Sciences Po Strasbourg: at the heart of Europe

Vue aérienne de StrasbourgOver the centuries, Strasbourg has been described in all sorts of ways, for example as the City on the Rhine, as a cultural crossroads, as a city of science and poets, and as Europe’s capital city. While these names are often a little exaggerated, there is some truth in them too.

Strasbourg was founded more than two thousand years ago on the site of a Celtic encampment and later a Roman camp, situated at the ‘crossing of the roads’ beside the Rhine. It has always been in contact with several different cultures, but since the end of the Second World War it has forged an unequivocally European destiny.

A European destiny, an international ambition

Cathédrale de Strasbourg

Strasbourg’s European destiny is rooted in its history. A former free city of the Holy Roman Empire, today Strasbourg  is a metropolis that looks out over the Rhine and beyond to Europe and the rest of the world.

Some 57% of Europe’s active population, accounting for 75% of the EU’s purchasing power, lives within a radius of 500 km around Strasbourg, i.e. within a circle passing through Milan, Lyon, Paris, Bruges, Hanover, Leipzig, and Munich.

It has remarkably good road, rail and air transport links given its relatively modest size. The city itself has a population of 300,000 in a wider urban area with a population of 500,000.

Strasbourg shares with New York and Geneva the privilege of being the seat of international organisations even though it is not a capital city. It plays host to:


  • the Franco-German cultural TV channel ARTE.

Higher education and Research

More than 44,000 students, a fifth of whom are from abroad, study at the University of Strasbourg. It is the largest university in France.

As a thoroughly multidisciplinary university, it offers a wide range of degrees grouped together in four main areas of study:

  • The humanities, literature, languages
  • Law, economics, management
  • Human and social sciences
  • Science, technology, health.

Together with the Universities of Karlsruhe, Fribourg, Basel and Mulhouse, the University of Strasbourg makes up the European Confederation of Universities on the Upper Rhine (EUCOR).

Strasbourg has excellent facilities for attracting and welcoming visitors. It currently ranks second after Paris in the French ranking of international congress cities, and ninth in the global ranking. 

The city is a thriving business centre, but relaxation and entertainment are no less important. The splendours of the historic centre around the Cathedral and the Petite France district, the banks of the River Ill, the parks and gardens, and the pedestrian areas all invite visitors to enjoy a relaxing stroll.


With its particularly dynamic cultural life, Strasbourg has succeeded in making a compromise between the services and amenities one expects of a large city and the freedom of movement offered by a medium-sized town and its surrounding region. 

For further information, you can consult the various websites recommended by the Strasbourg City Council and the various tourism organisations, especially:


Photographs: Council of Europe