strasbourg la petite france (1)

15 Best Things To Do In Strasbourg In Summer (2023)

Are you visiting Strasbourg this summer, or do you live in Strasbourg, and want to know what are the best things to do in Strasbourg in summer?

That’s great! In this Strasbourg summer guide, I will share all the best things to do in Strasbourg in summer.

I want to show you why you should visit Strasbourg this summer and how a trip to Strasbourg doesn’t need to be expensive!

Strasbourg is the capital of the French Alsace region, the biggest city in the region and a perfect base for exploring the east of France.

Strasbourg is best known as a winter destination and a must-stop city on every European Christmas Market Itinerary

However, Strasbourg is equally as stunning in the summer. Long sunny days make Strasbourg a perfect destination to explore this summer.

Summer is a low season for Strasbourg, so you can enjoy the city and the region without crowds. 

You can enjoy all of these activities in Strasbourg without a car! Each place I recommend in this travel blog can be easily reached by public transport or bike.

Keep reading to find out how to spend the best summer in Strasbourg!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. I hope you find the information here helpful!

Why visit Strasbourg in the summer?

I lived in Strasbourg for two years, so I have experienced all the seasons in the city. Most of the activities in Strasbourg are not weather-specific, so it is possible to visit any time of the year and have a good time! 

That being said, while there is something to do regardless of when you visit, my favourite season in Strasbourg is summer. 

Winters in Strasbourg are cold, it can snow, and temperatures are often around 0C – one thing to keep in mind if you’re backpacking Europe in winter.

The autumn colours in Strasbourg are beautiful, but it rains a lot. Spring is unpredictable, as some days will be sunny and warm while others will be cold and rainy.

Strasbourg summers are not very hot. The temperature hardly ever goes over 30C. That makes for the perfect summer weather and takes away one of the main downsides of backpacking Europe in summer.

The city blooms, terraces are busy with locals enjoying a drink as the sun sets, and the canals and parks are full of chatter and people enjoying picnics. 

The best things to do in Strasbourg in the summer

  1. Explore Petite France
  2. Walk around the Grand Ile and admire Strasbourg Cathedral
  3. Go On a Scavenger Hunt City tour
  4. Have a picnic in the Orangerie park or Park Heyritz
  5. Rent a boat and explore the canals
  6. Kayak in Strasbourg river
  7. Explore nature in the Robertsau forest
  8. Swim in Strasbourg lakes
  9. Bike to German lakes near Kehl from Strasbourg
  10. Bike to Saverne from Strasbourg
  11. Hike Alsatian castles from Strasbourg
  12. Explore the Alsatian wine route from Strasbourg
  13. Day trip to Alsatian villages from Strasbourg
  14. Visit Strasbourg museums and European institutions
  15. Grab a drink at one of many terraces in the city

1. Explore Petite France 

petite france strasbourg in the summer

Petite France is the most charming and picturesque neighbourhood in Strasbourg. The river Ill flows through the neighbourhood connected by many bridges, resembling Venice. 

If you have just one day in Strasbourg, La Petite France should be your first stop.

While Petit France is beautiful regardless of the time of year you visit, it is especially lovely in the summer. You will notice that half-timbered, historic houses are decorated with colourful flowers, just like the bridges and paths along the canals.

Some of the highlights in Petite France are Place Benjamin Zix Square, Covered Bridges and Vauban Dam, steps on the Quai de la Bruche, Tanners’ house and St. Martin Bridge.

2. Walk around Grand Ile and admire Strasbourg Cathedral

The Grand Ile is home to the historic city centre of Strasbourg and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The island, surrounded by the river Ill, is mainly a pedestrian area. 

The most prominent landmark in the city centre of Strasbourg is the impressive Strasbourg Cathedral. This Gothic masterpiece used to be the highest building in the whole Alsace region. 

It is equally as beautiful inside as it is on the outside. Inside the Cathedral, you will find the Astronomical Clock. The main attraction is the animated figures that come to life every day at 12:30. 

For the best view of Strasbourg and the Alsace region, climb the Cathedral tower. Check out the prices and working hours of the cathedral here

Some of the most stunning places in the city centre of Strasbourg are Lycée International des Pontonniers, St. Paul’s Church and Place Kleber.

girl in the city centre of strasbourg
strasbourg cathedral

3. Go On a Scavenger Hunt City tour

While strolling the streets of Strasbourg on your own is fun, how about making sightseeing into an adventure?

