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Walk around in Strasbourg: Botanical Garden

Strasbourg Botanical Garden is a calming haven, set against a lush backdrop in the middle of the city.  It allows you to explore around 6000 species from around the world, which are pampered daily by expert botanists and gardeners. You’ll find everything from rare plants to more common species, aromatic herbs, flowers, and an arboretum containing over 2000 kinds of trees and shrubs (giant redwood, Caucasian wingnut, bald cypress…).

The garden stretches over 3,5 hectares in the Neustadt quarter. When it was first created in 1619, the garden was located in the Krutenau neighborhood (southeast of the historic university campus). It was eventually moved during the reign of German emperor Wilhelm I. The current Botanical Garden, which was inaugurated in 1884, was part of the project to build an imperial German university, after Alsace became part of the empire in 1870.

As soon as you step foot inside, you linger around the tiny waterlily pools where little frogs will jump into the water as you pass. On warmer days, some of them will relax in the sunshine.

Escape to a different world in the tropical greenhouse, where a selection of exotic species (palm trees, banyan trees, monsteras with massive leaves…) thrive in a hot and humid environment. On particularly hot days, you’ll almost feel like the air is cool as you step outside again.

This peaceful garden is the ideal place to recharge your batteries and stop the course of time. Enjoy a book in the shade of an age-old tree. Have a seat on one of the many available benches. Stroll along the path winding around the Bary greenhouse, skirting along the astronomical observatory, before twisting past a pond and through a series of little bamboo groves.

The steeple of St. Maurice’s church in the background is reflected in the smooth surface of the pond.  The sleek mirror of the water is only ever disturbed by a fish coming up to the surface every now and then.

You get the pleasant feeling of being wrapped in a lovely blanket of lush greenery, while taking in the calm and quiet atmosphere of this place, reminiscent of certain Japanese gardens.

  • Strasbourg Botanical Garden is a university garden that is generally open to the public in the afternoons, but please do check the opening hours beforehand. Admission is free.
  • For your workouts or a picnic, please choose another park in the area (Orangerie, Contades or the University gardens just across the alley).
  • The entrance to the Botanical Garden is located in allĂ©e Anton de Bary, a little pedestrian side street running between rue Goethe and rue de l’UniversitĂ©.

đź”— View opening hours (link in French)

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Walk around

Straddling the border in the Jardin des Deux Rives

The Jardin des Deux-Rives stretches across 150 hectares and consists of two half-gardens on either side of the Rhine, linked by an elegant cable-stayed footbridge. This cross-border landscaped park, which was inaugurated in 2004, is a symbol of French-German friendship.

• On the French side, in Strasbourg, you enter the park by walking along the riding school, or by taking the Sentier des planètes (path of the planets) in the middle. Spanning 281 meters, the solar system has been scaled down 16 billion times, to give you an idea of the distance between the Sun and the different planets of the solar system

As you explore the park, you’ll also find:
– a water wall (in a semicircle, on either side of the central axis)
themed and pop-up gardens where you can daydream for a while
– a large lawn where flower shows, and cultural events are organized in the summertime (concerts with the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra de Strasbourg or open-air cinema nights)
– a sculpture path (with works by Sylvie Blocher, Andrea Blum, Tadashi Kawamata, Philippe Lepeut and Akio Suzuki) that continues on the German side of the Rhine
picnic tables
playgrounds
– a boules pitch.

• Cross the Passerelle Mimram footbridge (only for pedestrians and cyclists) which spans the Rhine. This cable-stayed footbridge designed by architect Marc Mimram was imagined as a hyphen, a connection between France and Germany. Its two decks converge to form a central platform, above the middle of the Rhine. Stop for a while and enjoy the view or watch a riverboat pass by.

• On the German side, in Kehl, a peaceful, paved promenade, shady and well maintained (der blaue Weg), winds along the riverbank.

Everyone can enjoy the park however they like:
– if you’re the contemplative type: the walking path is dotted with benches at regular intervals
– if you’re more sporty: there are several kinds of gym apparatus
for plant lovers: explore the Biblical Garden
ufologists: climb into a flying saucer (UFO is an exhibit space)
art lovers: admire the sculptures, like Begegnung by Josef Fromm (which notably symbolizes the friendship between France and Germany) and the Roses Frontalières (Border Roses) by Thomas Rother (honoring members of the French resistance who were murdered mere hours after Strasbourg was freed in 1944).

If you move a little further away from the river to find higher ground and climb the Silver Fir Tower (Weisstannenturm). At 44 meters high, this tower offers a splendid view of the Rhine, Strasbourg Cathedral, and on clear days – all the way to the Black Forest and the Vosges mountains.

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Walk around

Walk around in Strasbourg: parc de Pourtalès

From the (free) parking lot by parc de Pourtalès, there are two paths, each leading to very different spaces and atmospheres.

• On one side, the beautiful scenery around Château de Pourtalès opens on a large sculpture park and the château gardens.

