The 8 Best Day Trips From Strasbourg

Kayserberg, one of the best day trips from Strasbourg, France

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Strasbourg, the capital of France's "Grand Est" region, offers everything from stunning architecture to distinctive local cuisine and seasonal events like world-famous Christmas markets. But it's also an excellent hub and starting point for a broader exploration of northeastern France and the historic area known as Alsace. From medieval riverside villages studded with brightly colored, half-timbered houses to rolling vineyards punctuated with clifftop castles, these are some of the best day trips from Strasbourg—all easy excursions you can take by car, train, or guided tour.

01 of 08

Colmar

Half-timbered houses in Colmar, France, in the heart of Alsace.

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Address
68000 Colmar, France

Just a short trip from Strasbourg, the storybook-pretty town of Colmar is also a convenient hub for exploring the Alsace Wine Route.

Spend the day exploring the area known as La Petite Venise, a remarkably well-preserved Renaissance district prized for its half-timbered houses with brightly colored facades, meandering canals fed by the Lauch River, and pleasant waterside restaurants and cafes.

Also make sure to see Old Town, itself endowed with buildings dating from the 12th through the 17th centuries.

Meanwhile, the Musée Unterlinden holds the Issenheim Altarpiece, a late Middle Ages masterpiece that depicts biblical tales. It also boasts an impressive modern art collection comprising masterpieces from Monet, Renoir, Picasso, and many others.

Getting There: Trains depart regularly from central Strasbourg and take roughly 30 minutes. By car, take the A35 south; the trip takes around 55 minutes.

Travel Tip: Take a boat tour around Little Venise for outstanding photo opportunities.

02 of 08

Kaysersberg

An aerial view of Kayserberg, France

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Address
68240 Kaysersberg-Vignoble, France

With its cobblestone pavings, warmly-hued old houses, sprawling vineyards, and dramatic castle, Kaysersberg is the sort of Alsatian town you see spotlighted on postcards and in tourist brochures. It's photogenic, historic, and offers plenty to do.

Visit Kaysersberg Castle, built in around 1200 when the town was a stronghold of the Holy Roman Empire. The circular tower affords sweeping views over the rolling green hills and town below.

Wander through the winding streets of Old Town, visit the Historical Museum, and take a guided tour or cycling tour through nearby vineyards (find info and book at the Tourist Office).

Getting There: By car, take the A35 to Kaysersberg from Strasbourg (around 55 minutes). Guided tours are also available from Strasbourg or Colmar.

Travel Tip: Hikers and campers will appreciate the nearby forest paths and campsites, ideal for long walks or overnight stays.

03 of 08

Riquewihr

Riquewihr village, Alsace, France

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Address
68340 Riquewihr, France

Anyone who sets foot in Riquewihr will quickly understand why it's been named one of France's most beautiful villages. Viewed from the nearby hills, with its church steeple rising above clusters of half-timbered buildings in an array of colors, it's like something out of a fairy tale or animated film.

Meander through the medieval and Renaissance-era streets, admiring the town's pretty facades, balconies teeming with flowers, quiet squares dominated by fountains, cafés, boutiques, and restaurants. The Dolder Gate Tower stands at the end of the Rue du Géneral de Gaulle and dates to the late 13th century; it houses a small museum.

Getting There: Trains depart regularly from Strasbourg and take around 1 hour 10 minutes (change trains at Sélestat). By car, take the A35 southwest (approximately 50 minutes).

Travel Tip: Duck into one of the town's rustic winstubs (wine taverns) to feast on typical Alsatian cuisine and wines.

04 of 08

Ribeauvillé

Ribeauvillé, Alsace Wine Route, France

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Address
68150 Ribeauvillé, France

Just a few miles from Riquewihr, the grand medieval town of Ribeauvillé stands between rolling vineyards and old forests. With its imposing fortifications and dramatic ruins of three castles, it offers plenty of epic inspiration-- and gorgeous walks.

Explore Old Town, including Grand-Rue (Main Street) and its many handsome buildings, many dating from the 15th to the 18th centuries. Happen upon Renaissance-era squares adorned with bubbling fountains, and visit sites such as the 13th-century Butcher's Tower and the Corn Exchange to glimpse medieval life.

