This picturesque city in France is known for its famous Christmas market as well as its Alsace wine, and you will soon notice that the town has a strong influence from Germany. The city is home to some impressive museums and buildings, like the Strasbourg Cathedral, which is the tallest building in the city and is over 1,00 years old. Inside there is an astronomical clock that was constructed back in 1842 by a team of mathematicians, artists and technicians, and it is one of the most impressive landmarks in the city. Aside from having some of the best beverages, from craft beer to wine and schnapps, Strasbourg actually has an incredible cuisine and one of your favorite things about the city will most likely be its food.
The city has several neighborhoods and areas with each one offering unique main attractions and activities. If you are visiting Strasbourg on vacation you will want to see as much of the city as possible, which means that you will need to travel between the separate districts. If you want to get between the different parts of town, for example, the historic center, Grande Île or Petite France, you might need to use the local public transportation services. While you are out sightseeing take advantage of the luggage storage facilities in Strasbourg to keep your suitcases and shopping purchases safe and out of the way.
How to get around Strasbourg by train
Most of the city does not have a railway system, although you can use the high speed train to get in and out of the city and to other European cities. Since you will most likely be arriving in Strasbourg through the international airport you have to make your way to one of the hotels from there, and this is where the train comes in. It is one of the best ways to get inside the city since there are connections directly from the Strasbourg airport and going to Strasbourg Station. It is not only the fastest and most affordable way to get to the city center, but also the most comfortable. The train ride will only take about 12 minutes and should cost you about 4.50 euros. The trains usually leave about four times per hour which means that you won't have to wait too long for yours to arrive.
Once you get to a central location in Strasbourg, you can get around the city easily using trams. They are convenient and also a great way to do some sightseeing since you can watch the city and landscape go by through the windows. In total there are 6 tram lines that are each distinguished by different names and colors so you won't get them mixed up. They run throughout most of the day, making them a reliable and convenient way to travel around the city.
In general, the trams are active from about 4:30am until 12:30am, with the exception of Sundays when they start at 5:30am. Most of the lines follow this schedule, although individual lines may have slight variations. The trams are easy to use and affordable with a single ticket costing only 1.80 euros for a one-way ride, but only if you buy them from the appropriate ticket machines. You can also buy tickets directly from the driver of the tram although it will cost you a bit more at 2.00 euros and you will need to have exact change on you.
If you know that you will be using the tram a lot then you can get passes that are valid for multiple rides, like a return pass which will cost you about 3.50 euros, or a carnet that is valid for 10 rides and costs 14.10 euros. On days that you will be moving around a lot, you might want to invest in an unlimited 24-hour ticket that is valid all day and will cost you only 4.60 euros. Those who are traveling as a group can purchase a trio 24-hour pass that lets you get around together and only costs 6.90 euros. This is great for families of three, people who are traveling as a couple or with friends.
How to get around Strasbourg by bus
Strasbourg's public transport system is convenient since you can use the same tickets for both the tram or bus. The local buses can be used to get you everywhere that the trams can not, and there is an extensive bus network with 30 different routes that cover the entire area. Each line is associated with different colors, numbers and letters which you can use to distinguish them from one another. It is important to make sure that you are getting on the right bus, as you don't want to get lost!
Most of the bus lines run from 4:30am to 1am although some of them only start at 5am, and individual lines may use different schedules. If you know you are going to be out late you can see if there is a Hibus stop nearby, which is what the night buses are called. However, they only arrive every hour and might not be able to bring you where you need to go.
Since they use the same tickets as the tram it is easy to remember the prices. As stated above, passes for tram or buses cost about 1.80 euros one-way from a ticket machine or 2.00 euros on board. Pay 3.50 euros for a return trip, or buy one of the ticket packages if you are going to be using the buses often. You can pay around 14.10 euros for a 10-trip carnet, and either 4.60 euros or 6.90 euros for single or trio 24-hour passes.
