s Guide)
- Is Alsace Worth Visiting? Top 17 Reasons Why You Should!
- 4 Days in Alsace: The Perfect Itinerary (from a Local)