Morning at the Notre Dame Cathedral Jumping off Point for day trips from Strasbourg
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10 Best Day Trips from Strasbourg, France for Slow Travelers

Looking for day trips from Strasbourg, France? Read on for the best trails, sites, and sips for the slow traveler.

Strasbourg is a charming city located at the very heart of Europe in eastern France. Every year, tourists from around the world come to indulge in its history, architecture, food, and culture. It also serves as an excellent base for exploring the surrounding area. So, whether you’re backpacking Europe (packing list here) or staying awhile, look no further looking for fun things to do in the area.

Table of Contents

  1. A Brief History of Strasbourg
  2. Ballons de Vosges Regional Nature Park
  3. Le Lac Blanc
  4. Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle
  5. Wine Route
  6. Mont Sainte Odile-Ottrott
  7. l’Île-du-Rohrschollen
  8. Titisee
  9. Le Donon
  10. Luxembourg City
  11. The Rhine via Véloroute
  12. Tours near Strasbourg

A Brief History of Strasbourg

Much of modern Strasbourg is a particular mix of cultures that reflects its complex history. In fact, it has changed nationalities so many times that locals identify with the region, Alsace, rather than France!

Strasbourg’s fascinating story began in the 5th century when it was captured by the Franks. Then, it remained under strict control until its citizens were granted freedom in 1262. Not shortly after, in 1681, Louis XIV of France seized the city for its strategic location.

After 200 years, it became home to the French national anthem, “La Marseillaise.” Germany then annexed it after the Franco-Prussian War in 1871. World Wars I and II saw intense battles over Strasbourg. As a result, Strasbourg changed from France to Germany, and finally back to France in 1944.

Today, the city is a symbol of reconciliation in Europe. It’s also home to the European Parliament and one of the capitals of the European Union.

10 Fantastic Day Trips from Strasbourg

If you are planning a trip to Strasbourg, why not consider exploring the nearby area? Below are the best day trips from Strasbourg along with tips for visiting each one.

1. Ballons de Vosges Regional Nature Park

Sunrise over Lac de Longemer

The Ballons des Vosges Regional Nature Park is one of the largest national parks in France. It boasts a rare combination of mountains and wetlands along with a rich array of flora and fauna. Actually, its rich biodiversity prompted UNESCO to classify the park as a World Biosphere Reserve.

The total area of the park covers over a half a million acres (2700 square kilometers), so it’s safe to say there are a lot of things to do here. If you’re looking for one of the best outdoor places to visit near Strasbourg, then the Ballons des Vosges Regional Nature Park is it! There’s even a museum pass or pass musée that grants admission at a reduced rate to 19 facilities located in the Vosges Mountains.

For city trips, you don’t want to miss Kaysersberg and Munster. For nature activities, stop by Lac des Corbeaux, Lac de Lispach, or Lac de Longemer. On a hot summer day, a dip in the Lac de Longemer provides relief from the heat. Finally, for the best panoramic views head up to Le Hohneck and Le Grand Ballon.

Getting there: The easiest way to reach the Ballons des Vosges Regional Nature Park from Strasbourg is by train, stopping in either Colmar or Mulhouse. From these two cities, there are trains and buses that go to various places throughout the park. Note: If you plan on doing several day trips from Strasbourg, then it’s best to rent a car.

2. Le Lac Blanc

Panoramic View of Le Lac Blanc

Le Lac Blanc or White Lake stands at an altitude of 3461 feet (1055 meters) deep in the Vosges mountains. It’s most stunning feature is its crystal clear blue water, which is a result of the white sand at the bottom of the lake.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Le Lac Blanc is the ideal destination. In winter, ski enthusiasts come to enjoy the endless number of zig-zagging slopes. In contrast, the summer months are popular with hikers. If you’re in the area, head over to Le Lac Noir or Black Lake, located downstream from Le Lac Blanc. Without reservation, the lakes’ contrasting colors are something to see!

Getting there: To reach Le Lac Blanc from Strasbourg you will first need to take the train to Colmar. From there you can take a bus called Navette des crêtes (mountain shuttle bus) that goes directly to Le Lac Blanc. For a detailed schedule, click here.

3. Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle

View from the castle

Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle is one of the most impressive sites in Alsace. Built during the Middle Ages, it was used to scout the routes in the region. But, the castle fell to Swedish forces during the Thirty Years War and burned to the ground. Since then, Haut-Koenigsbourg castle has undergone a magnificent restoration. Without a doubt, those looking to learn about the history of the region will find this an excellent day trip from Strasbourg. Purchase tickets online or onsite.

Getting there: Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle is 34 miles (55 kilometers) south of Strasbourg. Access it by car using these driving directions or public transportation. If you decide to use public transportation, first take the train from Strasbourg to Sélestat. Once in Sélestat, take the Haut-Koenigsbourg Shuttle directly to the castle.

4. Wine Route

Most colorful street in Colmar

No trip to Strasbourg is complete without a visit to Strasbourg to the Wine Route. Spend the day sampling some of the best wine in France while admiring colorful villages set against breathtaking landscapes.

This legendary wine route starts in Marlenheim and finishes in Thann. Although there are lots of things to do, the best stops include Colmar, Ribeauvillé, and Obernai. In fact, there are so many things to do in Colmar, it alone can be a day trip from Strasbourg.