I love scavenger hunts and this Scavenger Hunt Strasbourg City Tour is truly a unique way to discover Strasbourg. It is super affordable – a price of a Starbucks coffee really, and it is a fun activity for your whole group!

This interactive tour will take you to some of Strasbourg’s hidden gems and tell you fascinating stories about city attractions. You will get the riddles straight to your phone, and you can do them at your own pace.

4. Have a picnic in the Orangerie park or Park Heyritz

French love picnics. As soon as there is a sunny day, Strasbourg parks and canals are filled with people on blankets enjoying an afternoon apéro. 

What do you need for a perfect French picnic? 

Firstly you want to find a nice, green area away from the busy streets. There are many parks in Strasbourg, but the most popular for picnics are Orangerie park and Park Heyritz.

Bring a blanket or sarong you can sit on and arrange your snacks.

We are in France, so pick up a nice bottle of French wine. If you want to make it alcohol-free, go for your favourite cold drink.

A baguette is a must-have! You can not have a french picnic without this symbol of France. We are going for a vegan picnic here, so bring some hummus and olive tapenade to dip in your bread.

As for other salty snacks, you can pick up some cherry tomatoes, chips and olives.

You can not go wrong with fruit. Strawberries are the most popular picnic fruit, but any berries and grapes work perfectly! If you have a place to cut and prepare your fruit, go for watermelon or any other type of melon.

Put on sunscreen! 

To complete your picnic, and make it as French as possible, try to join a french group and play some pétanque!

5. Rent a boat and explore the canals

Once you have walked around the city centre, you can experience Strasbourg from a different perspective!

You do not need any licence or special skills to rent and drive a little electric boat in Strasbourg canals. It is a perfect activity for a hot summer day in Strasbourg.

These small electric boats can carry 5-11 people, so you can choose the right boat for your group. 

Two companies offer rental boats in Strasbourg operating from different river ports: Marine d’Eau Douce and Captain Bretzel. The prices are similar, so it depends on which part of the city is more convenient for you. 

Alternatively, you book a private boat tour and sit back and relax as you’re cruising down the Strasbourg canals.

This Private tour of Strasbourg in a privatized boat with a skipper has excellent reviews, and it makes for a perfect afternoon activity.

flowers n the bridge in strasbourg
girl in the city centre of strasbourg

6. Kayak in Strasbourg

If you do not feel comfortable renting a boat or you are looking for a fun workout, another unique summer activity in Strasbourg is kayaking!

If you feel sporty, kayaking in the river is a great summer activity. There are a couple of companies offering kayak tours around Strasbourg. You can choose between short trips and full-day trips kayaking the Alsace.

Check out the rates and routes on their website Les canoes du Ried and Alsace canoes.

7. Explore nature in the Robertsau forest

robertsau forest

Strasbourg actually has three forests that are protected as National Nature Reserves. My favourite one is the Robertsau forest as it is easily accessible by public transport. 

It is easy to reach the forest by tram E. You will get off at the last station and walk about 10 minutes towards Château de Pourtalès. Once you are in the park, explore the shaded trails in the forest. 

8. Swim in Strasbourg lakes

If you are wondering if you can swim in Strasbourg, the answer is yes! There are 8 local pools in Strasbourg if you like pools. However, I prefer the sea and lakes. 

Luckily, there are many swimming lakes around Strasbourg where you can cool off in the summer. The best part is you can combine it with a cycling day and enjoy a well-deserved dip after biking.

The best swimming lakes in Strasbourg:

1. Lac Baggersee

The most accessible lake by public transport is Lac Baggersee. You will take tram A in the direction of Illkirch Graffenstaden and get off at the Baggersee stop. 

There is a supervised swimming area, and you can easily find shade under the trees. The lake is popular and gets busy in the summer. There are designated barbecue spots, and you can also play volleyball and other sports around the lake.

2. Lac Achard

lac archard

Close to Baggersee is Lac Achard. The best way to reach Lac Archard is by biking, and that is how I usually go there. 

