Obernai, Bas-Rhin tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Obernai in Alsace Wine Route (Alsace region)

Visit Obernai (Alsace, France)

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Obernai is in the Bas-Rhin department of the Alsace region, 25 kilometres south of Strasbourg.

Exploring Obernai

A picture postcard pretty town, Obernai has lots of delightful medieval houses lining the narrow streets and small open plazas, all set within the original ramparts of the town, as well as many notable buildings and historic monuments. Most of the highlights are in or close to the central square in Obernai.

Place du Marche in Obernai

Many of the houses are painted in the resplendent colours typical of Alsace. Each house is a different colour, has different patterns of beams and different shutter colours. It is one of the best and most 'traditional' of the lovely Alsace towns and we found Obernai to be utterly charming.

France This Way comment: the greatest surprise of a visit to Obernai is the extent to which the town appears unchanged from its heyday in the 15th and 16th centuries and much of the pleasure of a visit comes from simply wandering around admiring the buildings and flowers.

There are several interesting monuments of note that you will come across as you explore:

- The Belfry (opposite Obernai tourist office) is a 60 meter high tower which was once the steeple of, and is now all that remains of, the 13th century Chapel of the Virgin. It was also used in centuries passed as the town watchtower but is now the clock tower. Note in particular the decorative balustrade at the top of the tower.

- On the Rue des Pelerins (Pilgrim's Street) there is a Romanesque house built in 1240.

- The 'six buckets well' is a Renaissance style well built in the 16th century with Corinthian style columns and six buckets hanging from its canopy, each one planted with flowers. It is on the street which leads up to the Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul and gives a charming picture with the well in the foreground and the church in the background.

- The fortifications of Obernai run right round the town. In total they are 1400m long with 20 towers and 4 tower gates, and there is a pleasant tree-lined walk which runs all the way round the outside of the medieval wall.

- Obernai's corn exchange was built in 1554 in Renaissance style with a touch of Gothic and is a very typical example of the local architecture which incorporates arcades, colombage and a tall steep roof.

- The market place is a lovely square in the heart of the town. The belfry and town hall are at one end and the corn exchange at the other, and between the two there are lots of lovely half-timber houses. The Town Hall is a beautifully proportioned building incorporating several features of interest such as the small stone balcony at the end of the building.

- You can also see the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, built of red stone with an imposing facade in three sections and incorporating a large rose window, and tall towers with decorative spires to either side

Obernai market day is Thursday morning.

If you pick up the leaflet from the tourist office in Obernai next to the belfry and follow their suggested circuit around the town centre (about half an hour on foot) you can be sure of seeing all the principal sights.

Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Obernai

Attractions nearby

Obernai is a good sized town with plenty of hotels, restaurants and shops that make it a good base for exploring the area the vineyards of the region. Obernai is on the Alsace Wine Route, hence there are a multitude of small attractive villages to discover in the vicinity.

The town is also at the foot of Mont Sainte Odile. Though it is a 15-20 minute drive from Obernai to get to the convent on Mont Saint Odile the views from there are excellent and the trip is recommended.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Bas-Rhin guide and the Alsace guide.

See also:

Map of Obernai and places nearby

Visit near Obernai with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Bas-Rhin

Tourist classifications for Obernai

Obernai is classified as a recommended detour town (plus beau detour)

Address: Obernai, Sélestat-Erstein, Alsace, 67210, France || GPS: latitude 48.463, longitude 7.4827

Plan your visit to Obernai, Bas-Rhin

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Domaine du Windeck: remarkable garden (4 km)
  • Mittelbergheim: most beautiful village (8 km)
  • Itterswiller: ville fleurie 4* (12 km)
  • Jardin du chateau de Kolbsheim: remarkable garden (13 km)
  • Champ du Feu: site of natural beauty (18 km)
  • Le jardin de Marguerite: remarkable garden (18 km)
  • Cigoland: zoo or wildlife park (23 km)
  • Diebolsheim: ville fleurie 4* (23 km)
  • Strasbourg: town of art and history (24 km)
  • Jardin botanique de l'université de Strasbourg: remarkable garden (24 km)
  • Strasbourg Grand Ile: heritage site (24 km)
  • Parc du château de Kintzheim: remarkable garden (24 km)

Market days in Obernai, France

Regular market(s) are held in Obernai each Thursday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Obernai (Francais)