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STRASBOURG FAQ`S

What airports service the Strasbourg, France area?

Strasbourg International Airport: This is a small airport located in the southwest of the city at Entzheim offering domestic and international flighs, mostly operated by Air France. There are several flights per day to and from Paris. A train connects the airport to the city center, about a 9 minute ride. Tickets can be purchased at the airport (including connecting tram transport) for around €4.30.

Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg Airport: Located near the Swiss border, Easyjet and other international carriers operate frequent flights out of this airport. From the airport you can take the shuttle bus to the train station of Saint-Louis which costs about €2.50 and takes approx. 10 minutes. Take the local train to Strasbourg from Saint-Louis train station, cost is around €23.10 and takes approx. 80 minutes. Alternatively, Flixbus offers a direct connection for about €19.90 with a travel time of about 2 hours (note: this needs to be booked in advance).

Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport: Ryanair and other low-cost carriers fly into this airport. From the airport to Strasbourg city center take bus #285 to the railway station of Baden-Baden, about €3.40 per one-way ticket with a travel time of approx. 25 minutes. From Baden-Baden railway, you can take a local train to Strasbourg, changing at Appenwier. The cost is around €13.40 and will take about 60 minutes.

Frankfurt International Airport: this is the nearest inter-continental airport. A shuttle bus operated by Lufthansa connects Strasbourg and Frankfurt Airport. Tickets can be purchased online at Lufthansa which is similar to purchasing a flight reservation (use FRA for Frankfurt Airport) and XER (Strasbourg Bus Station) as departure/arrival destination. The cost is about €49 and takes approx 2.5 hours. There is also a high-speed train connection, changing at Frankfurt Hauptbahnhor that costs around €62 with a 2 hour travel time. Alternatively, there is the Flixbus that can get you to Strasbourg. This is the cheapest connection at a costs of about €11, travel time is generally just over 3 hours.

How do I get from the train station to my hotel?

The Strasbourg Train Station (Gare de Strasbourg) is the second largest train station in France. This station offers travelers a wide range of connections to other regions of France.

The railway station is located on the west-side of the town center, where you will also find the main tram station and other public transport connections.

The square in front of the railway station is, unfortunately, not the safest place in Strasbourg, so you are advised to take good care of your belongings.

How do I get around by taxi?

To serve the many business travelers there are a good number of taxis circulating around the city. You can also order one from Centre Alsace Taxis: www.centre-alsace-taxis.fr.

Is Strasbourg a walking city?

The city center is small enough to be easily explored on foot. Most of the main sites are accessible on foot and the city center is mostly pedestrianized.

I will have a car in Strasbourg, where can I park?

There are few parking lots in Strasbourg that are placed close to tram stations and which offer you a unique ticket for parking and for a tram ride. This way you could avoid traffic rush hours. Parking Garages: Rotonde, Ducs d`Alsace, Elsau, Baggersee are placed very close to the city center, while garages Hohenheim Gare, Pont Phario, Rives de l`Aar and Etoile are situated very close to tram stations.

You can rent a car at Avis (www.avis.fr), located at the train station or in the Kléberparking garage, or Europcar, at the station (www.europcar.fr).

What are the local transportation options available in Strasbourg?

Buses and trams in Strasbourg are operated by the Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeo is (CTS: www.cts-strasbourg.eu). A few dozen numbered bus lines and six tram lines (named A to F) serve the city. A single ticketing system covers both bus and tram. Tickets are sold in tabacs (news agents), tourist offices, CTS boutiques or from vending machines at tram stops. Tickets should be validated before use, either in the machines on the tram station platforms or in the machine at the bus entrance.

Trams are the most popular and most effective and way of transport in Strasbourg. Lines A, B and C operate from Monday to Sunday from 4:30 am till 12:30 am while line D operates every day except Sunday, from 7:00 am till 7:00 pm.

