The historic town of Mulhouse, France, sits at the intersection of three countries: France, Germany, and Switzerland. More than 1,200 years have passed since the city’s founding, and during that time, the city has seen three different flags fly over it: Switzerland in the 1600s, Germany in the 1800s, and France in the early 20th century. These are the best things to do in Mulhouse.
With its colorful blend of many distinct cultures, Mulhouse, France, exists as a unique window into the region’s history. If you love wandering around museums, Mulhouse will deliver with its bevy of venues celebrating art, automobiles, trains, and the textile industry.
One of the perks of visiting Mulhouse is that its train station is an easy stop coming from popular destinations throughout the region. You can add Mulhouse to your itinerary whether you’re visiting Germany, Switzerland, France, or a combination of all three! Mulhouse is the ideal destination when you want to fill a day of your travels.
You can save a few Euros with the Mulhouse City Pass, which gives you one of your museum entries for free and discounts your other visits, as well as some other cool perks like free public transit, a free guided tour, and discounts on rental cars.
Before planning your trip, look at these best things to do in Mulhouse.
Show Table of Contents
- Things to Do in Mulhouse, France
- 1. Drive a historic car at the Cité de l’Automobile
- 2. Explore the unique Cité du Train
- 3. Visit the free museum in the Hôtel de Ville
- 4. Wonder at the Temple Saint-Étienne church
- 5. Learn something new at the Musée EDF Electropolis
- 6. Marvel at the Musée de l’Impression sur Étoffe
- 7. Have fun at the Tour du Belvédère
- 8. Visit the Parc du Petit Prince
- 9. Wander around the Parc Zoologique et Botanique de Mulhouse
- 10. Explore the Christmas Market
- Why is Mulhouse famous?
- Is it worth visiting Mulhouse?
- Is Mulhouse in France or Switzerland?
- How long is the train from Zurich to Mulhouse?
|Most significant landmark||Musée National de l’Automobile|
|Best free activity||Hôtel de Ville|
|Best activity for kids||Parc du Petit Prince|
|Best activity for adults||Cité du Train|
|Best food||Il Cortile|
|Best nightlife||Le Gambrinus|
|Best Place to Stay||Hotel Bristol|
Things to Do in Mulhouse, France
1. Drive a historic car at the Cité de l’Automobile
Address: 17 Rue de la Mertzau, 68100 Mulhouse, France
Also known as the Musée National de l’Automobile or the Mulhouse Car Museum, you’ll see 500 historic automobiles from almost 100 carmakers when you visit the Cité de l’Automobile. A guide accompanies small groups through the museum, but bear in mind they offer tours in French, so consider a crash course en Français before you arrive.
The Cité de l’Automobile was established in 1978 and offers more than calm strolls past old cars for car enthusiasts. One of the reasons it’s the best car museum in Europe is because you can actually drive a historic car for an additional fee.
It’s not that expensive either, considering you’ll be getting behind the wheel of classics like a 1974 Lamborghini Urraco or a 1965 Mustang. After your thrilling drive, spend your evening at Le Gambrinus, a popular Mulhouse pub and a personal favorite.
See Related: Best Car Museums in Germany to Visit
2. Explore the unique Cité du Train
Address: 2 Rue Alfred de Glehn, 68200 Mulhouse, France
Once known as the French Railways Museum, the Cité du Train opened its doors in the early 1970s and has undergone several expansions over the years as administrators have added to the collection.
Most recently, the museum took possession of the famous TGV-Atlantique #325, which set a speed record of 515.3 km/h in the early 1990s. Admittedly, trains aren’t the most exciting things for people who aren’t already fans like me, but the Cite Du Train is a rather unique and easy stop during your Mulhouse journey.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in France & Things to Do
3. Visit the free museum in the Hôtel de Ville
Address: 2 Rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 68100 Mulhouse, France
The Hôtel de Ville is in the Place de la Réunion, the city center of Mulhouse, but the building isn’t actually a hotel. The Hôtel de Ville is the old town hall of Mulhouse and was built in 1552. You’ll find the Musée Historique de Mulhouse inside the building, which is small but free and is not to be missed.
Also known as the Mairie de Mulhouse, the town hall is just a stone’s throw away from the local tourist office. So, start with a visit to the tourist office for information and then walk over to the town hall and continue your afternoon wandering around the Place de la Réunion.
For planning purposes, remember that the museum is only open during the week and closes at the end of the business day. Make sure you visit early on a weekday for your dose of local history.
See Related: Where to Stay in Alsace
4. Wonder at the Temple Saint-Étienne church
Address: Place de la Reunion, 68100 Mulhouse, France
The giant Temple Saint-Étienne church is exactly what you might envision when you think of a city in 19th century France or Europe, with its Neo-Gothic style and towering façade. One of the coolest features of this Protestant church is that the stained glass windows were plucked from the original 12th-century church that once stood on the site.
The town center of Mulhouse is an excellent place to stay, and a convenient accommodation is the Hotel Bristol. Ask for an interior room since the exterior can get noisy. Mulhouse is also home to several vacation homes, so if you’d rather score an entire apartment for your visit, try the Gîte des Victoires.
