What is the tram fare in Strasbourg? How does the streetcar system operate in the city? Do children have to pay? How can I get to the European Parliament? These are the typical questions that visitors to the charming Alsatian capital often ask. In this post, I will address all these questions and share some tips to help you navigate successfully using the streetcar in Strasbourg.
How is the streetcar network structured?
The streetcar network in Strasbourg is managed by the local public company CTS (Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois), which operates 6 lines designated by the letters A to F. Although on the network map, two additional lines, G and H, may sometimes be visible, they actually correspond to high-level service buses.
Beyond their essential role in facilitating the mobility of residents and tourists in the city, the streetcar serve as an open-air museum of sorts. The tram cars are adorned with various motifs, ranging from contemporary art to the rainbow flag or the logo of the country holding the presidency of the Council of Europe.
The Homme de Fer stop, located in the square of the same name, is one of the main hubs. Lines A, B, C, D, and F converge here, making it a key point in the Strasbourg streetcar network. The République stop is the second most important interchange station for trams, serving lines B, C, F, and E.
What are the streetcar schedules?
Streetcars operate every day, from Monday to Saturday, from 4:30 AM to 12:30 AM, while on Sundays and holidays, they run from 5:30 AM to 12:30 AM.
Between 6:30 AM and 8:00 PM, trams run every 5–6 minutes, and every 15 minutes outside this time frame.
There are special schedules:
- On May 1st, there is no streetcar or bus service.
- On December 24th, streetcar and buses cease service at 7:00 PM.
- On December 31st, streetcar and bus operations end at 7:00 PM. CTS usually implements a special New Year's Eve service with streetcars and some bus lines running overnight, although the frequencies are reduced to every 30 minutes.
How much does the streetcar cost in Strasbourg?
The single reloadable ticket costs €2.10 upon initial purchase. Subsequently, you can add more journeys to your contactless ticket for a cost of €1.90 per unit. This ticket is valid for both streetcars and buses and allows travel during the first hour after validation, including transfers.
If you need to take a bus and couldn't purchase the ticket in advance, you can always buy a reloadable emergency ticket from the driver for €2.50. Later, you can add more trips to it as needed.
If you plan to use the streetcar frequently, either to explore different neighborhoods or because your accommodation requires the use of public transportation, I suggest considering the purchase of day passes.
For solo travelers, I recommend the 24H SOLO pass, valid for a full 24 hours for unlimited travel. For longer stays, you can also opt for the 3-DAY PASS, offering the same benefits but for a duration of 72 consecutive hours.
In the case of couples or groups of three, the 24H TRIO pass is the ideal option, allowing two or three people to travel with a single pass for a continuous 24-hour period. Unfortunately, there are no other ticket options for groups.
The period begins from the first validation of the ticket.
Where to purchase your ticket?
To travel on the streetcar and bus network, you can buy your ticket in various ways:
Comment valider le billet ?
On streetcars, G and H buses, make sure to validate your ticket on the platform using the red machines located at the beginning, middle, and end of the platform. Always validate when you are about to board a streetcar, even during transfers.
On other buses, generally validate your ticket using the red machines inside, near the driver. On the blue Chrono’Hop lines, you can board through any door and validate on any machine.
If you purchased your ticket via the CTS app, it is not necessary to validate it when boarding the streetcar. In case of inspection, simply show your app to the CTS agents, who will see how your ticket time is being counted down. However, when boarding buses, you will need to open the QR code and scan it on the red machine under the designated area for contactless cards, where a laser is projected.
IS IT WORTH TAKING THE STREETCAR TO GET AROUND DOWNTOWN?
It's not necessary. If you're staying in downtown Strasbourg, on Grande Île (Great Island), using the streetcar may be unnecessary. The city is of a manageable size, allowing you to comfortably explore its historic downtown on foot. From the Petite France district to the cathedral, you'll need about 15 to 20 minutes, and approximately half an hour to cross downtown from end to end.
WHAT'S BETTER, THE STREETCAR OR THE BUS?
The choice depends on your starting point and destination. In areas without nearby streetcar lines, the only option would be the bus. However, if you have a streetcar station nearby, undoubtedly opt for the streetcar as it is faster and has a higher frequency of service.
DO CHILDREN HAVE TO PAY ON THE STREETCAR?
To board the streetcars and buses of the CTS network, all passengers over 4 years old must have a valid transportation ticket.
CAN YOU TRAVEL TO KEHL BY STREETCAR?
Yes, with the same ticket you use to move around Strasbourg, you can travel to the German city of Kehl at no additional cost.
It is important to note that not all trains on line D cross the border into Germany. Half of them stop at Port du Rhin, the last stop before the border. To go to Kehl, take trains marked "Kehl Rathaus."
In Kehl, you can get on and off at each stop in the city, such as Bahnhof, Am Läger, and Rathaus. As there are no border controls, you can cross the border freely and explore the Garden of Two Shores, enjoy activities like shopping in stores that may be cheaper than in Strasbourg, or savor a Spaghettieis in one of the city's cafés.
CAN YOU LOAD MULTIPLE JOURNEYS ON A SINGLE TICKET?
Yes and no. In many cities worldwide, tickets with 10 single rides are sold and can be shared with friends and family. In the case of subways in cities like Paris, it is possible to load 10 rides on a card or buy a book of 10 single rides and allow two or three people to travel simultaneously.
However, in Strasbourg, this is not possible. Single rides are valid for one hour after validation and allow transfers between streetcars and buses during that period. Until this hour elapses, even if the ticket is validated multiple times, a second single ride will not be deducted. For this reason, each passenger must have an individual transportation ticket.
However, if you plan to use the streetcar frequently, you can load 10 rides, costing €17.10 if you already have your reloadable ticket, or €17.30 if it's your first purchase. It's important to remember that these 10 rides cannot be used simultaneously.
HOW TO GET TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT FROM DOWNTOWN?
Pour vous rendre au Parlement européen depuis le centre, vous avez deux options :
- Depuis l'Homme de Fer, prenez le tram B en direction de Hoenheim Gare et descendez à République. Sans changer de quai, prenez ensuite le tram E en direction de Robertsau L'Escale et descendez à Parlement européen.
- Une autre option consiste à continuer sur le tram B jusqu'à Wacken et, là encore, sans changer de quai, prenez le tram E en direction de Robertsau L'Escale, en descendant à l'arrêt suivant.
To get to the European Parliament from downtown, you have two options:
- From Homme de Fer, take tram B towards Hoenheim Gare and get off at République. Without changing platforms, then take tram E towards Robertsau L'Escale and get off at Parlement européen.
- Another option is to continue on tram B to Wacken and, again without changing platforms, take tram E towards Robertsau L'Escale, getting off at the next stop.