The equations of motion and boundary conditions for the fluctuations around a classical open string, in a curved space-time with torsion, are considered in compact and world-sheet covariant form. The rigidly rotating open strings in anti-de Sitter space with and without torsion are investigated in detail. By carefully analyzing the tangential fluctuations at the boundary, we show explicitly that the physical fluctuations (which at the boundary are combinations of normal and tangential fluctuations) are finite, even though the world-sheet is singular there. The divergent 2-curvature thus seems less dangerous than expected in these cases. The general formalism can be straightforwardly used also to study the (bosonic part of the) fluctuations around the closed strings, recently considered in connection with the AdS/conformal field theory duality, on AdS ×S and AdS ×S ×T .