Paris or Strasbourg – Which City Will You Visit?

Paris or Strasbourg

Paris or Strasbourg – Which city is for you?

Paris or Strasbourg – a choice between two French gems. Paris, the world-famous capital of France. Of the lesser-known Strasbourg, home of the European Union parliament.

Both cities have plenty to offer, it’s our job to showcase what each city is best for and help you decide which one you’d rather visit. This blog post will cover everything you’d want to know to choose between the two cities. From pros and cons, accommodation costs, safety, nightlife and best things to do!


Paris, it’s so much more than just a city; it’s a world in itself. Imagine this – you’re sitting in a sidewalk café, sipping your coffee as you watch the world stroll by. You can almost hear the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre Dame whispering stories of love, art, and history.

And trust me, the charm of Paris extends far beyond these famous landmarks. Each neighbourhood, or ‘arrondissement’ as locals call it, is like a mini-city with its own personality. You could be hunting for vintage treasures in the bustling flea markets of Saint-Ouen one moment, and enjoying a peaceful picnic in the quiet parks of Montmartre the next.

Foodies, prepare to fall in love because Paris takes its food very, very seriously. Think fresh baguettes from local ‘boulangeries’, pastries that are too pretty to eat, and restaurants that turn every meal into a feast for the senses.

And let’s not even get started on the art. With a legacy that stretches from Da Vinci to Dali, Paris is a playground for art enthusiasts. Whether it’s classical masterpieces or edgy contemporary works, this city has it all.


Strasbourg, a city that straddles the border of France and Germany, offers an interesting fusion of cultures that’s definitely worth exploring. Its historic centre, known as Grande Île, is a UNESCO world heritage site and is filled with beautiful cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses. But Strasbourg isn’t just about visiting the past. It’s a dynamic city brimming with a unique culture.

With plenty of museums, a great art scene and bustling local markets this is a city that caters to most travellers. Plus, the local cuisine is an interesting blend of French sophistication and hearty German food! If you’re looking for a somewhat different destination for your next holiday, Strasbourg should definitely be added to your list!

While we’re comparing Paris and Strasbourg in this post, we’ve also looked at how Paris stacks up against other cities like Lille and Nantes. We’ve linked to those articles below if you want to take a look!

Paris or Nantes

Paris or Lille

Pros and Cons of Paris and Strasbourg

Paris Pros:

  • 🏛 Rich Culture: From world-class museums like the Louvre to iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Paris is a culture lover’s paradise.
  • 🥖 Food Scene: The culinary delights are second to none, with an abundance of cafes, bakeries, and Michelin-starred restaurants.
  • 🛍 Shopping: Paris is a hub for high-end fashion and unique boutique stores.
  • ✈️ Accessibility: With two major international airports and an efficient public transport system, it’s easy to get around.

Paris Cons:

  • 👩‍💼 Crowded: Tourist hotspots can get quite busy, especially in peak season.
  • 💶 Cost: It can be pricey, particularly accommodation and dining.
  • 📣 Noise: As a bustling city, noise levels can be high, particularly in the city centre.

Strasbourg Pros:

  • 🇩🇪 Cultural Melting Pot: Strasbourg is a charming blend of French and German cultures, reflected in its architecture and food.
  • ⛪️ Historical Marvel: Home to UNESCO World Heritage sites like the stunning Strasbourg Cathedral.
  • 🧘 Pace of Life: Strasbourg offers a more relaxed atmosphere compared to the hustle and bustle of Paris.
  • 🤗 Intimate Experience: Less crowded with tourists, Strasbourg offers a more intimate French experience.

Strasbourg Cons:

  • 🍔 Limited Cuisine Diversity: Although the local cuisine is delicious, Strasbourg does not have the same wide-ranging international food scene as Paris.
  • ✈️ Fewer Flight Connections: There are fewer direct international flights to Strasbourg compared to Paris.
  • 🍺 Quieter Nightlife: Strasbourg’s nightlife scene is less vibrant compared to Paris, which might be less appealing to those seeking a lively night scene.

