Strasbourg Museums – Which one to visit?

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Strasbourg boasts some fifteen major museums. A good idea for an activity to do, and not just when it's raining... Not sure what to visit first on a weekend in Strasbourg? Here's our review of Strasbourg's museums. Make your choice according to your interests or whether you're traveling with or without children.

CĂ©line
CĂ©line
CĂ©line, a native Alsatian, is a gourmet with a passion for patisserie. She runs the blog L'Heure du Cream, where she shares her recipes and ideas for outings across the Rhine on Knack&Rucksack, her local tourism website for trips near and far.

Strasbourg Museums Map

1. 5th place

fifth-place

Two in one! Le 5e lieu is both a boutique promoting the city’s cultural offerings and an exhibition gallery upstairs. A rewarding and instructive tour of Strasbourg’s past and present.

Supported by models, showcases, photos and animated films, thepermanent exhibition “A Journey to Strasbourg” traces the city’s construction and development, and lets you see its architectural heritage evolve through the centuries. A very large digital map shows how the city has expanded over the ages.

I warmly recommend this museum, which is a good introduction to Strasbourg, with a beautiful view of Cathedral Square and the Kammerzell House, whose details you can observe at the terminal. Le 5ème also offers an attractive program of temporary exhibitions, workshops and themed tours throughout the year.

  • A perfect start to your visit to Strasbourg
  • Programming and workshops
  • Digital plan, videos
  • With the Tourist Office, the other place to find all the useful information on the best cultural outings, as well as cutting-edge local magazines.
  • Nothing!

2. Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

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To fully appreciate the architecture of the MusĂ©e d’art moderne te contemporain, simply climb the Ponts Couverts. Its exterior walls are covered with a gigantic 1000m2 street art fresco (created in 2008 for the museum’s 20th anniversary by the Faile collective), its imposing glass nave and its bronze horse perched on the roof.

The works are spread over two floors. From Impressionism to Surrealism to New Realism, the permanent collection includes almost 18,000 works. Paintings, sculptures, engravings, drawings, photos and installations from 1870 to the present day. All the major artistic movements are represented, and all the great names in contemporary painting are present, from Monet and Picasso to Kandinsky, Arp, Beckmann and Baselitz.

The first floor houses the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. You’ll also find areas dedicated to the work of Gustave DorĂ© (including a monumental work measuring 9×6 m), the reconstruction of Kandinsky’s Salon de Musique and temporary exhibitions. The 1st floor houses temporary exhibitions and a cafĂ©. MAMCS offers 3 to 4 major temporary exhibitions a year.

  • The quality and eclecticism of the temporary exhibitions and their museography
  • The singular architecture of the place, the light-filled entrance hall with its glass roof, the street-art fresco
  • The panoramic terrace of Art CafĂ© (which also serves brunch) overlooking Petite France and the banks of Ill
  • Included in the Alsace Pass
  • Free on the first Sunday of the month
  • Nothing!

3. Alsatian Museum

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Creaky wooden floors, a building in its original state, a rustic atmosphere, kelsch fabric and bottle-bottom windows, the Musée alsacien is a successful plunge into the everyday life of Alsatian families. Established in 1907, it is housed in three beautifully preserved 17th-century half-timbered buildings.

The museum retraces life in rural Alsace in the 18th and 19th centuries, with a wealth of objects and 26 rooms covering a wide range of themes: housing, work, costumes, customs, crafts, religion and stages of life. The kitchen, bedrooms, stub (living room) and craftsmen’s workshops (pharmacy-herbalist) are faithfully recreated.

More than 50,000 items from the 18th to the 21st century are on display (clothing, toys, ceramics, kitchen utensils, religious objects, jewelry…), grouped by theme. Alsatian folklore will hold no secrets for you!

