Wondering if a Batorama Boat Tour is worth it?
I’ve lived in Strasbourg since 2019 and know every street in this charming city. I’ve been to all the museums, dined at the best traditional Alsatian restaurants, and even been on several boat tours with Batorama.
The short answer is that it’s worth it, particularly the Strasbourg, 20 Centuries of History tour.
But, if you want a more in-depth review and some insider tips, keep reading.
In this post, I will share my personal insights about the tour and help you decide if it’s worth adding to your Strasbourg itinerary.
About Batorama Boat Tours
Batorama is one of the most popular tour companies in Strasbourg.
They offer several circuits of different lengths, ranging from 17 to 70 minutes.
Each tour comes with an audio guide and the choice of an open-top boat (if the weather permits).
Below I’ll dive into the specifics of each tour.
Strasbourg, 20 Centuries of History
Duration: 70 minutes | Cost: €14.90
Of the Batorama tours that I’ve done, the Strasbourg, 20 Centuries of History tour was my favorite. It’s also the most popular circuit they have.
In 70 minutes, I saw Strasbourg’s top attractions and learned some fascinating anecdotes about its history.
The tour started next to the Rohan Palace and followed the Ill River to the Vauban Dam, passing La Petite France. It then looped around Grand Île and made its way to the European Parliament before returning to the palace.
If you want to see everything that makes Strasbourg, Strasbourg, this is the tour to take.
Strasbourg, Grand Île
Duration: 45 minutes | Cost: €11.50
The Strasbourg, Grand Île tour was my second favorite.
The tour started at the Rohan Palace and followed the Ill River to La Petite France, Ponts Couverts, and the Vauban Dam. The tour then passed in front of Saint Paul’s Church before returning to the palace.
The only thing I didn’t like about this tour was that it didn’t cover Strasbourg’s recent history. Since it doesn’t go to the European Parliament, you won’t learn about this important part of the city’s identity.
But I did enjoy the overview of the historic center.
It’s also a great option for anyone who is short on time and wants a quick snapshot of Strasbourg’s history.
Strasbourg, The European
Duration: 45 minutes | Cost: €11.50
I enjoyed the Strasbourg, The European tour as much as the Strasbourg, Grand Île tour.
It started at the Rohan Palace and followed the Ill River to the European Parliament. Along the way, we passed Saint Paul’s Church, the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights, and, of course, the Louise Weiss building.
As an American living in this part of France, I loved learning how the local government works and the history of the European Union.
Strasbourg has played such an important role in shaping modern Europe and this tour is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about it.
Strasbourg, Les Bâtisseurs
Duration: 70 minutes | Cost: €14.90
The Strasbourg, Les Bâtisseurs tour focuses on the city’s architecture.
The tour started at the Rohan Palace and made its way to the Vauban Dam, passing the Ponts Couverts. And rather than doing a tour of Grand Île, it headed straight for the European Parliament.
I loved seeing how the designs evolved over the centuries and listening to the stories behind each building.
My favorite part was the section dedicated to Art Nouveau architecture.
When I think of Art Nouveau buildings, I think of Nancy and the École de Nancy.
So, it was interesting to learn that Strasbourg has its own unique Art Nouveau style.
I saw tons of beautiful buildings with this type of architecture in the Neustadt, Krutenau, and European districts. Most were a mix of French and German styles, but there were a few that reflected one culture more than the other.
The only thing I didn’t like about this tour was that it went up and down the Ill River, so I saw everything twice.
Considering it’s the same price and duration as the Strasbourg, 20 Centuries of History tour, I would recommend doing that one instead.
Round Trip: Parliament – Cathedral
Duration: 17 minutes | Cost: €14.50 | Last Minute Rate: €4.50
The Round Trip: Parliament-Cathedral tour is the shortest one on this list. It takes you from the Parliament building to the Rohan Palace in 17 minutes.
I would not classify this trip as a tour, but rather a boat ride that gives you an opportunity to relax and enjoy the scenery. If you’re visiting the European Quarter or hanging out in Parc Orangerie, this is a fun way to get back to the city center.
If you’re planning to go on a tour with Batorama in Strasbourg, there are a few things you should know before booking your tickets:
✓All tours leave from Pier Batorama Rohan Palace, near the Rohan Palace. There are four gates (A-D). Your gate is announced about 15 to 20 minutes before departure.
✓ Tickets can be purchased at the main office, at the departure point, or online through the Batorama website.
✓If you’re planning on doing other activities in Strasbourg, I recommend getting the Strasbourg City Card. I used it and saved 5% on the Strasbourg, 20 Centuries of History tour.
✓ I recommend arriving at least 20 minutes before your departure, especially during peak tourist season.
✓Seats are not assigned, so try to be the first in line.
✓ Sit near the front so you don’t have tons of people in front of you.
✓Audio guides are available in several languages and Batorama provides headphones.
✓Some boats are wheelchair accessible. Make sure to check the boat type before booking.
✓There are restrooms on board.