See Related: Best Day Trips from Strasbourg, France
5. Learn something new at the Musée EDF Electropolis
Address: 55 Rue du Pâturage, 68200 Mulhouse, France
For the fifth activity on our list, we head to another museum: the Musée EDF Electropolis or Electropolis Museum. The museum has an appreciable level of interest for older children and features a 20-minute show with experiments and electricity exhibits.
Most of us know the basics about electricity, but we don’t think about anything more than power outlets and the bill at the end of the month. The Electropolis Museum is a neat visit to see devices like Voss’s electrostatic machine and Edison’s dictaphone.
You’ll learn about early 17th-century experiments and how inventors like Eidson, Volta, and Tesla changed our lives forever with their machines. It’s sure to spark your curiosity.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Colmar, France
6. Marvel at the Musée de l’Impression sur Étoffe
Address: 14 Rue Jean Jacques Henner, 68100 Mulhouse, France
If you don’t speak French, don’t assume that the Musée de l’Impression sur Etoffes is a gallery of Impressionist art featuring works by Claude Monet. This museum offers information on the history of textiles and the decorative arts in France.
In English, this museum is known as the Museum of Printed Textiles. Mulhouse was once known as French Manchester due to its importance to the worldwide textile industry.
The building features six million textile samples and many historic sewing machines like a Lefèvre copper roller. Believe it or not, Mulhouse once handled more than 30 percent of the world’s cotton spinning production!
See Related: Most Beautiful Small Towns in France
7. Have fun at the Tour du Belvédère
Address: Rue du Belvedere, 68100 Mulhouse, France
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Mulhouse, enjoy an elevated view of Mulhouse and the surrounding countryside when you climb the Tour du Belvédère, which resembles a mini Eiffel Tower. The tower is the perfect destination for a break in your visits to the museums of Mulhouse and is about 2.5 kilometers south (or about 1.7 miles) of the Place de la Réunion.
Want to know the best way to experience the Tour du Belvédère? One of the best outdoor activities in Mulhouse is taking a bicycle ride to the tower from any point in town to enjoy the scenery.
When you climb the tower, you can see famous vistas of the Grand Est (Grand East), like Germany’s Black Forest and the Alps. This view is hard to top!
See Related: The Ultimate Black Forest Itinerary
8. Visit the Parc du Petit Prince
Address: Rue de l’Espoir, 68190 Ungersheim, France
Looking for things to do in the area with your kids? The Parc du Petit Prince is a small amusement park inspired by the French-language book “The Little Prince,” originally published in the 1940s by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. A Le Parc du Petit Prince entry ticket is affordable, and you may find it convenient to buy a ticket in advance.
The park features 34 attractions, all ideal for young children. At about 20 minutes north of Mulhouse, getting there by car is easiest, but you can also take the train and a bus if you’re willing to walk a bit during the journey and have decided to forgo a rental car.
See Related: Best Theme Parks in Europe to Visit
9. Wander around the Parc Zoologique et Botanique de Mulhouse
Address: 111 Av. de la 1ère Division Blindée, 68100 Mulhouse, France
The Parc Zoologique et Botanique de Mulhouse, also known as the Zoological and Botanical Park of Mulhouse, was once a humble garden where locals would gather. Today, the botanical gardens are just one of the reasons people visit, as there are more than 1,200 animals, thousands of plants, and exotic trees now on display throughout the park.
The zoo has a whole range of animals that you wouldn’t associate with Europe, including snow leopards, polar bears, and Siberian tigers. If you don’t have much time to spend in Mulhouse and just visit a few venues and get some food, the gardens are a quick 20-minute walk from the train station.
However, you can spend a day meandering around the gardens and zoo. If you’re in town all day, consider dinner at Il Cortile at 11 Rue des Franciscans, a local Michelin Star restaurant.
See Related: Best Day Trips from Paris, France
10. Explore the Christmas Market
Address: Place de la Reunion, 68100 Mulhouse, France
If your travels to Mulhouse will take you to France between late November and December, the Mulhouse Christmas Market should definitely appear on your itinerary. The entire city center is decorated in traditional textiles and Christmas cloth during the holiday season, especially for the market.
The Christmas market has grown larger in the past few years, but the locals discontinued the popular Ferris wheel to allow more room to access the purveyors of delicious food, drinks, and specialty textiles.
Why is Mulhouse famous?
Mulhouse is a historic industrial town with a love for invention and museums, with popular attractions like the train and car museums, as well as a handful of art and history exhibits. The city once earned the title of the “industrial capital of Alsace.”
Is it worth visiting Mulhouse?
Mulhouse offers a fascinating look into multiple facets of the history of the Alsace region. You won’t spend a week here luxuriating, though. You’ll probably spend one or two days getting your fill of fun at several Mulhouse museums and historical sites.
Is Mulhouse in France or Switzerland?
How long is the train from Zurich to Mulhouse?
The train from Zurich to Mulhouse is a quick 90 minutes, so you may include Mulhouse as part of a Swiss vacation or in your travels around France. Train tickets are affordable, too, and usually cost less than €20. You can also use the bus system to reach Mulhouse, France.
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a seasoned traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers find their next adventure, whether it’s exploring new places or revisiting old favorites.
He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wonderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). He loves listening to people’s stories from around the world as well as sharing his own experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.
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