Alsace without a car – 20 ideas for visits and activities

by | Updated on 7/11/2023 | Cities and villages, Museum and monuments, Must read, safari parks, Theme parks, Wine route, With kids | 0 comments

Visit Alsace without a car, it’s possible! We don’t always realize it, but many visits and activities are accessible by public transport. Here are a few ideas, all tested and approved… although this list is not exhaustive, of course.

If you take the train in Alsace, you should know that there are several tickets at low prices. For more information, please visit the Getting around Alsace page.

If you are looking for an idea of a weekend program in Alsace without a car, check out my ideal itinerary for a first weekend of discovery in Alsace.


Explore the cities of Alsace

The good news is that it is easy to get to the main towns in Alsace by train, and even to some villages. Here is a small list of my favorites:

  • Strasbourg, European capital and a great city to visit!
  • Colmar, the small Alsatian postcard full of charm
  • Mulhouse, an old industrial city full of life with beautiful museums.
  • SĂ©lestat, rather unknown but nevertheless very pretty, which has in particular an astonishing Humanist Library.
  • Obernai, a small town on the Wine Route that really deserves a visit
  • Rosheim, a pretty village located on both the Wine Route and the Romanesque Route
  • Barr, a charming village on the Wine Route where it is good to stroll
  • Scherwiller, a village full of charm on the Wine Route, with many wash houses
  • Turckheim, another beautiful village on the Wine Route
  • Haguenau, a pleasant and lively little town
  • Wissembourg, a city located in the north of Alsace and full of charm even though it is not the most famous corner of the region
  • Saverne, a charming city away from the tourist routes, where you can admire the magnificent Château des Rohan.

half-timbered house-wissembourg

Discover the Alsatian vineyards by train or bus

The train line from Strasbourg to SĂ©lestat via Molsheim holds a little secret: between Molsheim and SĂ©lestat, the train takes a much gentler pace and passes through the Alsatian vineyards!

Several small towns can be visited along the way: Obernai, a must-see tourist stop on the Wine Route, but also Barr, Epfig, Dambach-la-Ville or Scherwiller.

The trains that run there have a low floor, which is convenient for taking your bike (and it’s free!). This allows you to make a part of the journey by bike, by taking the
vineyard cycle route
between Obernai and Barr for example. Consult here the train schedules.


Another option, the Kutzig bus allows you to discover some of the villages of the Alsace Wine Route located near Colmar. The bus works on the principle of Hop On Hop Off: you buy your ticket for the day and it’s off for a day of visits. More information about the Kutzig bus here.


Take a step up to the Haut Koenigsbourg Castle

Castle of Haut-Koenigsbourg
is one of the most visited sites in Alsace: it must be said that it is impressive, both inside and outside since it dominates Alsace and offers a magnificent panoramic view of the surroundings.

The castle is accessible by the Navette du Haut-Koenigsbourg (line 500), which leaves from the SĂ©lestat train station and takes about 30 minutes. Attention, it does not circulate every day. More info here.


Meet the animals at the Monkey Mountain and the Eagles’ Volerie

The Monkey Mountain and the Eagles’ Flight House are also a must for those who visit Alsace with their family. These two parks are located really close to each other (and also close to the Haut-Koenigsbourg castle) and are really nice to visit.

To reach them, you must also take the Navette du Haut Koenigsbourg (line 500), which leaves from SĂ©lestat station and takes about 15/20 minutes. Attention, it does not circulate every day. More info here.


Fill up on Alsatian culture at the Ecomuseum of Alsace

L’Ecomuseum of Alsace is undoubtedly one of my favorite museums in Alsace: you can discover beautiful Alsatian houses as well as old trades and many animations are proposed all year long. You can easily go several times because there are so many things!

To reach it, you have to take the Navette Soléa which leaves from Mulhouse station and takes about 30 minutes. Be careful, it does not circulate every day! More info here.