✓Open-topped boats are announced on the same day. So, if you buy your ticket in advance, there’s no guarantee that it will have an open top or not.
Pier Batorama Rohan Palace: Place du Marché aux Poissons
Batorama’s Main Office: 18 Place de la Cathédrale
Departure Point for the Round Trip: Parliament-Cathedral Tour: Place des Glycines
Helpful Tip: Tickets are not sold at the European Parliament departure point.
Pros and Cons of Batorama’s Tours
Overall, I enjoyed the tours offered by Batorama. But there are a few pros and cons that you might want to consider before booking your tickets.
Pro: Informative and educational
Except for the Round Trip: Parliament – Cathedral, I thought every tour was a great way to learn about the history and architecture of Strasbourg.
The audio guide provided interesting facts and anecdotes about the city. It was easy to follow and there wasn’t an overwhelming amount of information.
Con: Some tours repeat parts of other tours
If you plan on taking more than one tour, be aware that some parts of the commentary may be repeated.
For example, the Strasbourg, 20 Centuries of History tour overlaps with the Strasbourg, The European tour and the Strasbourg, Grand Île tour.
Compared to other tourist activities in Strasbourg, I found Batorama’s prices to be very reasonable.
And, if you get the Strasbourg City Card, you can save 5% on the Strasbourg, 20 Centuries of History tour, which is the best circuit.
Pro: Great way to see the city
Con: Can’t choose the type of boat in advance
Batorama has two types of boats, open-topped and covered.
For my Strasbourg, 20 Centuries of History tour, I bought my ticket the day before and I couldn’t choose an open-topped boat.
The ticket agent said that the type of boat for each departure time was announced every morning. And it’s dependent on the weather.
On the day of my tour, the weather was perfect. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and my boat was still covered.
If you’re like me and want to guarantee your spot, you will most likely run into the same problem.
Pro: Easy booking process
Booking my tickets was super easy. I went to the main office, but you can also buy tickets online or at the departure point near the Rohan Palace.
It’s easy and hassle-free, and ticket agents speak several languages, including English.
Con: Can get crowded
During the peak tourist seasons (July, August, and December) and on Sundays, the boats can get quite crowded. I did all my tours in the fall and most of the boats were empty.
If you’re visiting during the high season, I recommend going early in the morning and booking your tickets in advance.
Pro: Boats are temperature-controlled
Regardless of the weather outside, Batorama’s boats are temperature-controlled.
Helpful Tip: If you choose an open-topped boat, it won’t be temperature-controlled.
Pro: Lots of departure times
Tours run throughout the day with departures every 15 and 30 minutes.
It was easy to fit into my schedule and there was almost always a slot available.
Helpful Tip: If you’re visiting in summer or during Strasbourg’s Christmas market, I recommend booking your tickets at least four days in advance.
Con: Ticket agents aren’t helpful
This was one of the biggest downsides for me.
I tried to ask questions about the different tours and types of boats, but the ticket agents were not helpful.
They didn’t want to answer my questions and seemed uninterested.
I still enjoyed the experience and was able to find the answers to my questions. So, in the end, it wasn’t a big deal, but it was annoying.
Pro: More than 100 seats per boat
Batorama’s boats are spacious and can accommodate more than 100 passengers. If you’re lucky, like I was, your boat won’t be crowded. But, if you’re not, you could end up being squished.
It’s a pro if you’re boat is empty but a con if it’s packed.
Other Strasbourg Boat Tours
While Batorama has the most popular tours in Strasbourg, they aren’t the only ones. There are two other companies that offer boat trips, Marin d’Eau Douce and Strasboat.
Marin d’Eau Douce offers electric boats for rent. You can create your own tour and explore the city at your own pace. And, best of all, you don’t need a permit.
If you feel comfortable driving a boat, then this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
They are closed in winter, so make sure to check their website for opening times before planning your trip.
Prices start at €45 for one hour and there’s a €300 deposit.
Address: 5 Quai du Woerthel
Strasboat offers a more intimate experience with smaller boats that can hold up to seven people. They offer various tours with the option to customize your own private tour.
On the downside, their website isn’t in English.
Prices start at €120 for a one-hour tour.
Address: Quai Finkwiller
Conclusion: Strasbourg Batorama Boat Tour
There’s no better way to explore the captivating city of Strasbourg than by boat. And Batorama offers the best tours by boat in town, especially the Strasbourg, 20 Centuries of History tour.
Overall, I found all their tours to be immersive, informative, and affordable.
There are alternatives like Marin d’Eau Douce and Strasboat, but they also have their limitations. You either have to drive your own boat or pay a fortune.
Unless you’re traveling during a high season and don’t want to deal with the crowds, I recommend Batorama.
Now that you have all the information you need about taking a tour with Batorama, it’s time to start planning your trip. And why not start with a weekend itinerary for Strasbourg?
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.
- 15 Must-Visit Museums in Strasbourg, France (from a Local)
- 27 Best Restaurants in Strasbourg, France (from a Local)
- Paris to Strasbourg: 8 Best (and Worst) Ways to Get There