  • A successful immersion into Alsatian daily life
  • An atypical place
  • The authenticity of the premises, a building full of character with a superb inner courtyard and wooden galleries
  • Located in the heart of Strasbourg, a stone’s throw from the Historical Museum and the Cathedral.
  • Included in the Alsace Pass
  • Free on the first Sunday of the month
  • The museography could do with a facelift

4. Historical Museum of the City of Strasbourg

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The MusĂ©e Historique de Strasbourg is housed in a symbolic building, the Grandes Boucheries de Strasbourg, which operated from 1587 to 1899. Spanning five floors, it is entirely devoted to the history of the city from the Middle Ages to the present day and is a favourite of several of this blog’s authors!

The Museum is organized chronologically around 3 major chapters of history: the free city of the Holy Roman Empire (1262-1681), the revolutionary city (1681-1800) and the European capital (19th and 20th centuries). Whether works of art, everyday objects or military artefacts, the museum offers a thematic and often interactive tour. Don’t miss Strasbourg’s 72 m2 relief plan, a reconstruction of the city created in 1727 as part of the city’s strategic defense strategy.

I recommend thefree audio-guide for true immersion and to make sure you don’t miss out on any essential information. And to keep things chronological, start your visit at the nearby Archaeological Museum.

  • A fun, informative museum, with clear explanations and well-displayed collections.
  • A focus on interactivity
  • Anecdotes and revelations about important events in Strasbourg’s history: Place de l’Homme de Fer, Prussian shells, the Zurich millet pot (Hirsebreifahrt), the birth of the Marseillaise…
  • Ladevèze relief map
  • Central location close to other museums
  • Included in the Alsace Pass
  • Free on the first Sunday of the month
  • Nothing
EBOOK-strasbourg-EN

5. Museum of Decorative Arts

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Housed in the former residence of the prince-bishops, the Palais Rohan is divided into the King’s apartments and a collection of decorative arts (furniture, painting, sculpture, ceramics, silverware, etc.) from the 17th to the 19th centuries.

On the ground floor of the Palais, the MusĂ©e des Arts DĂ©coratifs houses an important collection of earthenware – mainly tableware – by the Hannong dynasty, whose factory gave way to the hotel of the same name (one of our favorite Strasbourg hotels, by the way).

Before entering the decorative arts wing (the former stables), you first pass through the grand Synod Hall (dining room), the sumptuous library and the royal apartments. Initially built in the mid-18th century (1732-42) for the prince-bishop of Strasbourg, the Palais Rohan served as a residence for his successors, and also welcomed kings of France (Louis XV) and emperors (Napoleon 1st).

  • A unique historic site
  • 3 museums in one
  • Location: ideally situated at the foot of the Cathedral and close to other major museums (Historique, Alsacien, Ĺ’uvre Notre-Dame, 5e Lieu).
  • Included in the Alsace Pass
  • Free on the first Sunday of the month
  • Nothing

6. Museum of Fine Arts

musee-beaux-arts-strasbourg

Located on the second floor of the Palais Rohan, the Musée des Beaux-Arts brings together paintings from the beginnings of European painting to the mid-19th century.

Among the pictorial currents and artists on display are German, Flemish and Italian primitives (Giotto), the great masters of Spanish painting (Goya) and the Italian Renaissance (Raphael), as well as 19th-century French Romantics and Realists (Delacroix, Courbet, Corot). Twenty rooms featuring biblical scenes, battle scenes, landscapes, still lifes and portraits of nobility.

The museum boasts a number of masterpieces, including Nicolas de Largillière’s “Belle Strasbourgeoise “, whose costume is on display at the MusĂ©e Historique.

  • The highlighting of the paintings, the brightly coloured walls contrasting with the classicism of the works of art
  • 3 museums in one place at the Palais Rohan
  • The elegance and setting (Palais Rohan) of the premises, the beautiful blue room decorated with columns
  • Included in the Alsace Pass
  • Free on the first Sunday of the month
  • For lovers of old paintings

7. Archaeological Museum

Located in the basement of the Palais Rohan, this 18th-century museum is also the city’s oldest. Sculptures, figurines, ceramics, jewelry and ornaments, weapons and other ancient relics, it is entirely devoted to the history of Strasbourg and Alsace, covering periods from Prehistory to the Middle Ages. For a complete trip back in time, combine your visit with a visit to the Alsatian and Historical Museums.

