Looking for the best things to do in Eguisheim?
Since moving to France, I’ve been on a mission to explore every corner of this country. And, today, I want to share with you a true hidden gem, Eguisheim.
This picturesque village is famous for zigging cobblestone streets, striking architecture, and exquisite wine.
There’s no denying it’s a small town, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton of things to see. In fact, I’ve been to Eguisheim several times, so I can guarantee you there’s plenty to do here.
So, to help you plan your trip, I’ve put together a list of the best things to do in Eguisheim.
13 Best Things to Do in Eguisheim
There’s no shortage of incredible things to do in Eguisheim.
If you’re visiting in summer, you’ll be rewarded with colorful hanging baskets that adorn wooden window frames. The sight of which makes you wonder if you’re in a real-life fairytale. Then, in December, Eguisheim turns into a magnificent winter wonderland with the cutest Christmas market.
In fact, of the places I’ve seen in Alsace, Eguisheim was one of my favorites.
So, without further ado, here’s a look at Eguisheim’s top 13 attractions and things that I recommend you do while you’re here.
1. Meander through the Ramparts
The ramparts are one of the most interesting features of Eguisheim, France. They date back to medieval times when they served as a first line of defense.
While you can’t walk inside, you can still stroll along the exterior. In fact, the houses that line the ramparts are some of the most beautiful in Eguisheim.
It takes about 30 minutes to complete the entire circle, but if you’re like me, you’ll be taking tons of photos. So, needless to say, it might take longer.
Address: Rue de Rempart S
2. Explore the Route des 5 Châteaux
If you’re looking for a unique way to explore the surrounding countryside, be sure to check out the Route des 5 Châteaux. This winding road leads past five impressive castles, Three Castles of Eguisheim, Hohlandsbourg Castle, and Pflixbourg Castle. Each with its own distinct history and charm. Not only that but you’ll also get spectacular views from atop these ancient fortresses!
Entrance to all five castles is free and there are information boards detailing their history in English, French, and German.
The route is 10.3 kilometers km (6.4 miles) and can be traveled by bike, car, or on foot. I would recommend either renting a bike or taking a car. If you decide to walk, you should plan on spending more than one day in Eguisheim.
3. Relax in Saint Léon Square
Saint Léon Square is one of the most popular spots in Eguisheim, France. It was built to commemorate Saint-Léon IX who was the pope from 1049 to 1054. At the center lies the famous fountain with a statue of Saint Léon, the Saint Léon chapel, and the Saint-Léon-Pfalz castle. Then, surrounding the square are local shops and vibrant medieval houses.
Of course, touring the castle and chapel is a must. But there’s nothing more relaxing than spending an afternoon under the sun, enjoying a coffee, and watching the city unfold.
Address: 4 Place du Château Saint-Léon
4. Indulge in a Glass of Alsatian Wine
If you’re looking for a delicious glass of wine, you’re in luck. Alsace is famous for its world-class wine and Eguisheim is one of the best places to indulge in a glass.
Stop in any restaurant or take a tour of a wine cellar. Granted it can be difficult to choose with so many options available, so below I’ve put together a few favorites:
- Domaine Emile Beyer – Vins d’Alsace – 7 Place du Château Saint-Léon
- Domaine Joseph Gruss & Son – 25 Grand-Rue
- Albert Hertz Wines – 3 Rue du Riesling
5. Visit the Three Castles of Eguisheim
The Three Castles of Eguisheim sit atop a hill in the distance, overlooking the city. They were built in the 11th and 12th centuries and served as watchtowers over the region. Then, in the 14th century during the War of the Six Oboles, they were demolished.
They have since been restored. And, today, you can visit the castles for free while taking in some of the most spectacular views over the area. If you’re a history buff, this is, without a doubt, one of the coolest things to do in Eguisheim.
Useful Tip: Effective September 2022, all three castles are undergoing restorations. You can’t climb inside the castles, but you can tour the exteriors.
