"Opera and Cycling in Strasbourg" Strasbourg by Nemorino

Strasbourg Travel Guide: 952 reviews and 2,858 photos

The opera house on Place Broglie

When people ask me which opera I would take with me to a desert island if I could only take one, I always say it would be Don Carlos, by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) -- but all seven versions.

On a recent visit to Strasbourg I saw the five-act French version, with the American tenor Andrew Richards in the title role. I have also seen a five-act Italian version in Frankfurt am Main and Wiesbaden, a four-act Italian version in Braunschweig, Dresden and Geneva, and a German translation in Dessau.

Strasbourg is a fine city for cycling, and also has a very modern and efficient tram system. I didn't use the trams myself, because I had a bicycle the whole time, but it's obvious that the trams are fast, quiet, large, long and come very often, up to 23 times an hour on each of the four lines. There is a tunnel under the central station for one of the tram lines, but otherwise they are all above ground. As in a number of other French and German cities, the recently re-instituted tram and light rail systems have done a lot to reduce automobile traffic and make the cities cleaner and more livable.

On June 10, 2007, I was on the first regularly scheduled high-speed TGV train from Paris to Strasbourg. We left Paris East Station (Gare de l'Est) at 12:24 and travelled non-stop to Strasbourg, arriving a mere two hours and twenty minutes later at 14:43. Not bad considering that it used to take four hours.

Please have a look at my updated Strasbourg transportation tips for more about this new rail connection.

  • Last visit to Strasbourg: Jun 2007
  • Intro Updated Dec 15, 2012
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Reviews (25)

Comments (66)

  • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
    Mar 24, 2015 at 1:05 AM

    I'm going to visit this city soon and it was interesting to read your tips.Thanks.

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo
    Jul 11, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    I seem to remember that Alsace is majority German speaking? do they have signs in both languages? how bilingual is it really? I enjoyed your pages, so much of France still for me to discover:)

    • Nemorino's Profile Photo
      Jul 13, 2013 at 3:01 AM

      My impression is that French is definitely the dominant language in Strasbourg. Some of the older people still speak the Alsatian dialect, which is closer to Swiss German than to High German. Anyone who deals with tourists has to speak both German and English. Also Strasbourg has a quite an international flair thanks to the European Parliament and other EU institutions. -- Thanks for your ratings and nice comments on my Strasbourg tips.

  • traveldave's Profile Photo
    May 16, 2013 at 7:25 AM

    When I was in France way back in 1980, I saw many parts of the country, but not this area. Looks like a nice town.

    • Nemorino's Profile Photo
      May 16, 2013 at 2:34 PM

      David, thanks for your visit to my Strasbourg page. Yes, it is a beautiful city!

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    I've heard wonderful things about the tram system in Strassbourg. Unfortunately the new lines they are building here are extremely slow.

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Jun 15, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    This is the most modern street-car I have ever seen! A new word, eh "scotcher", funny :) Good tips.

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo
    Jun 1, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Hi Don, returned to your page as we have decided to visit Strasbourg first week of September(4 days). Your tips will be helpful.

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
    Jan 20, 2012 at 4:22 AM

    Hi Don, great page about Strasbourg! I went there twice when I did school exchanges to a small town in Alsace, about ten years ago. I remember the cathedral very well and I think we also did such a boat trip, but I am not sure... The sign on the wall is very funny :-)

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    Don, I enjoyed your Strasbourg page! I passed by this city on the train but didn't stop here. I would have if I knew about the Chocolate Museum!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Oct 8, 2010 at 11:14 PM

    Golly the Train's go fast over there, so different to here. It is true here too, about in the olden days the people were a lot smaller, we are becoming quite a tall race of people now.

  • micas_pt's Profile Photo
    Jun 17, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    Great tips about Strasbourg. I didn't know the verb scotcher and loved your description!


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