Family fun at the Little Prince Park

Right next to the Alsace Ecomuseum is the The Little Prince Parka leisure park. It is possible to connect the two on foot by a 900m path. It’s a great way to spend a day with your family!

To reach it, you have to take the Navette Soléa which leaves from Mulhouse station and takes about 30 minutes. Be careful, it does not circulate every day! More info here.


Cycling on the Alsace Wine Route

The Alsace Wine Route has its own bicycle route: the
Vineyard cycle route
allows you to enjoy the magnificent landscapes and villages of the Wine Route while pedaling, which is much more charming than riding by car!

There are several options to start: the train stations of Molsheim, Barr, Dambach-la-Ville, Obernai, Colmar or even SĂ©lestat (from where it is easy to join the vineyard bicycle route). It is possible, for example, to go by train to one of these stations, ride your bike and then get on a train at the next station for the return trip. Consult the train schedules here.

Good news, it is possible to transport your bike for free in the trains in Alsace (except TGV), except in some trains during rush hours. More info here.


Discover the world of brewing at Villa Meteor

Villa Meteor
is a museum located next to the famous Alsatian brewery of the same name. We discover the history of this family brewery but also the process of making beer, without forgetting at the end to taste the different beers of the brand!

It is easy to reach Villa Météor on foot (about 5 minutes) from the train station of Hochfelden, easily accessible from Strasbourg. Consult the train schedule here.


Relaxing at the Spa Chez Julien

What if you went to spend a day at
spa Chez Julien
? One of the most beautiful spas in the region awaits you for a day of relaxation in the heart of the Bruche Valley.

Chez Julien is accessible by train from Strasbourg: just stop at the Fouday station and walk 10 minutes. Consult the train schedule here.


Have fun at Europa Park

We don’t need to introduce you anymore
Europa Park
Europa Park, the famous amusement park several times elected best amusement park in the world! Good news, it is located in Germany but very easy to reach from Alsace: it is just across the border!

To get to Europa Park, the easiest way is to go by train to Strasbourg or SĂ©lestat and then take the Fluo Grand Est shuttle to the park. More info here.


Hiking around the Mont Sainte Odile

Mount Sainte-Odile
(753m) is a high spiritual place in Alsace: it shelters an abbey and a convent still in activity today. The place has been a place of worship since Celtic times, and is surrounded by a wall called the “pagan wall”, which is said to be more than 3000 years old.

A path from the train station in Barr leads to the city center, where the marked route starts. The climb is done in 2h15 with a good rhythm. On the way, the Kiosk Jadelot is a nice place to have a picnic, with a great view! The route also passes by the Landsberg castle and the pagan wall. More information here.


Visit the Lalique Museum

Lalique Museum
located in Wingen-sur-Moder, traces the history of the famous crystal factory and presents the world and creations of René Lalique and his successors. This is a beautiful museum!

It is possible to reach the museum from the train station of Wingen-sur-Moder, located 2km away. Count 20 minutes of walk or take a cab (by reserving it in advance imperatively, you will not find any directly on the spot). Consult here the train schedules.


Hiking in the Vosges

Train lines serve the Alsatian valleys of the Bruche, Munster and Thann. This is excellent news for hiking enthusiasts, as these lines sometimes provide access to the starting points of very beautiful hikes in the Vosges! You have to look at each case individually but, to help you find your way, here is the map of the TER Grand Est network. In summer, don’t hesitate to take the Navette des CrĂŞtes, a shuttle service that takes you to the Route des CrĂŞtes by bus: it’s just too convenient!


Bathing at the Kruth-Wildenstein lake

Looking for nature and freshness? What if you went to
Swimming at the Kruth Lake
in the Valley of Thann? In addition to swimming, you can rent canoes or pedal boats and even go tree climbing!

