Visiting Grenoble - What to See and Do
(Grenoble Isere Airport GNB, France)
Tucked away in the beautiful French Alps is the city of Grenoble. Unfortunately, apart from university students flocking to Grenoble in their thousands each year, this Alpine city is often overlooked by visitors. Yes, there is a large university and science research culture in the city. However, tourists will not be disappointed with the amazing sights on show around the cityscape.
Like other French cities, most of Grenoble's attractions are museums, galleries and churches. That being said, sightseeing is a phenomenal activity when holidaying here. This mountainous city also contains a magnificent lookout point that will undoubtedly enchant any tourist lucky enough to experience it.
Skiing is popular in the winter months, while hiking, mountain biking and climbing sites beckon to adventure travellers every summer. Throw in some mountain lakes for good measure, and Grenoble boasts an awesome outdoor holiday menu.
Ten things you must do in Grenoble
- The Bastille Fort is a series of magnificent fortifications. Even though the forts are no longer used for military purposes, they are significant for the city's tourism sector nonetheless. The sites are found upon Bastille Hill, which overlooks sparkling Grenoble. The panoramic views from the forts are simply out of this world. On clear days, even Mont Blanc can be spotted in the distance.
- Built by the famous Gustave Eiffel, Grenoble's Magasin Centre of Contemporary Art is a popular stop-off for most tourists. It is one of the most extravagant contemporary art galleries in Europe, housing some interestingly unique and edgy modern exhibitions. This cultural landmark can be reached by tram, as it sits just a few kilometres outside the town centre.
- This beautiful city is home to a beautiful city park too. The Paul Mistral Park is a huge green space with plenty of room for picnicking, jogging and strolling around. There is also a roller skating rink available in the park. The Tower Perret (Tour Perret) is found in the centre, standing as the iconic structure of the area. Unfortunately, it can no longer be accessed due to safety concerns.
- Budget travellers who are into history should check out the Museum of Deportation and Resistance. Located on the Rue Hebert, the museum tells the story of French resistance during WWII, especially within the Alpine region of the country. Information is in English, French and German, meaning that tourists should have no language troubles while visiting the site.
- Even though it may not sound like a fascinating landmark, the St. Roch Cemetery is a popular attraction within Grenoble. A collection of the region's most famous figures currently rest within the cemetery, and the local chapel is one of the oldest religious structures in the city. Visitors shouldn't need more than two hours to thoroughly explore this site.
- Archaeology enthusiasts, and even those just interested in history, will enjoy the Archaeology Museum of St. Laurent. This attraction is found along the banks of the Isere River, and is located within the Benedictine Church of St. Laurent. The museum displays artefacts excavated from beneath the church, some dating back as far as the 2nd and 3rd centuries.
- Tourists should follow the other 200,000 annual visitors and explore the Grenoble Museum. Artistic revolutions are an important part of the region's historic culture, and these are exhibited within the museum for all to see. Greek, Roman and Egyptian relics and artefacts are also displayed here, including the authentic 6th-century Egyptian mummy, the Prophetess of Antinoe.
- The history of Grenoble is extensively highlighted at the Dauphinois Museum. It is situated within an old convent on the slopes of the Bastille Hill, providing spectacular views of Grenoble as a bonus. Exhibits identify the culture and history of the surrounding Alps region, including the skiing history of the area.
- Even though the Bastille Hill and its fortifications have already been mentioned, the cable car leading up to the top is an attraction in itself. The cars look very similar to large plastic bubbles, but provide unsurpassed views of the city and its surrounding landscape en route to the top. Check the opening times before travelling to the cable link, as winter and summer operating hours differ.
- One of the more outstanding architectural masterpieces in Grenoble is the Palace of the Parliament of Dauphine. Built around the beginning of the 14th century, the palace now belongs to the Isere Council. Even though the site is being restored, visitors can still inspect its impressive facade and interior.