It is a bit more complicated to reach Lac Achard by public transport, as you will also take tram A in the direction of Illkirch Graffenstaden, get off at Cours de l’Illiade, and then you have to walk for 1,5 km.

This lake is larger than Baggersee, and it was my go-to when I was in Strasbourg.

3. Plan d’eau La Ballastière

La Ballastiere is located in the north of Strasbourg, and it is hard to reach by public transport. You will have to switch a couple of buses to reach it from the city centre of Strasbourg. 

However, you can easily reach it in half an hour from the city centre of Strasbourg by bike!

4. Plan d’eau Neubiltz de Reichstett

Another lake in the north of Strasbourg. Just like La Ballastiere, this lake is also not easily accessible by public transport. However, you can bike there!

Full disclosure, I never swam in this lake. I only biked there in the autumn, but I have heard people recommend it for swimming.

canal from strasbourg to saverne
bikes strasbourg

9. Bike to German lakes near Kehl from Strasbourg

This is a full-day trip activity. Once you have visited all the lakes around Strasbourg, it is time to cross the border and bike to swim in Germany.

It sounds more challenging than it is because Kehl Germany is just across the river from Strasbourg. 

Kork Baggersee is the lake I visited and recommend. It is less than 14 km away from the city centre of Strasbourg. Depending on your fitness level, it will take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to get there. 

Once you reach Kehl, you just follow the bike road signs leading you to the lake. The bike ride is pretty scenic, as you will bike alongside the fields once you leave the city.

There is no shade once you are on the road, so ensure you bring enough water because there are no shops around the lake. 

10. Bike to Saverne from Strasbourg

Did you know Strasbourg and Saverne are connected by a man-made canal and that you can bike along the canal all the way from one city to another?

This activity may be best saved for a cooler day in Strasbourg because the road is over 45 km long. Google maps say it will take you 2 and a half hours to bike, but do not be fooled. It took me over 5 hours. 

The route is pretty straightforward. Once you reach the canal behind the European institutions, it literally just follows the canal for 45 km. 

You can stop along the way, enjoy nature, and have lunch… You can not get lost on the way as you just have to look for the canal!

11. Hike Alsatian castles from Strasbourg by public transport

castles in alsace

The Alsace region is filled with old castles. The best way to explore them is to hike up them since they are mainly on the hills. These are my favourite Alsatian castle hikes, accessible by public transport. 

Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle is the most impressive castle in the region. It is easy to reach it from Strasbourg by taking a train to Selestat and then a regional bus to the castle.

After exploring the castle, embark on the hike to discover even more castles!

On the hike from Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle to Ribeauvillé, you will find three more ancient castles the Saint-Ulrich, the Ribeaupierre and the Giersberg. It is an amazing hike that ends in the picturesque Alsatian village of Ribeauvillé.

Château du Haut-Barr, close to Saverne, is another castle hike that is easily accessible by public transport. Once you reach Saverne, it is less than an hour’s hike. Bonus, it is free to enter and explore the castle ruins.

Check the full list of all the castles in Alsace here

You want to see Alsace castles, but don’t want to stress about public transport? You can join this Full-Day Highlights of the Alsace Tour!

The tour departs from Strasbourg and takes you along the Alsace wine road covering the best of Alsace. You will visit Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle, Alsace villages and Colmar! A perfect way to see all Alsace highlights in one go!

12. Explore the Alsatian wine route from Strasbourg

This is the only activity that might be best done by car or on a tour. However, I know people who biked parts of the Alsace wine route, but the road is hilly, and you share narrow roads with cars. 

Alsace wine route officially launched as a tourist trail in 1953. It starts close to Strasbourg, in the village of Marlenheim, and ends close to Mulhouse in Thann, covering roughly 170 km. 

If you want to enjoy your wine tasting, and nobody in your group volunteers to be a designated driver, joining a wine-tasting tour is the best way to go!

Alsace Half-Day Wine Tour from Strasbourg takes you along the Alsace wine route to discover some of the best wineries in France. You will visit two wineries and learn about 7 types of Alsacian wine and local history.

Cycling Alsace wine route

If you want to bike the Alsace wine route, select the part of the route you would like to bike, take a train to the closest city and bike to the next one.