A train serves the station of Kruth from Mulhouse. Then, a bus serves the lake in 15 minutes. If you have a bike, you can also pedal to the lake from the train station (about 20 minutes, it’s 4km). Calculate your route on Fluo.

kruth lake

Stroll in the Parc de Wesserling

Not far from Kruth is the
Park of Wesserling
and its textile museum. A very pleasant visit to make with the family: the gardens of the park are beautiful and the museum interesting!

A train serves the station of Husseren-Wesserling from Mulhouse. Then you have to walk for about 10 minutes. Check the schedule here.


Hiking around the castles of Saverne

This hike takes place in Saverne and it is possible to discover up to 5 castles depending on your motivation! The city is crossed by the Canal de la Marne au Rhin. A marked path starts at lock no. 30/31, which allows you to reach the castle on foot in 45 to 60 minutes. castle of Haut-BarrIt takes 45 to 60 minutes to reach the castle.

These ruins overlook Saverne and offer a view of the whole of Alsace, as far as Strasbourg cathedral and the Black Forest on a clear day. A very popular walk for the locals, who usually go up to the Haut-Barr for the Sunday outing.

By extending the 45-minute walk to the Brotsch Tower through a beautiful forest, the visitor will be able to discover the Petit and Grand Geroldseck. More information on the different possible walks here.


To enjoy Gertwiller, capital of gingerbread

Gertwiller is a small village on the Alsace Wine Route, which is also the capital of Alsatian gingerbread! Today, you can visit two manufacturers: Maison Lips and Palais du Pain d’Ă©pices (Fortwenger brand). A fun activity to discover the secrets of delicious gingerbread and do some gourmet shopping!

Both museums are easily accessible in 5/10 minutes on foot from the Gertwiller train station. Consult the schedule here.


Understanding history at the Alsace-Moselle Memorial

memorial of Alsace-Moselle
is a museum retracing the history of Alsace and Moselle from 1870 to the post-war period, with a particular focus on the period of the Second World War (1939-1945). An extremely interesting place to discover the history of the region.

It is easy to get there from Strasbourg by taking the train to the Schirmeck station, which is a 10-minute walk from the memorial.


Discover the making of beer at the Brasserie de Saint-Louis

We are lucky in Alsace to have many craft breweries, some of which you can visit. This is the case of the Brasserie de Saint-Louis, in the south of Alsace, which regularly opens its doors to visitors.

It is easy to get there by taking the train from Mulhouse to the Saint-Louis station and then walking 10 minutes.


Bathing in the Rhine in Basel

In Basel, Switzerland, the Rhine flows through the city and is specially designed for swimming for 3 km. From June to August, the people of Basel are used to letting themselves be carried by the current of the Rhine. You need a waterproof bag called Wickelfisch, which is sold for 25 to 30 CHF at kiosks in the city. It allows you to put your things dry, while serving as a buoy, because the current can be strong.

With the
Alsa+ Alsace or Haut-Rhin ticket
it is possible to take the TER to the SBB/CFF station in Basel (direct train from Strasbourg, in 1h15). Then simply walk towards the WettsteinbrĂĽcke, a bridge over the Rhine.

On the opposite bank, you should spot the huge Roche Tower and its 178m of stacked pizza boxes: it is after this tower that a beach allows you to go into the river. I advise to leave 300m after passing the bridge with the 6 arches. There are refreshment stands where you can have a drink! More info here.




Laurène est la créatrice du blog Mon week-end en Alsace. Bretonne installée en Alsace depuis 2014, elle est tombée amoureuse de sa région d'adoption au point de lui dédier un blog et d'acheter avec son mari une maison alsacienne dans un village du Kochersberg, près de Strasbourg. A pied, à vélo, sur ses chevaux ou au volant de sa voiture, elle aime partir explorer les moindres recoins de l'Alsace pour dénicher de bonnes adresses à partager sur le blog.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



Want to stay in touch ?

We send once a month a newsletter with our discoveries in the region. The newsletter is available only IN FRENCH though, but feel free to register 🙂