Capital of Alsace, France, Strasbourg is mostly known for hosting European institutions. However, it is also a very nice place to visit, especially for its old town. The city itself is one of the 9 biggest cities in France, with a population of about 450,000 people if you include the surroundings. Part of the conurbation is located on the eastern bank of the Rhine, in Kehl, Germany.
Strasbourg is the seat of the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights and is one of the seats of the European Parliament.
Strasbourg International Airport (SXB) is located south-west of the city at Entzheim, with domestic as well as international flights (but not as many as a real European capital should have...). There are several flights a day to and from Paris. http://www.strasbourg.aeroport.fr
Buses take travellers to the southern hub of the urban transport network (Baggersee station), which is connected to the A-line tramway (direct line to the town center). A tram-train line running directly from the airport to the town center is planned to open in 2008.
The railway station is located in the western town center, with connections to the tram system and with buses and many taxis waiting outside (to the left of the station forecourt).
You can reach Strasbourg by various highways:
Eurolines provides bus services to the city.
General information on transport in Strasbourg: http://www.ot-strasbourg.fr/htm_uk/sejour/deplacer.htm
Strasbourg is ideal for cycling - the city center is flat and there are plenty of bike lanes and bike paths. You can rent bikes at:
Bikes are allowed on trams except in peak hours.
More information on cycling in Strasbourg: http://www.strasbourg.fr/strasbourgfr/fr/sedeplacer/avelo/
40 kilometers of tramway lines run through the city.
The tourist office recommends a variety of walking tours through the town (Middle Ages, Renaissance, Modern and Contemporary) and bike tours through the faubourgs (Neudorf ans Neuhof).
Water-bus tours are available near the Palais des Rohans (south of the cathedral). Those tours (about 45 min.) run around the town center and the European district.
The Christmas market. Many places, but the most important and beautiful are place Broglie and place de la cathédrale, although they are crowded... The best place to drink hot wine (vin chaud) and to eat Christmas cookies (Brédalas).
Alsacian specialities are numerous and can be eaten in many traditional restaurants, in the city or in the neighbourghood.
There are many hotels around the station, especially in the place de la Gare and in the rue du Maire Kuss. Most of Strasbourg's hotels are fully booked during the Christmas Market period (December) and when the EU parliament is in session.
Local cellphone service is mainly provided by Orange, SFR and Bouygues Télécoms.
There are many cyber-cafés on the quai des Pêcheurs, that stay open fairly late (B-line tramway, Gallia station).