Strasbourg Tourist Attractions
Strasbourg Airport is an air gateway in the heart of the beautiful Alsace region of France, an area that is visited by a large number of tourists every year. The airport itself handles over a million passengers per year, and is found just ten kilometres from the city centre of Strasbourg, one of the largest cities in the country. Strasbourg Airport is also known as the Entzheim Airport, due to its location in this area, and has the official code of SXB. Strasbourg attractions which await its visitors range from interesting museums and a number of historical sights in the city centre, to zoos and amusement parks for the entertainment of the whole family. Beautiful towns and cities with their own attractions are found nearby as well.
The city of Strasbourg is located next to the border between France and Germany in eastern France, and is home to well over 400,000 people. It falls under the French department of the Bas-Rhin, and within the popular Alsace region. Strasbourg is also the capital city, and the principle city of this small region of France, and is well-known for a number of attractions, most notably, the beautifully preserved and pedestrian-friendly city centre, which is where many of the most popular sights of the city can be found. The city also lies on the eastern bank of the River Rhine, to the north of Mulhouse, Colmar and Sélestat, to the south of Haguenau and to the east/southeast of Nancy and Metz. On the city’s eastern side, and to the far north, are cities in Germany, accessible by road, or by trains from the Strasbourg Train Station.
The famous city centre area of Strasbourg can be explored on foot in a few days, or a minitram is available which passes many of the city’s sights. The city is visited by a large numbers of tourists every year, and large tour groups frequent the streets, especially during the summer months and at the time of the annual winter market. For a quieter exploration of the city, sightseeing in the mornings or evenings is recommended. Self-guided walking tours are available from the tourist office, and bike tours can be arranged as well. Water-bus tours are something different available nearby the Palais des Rohans, and they last for about forty-five minutes. By boat is also a very romantic way to explore Strasbourg.
The districts most visited in Strasbourg are Grand Île and Petite France. Within the first mentioned district is the Cathédrale Notre Dame, a religious building built between 1176 and 1439, and featuring a tower about 142 metres tall. It is the highest cathedral tower in the country, and the church is one of highlights of the Strasbourg attractions. The courtyard of the cathedral is also used for the city’s ever-popular Christmas market. The Palais des Rohan is also in this district, as well as a number of museums. The Rohan Palace is most famous for its beautiful facades and Rococo interior, and is home to the original machinery of the cathedral’s astronomical clock and the fine arts museum. The palace dates back to the eighteenth century.
Petite France is found to the south of the Grand Île area, and is between two rivers. It is often described as one of Strasbourg’s most beautiful and enchanting neighbourhoods, and has some of the prettiest and most photogenic buildings. There are sixteenth century houses and narrow cobblestone streets, and along the rue des Moulins some lovely residences can be seen along the waters of the canal. This area of Strasbourg is often compared to the smaller city of Colmar, to the south of Strasbourg, which has numerous, picturesque canals. Due to this attribute, Colmar is also known as ‘little Venice’.
The most famous Strasbourg attraction is perhaps the Ponts Couverts at the end of the ‘Petite France’ district. It is three towers of the thirteenth century which are examples of the fortified constructions that once surrounded the city of Strasbourg. The name of the attraction comes from the series of roofed, wooden footbridges that are found here. The Quartier Allemand, or the German District is another area to visit in the city, and has buildings of a German neoclassical architecture. Place de la République is the square in the centre of district and is built around a small wooded park area.
Museum cards are available for purchase from the tourism centres of the city, and are convenient for anyone who would like to visit many of the Strasbourg museums. Yearly Pass Cards, Three-day Pass Cards and One-day Pass Cards are available, and all are very affordable, ranging in price from three Euro to twenty Euro. Fascinating museums to visit include the Musée Zoologique, with one of the richest collections of insects, mammals, marine invertebrates, fish, reptiles and birds in the whole of France. Extinct creatures are on display as well. The museum is found along Boulevard de la Victoire. The history of Alsace and the city of Strasbourg is shown at the Musée Archéologique, and the Musée Alsacien has a variety of traditional furniture, ceramics, toys, religious items and other items from the region of Alsace. The museum has thirty rooms, each with a different theme. Art museums in Strasbourg include the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the Musée d’Art moderne et contemporin, the Cabinet des Estampes et des Dessins and the Musée des Beaux-Arts.
In Orangerie of Strasbourg there is a beautiful park with a small zoo that is free to enter. It features a number of animals and birds, and has a wonderful play area for small children. Stockfeld is another garden found to the south-east of the Neuhof Strasbourg area. Nearby Strasbourg, the superb Europa Park is a popular source of family fun. It has existed for twenty-five years, and is one of the main amusement parks in Europe. It has over one hundred rides, shows and other attractions, and is a great day outing. Buses are available to the park from the Les Halles bus station in the city centre.
Further details regarding Strasbourg attractions, and the attractions of the nearby towns and cities, can be obtained from the airport information counters and from tourist centres in the city of Strasbourg.