The following tickets can be bought for buses and trams throughout the metropolitan area (including the German town of Kehl):

- Aller Simple (single ticket) €1.70
- 10x Aller Simple €14.00
- Aller-Retour (return ticket) €3.30
- 24 hr €4.30
- 24 hr Trio (for up to three people) €6.80

Note: This information and prices are accurate when this was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

How do I get around by bike?

With more than 250 miles of high quality cycle track, a perfect way to discover Strasbourg is to rent a bicycle and enjoy the sightseeing. There are bicycle rentals in Strasbourg located throughout the city.

Like many other French cities, Strasbourg has its own bike sharing program called Vélhop. However, since automatic rental only works through bank card payment, for tourists it is usually easier to rent them at a Boutique Vélhop (about €6 per day with a €150 deposit; for locations and opening hours visit: https://www.velhop.strasbourg.eu/en/sag_intro_boutiques.html).

Bikes can be taken on trams except during peak hours.

There are also scenic bike tours through the historic center of Strasbourg that are led by a knowledgeable local guide that will provide interesting stories about the city and point out key architectural landmarks. The tours generally begin at the Place d`Austerlitz and run about 90 minutes.

Is Strasbourg a dangerous city?

Strasbourg is a safe city. Of course the standard precautions apply: watch out for pickpockets near the Cathedral (and inside, according to the signs) during the high tourist season. But in general the city of Strasbourg is not known for violence.

Although street crimes, burglaries, and petty thefts are not major concerns in Strasbourg, they occasionally happen. However, most of these situations can be avoided using a few simple rules. Avoid carrying around large amounts of money or looking extremely flashy. Drawing un-needed attention is never a good idea. Lock all car doors and roll up windows when leaving valuables behind in a car. Keep a close eye on valuables in crowded, public areas, as these are the places where pickpockets generally operate.

Avoid walking alone at night, this is a general recommendation for any unfamiliar area, but should be followed in Strasbourg as well.

Can I pay/tip in US dollars?

The currency used in Strasbourg is the euro (€), US dollars are not accepted. The city center has plenty of banks and ATMs: you`ll definitely find one around Place Kléber.

We recommend that you exchange a small amount of cash prior to your trip, enough for a cab ride or basic spending on arrival. It is also useful to remind your bank and credit card company that you will be travelling to make sure your cards will work while in France. We recommend you record all your credit card numbers, as well as the phone numbers to call if your cards are lost or stolen.

Under the euro system, there are seven notes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 euros. Notes are the same for all countries. There are eight coins: 1 and 2 euros, plus 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents.

Strasbourg, like elsewhere in France, a service charge is always included in the bill. If you are particularly pleased with the service, you may certainly leave a few extra euros on the table. But this additional tip is neither expected nor necessary.

For more information about tipping visit: Tipping in France

What is the weather like?

Strasbourg has a semi-continental climate, with cold winters and relatively warm summers. Below is the average temperatures for each season:

Winter: December - February is cold and gray, with average temperatures near freezing, around 32°F. However, there are different weather situations: when currents come from the Atlantic Ocean, temperatures are fairly mild, so that highs can reach or exceed 50°F. Snowfalls can be quite frequent, though generally not abundant.

Spring: March - May is cool, unstable and somewhat rainy. The season is initially cold, with possible snow and frost in March, and then gradually becomes milder, but with some chance of cold periods still in April. In May, it can get cold, especially in the first half of the month, with lows close to freezing, but at other times the first warm days can occur, especially in the second half of the month.

Summer: June - August there are variable or sunny days, with pleasant temperatures, and some hot days, with highs equal to or above 86°F, and sometimes even up to 95/99°F. On sunny days, in the afternoon, thunderstorms can erupt. Sometimes there are also rainy and cool days. However, when Atlantic fronts pass, there can also be cool and rainy days.

Autumn: September - November is initially mild and not too rainy, and gradually becomes more gray, cold and rainy. In November, generally the first snowfalls and night frosts occur, but already in October it can sometimes be cold.

What are the events that take place in the city?

