Strasbourg, France

By | December 16, 2022

Strasbourg – the capital of Alsace, the intellectual, cultural and industrial center of northeastern France. Located 3 km from the Rhine, in the very immediate neighborhood of Germany, Strasbourg is a real international fusion: here you can easily hear German spoken and refresh yourself with pretzel beer in a seemingly canonical French brasserie. Even the name of the city itself sounds quite German, and if you are not savvy in geography, Strasbourg can be easily attributed to a series of other German “burgs”. The layman associates Strasbourg primarily with international human rights organizations: the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and the European Court of Human Rights have placed their offices here. But even without these high-profile names, there is something to see in Strasbourg: the old town and the canals of “little France”, the flying peaks of Notre Dame and the collections of the Alsatian Museum. Check clothingexpress for information about visa to France.

The historical center of Strasbourg is called Grand Ile – an island formed by the branches of the Ile River, since 1988 it has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

How to get to Strasbourg

Strasbourg International Airport is located 10 km from the city centre. A large number of flights from European and French cities arrive here. There are no direct regular flights from Russia, you need to make a transfer in Paris (Air France), Prague (Czech Airlines) or Amsterdam (KLM). You can also land at the airport. Charles de Gaulle and from there get to Strasbourg by train (about 2.5 hours on the way, departure 4-5 times a day). Finally, if you don’t mind dropping into Germany, it’s convenient to arrive at Karlsruhe or Frankfurt airport, where, again, take a train or bus to Strasbourg.

High – speed TGV trains from Strasbourg can travel to Paris, Lyon, Luxembourg, Basel, Stuttgart, Munich, Zurich, Lille, Nantes, Bordeaux, and take longer trips to Marseille, Nice, Montpellier or Vienna.

You can get from Strasbourg Airport to the city center in the following ways:

  • The most convenient transport is the Aeroexpress (navette train), which departs from the airport every 15 minutes. Travel time is only 9 minutes. Aeroexpress runs on weekdays from 5:30 to 22:30, on weekends from 7:00 to 22:00. The fare is from 50 EUR.
  • by taxi; the fare will cost 20-25 EUR.

Transport in the city

As in many other European cities with a rich history, the center of Strasbourg is almost entirely pedestrian. The distances here are short, and walking is not only interesting, but also completely untiring. The city center can be completely explored “from and to” in a couple of days.

Strasbourg is one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe. There are many bike paths and plenty of bike rentals. Popular and convenient locations include rentals in the city center on rue des Bouchers and right in front of the train station on rue du Maire Kuss. Free cycling maps are available from the tourist offices. The rental price is about 7 EUR for a weekday and 10 EUR for a weekend; a deposit of 100 EUR is taken.

You can also comfortably travel around Strasbourg by public transport: buses and trams of the state company CTS, the main transport hub is Place de l’Homme de Fer. There are about 40 bus routes, 6 tram routes: from A to F. There is a single ticket system; they can be purchased at newsstands, tobacconists, tourist offices, CTS sales points and vending machines at tram stops. The ticket will need to be validated at special terminals at bus stops or at the driver’s by entering the bus. The fare is from 1.80 EUR, you can also purchase a ticket for 24 hours – 4.50 EUR.

If you decide to rent a car, you should remember that it is better not to drive into the city center: in addition to the fact that most of the streets here are pedestrian, roads open to motor vehicles are usually very dense with frequent traffic jams. For cases when it is necessary to travel by car and you want to visit the historical center of Strasbourg, a parking relay system (parking-relais) is provided: the car is parked in one of the eight parking lots located near the tram lines. On the issued receipt, you can ride the tram to the city center for free and return to the car.

Cuisine of Strasbourg

French dishes with a German flavor, German dishes with a French touch – this is how Strasbourg cuisine can be briefly described. It is worth trying onion pie and foie gras, rabbit marinated in wine, and baeckeoffe – a dish of potatoes with three types of meat: lamb, pork and beef. And of course, wash down all this splendor with fine Alsatian wines, beer or schnapps.

Shopping in Strasbourg

As in other large European cities, there are many famous brand stores here. However, the most unforgettable experience is Christmas shopping. In the old town, on the square in front of the cathedral, many bazaars are arranged where they sell everything your heart desires: from Christmas tree decorations to folk crafts and, of course, products: wines, confectionery, cheeses and sausages.

Entertainment and attractions of Strasbourg

Strasbourg Cathedral, an amazing monument of Gothic architecture of the 15th century, which was the tallest Christian church in the world for four centuries, is one of the undisputed masterpieces of the historical center, a must-see. There are many medieval sculptures outside and stained glass windows inside. The highlight of the cathedral is the astronomical clock, every day at 12:30 p.m. a string of apostles is released from its depths. (At 12:00, a film about the history of creation and the mechanism of the watch is shown in the cathedral.)

The Kammerzel House is an excellent example of half-timbered architecture of the 16th century: diagonal wooden beams filled with bricks and adobe material. In addition to admiring the facade, you can dine in a small restaurant here.

“Little France” is the most picturesque quarter of Strasbourg with miniature houses built among the canals, as it seems, on the very surface of the water. Here are the famous covered bridges (Les Ponts Couverts) of the 13th century, which once protected the city from invasions from the other side of the Ile River.

The best view of the covered bridges is from the nearby panoramic terrace of the Barrage Vauban. Admission is free, opening hours are from 9:00 to 19:30.

The Protestant Church of Saint Thomas is an example of Gothic Alsatian architecture. In the kliros of the church is the tomb of Marshal de Sachs: the funeral splendor of the Baroque of the 18th century. with many curls, weighty vignettes and figures of boundless sorrow.

In addition, you can visit the buildings of European human rights organizations; as a rule, only as part of a group and by prior arrangement.

At the Strasbourg tourist offices, you can purchase a three-day single ticket, which gives you free access to most of the city’s attractions. You can also get discounts from 25 to 30% in many shops, travel agencies and private museums with the ticket.

And finally, Strasbourg offers its guests a variety of tours in the surroundings: wine-growing walks and mini-cruises on the Ile and Rhine, golf tours, air trips on small aircraft and trips through the Alsatian forests.

Strasbourg, France