Strasbourg is the main city in the Alsace region of France. The region is known for its mix of German and French heritage, as well as its vineyards and wineries. Additionally, the European Court of Human Rights is located in Strasbourg, as is the European Parliament (headquartered in Brussels and Strasbourg). While Strasbourg is a city, the old town is adorable and pedestrian friendly.
Strasbourg is on a direct train line from Colmar, France, our favorite home base to explore the Alsace region. This easy train trip makes Strasbourg a great place to day trip while in Alsace. The following photos were my favorite of the ones I took while in Strasbourg, and I hope they inspire your plans for visiting Strasbourg!
Strasbourg’s Romantic Fairytale Streets
I cannot stress enough how cute Strasbourg’s historic streets are. Many of them are Pedestrian-only and lined with half-timbered buildings that look like they came straight out of the village in Beauty and the Beast. While wandering through these streets, I found a courtyard behind the cathedral that was lined with small restaurants. Strasbourg is definitely a town where you should “get lost:” don’t try to follow a guidebook tour your whole time in Strasbourg… At least for me, the beauty of Strasbourg was best felt while wandering through the city’s winding cobblestoned streets.
Cathedral in Strasbourg, France
Located in the center of Old town, this massive Gothic style Cathedral is a must see while in Strasbourg. Frankly, it would be hard to miss if you are wandering through the old city center. You can marvel at the Cathedral from the outside, or visit the inside as well if you want. Plus, the square that surrounds the Cathedral is a fun spot to sit and enjoy people watching or check out souvenir stores.
Canals of Strasbourg, France
The historic part of Strasbourg is located on an island in a river, so canals play a big part in the city’s landscape. Besides providing a fabulous fairytale picture background, the canals give pedestrians fun places to explore. Additionally, you might enjoy picnicking on the canal banks, or embarking on a tourist boat to see Strasbourg from the water.
Fun Shops around the City Center
This adorable flower shop was located between the historic center of town and the Strasbourg train station! Throughout Strasbourg, I found great clothing stores, souvenir shops, and boutiques (which I could have easily spent all day wandering through)!
Strasbourg (and Alsace in general) offers unique souvenirs and therefore has a ton of souvenir shops. Stuffed animals, circular kitchen towels, and a variety of items with red plaid hearts are particularly popular. Plus, many of these souvenir shops (like in the photo), spill into the street, inviting you to browse while exploring town.
Exploring Strasbourg, France
Between the Cathedral and the train station, I found a ton of busier streets. These streets offered larger shopping and fun hotels to walk by. While this may not be considered “Old Town,” it’s a relative term: the buildings are still architecturally fun and historic. Plus, each street is sure to offer something new to see: this particular square opened up to boast a two story carousel!
The European Court of Human Rights
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, Strasbourg is home to some of Europe’s most influential diplomacy programs, including the European Court of Human Rights. This court decides some of the biggest cases about human ethics and criminal rights throughout Europe (and the World). While you can only visit the Court with certain professional groups, general visitors can pass the building on tours. Plus, the influence of the court is important when understanding Strasbourg’s influence in Europe. For more information about the European Court of Human Rights, check out their website here.