Wondering if Mulhouse is worth visiting?
Well, you’re in the right place.
As someone who has traveled all over France, I can confidently say that Mulhouse is a wonderful place to visit.
From museums like Cité du Train to the beautiful Place de la Réunion, there are plenty of reasons why you should make a trip here.
I have visited this city several times and each time I am left with lasting memories.
So, today, I want to share with you the 17 reasons why you should consider visiting Mulhouse. I’ve even included top attractions and some hidden spots to help you make your decision.
Is Mulhouse Worth Visiting?
Yes, Mulhouse is worth visiting.
Located in the Alsace region of France, Mulhouse is a cultural melting pot that combines history, art, and gastronomy.
A stroll through the city will show you its history as well as its steps toward the future. Its rich architectural heritage features both classic French designs and modern aesthetics. My favorite was the Hôtel de Ville in Place de la Réunion. It was unlike anything I’ve seen in Alsace.
Not only does Mulhouse have a wealth of beautiful architecture but it’s also a haven for museum enthusiasts. Here you’ll find some of the most fascinating museums in the region. In fact, there were so many that I had a hard time choosing which ones to visit, so I did them all.
The Musée National de l’Automobile is a must-visit for car aficionados. It boasts one of the largest automobile collections in the world.
Then, for train lovers, the Cité du Train offers a fascinating journey into the history of railways. And for geeks, there’s the Musée Electropolis. It tells the story of electricity through engaging and interactive exhibits.
But what makes Mulhouse so attractive is its convenient location. Its train station serves as a major transportation hub for this part of France. Every day, high-speed TGV trains go to destinations like Lyon, Dijon, and Strasbourg. You can even travel to Switzerland or Germany from Mulhouse!
Needless to say, there are tons of things to do here.
But it’s not a destination that I recommend for every kind of traveler.
It’s perfect for those who have a day to spare or want to get off the beaten path. And, while it does have some amazing attractions, it’s not as beautiful as other villages in the area.
17 Reasons to Visit Mulhouse
If you’re debating a trip to Mulhouse, I’ve compiled a list of 17 reasons why you should add it to your itinerary.
From Hotel de Ville to Musée National de l’Automobile, there are tons of things to see and do here.
So, let’s get started.
1. Lots of Museums
Mulhouse is a treasure trove for museum lovers.
At the heart of the city is the Musée National de l’Automobile, also known as the Schlumpf Collection. This museum has more than 400 vintage automobiles on display! From quirky cars to speed racers, it’s an impressive collection.
Not far away, you’ll find the Cité du Train – Patrimoine SNCF, which has a rich sample of historical trains. I loved touring the older models and getting to see what train travel looked like decades ago.
But my favorite museum was the Electropolis Museum. It traces the fascinating history of electricity with artifacts and hands-on exhibits. And for someone like me, who has a background in science, I had a ton of fun!
Mulhouse also hosts the Musée Historique de Mulhouse, offering insights into the city’s past. And let’s not forget the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Mulhouse, where you can indulge in a wide array of fine artworks.
Finally, there’s the Écomusée d’Alsace. It recreates life in a 1930s Alsatian village with 74 traditional houses to explore. Not only that but it’s also the largest open-air museum in France.
2. Amazing Street Art
Mulhouse has embraced the vibrant and dynamic world of street art. So much so that it has transformed its urban landscape into an open-air gallery.
And it’s not just about aesthetics.
This flourishing movement fosters community engagement and sparks conversations. It makes Mulhouse a must-visit for those seeking an alternative and creative experience.
As you stroll through the city, you’ll encounter striking murals everywhere. My favorites were those found at the corner of Boulevard des Alliés and Rue de la Mutualité. I was walking by and a local resident showed me these hidden works of art, so you won’t find them listed in any guidebook.
But the most well-known spot for street art is the M.U.R (Modulable, Urban, Reactive). This innovative approach to urban beautification has attracted artists from around the globe. It’s a constantly changing canvas that showcases new pieces every month. So you can expect to see an eclectic mix of styles, themes, and techniques.
