Strasbourg, home of the European Parliament, is the capital of Alsace, the eastern region of France. This marvelous city is situated close to the border with Germany. Witnesses of this double influence, French and German, are architecture and culture.
We stayed in December and reached Strasbourg from Baden Baden with Flixbus, in just one hour. Let me share our experience to visit Strasbourg in 2 days.
Notre Dame Cathedral, in Gothic style, has been defined by Victor Hugo as a "prodigy of grandeur and grace". Here, we find the Astronomical Clock, the Renaissance masterpiece that dates back to the 16th century. I really enjoyed the visit, I think is one of the most beautiful churches I ever visited.
During Christmas period the Cathedral Square hosts the Christmas markets, among the oldest in Europe. The city becomes a real fairytale kingdom, a show not to be missed. In this square, you can also admire the Maison Kammerzell, the most beautiful house in Strasbourg, built by a rich cheese merchant, today it hosts a famous restaurant. The upper part is wooden made, decorated with warriors and animals.
On the corner, we find the Deer Pharmacy which dates back to 1268 and is the oldest in France.
Republic Square: (Place de la République) really won me over. Located in the heart of the German quarter, in the middle of the square we find a war memorial showing a mother with two sons, one died for Germany and the other for France. This monument immortalizes a dramatic scene experienced by many Alsatians during the Two World Wars. If you visit Strabourg in 2 days, you'll have plenty of time to go there and enjoy this beautiful scene.
In the Republic Square, there are also several cultural and administrative buildings, such as Palais du Rhin (Imperial Palace), whose main characteristic is the imposing dome. The Palace of Justice, the Prefecture, the University Library and the National Theater of Strasbourg (TNS).
Try to spned and enjoy some tome going through the alleys of the center and Piazza Kléber, the biggest square of the city, among souvenir shops, shopping streets, bakeries and local restaurants.
The banks of the River Ill, next to the Palais Rohan, are the departure point for the Batorama boats, which in one hour lead to the discovery of the city.
The boat trip is ideal for enjoying the city from another point of view. It is definitely a romantic experience, which I would recommend to visit Strasbourg in 2 days. In addition to the boat ride, you can stop on the bridge to admire the opening and closing of the dams to allow the passage of the boat (as I show you in the video).
The ancient heart of the city is situated around the River Ill and is called La Petite France.
Here, the characteristic half-timbered houses are shown in all their beauty. Special mention should be made to the Maison des Tanneurs, the home of leather tanners, one of the oldest in the city. The Petite France and the timber-framed houses are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
On the banks of the River Ill, in the district of the Petite France, we find Pont San Martin, a chic area full of little places where you can taste typical dishes and the Alsatian wine.
Always in the Petite France district, we find the Ponts Couverts, or covered bridges, even if they are not covered anymore, but have kept the four towers that date back to 1300 and served as bastions for the city defense.
The Museums of Rohan Palace (Palais Rohan): former residence of the princes of Rohan, from which it takes its name. An eighteenth-century building that now holds three important museums: the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Museum of Fine Arts.
The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCS Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain): founded in 1973, is one of the largest museums in France and hosts a total of 18 thousand works. From the terrace you can enjoy a spectacular view and relax in the cafeteria.
St. Thomas Church (Église Saint-Thomas): Lutheran church in Gothic style built in 1200, it certainly is one of the most important and beautiful of Alsace. The Church, surmounted by two bell towers (one quadrangular and the other hexagonal), hosts the mausoleum created by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, the Maréchal de Saxe, a Baroque funerary art masterpiece of 18th century.
The European Institutions: The buildings of the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights are very beautiful, especially for all the architecture and photography enthusiasts. The Council of Europe is only 2 km away from the city center. Reservations are required to visit it. The headquarters was founded in 1949 and today has 47 member states.
Notre Dame Museum (Musée de l'Oeuvre Notre-Dame): dedicated to the plastic and decorative art of the Upper Rhine area from the Middle Ages to 1681, when Alsace was annexed to France. Inside the building there is a small garden with medicinal plants used at the time.
St. Paul's Church (Eglise Saint-Paul): Protestant church built between 1892-97 by architect Muller, rises to a height of 76 meters.
Théâtre Municipal. In your itinerary to visit Strasbourg in 2 days I suggest you to mark down the Municipal Theater, located in Place Broglie. The building is also called Opéra National du Rhin because it often hosts the homonymous company.
Barrage Vauban or Vauban Terrace: built in the late 1600s, with the aim of protecting the city, it has gradually lost its defensive power with the advent of artillery. It's located a few steps from the famous Ponts Couverts.
From the terrace you can enjoy a wonderful view, you can admire the Ponts Couverts and part of the Petit France. If you love viewpoints and taking pictures, do not miss this place!
Parc de l'Orangerie. When I travel I love visint parks. Nothing beats the regenerating effect of a walk surrounded by greenery. I think it takes away a lot of the fatigue that you hold when walking all day.
The park is about 2.5 km from Notre Dame Cathedral and 3.5 km from Petite France, easily reachable by bus in less than 20 minutes.
This park is located near the European Parliament of Strasbourg. It is well maintained with flower beds, flowers, ponds, fountains and play areas for children. It is also equipped with bicycle lanes, café and public toilets.
Inside the Parc de l'Orangerie there is a mini zoo with free entrance, and a dedicated area to storks, the mascot of the region.
Strasbourg in 2 days: What and Where to Eat in Strasbourg
Visiting Strasbourg in 2 days also means making a culinary experience. The typical dishes of the city, and in general of Alsace, are:
Tartre Flambée: thin pizza-like dough with onion, cheese and bacon
Chocroute: pork with cabbage and savoy cabbage
Pretzel: famous heart-shaped German bread, you'll find many variants, salty, with cheese, cheese and ham or sweet.
Foie Gras: goose liver paté.
Stop in the bakeries of the center and enjoy sweet and savory, you will not regret!
One of the gastronomic excellence of Strasbourg is the Restaurant Au Pont San Martin. Overlooking the River Ill, close to Pont San Martin, from which it takes its name.
If you want to try the typical Alsatian tavern, enter in one of the Winstub, you will be greeted by red tablecloths, rustic atmosphere and kind host.
At L'Epicerie you will eat very well, the menu is available in English too. The place is really nice, the staff is friendly and the menu is assorted, there are also vegetarian options.
Strasbourg in 2 days: Where to Sleep
To visit Strasbourg in 2 days, you will surely need an accommodation. I always rely on Booking or AirBnb, if you book through my links you will receive a discount. The choice is vast, starting from € 35 per night, depending on the area, needs and requests.
The Petite France district is clearly the most expensive in terms of accommodation, but also the most beautiful and central one. For a short stay, it's definitely worth spending a little more and enjoy the magic of the place.