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Strasbourg means ‘City of the Roads’. It sits on some of Europe’s main transport routes – and on the intersection between France and Germany. Strasbourg has frequently changed hands between the two countries, and even now your French-to-English pocket dictionary won’t help – the capital of France’s Alsace region is German-speaking.

Strasbourg is the seat of such weighty institutions as the Council of Europe and theEuropean Parliament, which explains why so many of its inhabitants look rather serious. Or maybe they’re just worried that with so much architectural splendour (Strasbourg was the first entire city to be granted World Heritage status), they’ll be overrun by visitors wanting to stay if they look like they’re having too much fun. Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of the Grand Ile is a highlight, but there’s also enough after-dark energy in Strasbourg to get even the most boring bureaucrat bopping!

Strasbourg's Top 10

10. Cave des Hospices de Strasbourg A wine cellar inside a hospital… Gotta love the French!

5. Parc de l’Orangerie A family haven where swans float on a lake amongst little boats. Playgrounds and a mini zoo keep the kids occupied.

9. Jardin des Deux Rives This 60-hectare garden straddling both banks of the Rhine comes complete with a suspension bridge!

4. Palais Rohan Built for the city’s bishops in the 18th century and truly palatial. There are a number of interesting museum exhibits as well.

8. European Parliament You can sit in on debates, but bring your ID – security is tight.

3. Musee Historique This museum, interestingly situated in a 16th century slaughterhouse, traces Strasbourg’s development.

7. Musee d’Art Moderne et Contemporain A glass and steel cube plays home to an excellent collection of modern art and first-rate river views.

2. Musee de l’Oeuvre Notre-Dame Home to the oldest stained glass artwork in France, plus sculptural treasures from the Gothic, Renaissance and Romanesque periods, this is a feast for any art lover’s senses.

6. Petite France A pretty medieval area with narrow lanes, canals and half-timbered houses covered in geraniums.

1. Cathedrale Notre-Dame This gothic masterpiece comes complete with menacing gargoyles and sharp spires.

Strasbourg History

  • Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg - A Roman Catholic cathedral considered one of the best examples of late Gothic architecture.
  • Kriegstor - This war gate is an example of Prussian military architecture that was popular during the 1880s.
  • Barrage Vauban - A weir built in 1700 that is several stories high and contains many sculptures and a terrace on the roof.
  • Palais du Rhin - A huge building with gardens found in the German section of the city.
  • Opera National du Rhin - Renovated in 1873 after the German bombing.

Strasbourg Art & Culture

  • Musee de l’Oeuvre Notre-Dame - An extensive collection of medieval and Renaissance art.
  • Cabinet des Estampes et des Dessins - The museum in Strasbourg houses lithography, drawings, woodcuts and engravings.
  • Le Vaisseau - A technology and science centre specifically for children.
  • Musee Alsacien - A museum dedicated to showing all aspects of Alsatian life.
  • Musee de la Navigation sur le Rhin - An old shop that shows the history of navigation on the Rhine River.

Strasbourg Shopping

  • Place des Halles - More than 100 restaurants and shops.
  • Rue Hellebardes and Gutenberg - Streets that have designer clothing stores for both men and women.
  • Marche aux Puces - This flea market is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the rue de Vieil-Hopital.
  • Rivetoil - Contains higher-budget shops and cafes located between the tram stops of Etoile bourse and Etoile Polygone.
  • NORMA - An outlet that offers cheap groceries and local beers and wines of Strasbourg.

Gay & Lesbian Strasbourg

  • Bar Le zoo - The local gay bar that opens late and stays open all night long in Strasbourg.
  • So Divine - A gay and lesbian spot with three floors devoted to good food and wine.
  • JJ’s Club - Small and gay-friendly bar with a dance floor and a crowd of all ages.
  • Antracte Cruise Club - A gay sex club with a video room, playground, private cubicles and more.
  • Offshore Club - A gay club with DJs and dancing all night long.

Strasbourg Outdoor

  • Jardin des Deux Rives - Contains parklands, promenades and play areas that straddle both sides of the river, connected by a sleek suspension bridge.
  • Parc de l’Orangerie - A flower park created in the 17th century with a mini zoo.
  • Grande Ile - A big island surrounded by the two arms of the river and containing many monuments in a relatively small area.
  • Canal Boat Tour - Enjoy the river by taking a canal boat tour viewing some of the most beautiful parts of Strasbourg.
  • Natural Park Vosges du Nord - Designated UNESCO area that contains a biosphere reserve and more than 60 percent of the park is forest.

Strasbourg Sport

  • Spend the day watching tennis at the Internationaux de Strasbourg.
  • Put on your hiking boots and follow the trails through the Voges or the Black Forest.
  • Get a professional guide and do some rock climbing; spots are available for beginners to experienced climbers.
  • Choose from grade I to grade IV rapids for a day of canoeing or rafting.
  • Get exercise using the gym, courts and other facilities at the Eau Vive health club.

Strasbourg Events

Hundreds of free outdoor art exhibits fill the city in August for the Street Art Festival, accompanied by clowns and brass bands.

Food stalls spring up all around Strasbourg in July for the European Food Festival. Creamy cheeses, cool beers and freshly baked bread lure in foodies from around the region.

Colourful lights and fireworks light up Notre Dame Cathedral each night of the Ete a Strasbourg in June.

September’s European Bric-A-Brac and Antiques Fair at the Parc des Expositions sells loads of trinkets and antiques from all over Europe.

The Festival Musica puts a Strasbourg spin on modern classical music at various locations throughout September and October.

When To Go

  • Winter in Strasbourg can be cold and snowy, but this is also Strasbourg at its most beautiful.
  • Flowers (and tourism) blooms from March to May.
  • Summer (June to August) brings the biggest crowds and warmest weather. Temperatures occasionally top 30ºC (86ºF).