The city offers many cultural events as well as dozens of museums, concerts (both free and paid) operas, ballet, and more.

The Conservatory, Opera, Ballet, and Orchestra put on festivals at many different times of the year. In the Summers, there are nearly always markets where you can buy local food, used books, local art, and flea market type items. Below are some highlighted events that take place throughout the year:

September: Journées européennes du Patrimoine (European days of heritage)
For one weekend in September, all the museums and other institutions of state heritage in France are open to free and guided visits. Additionally, during these two days, Strasbourg opens the door of all the European institutions and offers all curious visitors a free tour.

November: Jazz festival `Jazz d`Or`
During a few weeks in September, since 1985, Strasbourg becomes a live stage for the best jazz musicians in the world. In this period, one can listen to jazz concerts, swings and jams either in city music halls, theatres, various clubs or on the street corners. More information on programs can be found at: www.jazzdor.com.

November 29th - December 31st: Marché de Noël (Christmas Market)
Strasbourg celebrates Christmas with one of the biggest, oldest, and one of the most beautiful Christmas market in all of Europe.

May 15 - 20: `Le nuit des Musées` (The night of the museums)
This annual manifestation offers visitors a free night entrance to all of the city museums with lot of different activities for art lovers of all ages. It also provides a new vision of museum exhibitions and a really unique atmosphere in the city.

June 20 - 30: `La Fete du cinema` (Celebration of Films)
This annual festival which lasts for ten days all through France provides cinema lovers with reductions on all films showing at all the city cinemas at that time. Search for the movies that are shown with French titles (films with mark VO) to be a part of the passionate audience.

June 21st: `La Fete de la Musique` (Celebration of Music)
This festival created in France in 1982 is dedicated to music, musicians and music lovers who, during the whole day, can enjoy free concerts all around the town. During this summer day, one can find professional or amateur musicians playing rock, folk, jazz, hip-hop, cabaret, classical or electronic music on every street corner or square. The celebration lasts all day and brings a fun atmosphere to the entire city.

July: `L`Ill aux Lumieres` (The city under the lights)
During the whole month of July, visitors can enjoy light decorations at night that give a new vision of city buildings, fountains and churches. Accompanied with music, these light shows (especially the play of lights on the city Cathedral) are a unique experience of urban space and a great tourist attraction.

July 14: National Day
Throughout France, National Day commemorates the fall of the Bastille and the beginning of French Revolution which is celebrated with great fireworks. Strasbourg puts on a great fireworks show to celebrate each year.

I don`t speak French. Will many people speak English?

French is the official language spoken in Strasbourg. Hotels, tourist attractions and restaurants in popular areas generally have staff that speaks some English. The cafes and restaurants are welcoming and the locals are very friendly. They are receptive to all languages, but always try to use French when you can. On the street, many people (especially young people) speak at least basic English, but they will appreciate a little effort in French. If you decide to do some travelling into the surrounding, more rural areas, or happen upon a restaurant off the beaten track then it`s a good idea to brush up on your French! We suggest you get a good English-French guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.

The indigenous language of Alsace is called Alsatian, a southern German dialect influenced over time by French. It is closely related to the Alemannic German dialects spoken in the adjacent border regions of Germany and Switzerland. It is still spoken by a considerable number of people in the region, especially in the rural-countryside, although like all minority languages in France, it is struggling for survival. You will see bilingual street signs in the city center using both French and Alsatian German place names. Native speakers of Alsatian will usually be able to speak standard German as well.

What is the food/drink like?

A city with mixed cultures of German and French, Strasbourg`s cuisine reflects the city`s past influences. Specialties are numerous and can be eaten in many traditional restaurants, in the city. Some local popular items to try:

Sauerkraut (choucroute in French). Choucroute is a heaping plate of Sauerkraut (usually big enough for 2 people) as well as sausages and other meats. This is usually translated as `garnished sauerkraut` on English menus.