3. Beautiful Historic Center
The most charming part of Mulhouse is undoubtedly its historic center, Place de la Réunion. It’s a delightful mix of beautiful architecture, inviting squares, and quaint cafés.
Here you’ll find the beautiful 16th-century Town Hall. It’s adorned with vibrant frescoes depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments. This square also hosts a lively market and is home to the towering Temple Saint-Étienne.
4. Diverse Landscape
The cityscape is a delightful blend of historic architecture and contemporary urban design. But the beauty of Mulhouse extends beyond its urban core.
The Vosges Mountains to the west offer ample opportunities for hiking. One of my all-time favorite hikes was the Grand Ballon, the tallest peak in the region.
Then, not far from Mulhouse, you can find sprawling vineyards that produce some of France’s finest wines. It’s a touch of rural charm in an otherwise modern-ish city.
The Ill River, which flows through the downtown, adds to the serene beauty of the landscape. It also provides lovely riverside spots for relaxation.
5. Ville d’Art et d’Histoire
The title “Ville d’Art et d’Histoire” (City of Art and History) is a prestigious label in France. It’s awarded to cities that are committed to promoting their historical heritage.
And Mulhouse has proudly held this title since 2008.
In short, it’s a place with an exceptional legacy that is worth exploring. From its historical monuments to its museums, each tells a fascinating story about its past.
One example is the Tour du Bollwerk. It was built in the 14th century and, today, it’s one of the last remaining sections of the city’s former fortifications.
But that’s not all.
Through cultural events and exhibitions, you can see the traditions and customs come alive firsthand.
Mulhouse offers food lovers an unforgettable experience that is as diverse as the city itself.
From sauerkraut and veal stew to burgers and curry, you’ll find a wide range of delectable dishes here.
One must-try specialty is the traditional tarte flambée. This tantalizing Alsatian pizza-like dish is topped with cream, onions, and smoked bacon. It’s a local favorite that I absolutely love! And don’t miss out on the region’s famous gingerbread or pain d’épices.
For those who love fine dining, Restaurant Il Cortile, a Michelin-starred restaurant, is the place to go. Their Italian cuisine, infused with a touch of creativity, is irresistible.
7. Alsace Wines
If you’re a wine enthusiast, Mulhouse is a fantastic destination.
You’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich wine culture of Alsace through tastings and tours.
Some of the most famous varieties include Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, and the sparkling Crémant d’Alsace.
Around town, you’ll find wine bars and restaurants where you can sample a glass. And many establishments offer tastings, so you can explore the different flavors.
8. Close to Other Attractions
Mulhouse’s location makes it a great base for exploring other parts of the region.
The most popular nearby city is Colmar. Often referred to as ‘Little Venice’, it’s touted as one of the most beautiful towns in the region. And its colorful half-timbered houses are second to none. You can visit Colmar as a day trip from Mulhouse or vice versa, both are easily doable.
Further north is Strasbourg. It’s both the capital of Alsace and one of the four capitals of Europe. But Strasbourg is most known for its stunning Notre Dame Cathedral and its picturesque neighborhood, La Petite France.
Mulhouse is also a great base for venturing out on the Alsace Wine Route. This scenic journey weaves through 170 kilometers (105 miles) of vine-clad hills and charming villages. It offers breathtaking landscapes and the chance to visit vineyards and cellars directly. You can meet the winemakers, learn about their craft, and sample their creations
9. Easy to Access
Thanks to its strategic location, Mulhouse is reachable from several major European cities. Not only that but it has a well-served international airport, EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg.
It’s a 30-minute drive (or a 20-minute train ride) from Basel in Switzerland and less than an hour by train from Strasbourg.
Useful Tip: I recommend buying train tickets in advance. It’s a great way to find deals and save money.
Mulhouse’s local transport network is commendable too. The tram services are efficient, frequent, and cover most parts of the city, making it easy to get around.