Which City Has Better Food? Paris or Strasbourg?

It’s difficult to say which city has better food because both cities have such different offerings.

Paris is like a global kitchen, offering a wide variety of dishes. You can find everything from classic French cuisine to innovative fusion food. The city is famous for its bistros serving French classics like duck confit and Moules Frites. But, if you fancy it, you can get almost any type of cuisine your heart desires.

Strasbourg, on the other hand, is perfect for those who love hearty and comforting dishes. Its cuisine is a unique blend of French and German traditions. From rich stews and delicious sausages to their local speciality, choucroute, you’re in for a treat. Plus, let’s not forget about the amazing foods on offer at its Christmas markets.

If you’re asking me to pick a winner between Paris and Strasbourg on food, I’d say it’s a draw. It all comes down to what kind of food you are up for!

Which City is Better For Couples? Paris or Strasbourg?

Paris, often known as the ‘City of Love’ is famous for being romantic. Evening walks along the Seine, dinners at candle-lit bistros and putting a padlock on the Pont des Arts bridge are all very romantic. The city’s iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre provide brilliant locations for proposals too!

On the other hand, Strasbourg has a more low-key charm that can be perfect for couples seeking a more relaxed ambience. The city’s historic quarter, ‘La Petite France’, has half-timbered houses and narrow lanes that give it a fairy-tale vibe. A boat ride on the canals or a visit to the beautiful Strasbourg Cathedral can be a memorable experience for couples.

So, if you’re into grand romantic gestures and world-famous landmarks, Paris might be your choice. But if you prefer a quieter, more relaxed setting for your romantic getaway, then Strasbourg could be just what you’re looking for.

Which City is Better For Families? Paris or Strasbourg?

When it comes to a family-friendly city, both Paris and Strasbourg have their unique charm.

Paris, with its array of activities for kids, is a wonderland for families. Kids are always amazed by the size of the Eiffel Tower and the views from the top! The city’s parks and perfect for exploring and having a family picnic. That’s without even mentioning Disneyland Paris, it’s every kid’s dream to go there!

Strasbourg may be smaller but it does have plenty to offer. The city’s historic centre is pedestrian-friendly, making it easy to explore with kids. A boat tour on the canal always keeps kids entertained. There’s also Europa Park, one of Europe’s most popular theme parks nearby.

Both cities are top-notch family destinations with lots to offer, so you really can’t go wrong. Choose Paris for a bustling, cosmopolitan family adventure or Strasbourg for a relaxed, culturally rich experience.

Which City is Better For Partying? Paris or Strasbourg?

If you like to get out and experience the nightlife when you’re away, Paris and Strasbourg both have a lot to offer, but with slightly different offerings,

Paris is known for its vibrant nightlife. With plenty of options, you can find something to suit your style any night of the week. From high-end clubs where you can dance till dawn, to cosy jazz clubs offering live performances, and cool underground venues playing a range of music genres, the city has it all.

But it’s not just about the clubs. Paris has loads of bars, from traditional wine bars to trendy rooftop bars with amazing city views, perfect for starting your night out. So, if you’re looking to let loose and experience a truly diverse nightlife, Paris could be your ideal destination.

Strasbourg, while more laid-back, also offers a diverse nightlife. The city is home to a large student population, contributing to a lively and youthful bar scene. There’s a decent array of clubs, from electronic music venues to more relaxed jazz clubs. However, what sets Strasbourg apart are the charming wine bars in the old town – perfect for those who prefer a more casual night out.

In summary, for a high-energy party experience, Paris leads the way. But for a more chilled night enjoying wine and company, Strasbourg could be your ideal spot.

Which City is Safer? Paris or Strasbourg?

When comparing safety in Paris and Strasbourg, both cities are generally safe for tourists.

Paris, being the bigger and more touristic city, might have more occurrences of petty crime like pickpocketing, especially in crowded tourist areas and on public transportation. But with a bit of caution, such as keeping an eye on your belongings and avoiding less crowded areas late at night, you should have a safe visit.

