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Cities of France - Grenoble

Grenoble

 

Grenoble cable cars

Lodged in a narrow valley surrounded by the magestic peaks of the Parc Naturel Régional de Chartreuse and the Parc Naturel Régional du Vercors, Grenoble is the gateway to the French Alps.

Sitting where the rivers Isère and Drac meet, you’ll find Switzerland to the north, Italy to the east and Provence to the south.

Grenoble is known for its great museums, excellent dining, outstanding quality of life and superb public transport system. Host of the 1968 Winter Olympics, you can see the Alps from almost every street corner.

One of the most important centres of scientific research and high-tech industry in France, the city hosts a large population of foreign scientists and students. As with many university towns, you’ll find effervescent nightlife, eccentric cafes and dusty bookshops, but it also boasts snow-capped mountain peaks and sapphire blue lakes cherished by hikers, skiers, nature enthusiasts and photographers.

Grenoble grew in importance through its industrial development, having experienced several periods of economic expansion in the last centuries. It started with its booming glove industry in the 18th and 19th centuries, continued with the development of a strong hydropower industry in the late 19th to early 20th centuries and ended with its post-World War II economic boom.

If you’re planning your visit to Grenoble, be sure to put these attractions on your list and get your camera ready. 

La Bastille, an ancient series of fortifications on the mountainside overlooking the city is one of Grenoble's most visited tourist attractions and is a good vantage point to see the town below and the surrounding mountains.

Since 1934, the Bastille has been the destination of the Grenoble-Bastille Cable Car. This system of egg-shaped cable cars known to locals as "Les Bulles" (the bubbles) is the perfect vantage point for an amazing view over the Isère River. At the top are two restaurants and a small military museum on mountain troops (Musée des troupes de montagne).

The Palace of the Parliament of Dauphiné was constructed around 1500 and served as the Parliament until after the French Revolution when it became a courthouse.  An ongoing renovation project is now giving this building a new life while preserving its patrimonial character and adding a modern touch.

The city's most prized museum, the Musée de Grenoble, welcomes 200,000 visitors a year. Renowned for its collection of paintings that cover all the artistic evolutions, it was the first museum in France that opened its collections to modern artists. Since then, its collection of modern and contemporary art has grown to become one of the largest in Europe.

This cosmopolitan city will delight you with its many cafes and restaurants.  Best of all, as there is a large student population, Grenoble boosts many affordable restaurants that offer discounts and inexpensive student menus.  In the winter, be sure to try typical Alpine dishes such as fondue, raclette and the legendary tartiflette.

 

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