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Strasbourg might be the most famous for being the co-seat of the European Union, together with Brussels in Belgium. This border town, with around 275,000 inhabitants, lies on the river Ill. It is the capital of the Alsace region, and of the department of Bas-Rhin. The entire old centre of the city, was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998.
The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg (in English: Cathedral of our lady) is an old Gothic church, although some parts can be descriped as Romanesque. Construction began already in 1015, and its tower has a height of 142 metres. The cathedral also houses an 18-metre high astronomical clock, one of the largest in the world.
The City center of Strasbourg that stretches along the Ill river, was placed on the Unesco World Heritage list, and is one of the highlights of a visit to Strasbourg. It has a medieval cityscape of Rhineland black and white timber-framed buildings, particularly in the Petite-France district alongside the Ill and in the streets and squares surrounding the cathedral.
The climate of Strasbourg is pretty moderate. In winter temperatures are not really cold. On average it is 3 °C during the day and 0 °C during the nights. In summer the temperature can rise to 24 °C during the day in July and August, with night temperature of around 13 °C. Rain can fall in the entire year. Most of the rain falls in the summertime
|Avg Max||4.2 °C||6.2 °C||11.1 °C||14.9 °C||19.6 °C||22.4 °C||25.1 °C||25 °C||20.7 °C||14.6 °C||8.3 °C||5.3 °C|
|Avg Min||-1 °C||-0.7 °C||2.2 °C||4.6 °C||9 °C||12.1 °C||13.9 °C||13.6 °C||10.3 °C||6.6 °C||2.3 °C||0.3 °C|
|Rainfall||30 mm||35 mm||36.1 mm||42.5 mm||78.2 mm||76.7 mm||66.2 mm||57.9 mm||62.1 mm||52.5 mm||49.8 mm||44.5 mm|
French Railways, SNCF offers a wide range of links. Destinations include Metz (1¼ to 1¾ hours, four to eight daily), Nancy (1¼ hours, 10 to 17 daily) and Paris’ Gare de l’Est (four to 4¾ hours, nine to 13 daily). Internationally, there are trains to Basel (1¼ hours, 11 to 16 direct daily) and Frankfurt (2½ hours, eight or nine nondirect daily). Regional destinations are Colmar (35 to 60 minutes, 35 daily weekdays, 22 daily weekends), Dambach-la-Ville (one hour, 12 daily on weekdays, five to six daily weekends), Obernai (26 to 45 minutes, 20 daily weekdays, five to seven daily weekends) and Sélestat (20 minutes, 24 to 42 daily).
Strasbourg lies on the A35 motorway, that goes north to south, though the Alsace region. The N4 connects to the German border, and the German town of Kehl on the other side of the Rhine. On the German side of the border runs the A-5 autobahn. To reach Strasbourg you have to leave the A-5 at the exit Appenweier, and connect to the E-52 (also known as the Straßburger Straße, that connects to the N4 on the French side of the Rhine.
|Cap Europe||6, rue de Bitche||Hotel||76|
|Ciarus||7 Rue Finkmatt||Hostel||85|
|Hotel Restaurant Pax||24-26 Rue du Faubourg National||Hotel||79|
|Hotel Le Bristol||4 Place de la Gare||Hotel||82|
|Arc En Ciel Hotel||18 rue de la Tour||Hotel||78|
|Hotel Couvent Du Franciscain||18, Rue Du Faubourg De Pierre||Hotel||81|
|Hotel Esplanade||1, boulevard Leblois||Hotel||84|
|Hotel des Princes||33 rue Geiler||Hotel||-|
|Mister Bed Strasbourg||12 Rue Ferdinand Braun La Vigie||Hotel||76|
|Hotel Victoria||7-9 Rue du Maire Kuss||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Le Petit Trianon||8 Petite Rue de la Course||Hotel||-|
|CERISE Strasbourg||5 rue Job||Hotel||81|
|Hotel Le Grillon||2 Rue Thiergarten||HOTEL||84|
France is one of the best connected countries in the world, with data speed for upload/download ranked among the top 5 in the world. Most hotels and hostels would have in-house facilities to provide free internet access. Many major cities also have initiatives put in place to provide free wi-fi connection in public spaces. Alternatively there are internet cafés available in most cities/towns at a reasonable rate. Some private businesses, such as local cafés (or even the Starbuck's chain), may also provide wi-fi connectivity - keep an eye out for the signs by the shop windows/doors. Also look for the @ symbol prominently displayed, which indicates internet availability. However, with most homes now wired for the internet, cyber cafés are increasingly hard to find, especially outside the major cities.
See also: International Telephone Calls
To dial an international number from France, the IDD is 00, followed by the country code that you wish to dial, the area code and the phone number.
To call France from abroad, start with the international direct dialing (IDD) code from the country you're in, followed by French country code 33, the area code (drop the first zero in front of the area code), and the phone number. French telephone numbers are rarely given without the area code. The telephone number, including the area code, is made up of 10 digits. They are written in a set of 5 pairs of digits (i.e. 01 xx xx xx xx xx).
In France, the area code designations are: 01 - Paris Area ("Région Ile-de-France"), 02 - northwest, 03 - northeast, 04 - southeast, 05 - southwest, 06 - mobile phone providers. From 2010 onwards, 07 will also be assigned to mobile phone providers in order to cater for the surging demands for mobile phones.
Emergency numbers are 15 (medical aid), 17 (police station) and 18 (fire/rescue). You can also use the European emergency number 112 (perhaps a better choice if you don't speak French). These calls are free and accessible from virtually any phone, including locked cellphones.
France uses the GSM standard of cellular phones (900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands) used in most of the world outside of the U.S. There are several companies (Orange, SFR, Free, Bouygues Télécom and some others MVNOs like Virgin Mobile) offering wireless service. The country is almost totally covered but you may have difficulties using your mobile phone in rural or mountainous areas. If you stay for some time, it may be advisable to buy a pre-paid cell phone card that you can use in any phone that supports the GSM standard on the 900/1800 MHz bands. Then incoming calls and SMSes are free.
La Poste in France is also referred to as the PTT (short for postes, télégraphes et téléphones). The mailboxes are painted bright yellow and often there is a slot for local city mail and another slot for "outside mail". Normally there is a queue in the post office, but most of the post offices have the self service machine installed which is quite easy to operate. Nowadays many of the tabac and even some of the souvenir shops also sell postage stamps. Normally an overseas postcard costs almost as much as sending a letter. Mails sent in France also have a zip code. The first two numbers represent the administrative department (e.g. in Paris' case that would be 75).
Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 7:00pm Monday through Friday, and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays. Apart from the basic job of mailing letters, most of the post offices do some banking activities also and some even have photocopy machines and cyber cafes for internet access.
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