  • A wealth of collections
  • Included in the Alsace Pass
  • Free on the first Sunday of the month
  • The museography could do with a facelift

8. Tomi Ungerer Museum

musee-tomi-ungerer

Jean de la Lune was born under his pencil stroke. He sketched American society with his sharp eye, and explored themes such as the environment and war. Brilliant cartoonist, multi-award-winning illustrator, committed artist and native of Strasbourg, Tomi Ungerer has enjoyed international success.

Illustrations for children’s books, satirical, erotic and advertising drawings, he was a complete and prolific artist. His works and a collection of toys are displayed in 3 rooms, one of which is in the basement.

With a catalog of 8,000 works bequeathed to the city, the Tomi Ungerer Museum presents a rotating selection (3 major exhibitions a year) of 300 works by Strasbourg’s most New Yorker. The museum, inaugurated in 2007, also hosts temporary exhibitions.

  • See the artist’s original works and advertising posters
  • Temporary exhibitions
  • Included in the Alsace Pass
  • Free on the first Sunday of the month
  • The museum is too small, so the visit is very quick. We’re left wanting more, which is a shame considering the richness of his work and the collection.

9. MusĂ©e de l’Oeuvre Notre-Dame

musee-oeuvre-notre-dame-strasbourg

Statues and architectural elements (originals from Strasbourg Cathedral), objets d’art, altarpieces, tapestries, goldsmith’s and silversmith’s work, as well as paintings and sculptures, this museum boasts a fine collection of medieval and Renaissance art from Strasbourg and the Upper Rhine region. A chronological tour takes us through the ages: from Romanesque to Gothic, the late Middle Ages, the Renaissance to the 17th century.

Wooden galleries and staircases lead from room to room and from one building to another, forming a tortuous whole. The highlight of the visit is the two remarkable buildings in which it is housed – dating from the 13th (the Gothic wing) and 16th centuries. (the Renaissance wing) – and the Cathedral’s stained-glass windows and adjoining medieval garden (closed in winter).

  • A complementary and consecutive (or preliminary) visit to the Cathedral
  • Included in the Alsace Pass
  • Free on the first Sunday of the month
  • A museum aimed at adults and enthusiasts of ancient and religious art

10. Vodou Museum

strasbourg-vodou-museum

The MusĂ©e Vodou is a rather unusual three-storey museum housed in an equally unusual building – a former water tower – and boasts an important collection of 1,200 West African objects. Travel souvenirs accumulated over almost 20 years by a passionate collector, owner of the water tower, the collection and founder of the museum.

Masks, amulets, divinities, costumes – all the pieces have been used in voodoo ceremonies and rites. Between spirituality, religion and culture, a unique and exotic museum that sheds a different light on the voodoo cult. It’s a great way to get started, and to demystify the superstitions and mysteries surrounding the practice.

  • A unique museum and an unusual outing
  • A journey of initiation to clear up the misconceptions surrounding the cult.
  • Original torchlight tours are organized once a month (we tried it and loved it!).
  • Limited opening hours, only open in the afternoon

11. Le Vaisseau, THE children’s museum

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Le Vaisseau is undoubtedly a must-see museum for children in Strasbourg. It’s a place dedicated to scientific discovery and fun learning for children. From the age of 3, young visitors can enjoy activities adapted to their level.

Le Vaisseau offers explorations in a variety of fields, such as “ĂŠtre Humains”, where children can discover how the human body functions, “Je fabrique” to understand the mechanisms of objects, “L’Eau” to experiment with the properties of this element, or a section dedicated to animals, logic and creativity… A really great museum in Strasbourg to discover with the whole family!