Getting Around

  • Trams are a great way to get around the Grand Ile, with four main lines starting at Place de l’Homme de Fer.
  • Shuttle buses or city trams run every 40 minutes from the airport to town.
  • You can get to Paris by train in only 2 hours 20 minutes.

Strasbourg Information

The capital of Alsace in France, a notable hub of wine and gastronomy, is a study in contrasts. Close proximity to Germany adds a minor twist to Strasbourg's identity. Inhabitants revel in a cultural legacy that is special within France and as a result, the city is a wonderful discovery.

Strasbourg is on the cusp of a major transformation, from heritage city to one that plays a critical role in the European Union. As the base for many institutions that contribute to the overall direction of the continent, Strasbourg is a popular destination. Terrific architecture, parks and museums round out what has become a modern, cosmopolitan town.

Attractions

The Strasbourg Cathedral is by far the primary attraction in the city, if not one of the best in France. The spire, once the tallest structure in the world, is visible from the Black Forest across the River Rhine. Construction first began on the cathedral in the 12th century, with many phases of renovation over subsequent decades. While the exterior is remarkable, to truly appreciate the historical house of worship, one must tour the entire facility.

Petite-France is one of the best preserved medieval quarters in Europe. Ancient timber facades compete with Baroque sandstone structures among the narrow, picturesque streets.

The Church of Saint-Thomas is notable for several reasons. The primary Protestant church in the city, none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart gave a recital here in 1778. Construction of the cathedral began in 1196 and took some time to complete: 325 years to be precise.

The Rohan Palace is famous the world over as one of the best models of classic Baroque architecture. Built between 1731 and 1742, the grand palace was at one time the home of Louis XV, Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte. Today Rohan Palace contains three of the most vital museums in Strasbourg: the Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Decorative Arts and Archaeological Museum.

Events

Strasbourg's reputation as a capital of culture is not mere hyperbole in France but rather, on the record across Europe and abroad. The city has several fine foundations in the realm of music and theatre.

The Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra has been around since 1855, with regular recitals throughout the year. The Opéra national du Rhin performs in the spectacular city opera house. The National Theatre Company is one of the best in France.

Festivals in Strasbourg tend to reflect a love of instrumental music, from the excellent Jazz d'Or Festival in November to Musica, a celebration of contemporary classical music in September.

December is a big deal in Strasbourg, with a festive Old Europe vibe in the streets. A Christmas market at Place de la Cathédrale features vendors with decorations and traditional yuletide treats.

Climate

With a location in the middle of Europe, Strasbourg has a continental climate. The city calendar features four seasons, with 10 days of rain a month on average.

  • Winter (November to February) -1-8°C


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Hotels in Strasbourg

39 hotels in Strasbourg, FR

1 Hotel Rohan

4 stars
4.3 / 5

17-19 rue du Maroquin Map

Featuring comfortable accommodations within convenient distance from corporate hubs, local attractions and recreation sites, Hotel Rohan Strasbourg makes for an ideal base for travellers in... More

2 Cerise Strasbourg

3 stars
4.4 / 5 5 reviews

5 RUE JOB Map

Offering comfortable accommodations close to city centre, Cerise Strasbourg makes for a suitable base for travellers looking to explore the beautiful city of Strasbourg. Vacationers in this part of... More

3 Sejours & Affaires Strasbourg Kleber

3.5 / 5

16 Rue Hannong Map

Featuring an elegant decor and a warm hospitality, Sejours & Affaires Kleber Strasbourg welcomes you for an unforgettable vacation. GeneralSpacious parking lot is also available on site for... More

4 Hotel Maison Rouge

4 stars
4.0 / 5 2 reviews

4 rue des Francs Bourgeois Map

The Maison Rouge Hotel Strasbourg is a place to explore, where art lovers will find the wherewithal to satisfy their passion. GeneralThe Hotel Maison Rouge offers a multitude of options for the... More

5 Regent Petite France and Spa

4 stars
4.0 / 5 1 reviews

5, Rue des Moulins Map

Featuring charming accommodations and elegant spaces set in a central location, the riverside Regent Petite France & Spa makes for an ideal base for discerning travellers in Strasbourg. This... More

6 Appart'City Strasbourg Centre

3 stars
5.0 / 5 1 reviews

11 rue de Molshiem Map

Featuring self-contained and spacious accommodations, Appart'City Strasbourg Centre makes for an ideal base for travellers in a long- or short- term stay in Strasbourg. This modern property places... More

7 Hotel Cour du Corbeau Strasbourg - MGallery Collection

4 stars
5.0 / 5 3 reviews

6-8 rue des Couples Map

Considered as one of the most beautiful hotel from the rebirth of Strasbourg, the Cour Du Corbeau Hotel Strasbourg - MGallery Collection is surrounded by Republic square, train station and Petite... More

8 BEST WESTERN Monopole Metropole

3 stars
5.0 / 5 2 reviews

16 Rue Kuhn Map

Ideally blending the old and new, Best Western Monopole Metropole combines classical charm with contemporary functional designs to suit the needs of business and leisure travellers in Strasbourg.... More

9 Hôtel Mercure Strasbourg Palais des Congres

4 stars
3.6 / 5 5 reviews

20 Place de Bordeaux Map

This property with convenient location is a perfect place to reside while on aMercure Strasbourg Palais Des Congres Hotel. GeneralThe well-appointed meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 1200... More

10 Aparthotel Adagio Access Strasbourg Petite France

3 stars
2.0 / 5

27 Rue de Wasselonne Map

Whether in Strasbourg for short stay or long vacation, Adagio Access Strasbourg Petite France Hotel makes for a suitable base for holidaymakers exploring the historic city. While in the area,... More