How to Get Around Strasbourg

Hi everyone!

Today I'm going to tell you about the ways you can get around Strasbourg.

Car

The first and most obvious way is by car. There are students who bring their car here with them to be able to get around easier but I don’t think it's the best option since there aren't many roads in the city centre, almost everywhere is pedestrianised, there’s little to no parking and as you know petrol costs money.

Bike

The option most students, teachers, parents, grandparents, children, almost everyone goes for: a bike. When you get here you see bikes everywhere, mountains and mountains of bikes amassed around the gates of the university, bikes locked to everything, bikes with little trailers attached… And Strasbourg is a city where everyone has a bike. Ever since I came here I've seen all sorts of people on a bike: children, students, people in suits, parents who have their children on the back, elderly people, girls wearing heels on their way to a party… The truth is that the city invites you to ride your bike because, as I said, almost all of the centre is pedestrianised so cars can hardly access it. Also, across the whole city there are bike lanes so that you can get around without the threat of being knocked off by a car. Here it's more dangerous to be a pedestrian as there are bikes everywhere and you have to be careful if you don't want to be run over by one.

How do I get a bike?

  1. I think there are quite a few shops across the city that let you rent a bike but the one I know of is Velhop and they have lots of interesting offers. They're the usual bikes you can rent for a day to see the city, except you can also rent them for months, semesters or years. That is to say a 'location longue durée'. Obviously there are also student discounts. I'll put the table of prices below if you want to have a look, but so you have an idea, renting a bike for 10 months as a student comes out about €42 plus the deposit you have to pay, like at all places you can rent a bike.
  2. As I've said, Strasbourg is a city of cyclists, so they organise a lot of bike sales. At these sales, people bring their bikes to be repaired if they have any problems or to buy accessories for them, like a saddle or a lock. However, they also sell second hand bikes (vélo d'occasion). The good think about a second-hand bike is you don’t have to pay a deposit (obviously), and you can find them pretty cheap. Also, you can always sell it again when you finish your stay in Strasbourg.
  3. Also there are pages like 'milanuncios' in France where you can have a look to see if anyone is selling a bike. It's called "leboncoin" and you can find everything there, from private classes to renting a flat.

How to Get Around Strasbourg

Source

Disadvantages of a bike

As you will know it often rains in Strasbourg and the pavement and the roads are almost always wet. Bikes and rain are not exactly a good combination, not only because of safety but also because you need to take into account that when you cycle you are going to get wet or when you leave your bike outside the saddle will get wet. What a lot of people do is put a plastic bag on the saddle so that after you can use your bike without your butt getting wet.

Second disadvantage: the cold. In winter the temperature drops to 0 degrees and when riding a bike the wind chill is even lower. My French friends have told me that last year they were always ill because they rode their bikes even when it was -12ºC.

Also you can't take bikes on the tram at rush hour.

Bus and Tram

This is my favourite way to get around. In Strasbourg the company that runs public transport is called CTS. It's as simple as going to the office and asking them to give you a card so you can use public transport. This card costs around €26 a month for people under 26. If you're older than 26, the price doubles. There are also quarterly passes and I think annual passes as well. What I do is pay for a monthly pass every month at the ticket machines at the tram stops.

With this pass you can travel as many times as you want on any bus or tram in Strasbourg, including the D line which takes you to Germany.

That said, you must validate your pass each time you get on a bus or tram. This is a little annoying since sometimes you might miss a tram because you don't have time to validate your ticket. Validating is simply putting your pass through a little machine that makes a "beep" at the tram stops. The buses (except the G which is like a tram as it has tracks just for itself) have the machine to validate the ticket on the bus itself.

What happens if you get on a tram without validating your ticket?

Well, maybe nothing will happen if a conductor doesn't catch you. But if a conductor catches you and you don't have a ticket or a pass, or you haven't validated them, they will make you pay a fine. From what I know, the conductors here do dress distinctively. They don't wear reflective jackets or anything else they wear in other countries, but they do wear a black uniform with the letters CTS on the jacket or shirt. Because of this there are a lot of people who, when they see them, try to run off the tram. Even so, I can't guarantee there won’t be conductors wearing normal clothes, I just haven't come across any.

The trams run every day from 4:30am to 12:30am. The truth is that the night service is a lot worse and, what’s more, you have to take into account that at the weekend they don't make the timetables any longer. So, if you go to a party, either you wait until 4:30 when the trams start, or you book a taxi. Although you also have another option. There are a few night buses, called Hibus, which go every hour from various places around the city centre to places further out, but this isn't a big thing either. You can get the Hibus with the normal CTS tickets or pay €2 when you get on the bus. I'll attach the tram and Hibus route below in the photos.

Also there is an app which tells you how long is left until a tram or bus arrives.


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