Explore the riverside on foot or by bike
Stroll or bike along the river Ill, which runs around the historic center of Strasbourg. We’ve drawn up a riverside walking itinerary: from Saint Paul’s Church (avenue de la Liberté) to la Petite France, then back to Saint Paul’s along the banks on the other side of Strasbourg’s old town.
• Start at Saint Paul’s Church (avenue de la Liberté), which was built in the Gothic Revival style in the late 19th century
• Take Avenue de la Liberté to the Palais Universitaire (place de l’Université), which was intended as a palace of knowledge at the heart of the Neustadt when it was designed by the Germans
• Then go on to quai des Pêcheurs and continue your walk along quai des Bateliers, quai Saint-Nicolas and quai Charles Frey, all the way to la Petite France
– Quai des Pêcheurs: take a break and enjoy a drink on one of the river barges
– Quai des Bateliers (pedestrian zone): the old houses along the water, the weeping willows and lovely bridges make for a charming backdrop
– If the weather allows it, take a moment to soak up the sun on Ponton des Bateliers (the pontoon across from the pier for the sightseeing boats).
– Just a stone’s throw from Ponton des Bateliers, have look around in the courtyard of La Cour du Corbeau, a hotel located in a 16th century-building that was renovated between 2007 and 2009.
– Quai Saint-Nicolas: the Alsatian Museum, the Ancienne Douane (Old Customs House) and Saint Nicolas’ Church
– Quai Charles Frey: cross the pont Saint-Thomas to Saint Thomas’ Church (place Saint-Thomas), the foundations of which date back to the 7th century, making it Strasbourg’s oldest structure along with the Cathedral
• From Saint Thomas’ Church, enter la Petite France: either through rue de la Monnaie, or along the river by taking a right before pont Saint-Thomas.
• From the Ponts Couverts, wander along the banks of the Ill:
– from quai Désaix to quai Turckheim
– quai de Paris: with Place des Halles and its jumble of buildings
– quai Kellermann
– quai Sturm: with the Court House and Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune Catholic Church.
A little further on, before the start of quai Lezay-Marnésia, you’ll find the Janus Fountain (designed by Strasbourg-born artist and illustrator Tomi Ungerer). Take the time to walk around the Opera, and explore Place Broglie
– quai Lézay-Marnésia
• The façade of the Lycée international des Pontonniers: this high school, which has a student body of over 1000, ranging from first-years to post-secondary preparatory classes, was built in 1902. Isn’t it a little reminiscent of Hogwarts? You’ll find the ideal vantage point along quai Lezay-Marnésia (on pont Saint-Etienne)
• Admire the façade of the Esca building (built in the neo-classical style in the 1930s)
• Pont Royal (Gallia tram stop) is the perfect place to take photos of Saint Paul’s Church
Explore the Ill by boat
• On a sightseeing boat with Batorama
Batorama offers a variety of sightseeing boat tours. To skip the long ticket lines, be sure to book your tickets online on the Batorama website
• On an electric boat
Enjoy the river aboard a no-license electric boat
Want to see more?
Explore the Neustadt quarter
From Pont Royal, take avenue de la Marseillaise to place de la République – where the Neustadt quarter begins. The Neustadt is the former imperial German quarter and has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since July 2017.