Mulhouse offers a delightful mix of traditional and modern shopping experiences. From bustling markets to chic boutiques, the shopping options are diverse and exciting.
One of the highlights is the Mulhouse Covered Canal Market. This vibrant marketplace has everything from fresh produce to artisanal cheeses.
For fashion lovers, La Cour des Maréchaux is a must-visit. It houses a range of high-end boutiques offering the latest trends.
11. Parks and Gardens
Mulhouse is home to several parks and gardens where you can enjoy the outdoors without leaving the city.
The crown jewel among them is the Parc Zoologique and Botanique de Mulhouse. Its home to thousands of different plants, making it a vibrant and lively exploration of biodiversity.
Then, there’s the Parc Salvator, a lush oasis in the heart of the city, perfect for a stroll or a picnic.
But my favorite was Parc du Belvédère. It’s famed for the Tour du Belvédère, a 20-meter-high (65-foot-high) tower that looks out over the city. And on a clear day, you can see as far as the Vosges mountains. My legs trembled on the way to the top, but once I saw the view I forgot all about my vertigo!
12. Tons of Outdoor Activities
It might sound surprising but Mulhouse has quite a range of outdoor activities.
With its flat terrain and many bike paths, Mulhouse is a great city for cycling. You can rent a bike and explore the EuroVélo 15 or the Alsace Wine Route.
Useful Tip: The best place to rent bikes is Médiacycles. Their store is next to the train station and they offer single-day and multi-day rentals.
Then, if you like hiking, the GR5, a long-distance trail that goes from the Netherlands to Nice, France, runs close to Mulhouse. It’s well-maintained and there are tons of shorter section hikes that you can do in a day.
Throughout the year, Mulhouse hosts various festivals celebrating everything from music to gastronomy.
One of the most popular is the MÉTÉO – Mulhouse Music Festival. This atypical music festival has been a staple of the town since 1983. And every year at the end of August, it showcases an eclectic program dedicated to young artists.
Then, there’s the Décibulles, Rock’n Beer Festival. It’s beer and music wrapped into one incredible weekend in July.
If you’re looking for cultural events, evening shows focused on cinema and music are held every Thursday in Salvator Park. Dates run from mid-July to mid-August but are weather dependent, so be sure to check the schedule.
The architecture in Mulhouse offers a unique blend of historical and contemporary design. It reflects the city’s rich cultural heritage with every corner telling a story. Not only that but a whopping 17 buildings are classified as historical monuments!
Among the top architectural landmarks are the Hôtel de Ville and the Tour du Bollwerk. But I found the Mulhouse District Court to be the most unique. It’s a mix of modern design with classical elements and the contrasting colors add that je ne sais quoi feel to it.
15. Parc Zoologique and Botanique de Mulhouse
The Zoo and Botanical Garden in Mulhouse is more than it looks. It’s a place where you can appreciate nature and learn about the importance of conservation.
It’s home to 170 species and each animal habitat mimics their natural environment. But the real reason to come is the botanical garden. With more than 3,000 varieties, it’s a paradise for plant lovers set in a tranquil environment.
16. Very Affordable
One of the most compelling reasons to visit Mulhouse is its affordability. Whether you’re looking for an inexpensive hotel or free activities, there’s a way to save money here.
Accommodations in Mulhouse are generally less expensive compared to other French cities. You can find a wide range of options from budget hostels to mid-range hotels that offer excellent value for money.
And, when it comes to dining, there are tons of good restaurants that won’t leave a hole in your pocket.
But the best thing about Mulhouse is the number of free or low-cost activities it offers. Many of its museums, like the Musée des Beaux-Arts, are free. And, if you visit Cité du Train and Electropolis Museum, there’s a discounted ticket for both.
17. Unique Cultural Mix
Mulhouse is known for its diverse demographic. Located at the intersection of France, Germany, and Switzerland, it boasts a unique blend of cultures. And, today, it’s reflected in every part of the city, from the language to the food.
