Grenoble
© Pierre-jean DURIEU / 123RF
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Grenoble

By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile

Our Editorial team's advice

This mountain metropolis described by Stendhal was able to preserve its old centre, where it is really pleasant to wander around, all while becoming a pioneer city of architecture and the sciences. Of course, it is also a city of culture, where you can visit one of the richest art museums in France. So don't just stick to the mountains, even though they are extremely beautiful!

To see

The old town, where you can admire Roman ruins, Medieval courtyards, and 17th century townhouses. At the entrance to the Rue Lafayette, for example, you will find the remains of the first city wall. Place Grenette has been the main square since the 17th century. This is where the grain and livestock markets were held. Another interesting place is the Rue and Porte de Bonne, built in 1670, which was once the main gateway to the city on the south side.

To do

Visit the Museum of Grenoble. This is one of the most prestigious art museums in Europe and the oldest modern art museum in France.

pros

  • +  A dynamic university city.
  • +  The wide range of sports activities (paragliding, skiing, hiking, etc.).
  • +  The proximity to the ski resorts (the closest slopes are only 30 minutes away) and also to Italy, the French Riviera and Switzerland.

cons

  • -  The pollution and the stifling heat in summer.

To think about

Take a ride on the Bastille cable car, which will take you to the Fort de la Bastille (the city's former defensive fortress), from where you will have a magnificent view of the Alps all the way to the Mont Blanc Massif. The cable cars, also known as 'the bubbles', have become a symbol of the city.

To avoid

Visit Grenoble in summer: it's too hot!

To try

Gratin dauphinois, a speciality of Grenoble. Each family has their own 'secret recipe' made from potatoes, cream or milk, and various herbs.

To bring back

A bottle of Chartreuse, a green liqueur that contains 130 different plants and is made by the Carthusian monks at their monastery in Saint Pierre de Chartreuse.