Water Channel, Strasbourg
Water channel, Strasbourg (Photo credit: Monika Neumann)

Strasbourg Solo Travel Guide

QUICK FACTS

  • The capital of France’s Alsace region, with a population of ~270,000.
  • The city centre (Grande Île), was the first city named a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Located on the border with Germany, the city has a strong German influence.
  • Strasbourg is the official seat of the EU Parliament (and many other EU institutions).
  • Nicknames: The Capital of Europe, The Crossroads of Europe

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Spoken languages: primarily French (some also speak the local Alsatian).
  • Best time to visit: from May to September for the best weather (warm and sunny). The city is also a delight during Christmas, when the famous Christmas markets take place.
  • Arriving via airport (Strasbourg International Airport): a train runs from the airport to the city center for 3.60€, and takes just 9 minutes. A taxi ride will cost between 25 and 30 Euros.

WHERE TO STAY

Grande Île (city centre) has the upscale accommodation in the city, while mid-range hotels are typically in place de la Gare and on rue du Maire Kuss. Budget hostels can be found around 10-20 minutes away from the city center.

GETTING AROUND

  • The central part of the city is easily explored on foot, as main attractions are close together.
  • Many visitors opt to rent bicycles when in Strasbourg – this makes for an affordable and flexible way of getting around. Bicycles are even allowed on trams.
  • Buses and trams reach most areas of the city and surrounding areas. A ride costs 1.60€.

STRASBOURG NIGHTLIFE

  • Drinking age is 18.
  • A large number of visitors and active university population keeps nightlife active.
  • The cathedral area, rue des Juifs and rue des Frères are the most nightlife spots.
  • Explore the quaint side streets of the city, where there are hidden taverns and bars.

UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT

  • Cathédrale Notre Dame in Grand Île, built between the 12th and 15th centuries, is architecturally stunning and is Strasbourg’s focal point.
  • Petite France is a small area between the two rivers, full of timber houses and cobbled streets. The area features many good restaurants and cafes.
  • The French palace Palais des Rohan, built in 1681, is home to several museums.

INTERESTING WALKS

  • Self-guided walking tours of the city center are available from the tourist office for just 1€. A wide variety of different routes are specified.
  • Take a walk through Petite France to see some lovely medieval architecture.

LOCAL WISDOM

  • Christmas markets are a wonderful sight in the winter. The city livens up with stalls and festivities. Try the hot wine and Christmas cookies on offer!
  • Check out the son et lumière – a light display on the cathedral façade at night.
  • Where to find good cheap eats: be sure to try the local sauerkraut in Strasbourg – it may appear to be expensive, but portions are large and worth every penny. Budget food options can be found along main streets of the city – look for small owner-run cafes and restaurants.
  • Dangerous areas: none in particular, as Strasbourg is very safe. In any case, be sure to watch your valuables and watch out for pickpockets in tourist areas.

The Best Strasbourg Guide Books:

Recommended trip duration: 1-2 days


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