The “Gateway to the Alps” is famous for medieval architecture, historic cafés and summer and winter sports in the surrounding snowcapped mountains.
With ski resorts, hilltop forts, national history museums, historic cafés, and picturesque squares lined with centuries-old architecture, Grenoble offers numerous attractions. The city sits at the confluence of the rivers Isère and Drac, encircled by the snow-covered Alps.
Despite its mountain location, Grenoble is a low-lying city. Its flat streets are ideal for exploring on foot. Find major attractions on the south side of the Isère River. Visit Place St. André, the heart of the city’s historic quarter. Admire the breathtaking mountain backdrop from a café terrace amid buildings dating from the Middle Ages. Café de la Table Ronde opened in 1739 and is one of France’s oldest cafés.
Stroll along grand Place Notre Dame to the Musée de l’Ancien Évêché, where steps lead to an ancient crypt below the Eglise Notre Dame. Visit the Museum of Grenoble to see a vast collection of modern art. Spot work by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso in addition to Flemish, Italian and Renaissance paintings.
Delve into local and national history at the museums located south of the historic center. Discover Grenoble’s involvement in World War II at the poignant Museum of Resistance and Deportation. See displays of alpine flora and fauna at the Natural History Museum.
Go to the leafy Jardin de Ville to ride the Grenoble-Bastille Cable Car, which travels over the Isère River to a hilltop at the base of Chartreuse Massif. The 19th-century Fort de la Bastille offers mountain scenery and city views. Return to the city via a trail passing fortifications and the pretty Jardin des Dauphins. At the trail’s end, the Dauphinois Museum showcases mountain cultures and traditions.
Reach Grenoble by flying to Grenoble-Isère Airport, a 40-minute drive from the city center, or catch a train from major French destinations or Geneva, Switzerland. With over 200 ski resorts in the surrounding region, Grenoble’s snowy winters and warm summers are perfect for outdoor adventures. Come and see why it is called the “Gateway to the Alps.”