Before you come to Strasbourg, you may have many practical issues in the back of your mind – things like accommodation, transport, and schooling. While not exhaustive, we hope the following information with facilitate your move to Alsace!
Moving to Strasbourg
For new staff who move to Strasbourg, the Council of Europe will help with the moving costs, and well as a settling-in allowance (conditions apply). See the section conditions of employment for more information.
You can check the local press such as Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace (DNA), in particular the Sunday and Thursday issues, and the free newspapers publishing classified adverts (e.g., 67, Mass, Immoscope, ParuVendu). Useful websites include Le Bon Coin, SeLoger and Vivastreet. It is also possible to consult with a local estate agent however there may be additional costs.
For proximity to the Council of Europe, Roberstau, Orangerie, Wacken, or even the city centre are convenient areas.
If you are looking for slightly cheaper accommodation, you could consider less central suburbs (such as Lingolsheim, Illkirch, Bischheim), or even Germany (Kehl is less than 20-minutes by car).
Visas and residence permits
Nationals of states other than the member countries of the European Economic Area, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Switzerland, must enter France on a specific long-term D-visa, which is valid for three months. This allows holders to then apply for a special residence permit.
The long-term D-visa must be obtained from the French consulate in the person's place of residence before entering France. The Council of Europe will provide assistance with such visa applications.
Airports: Strasbourg has its own airport serving a number of destinations, however there are other airports relatively close to Strasbourg:
- Strasbourg International Airport (Entzheim)
- Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden airport - about 40 km from Strasbourg.
- EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg – very well connected with Strasbourg by train;
- Frankfurt Airport – one of the biggest European airports, about 200 km from Strasbourg, easily reached by train and bus provided by Lufthansa.
Train: Train services operate eastward to Offenburg and Karlsruhe in Germany, westward to Metz and Paris, and southward to Basel. Strasbourg is linked to the European high-speed train network by the TGV Est (Paris-Strasbourg) and the TGV Rhin-Rhône (Strasbourg-Lyon).
Public Transport: Tram and bus services
One of the most convenient means of transport in Strasbourg is the tram. There are six tram lines, one of which (line E) comes past the CoE buildings (stop: Droits de l'Homme).
There are also 29 bus lines in Strasbourg (lines 6 and 30 pass the the CoE).
For any additional information, visit the official site of Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois (CTS).
Vélhop – Rental bikes
If you are looking for a practical, environmentally friendly and cheap form of travel, Vélhop rental bikes are just what you need. It's great exercise and Strasbourg is a ‘bike-friendly' city with more than 400 km of cycle-tracks.
A new rental station has recently opened a short distance from the Council, at the Robertsau Boecklin tram terminus.
Schooling and Childcare - see Family Life
Our full time medical team (one doctor and three nurses) monitors staff health in the occupational medicine context, provides primary health care and, in emergencies, provides a medical service to anyone present on the Council of Europe premises.
As an employee, you (and in some cases your family) will also be covered by the organisation's own private health and social insurance scheme. For more details see ‘What do we offer' [link].
Sports and Fitness
The Council of Europe Sports Association (ASCE) was set up to encourage Council of Europe staff members to engage in sport, and to enable members to represent the Organization in local, regional and national competitions. The now 500-member association, together with AMICALE (organisation of the CoE staff members) proposes to its members a wide range of sports activities: ball sports (Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Golf), racket sports (Tennis, Squash, Table-tennis), combat sports (Judo, Aikido, Boxing, Self-defence), wellbeing (Aerobics, Cardio-fitness, Sophrology, Yoga) and leisure (billiards, Scottish Dancing).
There are a wide range of cultural events on offer, both internally and externally. Art exhibitions, as well as concerts and shows, are organised in the Council of Europe on a regular basis. In addition, AMICALE helps to promote cultural events which take place in Strasbourg and in the region, offering discounts for tickets.
Useful Contact Information
Websites for expats in Strasbourg: