Are you planning on spending a day or a weekend in Strasbourg, but it looks like it’s going to rain? No need to panic – here are some suggestions for sights and activities that will allow you to make the most of your stay, despite the rain.
• Explore the inside of the Cathedral
Strasbourg Cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. With its 142-meter spire, Notre-Dame de Strasbourg was the tallest building in all of Christendom until the 19th century. Victor Hugo thought it to be a “wonder of the gigantic and the delicate”.
Inside the Cathedral, don’t miss: the pulpit, the many stained-glass windows, including the rose window (measuring 14 meters across) above the central gate, the great organs, the Pillar of Angels depicting the Last Judgment, and the Astronomical Clock right beside it, dating back to 1574 and fully restored in the 19th century (free entry, except for the parade of the Apostles, every day at 12:30).
• Discover the city from the river Ill with Batorama
Batorama offers a variety of sightseeing boat tours of Strasbourg. To skip the long ticket lines, book your tickets online on the Batorama website
• See the world’s oldest wine in the Cellar of Strasbourg Hospice
This 1200 m² vaulted cellar is a testament to the importance of wine in the history of Strasbourg Hospital. Its gallery of barrels holds over fifty oak casks that are still in use, as well as several historic barrels dating back to the 16th, 18th and 19th centuries. One of them still contains wine from 1472, making it the oldest barreled wine in the world. Entry to the Cellar of Strasbourg Hospice is free during opening hours.
• Explore Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune Protestant Church
Having undergone renovations and changes throughout its long history, this church is made up of Romanesque, Gothic and Gothic Revival elements. Don’t miss: the nave’s Gothic Revival murals, the Gothic archway in the rood screen, the Baroque choir and the Romanesque cloister. Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune is open to visitors, except during church services. Free entry.
• Take a tour inside the European Parliament
You can actually visit the Hemicycle of the European Parliament (no need to book in advance). The tour lasts about an hour.
Visit a few of Strasbourg’s museums:
• Our favorite: the Tomi Ungerer Museum (2 avenue de la Marseillaise – Villa Greiner), International Center for Illustration and museum dedicated to artist Tomi Ungerer. Closed on Tuesdays and during exhibition preparation.
• The Historical Museum (2 rue du vieux Marché aux Poissons) presents the history of Strasbourg from the Middle Ages to the founding of the European institutions. Closed on Mondays and selected public holidays.
• The Alsatian Museum (23-25 quai Saint-Nicolas) is a celebration of folk art and traditions from Alsace, staged in historical Strasbourg houses that are connected by wooden stairways and passageways. Closed on Tuesdays and selected public holidays.
• The Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, also known as MAMCS (1 place Hans-Jean Arp). In addition to rooms dedicated to modern and contemporary art, this museum also houses spaces for graphic art, photography, and the works of Gustave Doré. Closed on Mondays and selected public holidays.
• The Musée de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame (3 place du Château) will allow you to further explore the history of the Cathedral, as well as seven centuries of art in Strasbourg. Closed on Mondays and selected public holidays.
• Le Vaisseau (1 Bis Rue Philippe Dollinger) is a center dedicated to science and technology for children aged 3 to 15, as well as adults. Closed on Mondays.
The Strasbourg Pass (for sale at the Strasbourg Tourist office, place de la Cathédrale) gives you 3 days’ worth of free access and selected discounts for museums and tours in Strasbourg.
Food & shopping
• Take the time to browse in a bookshop
– Librairie Quai des Brumes is an independent bookstore with a wonderful children’s/Young Adult section. All books are in French
– Librairie Le Tigre is an independent store specializing in comic books and graphic novels
Culture & sports
Rainy days are a great time to go to the movies or the opera, enjoy a live show or check out the local sports team:
– Movie theaters: (all website are in French)
- Odyssée: for movie buffs who enjoy auteur cinema, international film, and old classics
- Star et Star St Exupéry: smaller, independent movie theaters in the city center
- UGC Ciné Cité: multiplex located only a few tram stops after the university
- Vox: independent movie theater in the city center
Decoding French movie acronyms: ‘VF’: French version; ‘VOST’ or ‘VOSTF’: Original Version with French Subtitles
– Opera: Opéra National du Rhin
– Concert venues:
- Le Zénith
- La Laiterie (website in French or German)
- Strasbourg Convention & Exhibition Centre (PMC)
- Espace Django (website in French)