Getting Around Strasbourg: Guide to Public Transportation

A tram runs over a bridge in Strasbourg, France

katatonia82/Getty Images

Strasbourg, the capital of France's Grand Est region, is an important urban hub in the northeast. It's also relatively easy to navigate, even for first-time visitors. Most of the major sights and major tourist attractions are situated in the city center, and Strasbourg boasts a modern, efficient, and easy-to-use public transportation system. Before you get there, we recommend learning a bit about the city's transport options, and familiarizing yourself with how to buy tickets and transport passes, major tram and bus lines and where they take you. If you plan ahead a bit, you'll be able to navigate the Alsatian capital like a local.

How to Ride the Strasbourg Tramway

The Strasbourg tramway system is probably your best option for getting around the city as a visitor. Consisting of six lines (A through F) that connect the city center and its outskirts, the tramway system serves popular sites and neighborhoods including Notre-Dame Cathedral, Place Kléber, the Petite France District, Palais Rohan, the Ponts Couverts (Covered Bridges), and the European Quarter. In fact, the vast majority of the city's most popular sights and attractions are accessible by tram, making it an excellent choice for navigating the capital—even on a first time visit. The system is also accessible to visitors with disabilities, equipped with ramped access for wheelchairs at all stops, as well as audio announcements, tactile floor strips, and other features.

  • Hours of Operation: The tram operates from 4:30 am to 12:30 am Mondays to Saturdays, and from 5:30 am to 12:30 am on Sundays and public holidays.
  • Routes: Tram Lines A, D, B and F are among the most useful for tourists, as they stop at most of the major sites mentioned above in addition to numerous others. Line E, meanwhile, takes you to sites including the European Quarter, Parc de l'Orangerie, and the University district. For specific itineraries, use the Trip Planner feature at the transport authority's official website (in English).
  • Tickets and Fares: Tram tickets can also be used on buses. A single ticket purchased from a station or authorized vendor currently costs 1.80 Euros. (The fare for a single ticket is 2 euros if purchased directly on the bus.) One ticket is valid for a one-way trip (including free transfer) within an hour and a half, but the ticket must be validated with each transfer. 10 single contactless tickets (in digital form) currently cost 14.10 Euros, and an unlimited day pass (for 24 hours) costs 4.60 Euros. The day pass includes coach and TER local train travel), including transfers on the airport Train Shuttle (see more below).

How to Ride the Bus

Given how comprehensive the tram network is, it may turn out to be unnecessary to use buses in Strasbourg. However, they can be useful in certain cases, especially if you want to get somewhere well outside the center that isn't covered by the tram network. There are two rapid transit bus lines (G and E) running through the city center, and some 30 lines operating throughout the city, suburbs and further onward. Night bus services are also available.

If you think you may want or need to travel by bus in Strasbourg, check the CTS network's routes and timetables page, or use the handy trip planner in English (this is likely the best option for tourists since it offers step-by-step itineraries). If in doubt, use Google Maps or another navigation app to plot your trip.

How to Buy and Use Tickets

You can buy tickets for tram, bus, coach and TER (local train) lines in Strasbourg at most tram stops/stations, at the Gare Centrale train station, and at the Strasbourg-Entzheim airport. Tickets are also sold at tourist information offices, CTS agencies around the city, and tabacs (tobacco dispensers/convenience stores). You can also download the CTS app on your phone and purchase tickets through the app. Bus tickets can be purchased directly onboard with cash or debit card (Visa/Mastercard), but be aware that they cost slightly more than when bought in advance from machines or other authorized points of sale.

Make sure to validate your tram, bus, or TER tickets/passes before each ride by placing them on the provided digital readers. You can use them for up to 90 minutes after validation, and you are allowed to transfer between buses, trams, funicular, and metro lines as many times as you need to during that period. Note that you can be fined if you fail to follow these rules, or attempt to use a ticket past its expiration point.

For more information on different types of tickets available for visitors and current fares, visit the Strasbourg transport authority website (CTS).

Car Rentals

If you aren't planning to focus your visit beyond the Strasbourg city center, you probably won't need to rent a car for your trip. We generally recommend considering a car rental only if you plan to take several day trips, such as to nearby towns of Colmar, Riquewihr or Eguisheim. Even then, taking the train is often easier and less stressful. If you do decide you'd like to rent a car, avoid driving in the city center itself—instead, use the Strasbourg Park and Ride to minimize stress, avoid traffic, and easily connect to the tram and bus network covered above. It's also important to familiarize yourself with French driving laws before taking the wheel.

Taking Public Transportation to and From the Airport 

From Strasbourg-Entzheim Airport, getting to the city center using public transport is both easy and quick. The easiest option is to take the Shuttle Train, departing five times per hour from the airport and transporting you to central Strasbourg in only nine minutes on average. Simply follow the signs from the arrivals terminal and take the covered pedestrian footbridge to the station. Timetables for the Shuttle Train are available here. You can book tickets in advance here, or purchase them directly at the airport. Your best bet is the combined airport shuttle train and tram/bus ticket (Tram +TER), which will save you both time and money.

You can also take a taxi to and from the airport, but be aware that this is a much more expensive option, with one-way fares between the city center and the airport currently ranging from between around 35 euros to 55 euros, depending on the time of transport, traffic conditions, etc.

Tips for Getting Around Strasbourg

  • Consider buying a 3-day transport pass to simplify getting around and avoid having to keep recharging your card or buying more tickets.
  • If you plan to stay out past midnight and enjoying some nightlife, keep in mind that trams and daytime buses run until 12:30 a.m. Night buses are available, and there are three main lines that service the city center and its main attractions, but visitors may find them a bit tricky to navigate.
  • If you want to take one or more day trips but prefer not to rent a car, there are plenty of local trains that easily shuttle you to nearby towns in Alsace, such as Colmar and Eguisheim. You can search for and book local trains through the SNCF rail authority here.
  • Children under the age of 4 ride for free on all public transportation in Strasbourg. Students and senior travelers can also benefit from reduced rates upon proof of identity and status.
  • During the warmer months, it can be pleasant to mostly get around on foot if you're able to, especially if your hotel is in or nearby the city center. Pack a good, sturdy and waterproof pair of walking shoes if you plan to walk a lot during your trip.
  • Some areas of the city, including along the riverbanks, are ideal for cycling, and the city's bike rental scheme is inexpensive and relatively easy to use.
  • The Strasbourg public transportation system is generally quite accessible to visitors with limited mobility, vision, and/or hearing disabilities. All trams and buses are either fitted with ramps or level access points, and have other features designed to make travel more accessible to passengers with sight, hearing, and other forms of disabilities.