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Strasbourg Tourism And Travel Guide
6.8° C / 44.2° F
May to September
3 to 5 Days
Strasbourg International Airport
Gare de Strasbourg
The capital of the Alsace region and a city with a unique historical heritage, Strasbourg is located in north-eastern France while also sharing its borders with Germany. The scenic locales and districts, charming half-timbered houses and historic monuments of Strasbourg create a captivating atmosphere in the city that will enthral travellers from all backgrounds. The roots of Strasbourg are embedded in Franco-German culture, which is evident in almost every nook-and-cranny of the city. Moreover, being the seat of more than twenty international institutions has brought Strasbourg global recognition; manifested most significantly by the fact that the city is considered the legislative capital of the European Union. Despite its diplomatic growth, Strasbourg’s ancient heritage and pristine culture are truly what drives tourism in this city. Read on to know what makes this place so very special with the help of this travel guide.
How to Reach
Strasbourg International Airport is located just 10 km away from the city centre; however, it’s usually not the preferred way to get to Strasbourg since flying directly to Strasbourg can be a costly affair and there aren’t any direct flights available. A more economical alternative is to catch a flight to either Frankfurt International Airport in Germany (the closest international airport from Strasbourg), the Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg Airport in France or the Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport in Germany – the latter two operate the cheapest intercontinental flights – and then catch a train from the airport to Strasbourg. Travellers may be required to change trains in one or two locations.
Gare de Strasbourg is the city’s main railway station and is served by several local, national and international train networks. If travelling from anywhere in France, visitors can avail the services of the SNCF rail network or the high-speed TGV network from cities like Paris, Dijon, Marseille, Lyon etc. Travellers coming in from the German side can use the Deutsche Bahn railway line to get to Strasbourg. The German Inter-City-Express (ICE) also operates trains on routes that have connections to Strasbourg; Offenburg is the closest ICE station from Strasbourg.
Bus services are available from all major European cities to reach Strasbourg via road routes. Eurolines and Flixbus are some of the big-name companies operating daily buses to and from Strasbourg. Travellers can also go down the cab route or hire cars to drive themselves to Strasbourg via the following routes – the A5 highway if coming in from Germany; the A4 highway if travelling from the west, like Paris; and the A35 highway if travelling from the south like Switzerland or Lyon.
Weather & Best Time to Visit
Summer (June – August):
One of the best and busiest seasons in Strasbourg, summers experience a warm and sunny climate with temperatures ranging between 14⁰C to 30⁰C. The weather is usually ideal for enjoying outdoor activities like sightseeing, boat tours, bike tours or even a simple walk across the city squares. Exciting events like the Light Show and Film and Music Festival also occur during the summer months.
Autumn (September – November):
The autumn season in Strasbourg is best described as a mild transitional period between the warm summers and intense winters. Lovely fall colours mark every part of the city with temperatures hovering between 20⁰C in early September and dipping to around 7⁰C by late November.
Winter (December – February):
Winter climate is usually extremely chilly in Strasbourg and temperatures can fall to freezing levels. The highest temperature experienced during this season is around 10⁰C and this is the time to try and venture out to explore the beauty of winter wonderland in Strasbourg. Despite the extremely cold weather, winters are still one of the busiest times in the city and both tourists and locals flock to Strasbourg during this time to be a part of the magical Christmas market.
Spring (March – May):
An overall cool climate with moderate chances of rain characterizes the spring season in Strasbourg. Temperatures in the early part of the season hover in the range of 2⁰C and gradually rise to a warmer range of 19⁰C by the end of May. The entire city is covered in colourful flower blooms during spring and makes the city appear lively and vibrant.
Things to Do
River Cruise & Boat Tour:
Boat tours along the River Íle and Rhine are a great way to acquaint yourself with Strasbourg and its many attractions from the comfort of a relaxing cruise. Most of these tours last about an hour and are accompanied with running commentaries offered in various languages through individual headsets. Beginning with an introduction of Strasbourg, most of the city’s key landmarks are crossed with detailed information given about each attraction.
Visit the Museums:
Crammed with several museums, Strasbourg is a place with a rich historical heritage that visitors can learn all about through these contemporary buildings depicting ancient secrets. Musée Alsacien should feature as your top spot to know more about Alsace and its culture. The museum contains exhibits that showcase everyday artefacts associated with a typical day in Alsace back in the days of 7th-9th Century. Musée Archaeologique contains artefacts that have been excavated from Strasbourg and the Alsace region, with origins dating back to 600,000 BC. Palais Rohan is an exquisite palatial complex with three museums inside and is one of the top places to visit for tourists. Other museums worth checking out are Musée de l’Oeuvre, Musée Zoologique and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.
Explore the Churches:
With 11 historically important churches, Strasbourg plays a significant role in France’s Christian identity. The Notre-Dame Cathedral, also known as the Strasbourg Cathedral is the most famous monument in the city and attracts the most amount of visitors annually. In terms of size, it is closely followed by the Church of Saint-Paul and is also a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. When the Notre-Dame Cathedral became a Catholic church during the French Revolution, the Église Saint-Thomas took upon the mantle of becoming the city’s main Protestant house of worship. Out of all the other churches, Saint-Pierre-le-Vieux is the city’s oldest one and also the only church that is both Protestant and Catholic at the same time.
Where to Eat
An exotic blend of French and German cuisine is what most travellers should expect when it comes to Alsatian food. One of the best and oldest restaurants in the city is the Au Pont du Corbeau, which is famous for its Alsatian speciality choucroute garnie – a hearty dish made with sauerkraut, sausages and other ingredients. Other eateries serving delectable local cuisine are Le Tire-Bouchon, La Corde á Linge and Les Haras. To enjoy some of the best varieties of the Alsatian favourite tarté flambée, head to Binchstub or Les Chauvins Pére et Fils.
For international cuisine, try Le Caillou for yummy Mediterranean food, Bistrot Coco for some fusion food, Come a Roma for Italian and Íberica for brilliant Spanish delicacies.
Where to Shop
Shopping in Strasbourg is usually associated with charming experiences in vintage shops and independent boutiques. The area around the Strasbourg Cathedral features several shops and stores where tourists can purchase little gifts and mementoes for themselves. Rue de Orfévres is one of Strasbourg’s most popular shopping streets where you’ll find jewellery, leather, wines and stores selling a variety of other goods.
Kléber Square is where the famous Christmas market is held each year, and travellers who plan their trip between the latter half of November till the end of December will find themselves entranced by this magical market.