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Ponts Couverts, Strasbourg, France
Ponts Couverts, © Can Stock Photo / Razvanjp

Strasbourg is a city of with an urban population of just under half a million people.  It is located in the Alsace region of northeastern France on the Rhine River.  The city of Kehl, Germany is on the opposite bank of the Rhine.  With the Schengen Zone in effect, people are free to move across the border without restrictions.  The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Town Strasbourg (Grande-Île) is encircled by a canal formed from the Ill River just before it joins the Rhine.  In the 1500s the city became firmly Protestant.  Strasbourg was almost completed vacated in advance of its German occupation in World War II.

Old Town Strasbourg canal tour, France

Strasbourg, Ill River


The climate in Strasbourg is sunny and warm in the summer, while winters are cloudy and cold.  Average highs in the July and August are around 80 F (27 C), while average lows are 60 F (16 C).  In December and January average highs are a few degrees above freezing, while lows hover around the freezing mark.  Rainfall is slightly higher in the summer months.



Strasbourg can be reached easily by a number of methods.  Strasbourg International Airport is about 15 minutes by rail from the downtown.  Train service runs south up the Rhine to Basel, Switzerland (1.5 hours) and north down the river to Karlsruhe and Mannheim (1.5 hours).  The highspeed TGV system connects Strasbourg to Paris (2.5 hours) and Lyon.  Strasbourg is also an important center for canal cruising on the Grand Canal d'Alsace and the Marne-Rhine canal.  Plus it is a standard stop on Rhine cruises between Basel and Amsterdam.  Within the city there is an excellent bus and tram system operated by Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois, plus Vélhop shared bikes for rent.

Notre Dame Cathedral, Strasbourg, France

Notre Dame de Strasbourg

Attractions in Strasbourg:

Things to see and do:

  • Strasbourg Cathedral (Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg) was started in the 1200s and finished in the 1400s.  It includes a large working astronomical clock inside the church and a large garish organ too.  On the corner beside the church is the Maison Kammerzell, which has been in business as a hotel since the 1400s.

  • Palace Rohan (Palais Rohan) is nestled between the Cathedral and the river canal.  It houses the the Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts), the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts. 

  • Place Gutenberg is two short blocks from the Cathedral.  Its statue honors of Johannes Gutenberg, who invented the printing press here in the 1400s.

  • Place Kléber is a short stroll down Rue des Grandes Arcades from Place Gutenberg.  This large open space has a statue honoring Jean-Baptiste Kléber, who led many successful military campaigns for Napoleon.

Tanner's Quarter, La Petite France, Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France

Tanner's Quarter, La Petite France, © Can Stock Photo / vitalytitov

  • At the western edge of the Old Town is the Tanner's Quarter in the area referred to as La Petite France.  The weirs on the L'ill River here are known as the Barrage Vauban.  The bridges and towers of the Ponts Couverts, opposite the weirs, are very picturesque.

  • Just outside the Old Town, to the northeast are church Saint Pierre le Jeune and the Palace of the Rhine (Palais du Rhin).  The Palace is Prussian architecture.  It was used by the Nazis during World War II.

  • Parc de l'Orangerie - This park is extensive and includes the Pavillion Josephine and a small free zoo.  The Council of Europe faces the park and the Euopean Parliament is on the opposite side of the canal from the Council.

  • Strasbourg Grand Mosque.

Lycee des Pontonniers of Strasbourg, France

Lycee des Pontonniers

Savor the Tastes of Strasbourg:

  • Sauerkraut - fermented shredded cabbage.

  • Flammeküche - thin crust pizza.

  • Baeckeoffe - meat stew.

  • Fleischnackas - meat rolled in egg pasta with green salad.

Square des Moulin, Strasbourg, France

Square des Moulins

Strasbourg Tours:

Hotels in Strasbourg:

Hotel Listings for Strasbourg

Strasbourg International Airport - (SXB) - including a list of hotels with a shuttle.

View Strasbourg map

View Strasbourg Pics

Next Stop Down the Rhine - Heidelberg

Next Stop Up the Rhine - Breisach