Planning a solo trip to Strasbourg, France? Here’s everything you need to know for your visit:
- The capital of France’s Alsace region, with a population of ~480,000.
- 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.
- 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 around 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.
- 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 €2.00. A 24 hour pass costs €4.60.
- 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.
- Great bars in Strasbourg: Le Local (classic pub), Peniche Mecanique, La Taverne Française, and Le 21 ShooterBar (best shots).
- Want to catch the game? Head to The Dubliners or Le Café des Sports.
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. A must-visit attraction.
- 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.
- 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.
- Great value restaurants: Restaurant Au Pont Corbeau, Le Baeckeoffe d’Alsace, La Fignette, S’Thomas Stuebel, Namsan Maru (Korean), Restaurant Les Chauvins Père & Fils, and Chez Yvonne.
- 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.
Recommended trip duration: 1-2 days