By Foot: If you are up for an adventure, you can walk to the three castles from Eguisheim. It’s a long uphill slog to the top, but your efforts will be rewarded. It takes about three hours, there and back.
By Car: The fastest way to visit the castles is to drive. There’s a parking lot at the base called Parking des Trois Châteaux (GPS Coordinates: 48.039974, 7.2270435).
6. Visit the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral
The Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral is a gothic-style church with origins dating back to the 11th century. It was remodeled in 1220 and again in the early 1800s. Today, the bell tower is the only piece that remains from the original church.
The exterior is made of pink sandstone dotted with beautiful stained-glass windows. Then, of course, there is the ever-impressive entrance. The doorway houses unique intricate carvings that depict Saints Peter and Paul alongside Christ. Two heavy wooden panels then open to a magnificent interior. It’s definitely something to see!
Address: 15 Place de l’Église
7. Tour the Vineyards
No trip to Eguisheim is complete without exploring the vineyards. These lush rolling hills of grape vines engulf the town, making it impossible not to visit.
Since most of the paths through the vineyards are paved, you can tour them by car, bike, or on foot. Either way, I recommend packing a lunch and enjoying it under one of the many shaded areas.
Useful Tip: If you’re visiting in September or October, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the grapes being harvested!
8. Try Tarte Flambée
If there’s one thing you must try in Eguisheim, France, it’s a tarte flambée. This regional specialty is made with a thin crust of dough topped with crème fraîche, caramelized onions, and lardons (fatty strips of bacon). It’s then baked in a wood-fired oven until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling with deliciousness.
For the best tarte flambée head to Restaurant Dagsbourg.
Address of Restaurant Dagsbourg: 41 Rue du Rempart N
9. Take in the Views from Hohlandsbourg Castle
For the best views of the Alsatian countryside, look no further than Hohlandsbourg Castle. This medieval fortress was originally built in the 11th century as a defensive stronghold against invaders. It changed hands many times over the centuries and was even destroyed during a revolt.
In the late 1800s, Hohlandsbourg Castle was restored to its former glory and labeled as a historic monument. Today, it stands as the largest fortified castle in Alsace, offering 360-degree panoramic views over the region. On a clear day, you can even see Strasbourg’s Notre Dame Cathedral!
By Foot: Hohlandsbourg Castle is about a two-hour hike from Eguisheim. So, unless you have time and a packed lunch, it might be more practical to drive.
By Car: Hohlandsbourg Castle is on the Route des Cinq Châteaux. There’s a parking lot in front of the castle (GPS Coordinates: 48.060139, 7269741).
Useful Tip: This is why I love living in Strasbourg. It’s so close to all this history, culture, and natural beauty. So, if you’re considering moving abroad, Strasbourg is one of the best expat cities in France.
10. Catch a Glimpse of a Stork
The stork is one of the many symbols of Alsace. Every year this magnificent bird migrates to the region at the start of spring. Not only does it signify the change of seasons, but also new life, fertility, and happiness. It’s a beautiful site that is a must-see if you’re in the area.
And, as luck would have it, Eguisheim is a great place to spot storks. Nests can be seen on the rooftops and there’s even a wildlife refuge (Parc à Cigognes) that is open to the public.
Address of Parc à Cigognes: 17 Rue du Réservoir
11. Marvel at the Architecture
If there’s one thing Eguisheim, France is famous for it’s its beautiful architecture.
Here rows and rows of vivid houses, decorated with beautiful bouquets of flowers, line narrow alleyways. Each one is a different color than the last, creating a kaleidoscope-like experience.
It’s a visual journey that will no doubt leave you entranced. And, unlike the other towns in Alsace, no one street stands out. They are all magnificent. So, it’s no surprise that this was one of my favorite things to do in Eguisheim.
12. Rent a Bike
What better way to explore the area around Eguisheim than by bike?