Alsatian pork-butcher`s meat, Flammeküche or flams (tartes flambées in French) which is a sort of wafer thin pizza made with onion-cream sauce, Baeckeoffe, beef and pork stew cooked, with potatoes and carrots, usually served for two or more persons.

Fleischnackas is mixed beef meat presented like spirals and served with salads.

Coqau riesling is a typical dish, and has distinct German culinary elements, since it is served with spaetzle, a German type of noodle.

Kugelhopf is a dessert of cake made with yeast, almonds and raisins.

If you visit in April or May Strasbourg goes crazy for white asparagus, as they do in German cities in asparagus season. In Strasbourg it is roasted and then served with lentils and a poached egg.

Beer: Alsace is the first beer-producing region of France and Strasbourg has many breweries. Best known are Kronenbourg and Fischer. The only large independent brewery left in Alsace is Meteor producing pils, lager and specials on Christmas and spring.

Alsatian white wine: usually drunk with Alsatian food, but also with fish. The main varieties are Gewürtztraminer (meaning spicy, usually sweet sometimes sugary, usually served as an appetizer or with dessert or foie gras), Riesling (very dry, considered the best/more complex), Pinot blanc (half dry), Pinot Gris (sweet), Sylvaner (dry and cheap) and Edelzwicker (half dry, actually a mix of the others, cheap and popular).

What is the nightlife like?

Most of the entertainment can be found on place de la Cathédrale, where there is usually an assortment of performers and artists. Dancers perform spontaneously against the illumination of the cathedral. From mid-July to early August, folk dances take place in La Petite France on Monday night in place des Tripiers, Tuesday in place Benjamin Zix, and Wednesday in place du Marché aux Cochons de Lait. Performance dates vary, schedules can be found on the Tourism office website: www.otstrasbourg.fr.

The Performing Arts: For opera and ballet, checkout Opéra du Rhin, 19 place Broglie: www.operanationaldurhin.fr; tickets cost vary from about €12 - €80. The Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg performs at the Palais de la Musique et des Congrès, place de Bordeaux: www.philharmonique-strasbourg.com.Tickets cost between €14.50 - €63. The Théâtre National de Strasbourg on1 av. de la Marseillaise: www.tns.fr. Tickets cost between €5.50 - €28.

Bars and Clubs: The streets surrounding place de la Cathédrale, in particular rue des Frères, rue des Soeurs, and rue de la Croix, are very active with numerous cafes and bars.

What are the museum cards available when visiting Strasbourg museums?

Three-day Pass Card for all the museums, single price: €8

One-day Pass Card for all the museums: Full price: €6 - reduced price: €3 Visit the visitors center for ticket purchase options. This information and prices are accurate when this was published.

What are the best areas for shopping?

Strasbourg is filled with antiques shops, artisans, crafts people, and beer makers. Occasionally, the city organizes a general market in parts of the center, where many street vendors offer various products and the shops join in with special discounts.

There is a marché aux Puces (flea market, antique sellers) on rue de Vieil-Hôpital on Wednesday and Saturdays. The Placedes Halles, 24, place des Halles, is a shopping center with over 100 shops and restaurants north of the city center, but within walking distance.

Rivetoile is a shopping center at Place d`etoile, in between the Etoile Polygone and Etoile Bourse tram stops. This shopping center has shops similar to Place des Halles as well as higher budget shops and a selection of cafes.

For cheap groceries, including local wines and beers, try one of the three outlets of NORMA, a German discount chain whose three outlets are conveniently located at the corner of rue Ste Michel and rue Ste Marguerite near the central train station; at 79, Grand`Rue near the center of Grand Île; and at 27, rue des Frères near the Cathedral. Another option is the COOPAlsace and PointCOOP located around the city. They sell very local wines at great prices.

What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?

Emergency dial 112

Police 117

Doctors & Hospitals - Hopitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg, 1 Place de l`Hopital (www.chru-strasbourg.fr;Tel. 03-88-11-67-68).

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