Sélestat Walking Tour

A cute courtyard in Selestat
A cute courtyard in Selestat

By Vicky · Published Jul. 20th, 2023 · Updated Apr. 3rd, 2024

Sélestat is a charming town known for its rich history, with plenty of sights to explore on a walking tour.


This walking tour of Sélestat starts from the Parking Republique, a free car park just outside Sélestat town centre. Alternatively, you can take the train from Strasbourg (20 mins) or Colmar (10 mins). Sélestat train station is conveniently located 10 minutes walk from the city centre.

Sélestat Walking Tour Map

Get the route by downloading the .gpx or .kml file below. For navigation with Maps.me on your mobile phone, simply download the .kml file and open to add it to the Maps.me bookmarks.

Tips for Sélestat Walking Tour

  • Sélestat is less touristy than other villages on the Alsace Wine Route, so feels a lot more authentic yet still has plenty of things to see.
  • It’s easy to get to Sélestat on the train from Colmar or Strasbourg.
  • For more walking tours and hikes, see our France Hiking Page.

Top Sights in Sélestat

This self-guided walking tour of Sélestat visits all the top sights in town. If you don’t go into the museums, this walking tour of Sélestat takes about 1-2 hours, but allow more time if you want to visit the Bibliothèque Humaniste and La Maison du Pain. The Office de Tourisme is open 9:30-12:00 and 14:00-17:30 Mon-Sat, and also open Sunday mornings in summer.

  1. Place de la Victoire
  2. Place d’Armes
  3. Bibliothèque Humaniste
  4. Église Saint-Georges
  1. Cour des Prélats
  2. La Maison du Pain
  3. Église Sainte-Foy
  4. Tour Neuve

Sélestat Walking Tour Route

This walking tour starts from the Parking Republique.

Directions: From the car park, head towards the centre of town and turn right along the main street. Turn left at the first small pedestrianised street heading directly towards the centre. You’ll soon reach the first stop.

1. Place de la Victoire

Arsenal Sainte-Barbe, the first stop on a walking tour of Sélestat

The Place de la Victoire is a picturesque square in the heart of Sélestat. There’s a Renaissance-style fountain in the middle and you can’t miss the Arsenal Sainte-Barbe. This is the pale building with the distinctive crenelated gable, built around 1470. First used as a warehouse, in the 16th century it was transformed into an arsenal. Now it’s a community centre, while the ground floor holds exhibitions and events. The arsenal is named after St Barbara, the patron saint of trades to do with fire and weapons.

Directions: Leave the square at the opposite end you came in, slightly right along the wide pedestrianised street. You’ll soon reach the next square.

2. Place d’Armes

Place d'Armes, Sélestat, Alsace, France
Place d'Armes

The Place d’Armes is a square in the centre of Sélestat. The town hall (Hotel de Ville) is on this square. It was built in 1788 and looks a bit like a Greek temple. There are also a couple of cafes on the square where you can sit and grab a drink.

Directions: Turn left at the far side of the square, then take the first right. You’ll then see the impressive library on your right.

3. Bibliothèque Humaniste

Bibliothèque Humaniste, Sélestat
Bibliothèque Humaniste, Sélestat, a highlight of a walking tour through the town

Key Information: Open May-Sep & Dec Tue-Sun, 10-12:30 & 13:30-18pm. Open Feb-Apr & Oct-Nov Tue-Sun, 13:30-17:30pm. Tickets are €6/4 for adults/children. Displays are in French, English and German.

The Humanist Library (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) is one of the top things to see in Sélestat. It’s the oldest public library in France and has an impressive collection of rare books, manuscripts, and ancient texts. You can also explore the lives of famous scholars in hands-on exhibits. The museum presents the material very well and combines original, sometimes over thousand-year-old papers with digital recreations.

The Renaissance building itself is also a magnificent piece of architecture. It’s the town’s former Corn Exchange, which since 1889 was transformed to house books instead. On the facade at one end you can see a mosaic dating from 1907. At this time the Germans were in charge here – note the writing ‘Stadbibliothek Museum’. Later, when Alsace returned to French hands, they added the French inscription below.