It is always important to validate your ticket before you get on either the buses or the trams since it is illegal to ride them without paying and the conductors sometimes do random checks. If you are caught without a ticket, or with a ticket that hasn't been validated, you risk getting a fine.
How to get around Strasbourg by car
If you want to you can use a car to get around Strasbourg and there are several options for you to consider. The first option is to rent a vehicle from a car rental company, although this is not recommended. The city can get a bit confusing to navigate if you are unfamiliar with the roads and don't know your way around which can make driving yourself stressful.
As well, since the city is making an effort to become greener they are implementing new rules and regulations in order to discourage the use of private cars. This is great since it can reduce traffic and road pollution, but it can make using a car complicated. Some areas are strictly pedestrian areas or Low Emission Zones, and you will need to classify your car and fill out a form to be allowed to drive around.
This can take some time and will cost you money as well, which is why relying on public transit or walking is highly recommended. Finding parking can also be a hassle since the parking lots are often located in peripheral neighborhoods and you will need to use a bus or tram to get around from there, anyway. Car parks also have limited hours and can get costly.
If you do have to get somewhere quickly you can pay for a taxi, although they can get expensive. You can find taxis circulating around the city center and close to the main attractions or train station, but if you don't see any driving around you can call Strasbourg Taxi to book a ride. Taxis can be convenient since you will be brought directly to your destination and won't have to make any unnecessary stops like on the buses and tram, plus you won't have to worry about where to park.
If you have the extra money then they are often the fastest way to get around, with the exception of rush hour when you might encounter a bit of traffic. Since they can be expensive the only times that you may have to hire a taxi is to get to your hotel, or if you are out late and the public transportation services have stopped running.
Can I get around Strasbourg by foot?
When you are visiting new cities often the best way to get to know them is by foot. Strasbourg is the perfect place to walk around since most of the historic center is pedestrianized, meaning that you won't have to worry about watching for cars and can walk around at your own pace. If you do a bit of research you can easily make your own walking itinerary to create a personalized tour of the city. Leave yourself some spare time to explore since you can often find something interesting just by walking around the local streets. You never know what new restaurants, shopping options or attractions you might discover!
Although most of the popular destinations can be easily explored by foot, you might have to use the Strasbourg public transport services to get in between them. If you don't have your own vehicle you can rely on the trams and buses to get around the whole city, just make sure you check the schedule and buy the right ticket.
Strasbourg is actually France's most bike friendly city, and if you can then we recommend using a bicycle to get around. You will see them everywhere since it is what most people, both locals and tourists, use to navigate the city since it can be a faster alternative to walking. The city encourages this and even has lots of bike paths and a bike sharing system called Velhop that you can use to rent a bike for the day.
This is one of the best ways to see the city in most cases, although it does have its disadvantages as well. For starters, if it is raining or cold during the wintertime then you might need to use the bus, tram or train connections. If you are traveling here during the summer you will need to be careful biking since it can get hot, so make sure that you pack some water bottles and snacks for when you need to take a break. Be aware that bikes can't be brought onto the buses or trams during rush hour.
Strasbourg has many attractions scattered around the city which means that you will most likely need to move around to experience it all. You can reach Strasbourg either from the airports or using the trains to reach Strasbourg station. As for getting around the city center and other neighborhoods, you will need to rely on the public transport to reach your location.
There are lots of routes to choose from which is why will you need to do some research before getting onboard to make sure that you get to where you want to go. If you are ever worried about getting lost you can ask for directions from the bus and tram drivers, or download your own map of the transportation systems from the city's website.
Always make sure to buy and activate a ticket before getting on the bus and tram, or you could risk getting a fine. Individual passes do not cost much but it does add up if you are moving around a lot, which is why walking or biking could be the best option.
Exploring the city by foot is free and can give you an even better experience with no restrictions or time-sensitive schedules, so you can stop to admire the great views or grab a bite to eat in a random café without falling behind. No matter how you choose to get around the city we hope that you have an amazing trip and enjoy your time in Strasbourg!