Strasbourg, on the other hand, is smaller and typically quieter, with a lower crime rate. But the same rules of safety apply here as well.

How long to stay in Paris

Paris is an expansive city, not just in terms of geographical size but also in its cultural, historical, and artistic breadth. It is often said that every street corner in Paris tells a story, every neighbourhood exudes a unique vibe, and every building holds a piece of history. This multitude of offerings can make the city feel vast and overwhelming to the first-time visitor.

If you’re hoping to fully experience the city’s iconic landmarks – from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre, from the Champs-Élysées to Montmartre – you will need a few days just to scratch the surface. Each of these sights isn’t merely a quick photo opportunity, but rather they each offer a deep dive into the city’s history, architecture, and way of life.

Furthermore, Paris is a city of neighbourhoods, each with its own distinct character. Exploring these diverse areas, such as the bohemian Latin Quarter, the bustling Marais, or the trendy Canal Saint-Martin, can easily fill several days.

And let’s not forget the world-class museums and galleries that dot the city. Art lovers could spend an entire week in Paris and still not see everything the city has to offer in this regard. The Louvre alone, the world’s largest art museum, can take a full day to explore – and that’s if you’re moving quickly.

Paris is also renowned for its culinary scene, and foodies will want to allow plenty of time to explore the city’s bistros, patisseries, markets, and wine bars.

Given all this, a trip of 3 to 5 days allows for a good overview of Paris, but to truly appreciate all that the City of Light has to offer, a stay of a week or longer allows you to explore at a more leisurely pace, delve deeper into the areas that interest you most, and even make a few day trips to the surrounding regions. Remember, Paris is a city that rewards those who take the time to wander its streets and absorb its charm.

How long to stay in Strasbourg

Choosing the ideal duration for a trip to Strasbourg can be a bit of a challenge, given the city’s blend of German and French culture, its rich history, and its captivating architecture. The length of your stay ultimately depends on your individual interests and the pace at which you wish to explore.

If your plan is to experience the city’s main attractions, wander through the charming La Petite France district, and taste the region’s mouth-watering dishes like ‘choucroute’ or ‘tarte flambée’, a stay of 2 to 3 days would be ample. This will provide enough time to marvel at the majestic Strasbourg Cathedral, get lost in the quaint, cobblestone streets, and savour the unique gastronomy that Strasbourg offers.

However, if you’re aiming to immerse yourself deeper into Strasbourg’s fascinating history and culture, consider extending your stay to 4 to 5 days. This will afford you the chance to explore the various museums and galleries, such as the Alsatian Museum or the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, visit the European Parliament, and take leisurely strolls along the scenic canals, all at a relaxed pace.

For those wanting to truly absorb the Alsatian lifestyle, spending a week in Strasbourg can be a fantastic option. This duration not only provides enough time to thoroughly explore the city’s nooks and crannies but also allows for relaxing café visits and day trips to nearby gems like the charming town of Colmar or the stunning Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle. A week in Strasbourg enables you to fully appreciate the unique blend of cultures and the relaxed pace of life in this beautiful city.

Which City is More Budget-Friendly? Paris or Strasbourg?

When it comes to budget, Strasbourg might be the more friendly option compared to Paris.

Paris is world-famous for being expensive! Drinks, food and accommodation can all get very expensive if you’re not careful! Especially if you’re staying in the city centre and visiting places aimed at tourists. Also due to its physical size, you’ll probably spend a lot more time and money on public transport. Obviously, you can walk, but make sure you take some comfy trainers you’ll be doing a lot of it!

Strasbourg can be a bit easier on the wallet. Accommodation and meals are generally less expensive, and you can explore a lot of the city’s charm and beauty simply by walking around, which is always free!

But no matter where you go, how much you spend can really depend on your personal travel style and budgeting skills. With a little planning and savvy, you can find ways to save money in both cities.

How much is food and drink in Paris and Strasbourg?