• On the other side of the parking lot, you’ll find the forĂŞt de la Robertsau. This place means a lot to us because it offers a break, far away from the urban environment, although the city is only a few hundred meters away. It’s also important to us because we chose to have our wedding pictures taken there

As you walk along the asphalted path (for cyclists and pedestrians only), the trees start to form a tunnel of foliage. In the spring, the ditches are full of blooming wild garlic.


The tapping sound of woodpeckers resonates throughout the forest. If you’re very lucky, you might even spot a deer!
Old stone kilometer markers and bunkers from the war have been gradually covered in greenery – nature has taken over again.
The sound of horses’ hooves is muffled on the dirt tracks below the raised path.
Long-haired Highland cows graze in the surrounding fields. Frolicking dogs swim in the little ponds, under the watchful eye of their owners.

You can continue your walk along the dyke, past fields and farms until you reach the village of la Wantzenau.

In July 2020, the forĂŞt de la Robertsau was made a national nature reserve.

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Walk around

Walk around in Strasbourg: Presqu’Ă®le Malraux

Formerly an abandoned port site, Presqu’Ă®le Malraux/Rivetoile has turned into a bustling neighborhood, made up of apartment and office buildings, a shopping center (Rivetoile), cafĂ©s and restaurants, a multiplex movie theater and several cultural buildings (like the CitĂ© de la Musique et de la Danse and the MĂ©diathèque AndrĂ© Malraux).

We love walking along the docks from the Black Swan towers to the Cité de la Musique et de la Danse*. You can access the peninsula by starting at the towers, near Winston Churchill tram stop.

On the bridge between the movie theater and the refurbished Seegmuller warehouse, turn back to look at the outline of the three towers, which reminds us of a bar chart.

A little further on, the sky is beautifully reflected in the façade of the Médiathèque André Malraux.
Continue your walk towards the two massive Paindavoine cranes (they’re illuminated at night, and you can control the lights remotely!) and the CitĂ© de la Musique et de la Danse.

After crossing the Braque footbridge, as you stroll under the trees along quai des Alpes and quai du Général Koenig, see if you can spot a coypu swimming in the canal.

In the summertime, if the weather allows it, enjoy the beachy vibes of “les Docks d’Ă©tĂ©”.

(*If you’re coming from the city center, the walk would start at the CitĂ© de la Musique et de la Danse.)

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Walk around in Strasbourg: parc du Heyritz

Parc du Heyritz is a haven of tranquility tucked between the HĂ´pital Civil de Strasbourg and the hustle and bustle of place de l’Étoile.

As you approach the park, a weeping willow on the right-hand side seems to form a curtain through which you enter. A floating pontoon borders the bassin de l’HĂ´pital and runs the entire length of the park. You can spot a wide variety of animals: fish, birds, frogs, tortoises, lizards, and coypus. In the spring, you can also watch the ducks diving between the water plants with their ducklings.

The pontoon leads to the far side of the park, where you’ll find playgrounds and gym apparatus, a reflecting pool, allotment gardens and terraced lawns where you can relax. In the summer, the park is occasionally used as an open-air cinema.

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Walk around in Strasbourg: quai des Bateliers

Quai des Bateliers runs along the Ill between pont Saint-Guillaume and pont du Corbeau.

Recently pedestrianized, quai des Bateliers is like a little green haven in the middle of the city. A space where you can breathe, take a walk along the water with your family, your friends, or your partner. The atmosphere is cool and calm, flowing with the river and the boats gliding past. 

Stop for a moment under the lush trees, relax for a while on one on the pontoons directly above the Ill, or on the large floating pontoon (by pont du Corbeau). The crooked houses between n°22 and n°26 seem to lean against each other, as though they had their own definition of balance.

The quay is lined with cafĂ©s, galleries, shops and independent bookstores. We particularly enjoy the Librairie du Tigre (n°36), which specializes in comic books. 

In the springtime, you can see wisteria cascading down a few of the façades along the opposite riverbank. 

As you walk along the quay, the Cathedral appears in the background. The view from the footbridge passerelle de l’Abreuvoir is particularly appreciated by photographers.

A little further down, the Cathedral seems to play hide and seek behind the Palais Rohan (vestige of the 18th century aristocracy’s way of life, and now home to three museums) and the Historical Museum (which presents the history of Strasbourg from the Middle Ages to the founding of the European institutions).

Quai des Bateliers ends by pont du Corbeau, where you can continue towards: 

  • rue d’Austerlitz and the neighborhood of la Krutenau to your left 
  • quai Saint-Nicolas and la Petite France if you follow the river 
  • rue du Vieux-MarchĂ©-aux-Poissons, the Historical Museum, the Cathedral and the Palais Rohan to your right.

Alternatively, you can choose to walk level with the water along the banks of the Ill, which you can access either from pont Saint-Guillaume or from the Palais Rohan.