Take a tour of the centuries-old vineyards, visit the cellars, and taste some distinctive local wines. Ribeauvillé is also the site of several annual festivals, including the Medieval Christmas Market and the Wine Fair (midsummer).

Getting There: Trains regularly depart from Strasbourg and take roughly 1 hour (change trains at Sélestat). By car, take the A35 southwest (approximately 45 minutes).

Travel Tip: Take the Petit Train (a mini tourist train) for a picturesque guided tour around Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Obernai

Obernai village in Alsace, France

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Address
Obernai, France

Located roughly 25 miles south of Strasbourg, the fortified town of Obernai-- once part of the Holy Roman Empire-- offers a wealth of historic sights and things to do. Nestled over the mouth of the Ehn River, it also lies at the gateway of the Alsace Wine Route and the edge of the Vosges mountains.

The town center is noteworthy for its medieval gates, 13th-century tower, and winding mostly pedestrian little streets. Take an ambling stroll through the lanes, admiring the old Burghers' houses, cobblestoned squares, and ornate old buildings.

The Place du Marché is the town's lovely central market square and is flanked with handsome old houses. Also pay a visit to the Place de l'Etoile, boasting some of the town's finest half-timbered homes.

Getting There: Direct trains depart regularly from Strasbourg and take around 40 minutes. By car, take the A35 southwest (about 25 minutes).

Travel Tip: Visit during the winter holiday season to enjoy Obernai's Christmas market, tree, and other festivities.

06 of 08

Eguisheim

Main square in Eguisheim, France

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Just south from Colmar, another of France's most beautiful villages looms, dominated by its medieval towers and church. Eguisheim is a tiny, remarkably preserved town that's well worth a visit, perhaps as part of a day trip to nearby Colmar.

Explore the town on foot, whose narrow, circular streets abound with quiet squares, courtyards and alleyways, and half-timbered houses overflowing with colorful blossoms (in the warmer months). The Rue des Remparts is an exceptionally picturesque place for a stroll. Also visit the 13th-century church, noteworthy for its wooden shrine to the "Opening Virgin."

Getting There: By car, take the A35 south (around 55 minutes). Inquire at the Strasbourg or Colmar tourist office about guided tours by coach.

Travel Tip: For dramatic views over the town, climb Schlossberg Hill to the three Castles of Eguisheim, towers representing the only remnants of castles built between the 11th and 12th centuries.

07 of 08

Orschwiller and the Chateau du Haut-Koeningsbourg

Orschwiller village and vineyards in Alsace, France

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Address
Orschwiller, France

Dominated by the Chateau du Haut-Koeningsbourg, a stunningly restored early medieval castle and one of France's most popular tourist attractions, the humble town of Orschwiller is a charming stop in the area.

First, spend a half-day exploring the castle and its dramatic fortifications, surrounded by deciduous forests that are particularly stunning in the fall. Admire views of Orschwiller and the nearby Vosges mountains from the castle, perched high on a rocky outcrop.

Next, drive down to the valley below and take a walk through Orschwiller, with its attractive half-timbered houses, surrounding vineyards, and rustic Alsatian country vibe.

Getting There: Trains regularly depart from Strasbourg (around 40 minutes; change at Sélestat). By car, take the A35 south (about 40 minutes).

Travel Tip: If you're traveling by car, a scenic drive through the surrounding winemaking villages is an excellent way to explore the area around the Chateau.

08 of 08

Munster Valley

Munster village, Alsace, France


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Address
68140 Munster, France

Food lovers won't want to miss a day trip to the scenic Munster Valley, which is—you guessed it—most famous for producing the aromatic, orange-rinded cheeses of the same name.

Surrounded by forests and vineyards, the valley is a picturesque destination just west of Colmar, making it an easy extra stop on a day trip there from Strasbourg. It comprises several charming, typical Alsatian towns, from Munster itself to Wihr au Val, and countless opportunities for hiking, water sports, skiing, and other outdoor activities. Meanwhile, cheese and wine lovers will find an abundance of artisan shops, wine taverns, and opportunities for tastings in Munster and elsewhere.

Getting There: By train from Strasbourg, changing at Colmar (about 90 minutes). By car, take the A35 southwest (about 70 minutes).

Travel Tip: Visit La Maison du Fromage for a fun look at the history of cheesemaking in Alsace, then visit the boutique and restaurant.

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The 8 Best Day Trips From Strasbourg