For example, start in Selestat and end in Colmar or start in Molsheim and end in Obernai, for a shorter route. 

Plan your bike trip with the help of Cycling in Alsace

13. Day trip to Alsatian villages from Strasbourg

alsace wine villages

A trip to Strasbourg would not be complete without one of the best day trips from Strasbourg – picturesque Alsatian villages. It is hard to narrow it down, but here are some of the must-see Alsatian Villages. 


Visit Colmar! It is not actually a village, but it is by far the most popular day trip from Strasbourg. The city centre of Colmar is small, and it can be explored on foot. The most picturesque neighbourhood of Colmar is Petit Venice, but you will.


From Colmar, you can easily take a regional bus to Riquewihr. It is my favourite Alsatian village as it looks like it came straight out of a fairytale. Therefore, it is no surprise that it is classified among the «Most Beautiful Villages in France».


Another popular village to visit from Colmar is Eguisheim. This medieval village was an inspiration for the Beauty and the beast village, and you will quickly see why! The public transportation to Egusheim is not the best, but if you come by bike, it is only 7km from Colmar.


I already suggested you visit Ribeauvillé on a hike from Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle. If you are not a fan of hiking, you can also visit Ribeauvillé by bus from Selestat. 

14. Visit Strasbourg museums

On an exceptionally hot or rainy day, you can visit one of many Strasbourg Museums when you do not want to be outside.

There are over 15 museums in Strasbourg, and you will definitely find the one you are interested in. Check out the list of museums in Strasbourg

european court of human rights strasbourg
european parliament in strasbourg

Visit European institutions

Did you know that Strasbourg is home to the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights and the European Parliament? All of these institutions are also open to visitors.

Check out the opening hours for the European Parliament visit

The Council of Europe has slightly different visitor requirements, so check out how to visit on the official website of the Council of Europe

15. Grab a drink at one of many terraces in the city

Finally, the best way to end every summer day in Strasbourg is to grab a drink at one of the many open-air bars in the city. 

French love after-work happy hours. If you walk in the city in the late afternoon, you will find terraces bustling with chatter, laughter and clinking glasses.

Summer nights are warm and the best way to end a day is to grab a drink and enjoy the city. 

Some of my favourite places to have a drink are Place d’Austerlitz, around Place des Tripiers and Petite France around Place Benjamin Zix. 

However, you cannot go wrong wherever you sit, including along the canals with local students.


How to get to Strasbourg?

Strasbourg has an international airport, so you can fly directly into Strasbourg from many locations in Europe. You can take a 10-minute train to the city centre from Strasbourg airport.

Alternatively, you can fly into Euroairport Basel-Mulhouse and take an hour-long train to Strasbourg. This airport is an Easyjet hub, so you will have more affordable flight options. 

Another option is if you want to fly Ryanair, you can fly into Karlsruhe, and take a bus and a train to Strasbourg. The journey will take around an hour and a half. 

I use this website to book train tickets when crossing borders like this. It is the best as it is cheaper than buying a border crossing ticket from national operators, and you can buy a ticket for the whole trip without having to get tickets from each national operator one by one!

What is the best way to travel from Paris to Strasbourg?

If you want to visit Strasbourg on a day trip from Paris, the best way to travel is by train. The fast TGV train from Paris to Strasbourg takes on average just 1 hour and 53 minutes. 

The cheapest way to travel from Paris to Strasbourg is by Flixbus. You will often find tickets for under 20€. But keep in mind that the trip will last over 5 hours. 

strasbourg city centre

How do you get around in Strasbourg?

Most major sights in Strasbourg are located in the city centre. The city centre of Strasbourg is small, and it is possible to explore the city on foot. 

But, if you want to visit the European Court of Human Rights and the European Parliament in Strasbourg, you might want to use public transport as they are further out of the city centre. 

Public transport in Strasbourg

Strasbourg public transport includes trams and buses. You can use Google maps to see which line you need to reach your destination. 

One Aller simple ticket is valid for a single ride in one direction with or without connection. It will cost 2€ if you buy it on the bus, and 1,80€ if you buy it on a machine. You can find ticket machines at most tram stops. 

