Day Trip to Mulhouse, France
Situated between the Rhine River and the Vosges mountains is the popular Alsace destination in France, Mulhouse. The famous old French city is full of charm and history and is worthy of a visit.
Nestled in between the neighboring countries of Switzerland and Germany, Mulhouse combines these cultures offering fascinating amenities to explore. Due to its distinctive historical buildings dating back to the medieval period of the 19th-century industrial boom, Mulhouse was awarded the name “Villa d’Art et d” Histoire” (City of Art and History).
My husband and I decided to visit Mulhouse because we were only a short distance away in Basel, Switzerland. So, let’s dive into all the attractions you can see while in Mulhouse.
Athena Tribunal Courthouse
As you enter the city of Mulhouse, you will come up to the Athena Tribunal Courthouse. Although this is not one of the city’s main attractions, I found the architecture interesting, so we stopped to check out the inside of the building. Unfortunately, I could not find much information regarding the building, but it is worth a visit. The location is here.
Cite de l’Autombile (Car Museum)
Housing over 400 classic cars, the Cite’ de l’Autombile is the largest car museum in the world. The history of the car from its conception in the late 19th century is told and features many of the race cars dating back to 1908. The location is here.
- Hours: Open everday, Winter: 13:00 – 17:00/weekends 10:00 -17:00; Spring 10:00 – 17:00; Summer 10:00 – 18:00
- Admission: 13 euro per adult.
Sainte Marie Church
Located in the heart of the historic center of Mulhouse, a stone’s throw from the Place de la Reunion and Saint Etienne Temple. The church was built on stilts during the 13th century by Franciscans. After many years of turbulence, the church was renovated and named Saint Marie Auxiliatrice in 1860. As the church grew in membership, expansions and restorations continued. The location is here.
Visit a Local Bakery
A great place to stop and enjoy some of the most delicious flaky pastries is at Petit La Bakery. Light buttery fresh croissants or a traditional French plum tart will satisfy your sweet tooth. Here you can also pick up a freshly baked loaf of French bread to take with you for later.
Street Art of Mulhouse
I have always had a love for street art. In Mulhouse, you will find all kinds of unusual sculptures, statues, and murals throughout the city. To find the street art, visit the website.
Temple of Saint Etienne
The most iconic building in Mulhouse is the Temple Saint-Etienne, constructed in 1859 with its Gothic revival style, and it is the tallest protestant building (97 meters tall) in France. Built as a Calvinist church, it is home to the most extensive set of bells of any Protestant church in France. Some unique features within the church, such as the choir stalls made in 1637 and the vivid leaded-glass windows dating back to the 14th century.
At the time of our visit, the church was closed for renovation. However, the structure sits in Mulhouse’s main square and occasionally hosts concerts and exhibitions. The location is here.
History Museum of Mulhouse (Musee Historique de Mulhouse)
Learn about the cultural heritage of Mulhouse at the History Museum, which was formally known as the City Hall. The exterior of the building is lavishly decorated with murals in the Renaissance style. Inside, you will find paintings, sculptures, and historical artifacts on display. One interesting piece is the “Klapperstein” (or gossips stone), which was hung around the neck of the most loose-lipped of Mulhouse’s residents during festival days centuries ago.
- Hours: Open every day except Tuesdays and public holidays from 13:00 – 18:30; Summer months 10:00 – 12:00 and 13:00-18:30; During Christmas Market 13:00 – 19:00
- Admission: Free
Historic City Center
Mulhouse has a dynamic and charming city center with architectural marvels and cobblestone streets. Here you will find the History Museum of Mulhouse and the Temple of Saint Etienne. This square once hosted many textile shops by local entrepreneurial families. Today you will find boutiques, cafes, and restaurants, as Place de a Reunion is considered one of the major shopping streets in Mulhouse. Some other interesting sites nearby are:
- Mansion Loewenfels is a beautiful residence of the 18the century with its architecture and sculpted ornaments. The mansion was built in 1764 on the former site of a 13th-century house. The location is here.
- Mansion Mieg was built in 1560 for the Mieg family with a decorated façade of murals of his composition evolving the Swiss hero, Arnold de Winkelried. It is the largest house surrounding the Place de la Reunion. The location can be found here.
Le Musee de I’Impression sur Etoffes (Fabric Printing Museum)
Mulhouse was once a thriving textile industrial community, creating unique patterns and designs that could only be found in this region called Alsace. The Museum of Printed Textiles has preserved over 50,0000 textile documents in the Alsatian printing industry. Printing demonstrations using wooden board machines and copper rollers can be witnessed. The workshop on printed designs and artistry is one of the best museums in Mulhouse.
- Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 13:00 – 18:00 year around. Closed on Monday.
- Admission: 11 euro per adult; guided tours are available. Visit the website for more details.
Cite du Train (Railway Museum)
If you are a train enthusiast, you will want to visit the Train Museum, featuring three main exhibits: the history of rail, the golden age of the railway, and the outdoor space of an 1883 steam locomotive. The Train Museum is the largest railway museum in Europe.
- Hours: Jan 1 – March 31, 10:00 – 17:00, April 1 – October 31, 10:00 – 18:00, Nov. 1 – Dec. 31, 10:00 – 17:00. The average length to see the museum is about 2 hours.
- Admission: 13 euro adult, family rates offered. Guided tours are available. Please visit the website to schedule.
Once an 18th-century factory and paper warehouse, L’entrepot (Warehouse), was converted into a comedy theater in 1994. Today, unknown and internationally renowned actors entertain guests with humorous performances and spirits. Visit the website for shows.
Musee EDF Electropolis (Museum of Electricity)
The museum takes visitors through the incredible saga of electricity, exploring centuries of technology, theories, and inventions, up until the modern electrical world. The location is here.
- Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 – 18:00; closed on Mondays and major holidays.
- Admission: 10 euro per adult
Hungarian State Opera
This neo-Renaissance masterpiece is spectacular to view from the outside as well as the inside. Although we did not tour the inside due to the renovations, it would be worth attending a performance while visiting. Check out their performance schedule to see if you can squeeze one in to see while in Budapest.
- Location: Andrássy u. 22, 1061, +36 1-81-47-100, opera.hu.
- TIP: Tours are available that cost around 3,500 HUF while performances range in price.
If you need to take a break from all the sightseeing, visit Salvator Park for a relaxing walk and notice the many varieties of plants and trees growing in the gardens. Here you will find an unusual shell-shaped auditorium. The location is here.
- Hours: April – September 8:00 – 21:00; October – March 8:00 – 20:00
Motoco (More To Come)
Located in the old industrial DMC district, Motoco brings together 140 artists and craftspeople to inspire and create. Here you will find studios, open spaces for photographers, sound engineers, graphic designers, woodworkers, and more. Visit the for events.
Alsace Eco-Museum is an open-air museum where the authentic Alsatian village can be toured, such as half-timbered houses, workers’ houses, gardens, washhouses, and more. Within these buildings are those performing the duties of that traditional work. Over 80 buildings to explore and learn the life of Alsatian village. The location is here.
- Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 – 18:00; Closed on Monday
- Admission: 15 euro per adult
- If you plan to visit many museums and use the transportation network, I suggest purchasing the City Pass Mulhouse. In addition, enjoy many discounts on restaurants and shoes.
- Mulhouse offers several festivals throughout the year. If you are interested in vintage cars, check out the Automobile Festival held in the summer. The two major festivals are the Onion Festival or the Christmas Market.
Enjoy your travels! Please read my blogs about other exciting places around the world at Traveling Lens Photography.