Strasbourg: an open city, an inspired city
Strasbourg Grande-Ile, listed as a World Heritage Site since 1988, was the first urban centre in France to be classified by UNESCO. Despite the occurrence of various wars, Strasbourg has managed to preserve its exceptionally varied heritage, which shows us the city’s evolution from Roman times through to the present day. The cathedral, “a gigantic and delicate marvel” in the words of Victor Hugo, can be seen from miles around. With its spire reaching a height of 142 metres, it remained the highest building in Christendom until the 19th century! The Petite France, a picture-postcard quarter once home to tanners, fishermen and millers, is a haven of peace at the heart of the city. The German imperial quarter, dating from the end of the 19th century, and the more recent quarter of the European institutions. In addition, Strasbourg has become renowned for its cuisine across France and even Europe; in “winstubs” − small wine bars typical of Strasbourg − home-cooked traditional dishes can be enjoyed, as well as the traditional wines of Alsace. With its large pedestrian centre, gentle waterways, characterful quarters, countless parks and green spaces, and luxury boutiques, Strasbourg has established itself as both a warm, welcoming city full of authenticity, and a modern, cosmopolitan metropolis!
- Notre-Dame cathedral: with its lacework of pink sandstone, its Astronomical Clock, its pulpit and its stained-glass windows.
- "Little France": the former tanners' and millers' quarter, its canals and half-timbered houses.
- Place de la République and its historic monuments: built between 1871 and 1918, during the era of the German Empire.
- The European Quarter (The Council of Europe, European Parliament, Human Rights Building etc.).
- The Palais Rohan (18th century), The Œuvre Notre-Dame Museum (16th century) etc.
- The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.
- The Orangerie Park, its zoo, its boat tours, the Joséphine Pavillon.
- The breweries and microbreweries (production, beer tastings, beer-inspired cuisine etc.).
- The winstubs, little restaurants typical of Alsace.
Summer in Strasbourg – (in July and August).
- Light show at the cathedral : at nightfall, the pink sandstone and elegant sculptures of Notre-Dame come to life with music and many colours.
- Summer show : every evening there will be water shows, giant images, light and laser shows, sound effects, music, etc. An unforgettable and spectacular open-air show.
ST-ART – Contemporary art fair exhibition – (in November).
Avant-garde art, Constructivism, “figuration libre”… This art fair is an opportunity for all the attending galleries to exhibit and sell their pieces to an international audience including collectors.
“Strasbourg, Christmas capital” – (in December).
Every year since 1570, Strasbourg has hosted the Christmas Market, and the city sparkles with countless lights and colours.
Alsace, land of gastronomy
Of all of the regions of France, Alsace has long been considered as one of the most gastronomic. Our region produces an abundance of refined, high-quality products. Foie gras and sauerkraut are the two centrepieces of Alsatian cuisine, but alongside these famous dishes, many other mouthwatering delicacies appear on menus. For example: baeckeoffe, tarte flambée (flammekueche) and spaetzle (a variety of pasta) which accompany fish, in particular the famous matelote, poultry and game. For dessert, after sampling the full-flavoured munster cheese, a whole array of bilberry, plum and apple tarts appears − without forgetting, of course, the special cheesecake and the famous kougelhopf.
A particularly rare phenomenon here is the production of beer and wine side by side. And in Alsace, both are of the highest quality. In marrying products of the land with animal produce, a delicious harmony is reached which pleases even the most demanding of gourmets.
In Strasbourg, gastronomy is so much more than a way of life; it is an ever-growing culture borne of centuries of tradition.
Visiting the city
- With the "Strasbourg Pass", visit more and spend less!
Its free activities and many available reductions will enable you to discover, alone or with friends or family, the unmissable monuments and attractions of your choice, at your own pace. The Strasbourg Pass is valid for 3 consecutive days. For more information or to buy your pass, visit the reception of the Tourist Offices, open 7 days a week from 9am to 7pm.
- On foot
Guided visit using an audio-guide. To visit the town at your own pace, and at any time of day.
Duration: about 1 hour 30 minutes.
Rental:available 365 days a year at the Tourist Office, 17 place de la Cathédrale, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. For a maximum period of 3 hours.
Subject to a deposit: 1 form of ID for each audio-guide hired.
Free for children < 12 years.
- By boat on the River Ill
With commentary in English (and 10 other languages + children's versions) available every day, all year round.
Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes.
Landing stage: Palais Rohan.
Tel. + 33 (0)3 88 84 13 13 - Fax: + 33 (0)3 88 84 33 13
Disabled access available upon request. Written commentary available for the deaf and hard of hearing.
- By Mini-Tram
It goes through the historic centre and Petite France and stops at the foot of the Vauban dam before coming back to the cathedral.
Runs every day from March 24 to November 11 (except on May 1).
Duration: 40 min.
Departure point: Place de la Cathédrale.
Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois (CTS)
Tel. + 33 (0)3 88 77 70 03 - Fax: + 33 (0)3 88 77 70 96
Disabled access available upon request.
- By Bicycle
In Strasbourg, the bicycle is king! Exploring France’s largest cycle trail network (of nearly 500 km!), cyclists can discover the town and its surrounding area in an original and highly unusual manner as they travel along the canals, through the parks and gardens, and through the town’s historical pedestrianised centre.
What’s more, anyone keen on a spot of cycling can also take advantage of the numerous possibilities to hire a bike or rollerblades in Strasbourg...
Esprit Cycles - Tel. + 33 (0)3 88 36 18 41
Vél’hop- Tel. + 33 (0)3 88 23 56 75 or + 33 (0)3 88 35 44 65
- TGV Est Européen high-speed rail: 2 hrs 20 mins from Paris Charles de Gaulle or Paris Gare de l’Est.
- Direct rail connections to Paris, Lille, Rennes, Nantes, Bordeaux, Stuttgart and Zurich….
- TGV Rhin-Rhône high-speed rail (open since 11 December 2011): 3 hrs 40 mins from Lyon, 5 hrs 30 mins from Marseille!
- Strasbourg-Entzheim International Airport (10km from Strasbourg)
- Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport (58km from Strasbourg)
- Basel-Mulhouse International Airport (130km from Strasbourg)
- Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (2 hrs 20 mins by direct TGV)
Greater Strasbourg Tourist Office
17, Place de la Cathédrale
67082 Strasbourg Cedex Tel. +33 (0)3 88 52 28 28
Fax + 33 (0)3 88 52 28 29