If your accommodation is further from the city centre, you should consider a 24h ticket, or a 10 journey ticket. You can check out all ticket options on the CTS website

When taking a tram, you have to validate your ticket on a validation pole at the tram station, before entering the tram. You validate the bus ticket upon entering the bus. 

Where to rent a bike in Strasbourg?

You will notice that many of the activities I suggest require a bike. By far the best way to explore Strasbourg is to rent a bike. Strasbourg is a very bike-friendly city with bike lanes everywhere, and you will see many locals biking around. Summer weather is great for cycling as well!

You can easily rent a bike at one of many Velhop stations around the city. It is the easiest way to get a bike in Strasbourg, as it will only cost you 1€ per hour or 5€ if you take it for 12 hours. Check out the prices and conditions on the Velhop website

Where to stay in Strasbourg on a budget?

Accommodation in Strasbourg is not cheap. If you want to visit Strasbourg on a budget, you should plan to travel in the summer, as it is a low season for Strasbourg!

The best backpacker hostel in Strasbourg is The People hostel.

The best budget-friendly hotel option is Hotel des Arts in the city centre.

Generally, the best area of Strasbourg to stay in is the Grand Ille, the historic city centre. Yet, as long as you stay close to the Grand Ille, you are close to the city centre.

Krutenau, Bourse, Poincare, Neustad and Quartier de la Gare, are all great areas to stay in Strasbourg.

girl in strasbourg city centre
strasbourg petite france

How many days do you need in Strasbourg?

You can spend anywhere from one day to more than a week in Strasbourg. Ideally, you would spend 3-5 days in Strasbourg and Alsace region. 

If you are visiting Strasbourg on a day trip from Paris, you will have enough time to explore the city centre and visit the European institutions. The city centre of Strasbourg is small and can be visited by walking in one day. 

If you are visiting Strasbourg for 3 days or more, you will have time to visit Colmar and Alsatian fairytale villages as well. There are many castles in the Strasbourg region, and you could spend one day hiking or biking in the region. 

Is Strasbourg vegan friendly?

Yes. If you are looking for plant-based options in Strasbourg, you will be glad to hear that Strasbourg has a small but vibrant vegan scene. 

While traditional Alsatian cuisine is not particularly vegan-friendly, there are many vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants popping up around the town.

If you check on Happycow App, you will see over 100 vegan-friendly restaurants. 

My favourite place for vegan fast food in Strasbourg is Vegeman. Their vegan durums are by far the best vegan junk food you can find in Strasbourg.

For a quick vegan lunch, my favourite is Le Café Potager. Although not fully vegan, they always have a daily vegan menu and cakes to choose from. 

If you are visiting in the summer, you will want to grab a vegan sorbet in Amorino. This French chain of ice cream stores is best known for its photogenic flower-shaped ice creams. 

strasbourg river and nature

Is Strasbourg expensive to visit? 

Strasbourg is not a cheap destination. Yet, you can visit Strasbourg on a budget. Many of Strasbourg’s main attractions are free to visit, and if you rent a bike you can save money on transportation. 

The accommodation will be your biggest expense. Strasbourg is not a backpacker destination. Currently, there is only one hostel operating in town. Hotel rooms in Strasbourg prices start at 40€ and upwards.

If you are trying to stay on budget, check out my guide on how to save money to travel.

Is Strasbourg safe for solo female travellers?

Yes, Strasbourg is a safe city to visit as a solo female traveller. As a Strasbourg local, I have felt safe walking and biking around the town any time of the day. 

No neighbourhood is considered particularly dangerous, and as long as you pay attention to your surroundings and belongings, you should be fine.  Like in every big city, petty theft occurs. If you bring or rent a bike, be sure to securely lock it. 

Check out my solo female travel guide for everything you need to know before your first trip.

 15 best things to do in Strasbourg in the summer pinterest
summer in strasbourg - the ultimate guide

Final Thoughts:15 Best Things To Do In Strasbourg In Summer

And that’s a wrap! 15 best things to do in Strasbourg in the summer, all accessible by public transport.

We covered some of the best free things to do in Strasbourg and some unique tours from Strasbourg for a perfect itinerary.

If you enjoyed this list of the best summer activities in Strasbourg, pin it for later and share it with your friends who want to travel this summer!

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