There are many biking paths that dart off in every direction and seem to go on forever. Ride a section of the Alsace Wine Route or, if you’re up for a challenge, bike the Route des Cinq Châteaux. Either way, it’s a great way to see the area and experience all that Eguisheim has to offer.
Since biking is such a popular activity, there is no shortage of shops where you can rent a bike. But the best and most practical option is with Alsa Cyclo Tours. Their office is in the center of town and has a large supply of bikes to rent on short notice.
Useful Tip: If you’re interested in a guided tour, Alsa Cyclo Tours offers quite a few. Be sure to check them out!
Address of Alsa Cyclo Tours: 3 Rue de Pairis
13. Visit a Nearby Alsatian Town
Not far from Eguisheim, you can find other Alsatian towns that are definitely worth a visit. On the top of the list is Colmar. This quaint medieval city is something storybooks are made of. The architecture, food, and museums are amazing. In fact, there is so much sightseeing that’s possible in Colmar, it warrants more than a day trip.
Other towns worth visiting, that aren’t far from Eguisheim, are Turckheim and Strasbourg.
One Day Eguisheim Itinerary
Eguisheim is a small town, so you won’t need more than a day to visit the highlights. Below I’ve detailed a one-day itinerary that has everything you need to guarantee an amazing trip.
Note: This itinerary is based on the above list of things to do in Eguisheim, France. For more details on each activity please refer above.
- Hike or bike to Eguisheim’s Three Castles
- Wander through the Vineyards
- Lunch in Saint Leon Square
- Meander around the Ramparts
- Tour a Wine Cellar
- Enjoy a Tarte Flambée
- Watch the Sunset over the Vineyards
Map of Eguisheim
Below is a map of Eguisheim that contains all the places listed in this post. Click on the map below to open Google Maps.
Get In and Around
Eguisheim is very small, so public transportation options are limited, but there are a few options.
Strasbourg to Eguisheim: Take the train from Strasbourg’s central train station to Colmar (30 minutes). Then, there are plenty of ways to get to Eguisheim, including tours, taxis, and buses.
Paris to Eguisheim: Take the train from Paris’ Gare de l’Est station. Trains run regularly and take two hours. From Strasbourg, follow the above instructions – Strasbourg to Eguisheim.
Once in Eguisheim, it’s easy to visit the town on foot. If you want to visit the castles and the surrounding area, I recommend either renting a bike or a car.
Useful Tip: Parking in Eguisheim is limited. The nearest parking lot is Parking des Marronniers (13 Rue du Muscat). If you plan on renting a car, it’s best to be sure your hotel has parking.
Best Hotels in Eguisheim
If you plan on spending the night in Eguisheim, there are quite a few accommodation options. But keep in mind, they aren’t budget-friendly. Most of the hotels here fall in the mid-range or luxury category.
- Hotel Auberge Alsacienne – A 3-star hotel with cozy rooms, a restaurant, and free parking.
- Le Hameau d’Eguisheim – A charming hotel with beautiful rooms. Be aware that parking isn’t free.
- Auberge du Rempart – A traditional hotel with friendly staff. The breakfast is delicious and the location is perfect. You won’t be disappointed here!
Best Restaurants in Eguisheim
There is no shortage of restaurants in Eguisheim. So, in addition to the places listed above, I’ve included a few more must-try restaurants below:
- Caveau d’Eguisheim – Traditional Alsatian food with delicious tarte flambées. The menu here can be pricey, but worth it.
- Au Vieux Porche – Fantastic food that is reasonably priced. What more is there?
- L’Atelier de Béné – Touted as the best restaurant in Eguisheim. They only have a few tables so be sure to snatch one if you can.
Conclusion: Things to Do in Eguisheim
From picturesque streets to enchanting castles, there’s no shortage of things to do in Eguisheim. This Alsatian village might be small, but it packs a punch. If you’re like me, you’ll plan a day here, then wonder why you didn’t stay longer. So, use this guide to plan your next trip. Or consider adding it to your east France itinerary. Either way, it’s sure to be an amazing experience!
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