Strasbourg shares the title of European capital with Brussels. Indeed, several European institutions have their seat in the European district of Strasbourg: the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the European Human Rights Court (ECHR). And let’s not forget Arte headquarters.
The European Parliament in Strasbourg welcomes every year the MEPs during 12 plenary sessions. At these times, Strasbourg is in a frenzy and it becomes difficult to find accommodation!
It is possible for private individuals to visit the European Parliament when it is in session and without appointment necessary. The Council of Europe can also be visited, but only with prior appointment. The visit of the European Human Rights Court is only possible for groups of professionals or law students. Similarly, the visit of Arte is only possible for groups of professionals.
I visited the European Parliament during a session. The visit leads you inside the building and gives you access to the impressive hemicycle, where the plenary sessions are held. You can then see the MEPs at work and it is always very interesting. With a headset, you can follow the debates in the language of your choice: the way the translation was organized really impressed me!
- The architecture of the various buildings of the European Institutions
- The possibility to attend plenary sessions of the European Parliament in the hemicycle
I liked a little less
- The visit only gives you the opportunity to access the hemicycle, without any more explanations. I would have enjoyed taking part in a real guided tour, but it is only possible for groups.
- The European district is not very welcoming
- Pictures are forbidden within the hemicycle
My Pictures of the European Parliament of Strasbourg
Visiting the European Parliament is free.
For private individuals, the European Parliament can only be visited during plenary sessions, which are usually held once a month (except in August) during 4 days (from Monday to Thursday). You will find here the 2015 schedule.
During sessions, visit times are as follows: Mondays from 5pm to 6pm, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9am to 12apm and from 3pm to 6pm, Thursdays from 9am to 12pm (and the afternoon depending on the agenda).
The Council of Europe is open from Monday to Friday, but you will have to make an appointment by phoning +33 (0)3 88 41 20 29 or by emailing email@example.com
You can reach the European district via the tram E: stop “Parlement européen” for the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the ECHR. Bus 6 and 30 also stop at “Conseil de l’Europe”.