Walk along the river Ill

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.

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• 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

The façade of the Palais Rohan: the Palais Rohan has been home to 3 museums since the late 19th century (the Museum of Decorative Arts, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Archaeological Museum)

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.

The other must-see sights of Strasbourg

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