Paris Strasbourg
Beer €5 to €8 €5 to €7
Glass of wine €5 to €15 €3 to €10
Coffee €2 to €4 €1.50 to €3
Meal €25 to €50 €20 to €40

How much is it to stay in Paris or Strasbourg?

Paris Strasbourg
Luxury hotel €300 to €800 (or higher) per night €150 to €500 (or higher) per night
Midrange hotel €100 to €200 per night €70 to €150 per night
Budget hotel €50 to €100 per night €40 to €70 per night
Hostel €20 to €40 per night €20 to €40 per night

When is the best time to visit Paris?

Deciding when to visit Paris can make all the difference in your experience, from crowd sizes to weather conditions. Paris enjoys a temperate climate that allows for relatively comfortable conditions throughout the year, though each season offers its own charm.

From March to May, Paris experiences Spring – a season known for its blooming beauty and refreshing temperatures. As trees and flowers throughout the city burst into bloom, the City of Love turns into a picturesque wonderland. This is also a perfect time for open-air picnics in parks like the Champ de Mars or the Tuileries Garden.

June through August mark the summer season in Paris, offering long, sunny days and a lively atmosphere. This is the peak tourist season when you can enjoy alfresco dining, boat cruises on the Seine, and the famous Fête de la Musique, a city-wide celebration of music. Just be prepared for the crowds at major tourist sites!

Autumn graces Paris from September to November with mild weather and beautiful changing foliage in city parks. It’s also a fantastic time to experience the cultural life of Paris, with plenty of exhibitions, concerts, and theatre performances going on. The grape harvest in nearby wine regions, like Champagne and Burgundy, might be of interest to wine lovers!

December through February, winter in Paris is marked by chilly temperatures and festive cheer. Tourist crowds thin out significantly during this time, making it easier to explore the city’s landmarks. Don’t miss out on charming Christmas markets and the city’s grand holiday decorations. If you don’t mind the cold, winter in Paris can be quite magical.

Weather: Paris has a relatively mild climate. Summers can get warm, but not usually excessively hot, while winters are chilly but rarely below freezing. For the most comfortable weather, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of Spring and early Autumn.

When is the best time to visit Strasbourg?

Picking the ideal time to visit Strasbourg can be just as critical as choosing what to explore. The city experiences a semi-continental climate, which means it can be visited at any time of the year, but certain seasons bring their own charms.

Spring (March to May) in Strasbourg is a delightful period, with comfortable temperatures and the cityscape coming alive with blooming flowers. This is an excellent time to explore the picturesque streets of Petite France or take a leisurely boat ride along the Ill River.

Summers (June to August) in Strasbourg are warm, and ideal for outdoor exploration of the city’s rich historical sites and the stunning Parc de l’Orangerie. This season also coincides with several festivals such as the Strasbourg Summer Festival and the Longevity Music Festival, adding an extra layer of excitement for visitors.

Autumn (September to November) is a special time in Strasbourg, being a part of the Alsace wine region, it marks the period of grape harvest and wine-making. This season allows visitors to witness the wine-making process and taste some of the finest wines. The weather during this period remains pleasant, and the changing hues of the vine leaves create a stunning backdrop.

Winter (December to February) in Strasbourg is truly enchanting. The city is famed for hosting one of the oldest Christmas Markets in Europe, turning the city into a twinkling fairytale land. While it can be quite cold, the festive spirit and fewer tourists make it a unique time to visit.

Weather: The weather in Strasbourg is typically temperate, with mild summers and chilly winters. For the most comfortable weather, consider planning your visit during the shoulder season of April to June or September to October.

Average Monthly Temperatures

Month Paris High / Low (°C) Paris Rainy Days Strasbourg High / Low (°C) Strasbourg Rainy Days
January 8° / 3° 9 days 5° / -1° 7 days
February 9° / 3° 8 days 7° / -1° 7 days
March 13° / 5° 9 days 12° / 2° 8 days
April 17° / 8° 8 days 16° / 5° 8 days
May 20° / 11° 9 days 20° / 9° 10 days
June 24° / 14° 8 days 23° / 13° 10 days
July 26° / 16° 7 days 26° / 14° 9 days
August 25° / 16° 6 days 25° / 14° 9 days
September 22° / 13° 7 days 21° / 10° 7 days
October 17° / 10° 8 days 15° / 7° 8 days
November 11° / 6° 9 days 9° / 3° 8 days
December 8° / 4° 9 days 5° / 0° 8 days

Please note that these are average temperatures, and actual weather conditions can vary. The number of rainy days is also provided for each month.