  • The diversity of experiences and themes
  • Being able to touch everything
  • The animation we took part in, very well led by the animator
  • The services! Good value for money for lunch and a very relevant and well-stocked store on the subject.
  • As strange as it may seem, we regretted the lack of explanation. From a certain age, children are able to understand a little more.
  • The fact that there are a lot of themes and some are not deep enough. For example, the animals are really overhauled
  • The environmental theme is missing. It is approached through certain experiments such as the force of waves, but should be placed more at the heart of the device.

12. Lieu d’Europe

villa-kaysersguet

Le Lieu d’Europe is a little-known museum in Strasbourg, but an interesting one if you’re interested in the European Union. Strasbourg is the European capital, along with Brussels, so it makes sense to take a tour on this theme during your stay in Strasbourg. You can of course visit the European Parliament, but the Lieu d’Europe is an excellent complement!

  • Refresh my memory about the European institutions
  • Have fun discovering the emblematic dishes of European countries
  • Free of charge!
  • Exhibition not interactive enough

13. L’Aubette 1928

aubette-musee-strasbourg

Aubette 1928 is one of Strasbourg’s museums. It is located on the second floor of the building of the same name on Place KlĂ©ber and is free of charge. It’s not big, and I don’t know if I’d necessarily call it a “museum”, but it’s an unusual and interesting place: when you visit Strasbourg, I’d advise you to push open the door and take a look!

Indeed, in 1928, this space was a leisure complex whose main feature was that it was decorated by artists Hans Jean Arp, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Theo Van Doesburg. L’Aubette was conceived as a “total work of art”(Gesamtkunstwerk), which was completely covered over from 1938 onwards, and has been fully restored since 2006.

Today, you can admire the cinĂ©-dancing (cinĂ© bal), the staircase with its imposing stained-glass window, the village hall and the foyer-bar. It’s beautiful, original, and has a lovely view of Place KlĂ©ber!

  • Unusual place, and ultimately rather unknown, even to the people of Strasbourg
  • To be able to freely admire a space decorated by such artists
  • Free of charge!
  • More a visit to a place than a museum in my opinion

14. Chocolate Secrets Museum

chocolate-museum-mouldings

From manufacturing secrets to tastings, young and old alike will enjoy this taste-bud-tingling experience. After a visit to the Les Secrets du Chocolat Museum – and a few tastings along the way – you can get your hands dirty with cocoa paste by taking part in a discovery workshop: you’ll leave with your creations of the day. A great time with or without kids. A visit to the store is a must, and it’s hard to leave empty-handed. You can book your tickets here.

  • Delicious chocolate, of course! A very, very gourmet visit, for choco-addicts
  • The lovely team of chocolatiers
  • A fun, recreational activity ideal for children
  • For a change from art and history tours
  • Included in the Alsace Pass
  • Located outside the city, in Geispolsheim

15. MM Park Museum

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The MM Park Museum is located in La Wantzenau, north of Strasbourg. This is a museum exhibiting an important private collection dedicated to the Second World War. The collection of an enthusiast who has decided to share it with visitors. Weapons, costumes, numerous military vehicles… No less than 7,000m2 await you!

The museum is also a great idea for activities with children, with a dedicated play area.

  • The The richness of the collection, which is quite simply impressive and particularly well maintained
  • It’s a museum you can touch! The interactive aspect is really appreciated.
  • The amusement zone will keep the kids entertained while the grown-ups take in the sights.
  • Included in the Alsace Pass
  • There is a lack of explanations on the objects and vehicles presented beyond the technical data sheets which we quickly get tired of. A guided or audio-guided tour would be welcome
  • La Wantzenau is not very easy to reach. Although served by a bus, the visit often requires a car.

16. Zoological museum

The zoological museum is the museum that tells natural stories to young and old alike. An entertaining and interesting museum to raise awareness of local and global flora and fauna. Please note that the museum is closed for renovation until 2025.