Grenoble is a city with oozes continental sophistication and charm. With each step, visitors fall deeper and deeper in love with this lively and refined town, as well as the picturesque snow-capped mountains surrounding it on all sides.
Located in the popular Dauphiné region, the Chartreuse Mountains loom to the north, the Vercors to the southwest and the Alps to the east. No matter where you turn your head, your eyes are rewarded with stunning views and a relaxing atmosphere.
Being so close to the Italian border, Grenoble has a wonderful lively and European flair. There is a strong student population here adding to both the buzz and character of the city. The architecture is simply charming and the breath-taking views make it an ideal destination for travellers from all over the world.
The city has some wonderful key attractions so visitors will have no end to the things to do and see. Start with a trip to Centre National d'Art Contemporain. This is considered one of Europe’s best centers of contemporary art, making it a favorite tourist attraction. Whether you are a lover of contemporary art or not, you will find yourself both enthralled and mystified at each piece. You might find yourself amazed at the building the centre is located in itself – a gigantic glass and steel warehouse designed by Gustave Eiffel, the genius who built the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
For history buffs, the Musée Archéologique (Archaeology Museum) is a dream. It is housed in a church dating back to the 12th century in the north of the city. The church itself was built on top of an early Christian burial site and will fascinate visitors, not only for its location, but the vast array of artifacts detailing the history of the region. Plus, there is the added bonus of visiting the crypt of St Ovand.
Grenoble is known for her many museums. Several others which will leave tourists both learned and awestruck are the Musée de la Résistance et de la Déportation de l'Isère, which traces the history of the deportation of the French Jews to the Nazi war camps during WWII; the Natural History Museum where you can get in touch with nature and learn more about the wonders of the natural world; and the Musée de l'Ancien Évêché, where you can explore an crypt which guards ancient Roman walls and a historic baptistery.
The Fort de la Bastille is another highlight Grenoble is extremely proud of. The fort has no strategic point anymore, but visitors still flock here in their thousands year after year for the outstanding views at the very top, reached by a mesmerizing cable car journey. Visitors can first tour around the fort and then either hike down the mountain on one of the many trails.
After experiencing all that Grenoble has to offer on cultural attractions, allow yourself to experience the wonder of the local food. There are cheaper cafes where you can sample tasty regional snacks at good prices for those on a budget, and genuinely historic restaurants where you can dine on first-rate dishes featuring the finest and freshest ingredients in an atmospheric setting. Either way, your tastebuds will be in heaven.
Hotels in Grenoble are some of the best in France. Many are contemporary in appearance and feature all the modern comforts international travellers expect, but they still retain the character and appeal of the local area.
Grenoble is a charming city in a charming country, yet there is something that makes her totally unique. She has the sophistication, the culture, the history and the wonder of a French city, nonetheless one visit here and you will see for yourself that she cannot be compared to any other city in the world.