Getting around Paris:

Paris boasts an extensive public transportation network that includes the Métro (subway), buses, trams, and a bike-sharing service called Vélib’. The Métro is particularly convenient as it connects all major tourist attractions and extends well into the suburbs. It’s fast, efficient, and a great way to avoid the city’s notorious traffic congestion.

The buses and trams are also reliable options to get around Paris, offering the added benefit of sightseeing as you travel. The tickets you purchase are valid across buses, trams, and the Métro for a certain period of time, typically an hour and a half. This means you could take a bus and a metro ride on a single ticket as long as your journey falls within the valid period.

For those looking to add a bit of exercise to their exploration, the Vélib’ bike-sharing scheme is a fun option. Paris is becoming increasingly bike-friendly, with many dedicated cycle lanes across the city.

Walking is also a fantastic way to explore Paris. Many of the city’s iconic landmarks are conveniently close together, and strolling along the Seine River or through charming neighbourhoods like Montmartre and Le Marais is a pleasure in itself.

Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber are also widely available throughout Paris. However, in high-traffic areas and pedestrian-only zones, they might not be the most efficient choice. Do keep in mind that Parisian traffic can be heavy, particularly during rush hour.

Getting around Strasbourg:

Strasbourg boasts an efficient public transportation system, primarily made up of trams and buses, operated by the Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois (CTS). The city’s tram network is one of the most extensive in France, connecting various parts of the city and making it easy to move around.

The ‘Strasbourg à Vélo’ bike-sharing scheme is an excellent option for those preferring a more active way to explore the city. The city is bicycle-friendly with numerous dedicated bike lanes and routes, making it a delight to navigate on two wheels.

Walking is another wonderful way to experience Strasbourg, especially within the Grande Île, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and contains many of the city’s historic attractions.

Taxis and ride-hailing services like Uber are also readily available, but fares may be higher during peak tourist seasons or during rush hours. Be sure to check rates before your journey.”

Top things to do in Paris

  1. Eiffel Tower: No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to this iconic landmark. For an unforgettable experience, take the elevator up to the viewing deck for panoramic views of the city, or enjoy a picnic in the park below.
  2. Louvre Museum: Home to the Mona Lisa and countless other art treasures, the Louvre is one of the world’s most famous museums. Be sure to explore its grand architecture, including the striking glass pyramid at the entrance.
  3. Montmartre: This historic and artistic neighbourhood is a must-visit. Climb the steps to the stunning Sacré-Cœur Basilica for a fantastic view of Paris, and wander the cobblestone streets to discover charming cafés, boutiques, and the bustling Place du Tertre, where artists sell their work.
  4. Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe: Stroll down the world’s most famous avenue, lined with shops, theatres, and cafés. At the end, you’ll find the Arc de Triomphe, another iconic Parisian monument, offering beautiful city views from its top.
  5. Notre Dame Cathedral: Although currently under reconstruction after the fire in 2019, Notre Dame’s grandeur can still be admired from the outside. It’s also a great starting point for a leisurely walk along the banks of the Seine River, which are lined with bookstalls, artists, and charming views.

