Visit of the European Parliament in Strasbourg

by | Updated on 17/02/2023 | Museum and monuments, Museum and monuments (when it rains), On a budget, Strasbourg | 0 comments

european-parliament-strasbourg-06890


Strasbourg
shares the title of European capital with Brussels. It is possible to visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg and learn more about the European institutions.

In which city is the European Parliament located?

The European Parliament is located in both Brussels and Strasbourg. Parliamentary sessions are held every month in Strasbourg, during which the parliament meets in the dedicated building.

At these times, Strasbourg is in turmoil. The best tables are booked, a strange ballet of big black sedans with Belgian plates is going on in the streets and it becomes difficult to find an accommodation.

Where is the European Parliament?

In Strasbourg, it is located in the European district, near the Parc de l’Orangerie and the Wacken and Robertsau districts, in the north of the city.

Several European institutions are located in the European district of Strasbourg: the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the European Pharmacopoeia and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The headquarters of the French-German television channel Arte is also located here.

Strasbourg, seat of the European Parliament since 1958

Strasbourg has been the seat of the European Parliament since 1958. That year, the MEPs held their first session in March in the House of Europe, a temporary building constructed in Wacken for the Council of Europe. The two institutions will then cohabit in the Palais de l’Europe inaugurated in 1977 by President Giscard d’Estaing. In view of the important development of the European Union, the Parliament quickly found itself cramped and the need to have its own building became obvious.

On December 14, 1999, the European Parliament in Strasbourg inaugurated its new hemicycle, which welcomes MEPs during plenary sessions one week a month.

How to visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg?

Majestic on the banks of the Ill with its soft and curved lines, the tower of the European Parliament does not leave indifferent neither the Strasbourgeois nor the tourists of passage. A visit to this heart of European democracy becomes a must. The Parliament teams have recently set up a secure route to offer free tours of the building. Admission is free and takes place in the afternoon. Don’t forget to bring your ID!

The Parlamentarium to discover Europe while having fun

The tour begins with the Parlamentarium Simone Veil, an interactive and playful space to discover Europe and its institutions. Touch screens allow citizens to find the MEPs of their country or to understand the functioning of the European institutional triangle in a very educational way. A movie theater offers a 360° film on European issues in the 24 official languages. Finally, an exhibition traces the career of Simone Veil, the first elected president of the European Parliament and the first woman to hold this position. Don’t forget to take your souvenir photo in the photo booth!

Bonus: if you are a group of at least 16 people, you may be able to take part in a role-playing game in which you put yourself in the shoes of an MEP. Committee work, press briefings or even a mini-hemicycle, players are confronted with legislative work in a very playful way.

The visit of the hemicycle

Now let’s leave the Parlamentarium and take the escalators. The circuit is perfectly marked to avoid visitors getting lost in this huge building. Once at the top, you take off your video guide and your headphones to discover the hemicycle. From the corridor, the view of the 751 seats of the MPs is impressive. The European flag is proudly positioned in the center, surrounded by the flags of the 28 member states. The visit is perfectly complemented by commentaries and videos that you can watch at your own pace and in the language of your choice.

Take a look at the ceiling and observe these funny waves. It is an ingenious lighting system that allows, beyond its aesthetics, to properly illuminate each member regardless of his place in the chamber. The acoustics have also been perfectly designed to make the parliamentary sessions practicable.

On your way down, you can return to the Parlamentarium or go to the visitors’ cafeteria. And if you want to learn more about the history of the European Union and the role of the institutions, you can also visit the Place of Europe .

I liked

  • The architecture of the buildings of the European institutions
  • The possibility to attend the plenary sessions of the European Parliament in the hemicycle
  • The interactive and playful side of the Parlamentarium

I liked less

  • The necessary but very restrictive security for the visit
  • Limited visit slots for individuals
  • Access to the role-playing game reserved for groups

My Photos of the European Parliament in Strasbourg

Practical information

Rates

The visit to the European Parliament is free of charge.

Schedules

For individuals and groups, without prior reservation. You can see the schedule here.

Access

The European district is accessible via streetcar E: stop European Parliament for the Parliament and Human Rights for the Council of Europe and the ECHR. Buses 6 and 30 also serve a Council of Europe stop.

Thibaut

Thibaut

Blogueur et photographe, Thibaut aime faire découvrir sa ville de Strasbourg, tester des activités autour de chez lui et partir explorer le reste de monde, souvent accompagné par sa petite fille.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

ARTICLES SIMILAIRES

Newsletter

Want to stay in touch ?

We send once a month a newsletter with our discoveries in the region. The newsletter is available only IN FRENCH though, but feel free to register 🙂