Getting there: To visit the Alsace Wine Route from Strasbourg, it’s best to rent a car or bike. If you rent a bike, take the train from Strasbourg to Colmar or Obernai. From there you will find clearly labeled signs for the Wine Route.

5. Mont Sainte Odile-Ottrott

The Sanctuary at Mont Sainte Odile

For centuries Mont Sainte Odile was a monastery and convent dedicated to the patron saint of Alsace, Odile. Surrounded by castles that were once a first line of defense, it’s located high in the Vosges mountains. At the base of the church lies one of the most mysterious monuments in the region, the Pagan Wall. This ancient wall contains 300,000 stone blocks that stretch for 6.8 miles (11 kilometers). Today, the church remains active, while the rest of the site has been converted into a hotel.

The best way to visit Mont Sainte Odile is by hiking one of the many trails that lead to the top. The most popular trails start in Barr, Obernai, and Rosheim. At the top, enjoy the spectacular panoramic views of the region. On a clear day, you can even see Strasbourg’s Notre Dame Cathedral!

Getting there: If you prefer to use public transportation, there is a bus from Strasbourg to Mont Sainte Odile.

6. l’Île-du-Rohrschollen

Rohrschollen

Île-du-Rohrschollen is an island 6 miles (10 kilometers) south of Strasbourg. Flanked by the Rhine, you’ll find a unique ecosystem composed of forests, wetlands, and meadows. There are four trails of varying lengths that circle the island, which can be explored on foot or by bike. So, if you are looking for a relaxing day trip from Strasbourg, then l’Île-du-Rohrschollen is for you! 

Getting there: There is no public transportation that goes to the island. The closest bus stop is Eurofret via bus 27. From there, you’ll need to walk a leisurely 40 minutes on foot. The easiest way to explore the island is to rent a bike or a car.

7. Titisee

Titisee town with lake to the left
Titisee town with lake to the left

Across the Rhine lies one of Germany’s most well-known destinations, the Black Forest. Markedly, there are endless fascinating things to do in the area, making it one of the best day trips from Strasbourg. Regardless, Titisee should be on the top of your list.

To explain, the town lies on a marvelous lake (of the same name) that offers activities for every type of traveler. Views of the lake alone are worth a stop. In the winter, Titisee is popular with skiers and becomes home to the largest ski jump in Germany. The summer months welcome hikers, watersports enthusiasts, and families to the water park. Contrarily, there are several spa resorts around the lake if you just want to relax.

Getting there: Titisee is 2 hours from Strasbourg via public transportation. While there is no direct train, there are several trains that go to Freiburg. From Freiburg, you will find plenty of onward transportation. Alternatively, you may drive (2 hrs, 20 mins). A day or two in Freiburg would also be a nice treat.

8. Le Donon

Temple at the Summit of Le Donon

Le Donon sits at 3310 ft (1009 meters) in the northern Vosges mountains, making it the highest peak in the area. The significance of this summit dates to the Bronze Age. Artifacts show that Le Donon was once a temporary refuge. At the top, there is an archeological trail with signs explaining the history of the site.

Getting there: From Strasbourg, get to Le Donon by one of the many hiking trails, car, or public transportation. If you decide to go with the latter, take the train from Strasbourg to Schirmeck. From Schirmeck, there are several trails that lead to the top.

9. Luxembourg City

Panoramic view of Casemates du Bock and Neumunster Abbey in Luxembourg
Casemates du Bock and Neumunster Abbey

Like Strasbourg, Luxembourg City is one of the de facto capitals of the European Union. And, given its relatively small size, it’s easy to visit in a single day.

For a complete tour of the city, the Vauban Circular Walk is the best option. This 3-hour (2.7 mi/4.5 km) circuit passes by historic sites like the Three Towers, Fort Thüngen, and the Casemates du Bock. You will even have beautiful panoramic views of the Neümunster Abbey! Even though there are tours, you can do a self-guided tour for free. The circuit is well labeled, and there are signs explaining the significance of each monument.

Getting there: To get to Luxembourg City from Strasbourg, simply take a train from Strasbourg’s central station. The journey takes just 2.5 hours with direct trains running throughout the day. Tickets can be purchased online or at the station.

10. The Rhine via Véloroute

Beautiful Gardens in Jardin des Deux Rives

The Rhine Véloroute is a 820 mile (1320 kilometer) cycling path that runs along the entirety of the Rhine. From Strasbourg you can cycle either to l’Île-du-Rohrschollen or Kehl (Germany). If you plan on going to Kehl, Jardin des Deux Rives is a great place to stop for a picnic. There are also a yummy restaurant on the German side of the park.

Getting there: Follow one of two route maps from France Vélo Tourisme or EuroVelo). There are also several places where you can rent a bike in Strasbourg. The cheapest option is with VélHop.

Tours near Strasbourg

Spending a few days in and around Strasbourg? Check out these tours:

Conclusion

Strasbourg is not only a beautiful destination, but it’s also a perfect jumping-off point for the area. From world-class museums to nature activities, there is no shortage of things to do. Thus, if you are looking for the best day trips from Strasbourg, use this guide to organize your next adventure!

Have questions about any of the day trips? Drop them in the comments below.

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