Top things to do in Strasbourg

  1. Strasbourg Cathedral: The Strasbourg Cathedral, also known as Notre Dame Cathedral, is a stunning masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Its astronomical clock is an engineering marvel that shouldn’t be missed. Climb to the top for panoramic views of Strasbourg and the surrounding region.
  2. Petite France: This is the city’s most picturesque district, filled with half-timbered houses, quaint canals, and narrow streets. Petite France is a UNESCO World Heritage site and truly is the essence of Strasbourg’s charm.
  3. European Parliament: Strasbourg is home to the European Parliament, one of the main institutions of the European Union. When in session, you can take a guided tour of the Hemicycle – the parliamentary assembly room.
  4. Boat Tour: A boat tour on the Ill River is a perfect way to appreciate the city’s mix of French and German architecture, as well as the beautiful nature that surrounds it.
  5. Parc de l’Orangerie: A visit to this lovely park makes for a relaxing break from sightseeing. Here, you can find a small zoo, a boating lake, and beautifully landscaped gardens.

How to spend three days in Paris

Day 1: The Heart of Paris

Begin your Paris adventure in the heart of the city. Start your morning with a visit to the iconic Eiffel Tower. Take the elevator up for an amazing view of the city, or simply admire it from the ground. From there, make your way to the Musée d’Orsay, which boasts an extensive collection of Impressionist masterpieces. After lunch, head to the Notre Dame Cathedral. Even though it’s currently under reconstruction, its facade is still worth seeing. Walk along the banks of the Seine River to the famous Louvre Museum, and spend the rest of your afternoon exploring its vast collections. Finish your day with a delicious dinner in the Latin Quarter, a vibrant area known for its bustling bistros and cafés.

Day 2: Arts and Bohemian Flair

Start your second day in Montmartre, the historic arts district known for its bohemian past. Visit the Sacré-Cœur Basilica and enjoy a panoramic view of Paris from its steps. Explore the area’s charming streets, and check out the Place du Tertre, where local artists sell their work. For lunch, grab a crepe from one of the street vendors. In the afternoon, head to the Centre Pompidou, a modern art museum with a unique architectural design. End your day in the Marais district, where you can enjoy dinner and explore the area’s diverse boutiques and galleries.

Day 3: Chic and Glamour

Begin your final day on the famous Champs-Élysées. Start at the Place de la Concorde and make your way up the avenue, window shopping and enjoy a coffee at a streetside café. At the end, you’ll find the impressive Arc de Triomphe. Afterwards, take a metro to the stylish Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, where you can enjoy a relaxed lunch and explore its chic boutiques. Spend your afternoon at the Musée Rodin to admire the sculptor’s masterpieces, including The Thinker. As the sun begins to set, take a scenic cruise on the Seine River, a perfect and romantic end to your three days in Paris. Enjoy your final dinner at one of the cosy bistros along the river.

How to spend three days in Strasbourg

Day 1: Exploring Strasbourg’s Historic Core

Begin your first day in Strasbourg by visiting the impressive Strasbourg Cathedral. Climb up the tower for a stunning panorama of the city. Once you’ve marvelled at the cathedral’s Gothic splendour, take a leisurely stroll through the charming district of Petite France, with its beautiful half-timbered houses and picturesque canals.

For lunch, savour a local delicacy like Tarte Flambée at one of the traditional Alsatian winstubs (wine lounges) in the area. Spend your afternoon exploring the museums around the city centre such as the Alsatian Museum or the Fine Arts Museum.

As the day draws to a close, enjoy a river cruise on the Ill for a unique perspective on Strasbourg’s beautiful architecture.

Day 2: A Day at the European Institutions

Start your second day with a visit to the European Parliament. Take a guided tour of the Hemicycle and learn about the workings of the EU. From there, head to the nearby European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe, which are also part of the European Quarter.

In the afternoon, relax in the Parc de l’Orangerie. Take a peaceful boat ride on the lake, visit the small zoo, or just enjoy a leisurely stroll in the gardens.

Day 3: Exploring the Surrounding Region

On your final day, embark on a day trip to one of the nearby attractions. The Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle, about an hour’s drive from Strasbourg, offers stunning views of the Alsace region. Alternatively, the city of Colmar, with its charming old town and the famous Unterlinden Museum, is also worth a visit.

Back in Strasbourg, conclude your visit with a farewell dinner at one of the city’s excellent restaurants, perhaps trying another Alsatian speciality, such as Coq au Riesling or Choucroute Garnie.


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