Directions: Head around the back side of the library and to the large church.

4. Église Saint-Georges

Église Saint-Georges. a stop on a walking tour of Sélestat

The Church of St. George* is a Gothic masterpiece, with a towering spire and roof half-covered in colourful glazed towers. The church took almost 300 years to build, from 1220 to 1500, through the dedication of the townspeople in defiance of the Priory of Sainte-Foy (the other large church nearby). Previous to the church, a chapel was located here, and Charlemagne visited it for Christmas in 775.

One of the highlights of this church is the intricate stained-glass windows, some of which date from the 15th century. The rest of its interior is very ornate, with many statues and paintings. Pick up a leaflet from the table just inside the entrance to guide your exploration of the interior.

Directions: After leaving the church, turn slightly left and across, through the small passage to the large square.

5. Cour des Prélats

Cour des Prélats

The Cour des Prélats is the former residence of Benedictine monks. It was built in the 16th century and is a great example of Renaissance architecture in Alsace, with its distinctive little turrets and sloping roof. This area was a real courtyard until 1923, but now it’s open so there’s a good view of the building.

Directions: The Maison du Pain is also in this courtyard.

6. La Maison du Pain

La Maison du Pain, a highlight of the Sélestat Walking Tour

Key Information: Open Tue-Sun 9am-6pm, with a lunchtime break on Sundays from 12:30-2pm. Tickets to the museum are €6/4.

The House Of Bread (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) is a museum that promotes the bakery tradition in the Alsace region. There’s also an actual bakery plus a tea room inside where you can taste the very fresh and local products. The bakery of course offers a very large selection of delicious bread.

In the museum, you can learn about traditional bread-baking techniques and the history of bread from harvesting wheat to the different types of flour and the making of Kougelhopf (a local specialty). It’s well presented and in both French and English.

Directions: Leave the square to the right of the House of Bread and to the second large church.

7. Église Sainte-Foy

Église Sainte-Foy, one of two large churchs in Sélestat
Église Sainte-Foy, a stop on a walking tour of Sélestat, Alsace

The Église Sainte-Foy*, or Church of Saint Foy, is one of the oldest buildings in Sélestat, dating from the 12th century. However, it’s undergone several alterations since then. The oldest part is the crypt, which is actually the remains of a chapel built here before the church in the 11th century. The most famous object found inside the crypt was a death mask of a woman from 1000 years ago, today called ‘The Unknown Beauty of Sélestat.

Saint Foy is noticeable for its two identical Romanesque towers and lovely entranceway. Near the entrance, you can find a short visitors guide that explains the history of the church. Inside, you can admire the frescoes, beautiful stained glass windows – both old and modern, and the great organ.

Directions: Leave the church and head straight onwards to the T-junction with the Rue des Chevaliers. Turn left here. Continue walking straight along this road until you reach the next stop.

8. Tour Neuve

Tour Neuve, a tower in the old fortifications of Sélestat, Alsace, France

The Tour Neuve, also known as the Tour de l’Horloge, or the Clock Tower, was built as part of the city’s second city walls in 1280. However, in the 17th century it was dramatically transformed and increased in height. Below the tower are a couple of frescoes representing the town’s various guilds, such as butchers and winegrowers.

Directions: Walk through the tower and turn right to return back to the car park and the end of the Sélestat Walking Tour.

Best Places to Stay in Sélestat

The best places to stay in Sélestat are listed below:

Best Hotels

  • Hôtel Restaurant Vaillant*: A stylish hotel with a lovely terrace, great restaurant, free parking, and a good location very close to the city centre.
  • Ibis Budget Sélestat*: A great-value budget option with on-site parking, though slightly further from the centre of town (25 minutes walk).

Best Apartments

  • Le Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg*: A lovely, spacious apartment and a great option for larger families or groups since there are 3 bedrooms, along with a fully equipped kitchen.
  • La Tour des Chevaliers*: A great 1-bedroom apartment with a sofa-bed in the living room, a fully equipped kitchen, and a very central location. There’s a friendly host and the apartment is also suitable for children.

Guidebooks & Maps for Exploring Alsace

For more walking tours and hikes, see our France Hiking Page.

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