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Strasbourg Travel Guide

About Strasbourg

Set on the Franco-German border, and at various times a part of both countries, Strasbourg has more claim than most to be the symbolic heart of modern Europe.

Over the centuries, the culture of the city and of the entire Alsace region has been shaped by Germany as much as by France. The result is a fascinating blend of influences on everything from the architecture and cultural scene to the language and food. And despite past hostilities, Alsace thrives thanks to the strong collaborative links between the two countries. The most potent symbol of this is the Jardin des Deux Rives just east of Strasbourg, an international 60-hectare (148-acre) garden straddling the border and the Rhine, linked by a friendship bridge.

Today, Strasbourg mixes medieval charm with a dynamic, contemporary and international feel. At its heart is Grand Île, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed island in the River Ill. It’s a fortified medieval town packed with ancient relics, from Place Kléber (the main square) to Place Gutenberg. This area is lively throughout the year, from the warm summer months when everyone congregates on the café terraces, to December, when stallholders sell Glühwein and festive handicrafts at Christmas markets.

At the centre of the island, soaring over everything, is the Gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral, notable for its pink sandstone façade and unique tower. And nearby La Petite France is the medieval quarter’s stunning crown jewel. Its picturesque bridges and canals, half-timbered houses and charming narrow streets contrast sharply with the modern clean-cut lines of the European institutions in the northeast of the city.

Culturally, Strasbourg has an Opera House, National Theatre and a Conservatory of Music, and hosts various music and cinema festivals. Academically, it has one of France’s largest universities, with more than 42,000 students, while environmentally it welcomes cyclists and pedestrians alike, and has an extensive public transport network.

That network extends well beyond the urban area, and TGV high-speed trains connect Strasbourg to other cities across Europe, reaffirming its pivotal role as a capital of Europe, and a guardian of human rights.

Key facts

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Featured Hotels


Hôtel Maison Rouge

Well suited for small business meetings and located close to the pedestrianised area around place Kléber, this stylish hotel, with its high-ceilinged breakfast room, is full of character. Its rooms and suites are individually decorated, and the dining room and hall display beautiful pieces of furniture and ceramics.

Hôtel Monopole Métropole

Not far from the station, this 19th-century three-star hotel is in a quiet street close to the old quarter. Its elegant rooms feature mainly contemporary furnishings, with a few pleasing traditional touches added. This mix of modern and traditional extends to the dining room, with its soaring wooden ceiling and medieval-style alcoves.

Hôtel de l’Ill

This family-run two-star hotel is in the Krutenau district just a few minutes' walk from the cathedral on the other side of the River Ill. The 27 rooms are simply furnished, but the welcome is very warm. If you want a terrace, book the triple room.

Le Kléber Hôtel

You can't beat the location of this cosy two-star hotel – it's right on Place Kléber and steps away from major tram stops. Rooms have colour themes based on spices and other flavours, some with beamed ceilings and tucked into alcoves. Attic rooms offer great views of the square.

Hôtel Hannong

The Horn brothers, renowned modern art collectors, founded this stylish hotel in the 1920s on the site of an 18th-century Hannong china factory. Its understated rooms have contemporary décor with the odd splash of colour amid the neutral palettes. Have a drink in the classy Black & Wine bar and its intimate garden.

Hôtel Régent Petite France & Spa

This chic hotel a former ice factory consists of three 17th-century buildings overlooking the Ill River in Petite France. Behind a traditional façade the hotel's interior is decorated in sleek contemporary designs and original paintings. Facilities include a gastronomic restaurant a champagne bar and a spa with an outdoor hot tub.