A romantic and inexpensive way to see the sights is to explore Strasbourg by bike, with the advantage that you can go at your own pace; pick up tips and suggested routes at the tourism office opposite the Cathedral. Strasbourg is a bike-friendly city, easygoing and mostly flat. You can find the Vélhop bike-rental stations across town. Just find your nearest station, enter your code, and you’re on your way.
Office de Tourisme, 17 Place de la Cathédrale, 67000 Strasbourg, France, +33 3 88 52 28 28
The Parc de l’Orangerie, located in the European quarter, opposite the European Parliament, is Strasbourg’s oldest public park and one of its most beautiful. Just pick up picnic supplies in the many charcuteries, bakeries, patisseries and wine merchants in town, and head to the 26 hectares of l’Orangerie on the tram or on your rental bike. The park also has a small farm and zoo, and a very romantic waterfall and folly. Storks were successfully reintroduced to their natural environment here so, if you’re lucky, your picnic may include some big-bird watching.
The art of flânerie with your beloved consists of strolling aimlessly, getting lost in the moment and each other. The area of Petite France couldn’t be more perfect for this particular form of entertainment, with its charming streets, half-timbered homes and waterside promenades.
A group of proud Strasbourg natives who love their city offer free ‘happy’ tours of the old town every day, except in the colder months when they only operate on weekends. Meet your guide at the cathedral for an English-speaking Happy Tour of Strasbourg. No reservation required.
Cathédrale Notre-Dame of Strasbourg,67000 Strasbourg, France, +03 88 21 43 34
Every year, Strasbourg invites lovers to go off the beaten track for 10 days around Valentine’s Day. The city sets out a special program of Strasbourg Mon Amour events with great deals for restaurants, art installations and concerts, all planned for romance and spending quality time together.
A table at a traditional restaurant can set you back more than you intended to spend, but luckily, one of the most popular and delicious local specialities is affordable. The flammekueche or tarte flambée, a close cousin to the pizza, is an ideal dish to share. A thin pastry slathered with crème fraîche, onions and bacon bits, it can be enjoyed as a snack on the go or as part of a sit-down meal accompanied by a local beer.
Designed by French engineer Sébastian Le Prestre de Vauban in the 17th century, the Barrage Vauban is a dam on the main river aimed to defend Strasbourg from enemy invasion. It currently houses contemporary art exhibits and you can climb up to the rooftop deck for the best views of Petite France and the covered bridges.
A visit to the cathedral is a must on any trip to Strasbourg, and, for just €2, you can take the tour of the astronomical clock. At 12:30pm, the elaborate and ingenious mechanism triggers a procession of automated figures. It’s charming and magical, and a reminder to seize the day and make the most of life. You can climb the tower for €5 to enjoy a spectacular 360-degree view of the city.
If you’re staying in Strasbourg for a few days, then the 3-day pass can save you a little money. At €21,50 per person, it includes a free admission to a museum, boat tour, ascent to the cathedral tower and the astronomical clock. If you consider that just the boat tour is €13, the cathedral tower €5 and the clock is €2, it is a great way to enjoy numerous fun and interesting activities together without spending a fortune.
This is a beautiful area of Strasbourg at any time of day and in any season, but it particularly comes into its own at dusk, when the lights glimmering on the water give the scene an extra allure. It’s a perfect promenade to linger hand-in-hand for hours.
Strasbourg really comes to life around Christmas-time so, if you happen to visit in December, you are in for a real treat. There are market vendors offering tastings, local and regional specialities and arts and crafts. The offers of delicious street food abound with crêpes, Bredele cookies (a traditional Christmas biscuit from Alsace), vin chaud (mulled wine), and the decorations, aromas and sounds of the festive season make for an enchanting time en amoreux.
L’Aubette is a historical building on Place Kléber that has been converted into a cultural centre and offers free admission. Built by Theo Van Doesburg, Hans Jean Arp and Sophie Taeuber-Arp in 1928, it was way ahead of its time and even included cinema-dancing, a party hall and a foyer-bar. Considered too avant-garde for the era, most of the decorations were modified in the 1930s. It has now been restored and protected as a historic monument, offering dance, performances, and multimedia works.