City Breaks


Plunge into the historic Alsace region when you visit Strasbourg, its unique and fascinating capital

Discover Europe's extraordinary capital

No matter how well you know France, you'll find that holidays in Strasbourg offer something entirely new. The city often referred to as the 'capital of Europe' has had a long and sometimes turbulent past, surviving as a free city state before being passed back and forth between France and Germany four times in just 75 years. This eventful history has resulted in one of the most cosmopolitan and diverse cities on the continent - no wonder it's also the home of the European Parliament.

Although Strasbourg is well known for its architectural and cultural appeal, it's also a fantastic place to visit as a family. Nestled in the centre of the mountainous region of Alsace, there are no end of outdoor pursuits to enjoy, with a wealth of museums, shopping opportunities and authentic local food waiting to welcome you back inside. If you've always wanted to visit Strasbourg, now's the time to explore this amazing city and its surroundings - located just half a day's drive from Eurotunnel Le Shuttle in Calais.

Main attractions

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg

River view of a cathedral in autumn

Built in the local red sandstone, which is marked with the scratched signatures of thousands of previous travellers, Notre Dame de Strasbourg has welcomed visitors to the city for nearly seven hundred years. When you visit Strasbourg, try to go to the cathedral on a sunny evening - you’ll find the western window beautifully lit up.

Old Town

Gently defended by the diverging River Ill, Strasbourg’s well-preserved historic district embraces half a millennium of architectural styles. It’s perfect for a quiet walk to break up the many outdoor activities on offer in the countryside around the city.

Christmas festival

Tall Christmas tree lit up in city square

One of Strasbourg's many nicknames is 'The Capital of Christmas', and a visit to its huge festive market will show why. With every conceivable seasonal treat on offer and lights illuminating the medieval streets, the city is transformed into an unforgettable festive getaway.


For centuries synonymous with the region, storks are making a comeback in Alsace after almost dying out in the 1970s. Keep an eye on those chimney pots and you may spot one of these elegant birds.

Out and about

Cycle around Strasbourg

Two cyclists riding along a canal

Setting an example to the politicians who travel there from all over Europe, Strasbourg boasts one of the continent's most extensive networks of cycle paths. Almost 500km of safe, picturesque routes criss-cross the city, and with many roads closed to cars it's often quickest to cycle. If you don't fancy taking your bikes on holiday then the not-for-profit Vélhop programme offers cheap hires, with child seats available. Dedicated bike fans may wish to plan their trip around September's annual Fête du Vélo or Bicycle Festival.

Many French cities now offer travel by tram, but the pioneering Strasbourg network was one of the first to embrace this exciting, modern and eco-friendly mode of transport some twenty years ago.  A single ticket costs just €2, with various offers available for families or longer stays, and since many of the routes weave through Strasbourg's picturesque old town it's a cheap and easy way to tour the city!

Explore Alsace

A village and vineyard sit on rolling green hills

The countryside around Strasbourg is perfect for adventurous holidaymakers or those with children. Hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and kayaking on the region’s beautiful rivers are all available close to the city, and the long, relatively warm summer season is ideal for slipping some activity into your holiday to Strasbourg. The heavily wooded Parc Natural Régional des Vosges du Nord is an excellent place to start; with many activities including horse riding and nature walks. You might even spot an elusive lynx.

Dig a bit deeper into this region with our guide to discovering its hidden gems. Or if you’re more of a foodie, Alsace is also a much-loved food region of France, so there’s no excuse not to delve into the best of Alsatian cuisine.

Getting there

Make sure your holiday in Strasbourg gets off to a perfect start by choosing Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. From the Calais terminal, it takes between five and six hours to get to Strasbourg depending on your route - you can hurry along the autoroutes to maximise your time in Alsace, or take in the sights along the way. 

The quickest route takes you through Reims, historic coronation city of the kings of France, and the amazing eco-friendly Metz with its beautiful parks. A slight detour south will take you through beautiful Nancy, former capital of Lorraine - look out for the golden gate crowning the fountain in Place Stanislas. 

Or, if you want to get into the multicultural spirit before you arrive, leave Calais to the east to travel down the length of Belgium, through Luxembourg and across a corner of Germany before returning to France and your destination.

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Inspired to visit Strasbourg on your next road trip in France?

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