The museums and cultural sites also showcase this fascinating melting pot of cultures. It’s a place where you can learn about the history of the region and see how its changing for future generations.
Getting to Mulhouse
Located in Alsace, Mulhouse sits on the border of France, Germany, and Switzerland. And because of its location, it’s very easy to get to.
The nearest airport is EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg. They serve local and international destinations with tons of options throughout the day. It’s one of the easiest and most direct ways to reach Mulhouse.
The second easiest way to reach Mulhouse is by train. Whether you’re coming from Paris, Strasbourg, or Basel you’ll be able to find a train.
Best Time to Visit
While Mulhouse is year-round, there are certain months that have more going on than others.
Summer (June – August) – Summer is the best time to visit Mulhouse. The sun is almost always shining. And it’s not a touristy town so accommodation is available and affordable. There are also tons of festivals this time of the year.
Spring (April – May) – Spring can be hit or miss, depending on the weather. It’s often rainy and cloudy, but, if you’re lucky, you might get some sunny days. And prices are even lower than in summer.
Fall (September – November) – Fall is another great time to visit Mulhouse. The hot weather begins to cool down and summer tourists are long gone. Mulhouse is also a fantastic city to spot fall foliage!
Winter (December – March) – The weather is cold, gray, and gloomy. There are more rainy days than sunny ones. But the Christmas market in December is fantastic. So, if you can bear the cold, it’s worth it.
Where to Stay
There is no shortage of lovely hotels in Mulhouse. So, I’ve put together a list to help you plan your trip.
- Gîte des Victoires – Located in the center, this is one of the best places in town. It’s like an apartment so you’ll have your own kitchen and bathroom.
- La Maison Hôtel Mulhouse Centre – A gorgeous hotel with beautiful rooms that overlook the main square. The staff is helpful and friendly.
- SPA de charme 6 pers avec Jacuzzi & Sauna privatifs au coeur de ville – Esprit Coco – Located downtown, this hotel is most known for its jacuzzi. So, if you’re hiking in the area, it’s definitely worth it.
Where to Eat
Mulhouse is full of fantastic restaurants. From international to traditional cuisine, you’ll have your choice here. So, I’ve compiled a list of the best places to eat in town.
- Chez Auguste – A small restaurant with a simple yet elegant interior. The menu is French and it’s delicious.
- Restaurant Zum Sauwadala – Dubbed the best local restaurant in town. If you want to try traditional Alsatian food this is the place to go.
- Les Saveurs Du Liban – A traditional Lebanese restaurant that is perfect for anyone who wants to try something a little different.
FAQs About Visiting Mulhouse
What is Mulhouse known for?
Mulhouse is known for its incredible history, stunning architecture, and fascinating museums. It also showcases traditional Alsatian food and charming markets.
How big is Mulhouse?
Mulhouse is a large city in France with a population of around 100,000 people. It covers an area of approximately 22 square kilometers (8.5 square miles).
Was Mulhouse part of Germany?
Yes, like Strasbourg and other cities in Alsace, Mulhouse was once a part of Germany.
Is Mulhouse in France or Switzerland?
Mulhouse is in France, but it’s far from Switzerland.
Conclusion: Is Mulhouse Worth Visiting?
There’s no denying that Mulhouse is an underrated city. And while it’s not for first-time visitors, it’s perfect for anyone wanting to get off the beaten path.
From its rich cultural history to its regional cuisine, Mulhouse won’t disappoint. And don’t forget about the museums. They are some of the most engaging experiences in the region.
Now that you know Mulhouse is worth a visit. It’s time to start planning your trip. And there are so many ways to explore Alsace!
Read More Article About France
I hope you enjoyed my post and found it useful. Here are some other articles that I think you might find interesting.
- 3 Days in Strasbourg – The Perfect Itinerary (from a Local)
- 13 Amazing Things to Do in Eguisheim, France
- Is Colmar Worth Visiting? 19 Reasons Why You Should!