16 Best Sights in Grenoble
Grenoble can boast not only unique nature, but also stunning architecture; this is not surprising, because the history of this ancient city is more than 2000 years old. The incredibly creative atmosphere that reigns here is also fascinating: there are a myriad of world-class art galleries waiting for you in Grenoble.
Majestic mountains, lush greenery of manicured city parks, fascinating old architecture, plenty of interesting museums and art galleries: that’s Grenoble. What’s the first thing to see in the city? It is up to you to decide, but we will try to help you.
Musée de Grenoble
Museum of Grenoble.
For connoisseurs of European art a visit to this museum is a great opportunity to “get lost” for a day.
The exhibits on display there are evenly divided into different historical eras: here you will find both antique figurines from Ancient Egypt and Greece, and works by modern artists.
The bulk of the museum’s exhibits are works of European art, ranging from medieval religious paintings to an impressive collection of works by 20th century painting luminaries such as Bonnard, Ernst, Léger, Magritte, Miró, Modigliani and Sutin.
Of great interest to visitors are the fascinating landscapes of the Dauphiné province of the 19th century and the painting of the Annunciation, painted in 1638-1639 by the Spanish painter Francisco de Zurbarán.
And the magnificent building of the museum, filled with light, opened in 1994, can safely be called a Grenoble landmark.
Address: Musée de Grenoble, Place de Lavalette, Grenoble, France.
View from Fort Bastille. | Photo: Guilhem Vellut / Flickr.
The reward for a quick and fascinating ascent by cable car or a long and somewhat tedious ascent on a path steeply going up is a magnificent panorama opening from the Fort Bastille you have reached.
This Grenoble fortress was built in the first half of the XIX century to protect the city and control the alpine border.
On the observation deck of the Bastille there are colorful interactive displays telling you in French and English what you are looking at at the moment.
On clear days from the observation deck of the fortress you can see not only the mountain range Vercor, but also the snowy peak of Mont Blanc.
Address: Fort de La Bastille, Grenoble, France.
This ever-evolving museum, located above the River Isère on the hillside just below the Bastille, in a seventeenth-century convent building, reveals to visitors the centuries-old history of the region. The exhibits in the museum give you an insight into the life, culture and traditions of the people of the Dauphiné province.
From medieval armor to three-dimensional genealogical trees presented as works of modern art, you’re bound to find something of interest in this impressive collection, especially since the exhibitions are constantly changing.
It’s not uncommon to see exhibitions devoted to skiing.
Address: Musée Dauphinois, Rue Maurice Gignoux, Grenoble, France.
Museum of the Mountain Army
Museum of mountain troops.
Although the Museum de Troupe de Montaigne is highly specialized, no visitor, even those who come here by chance, regrets wasting their time. The museum is dedicated to the elite battalions of Alpine riflemen created in France in 1888.
The display of military equipment and uniforms is considerably enlivened by the audio guide, which, in one of four languages, tells not only about the exhibits on view at the time but also about the Resistance movement during World War II.
If you visit the museum, you will also learn about the contemporary life of the French army’s mountain unit.
Address: Musée des Troupes de montagne, Grenoble, France.
The Resistance and Deportation Museum
Museum of Resistance and Deportation.
This museum is dedicated to the sorrowful pages of the history of the city and the entire country – World War II.
The exhibits of the museum, the captions to which are duplicated in English and German, tell the story of the determined resistance of the inhabitants of Grenoble to the Italian and then German troops.
A new exhibition has recently been opened showing the fate of thousands of local Jews, including 80 children sent to Nazi camps.
Address: Musée de la Résistance et de la Déportation de l’Isère, rue Hébert, Grenoble, France.
About 2 km west of the city center this glass and concrete building, built by Gustave Eiffel, was previously a warehouse and has now become one of the leading centers of contemporary art in France.
Many of its temporary exhibitions have been specifically designed for this space.
Le Magasin, Esplanade Andry Farcy, Éireannoble, France.
Notre Dame Cathedral.
It is a relatively modest, yet elegant pink-brick building that houses Grenoble’s cathedral.
Notre-Dame de Grenoble was built in the 1200s, but its interior was decorated in Gothic style in later centuries. By the way, there was once a 4th-century church on the site of the cathedral.
Tiptoe down to the dilapidated baptistery and you’ll see the walls of the original church, built by the Romans.
Address: Cathédrale Notre-Dame, Place Notre Dame, Grenoble, France.
This humble museum is dedicated to the work of the author of “Red and Black”. Here are exhibited personal correspondence, lithographs, sculptures and other things directly related to the life and work of Stendhal.
The museum is housed in the restored apartment of Dr. Gagnon, the writer’s maternal grandfather.
Address: Musée Stendhal, Grande Rue, Grenoble, France.
Church of Saint Louis
Church of Saint Louis.
Consecrated in 1699, the Church of Saint Louis looks austere and even a little austere on the outside. Its interior is less laconic. Inside, around the altar, you’ll find seven stunning paintings depicting scenes from the life of Jesus.
The address is Eglise Saint Louis, Rue Félix Poulat, Grenoble, France.
Parc de Paul Mistral
Parc de Paul Mistral.
Grenoble’s Parc Paul Mistral is a lush green oasis in the center of the city. In this idyllic place you will forget about the noise of the modern city and the daily stresses.
Filled with life and children’s laughter, the park’s 67 acres offer endless opportunities for entertainment – you can go roller skating, participate in a board game tournament, play field hockey, handball or Frisbee.
It’s not uncommon to find yoga and tai chi classes, knitting classes, and tango classes while strolling through the park’s quiet alleys.
In the middle of the park stands the Perret Tower, built in 1925, the main attraction of the place. At night, when the façade of the tower is illuminated by twinkling lights, the view is very romantic. In general, the park is very popular with couples in love who want to take a walk under the stars.
Parc Paul Mistral houses the City Hall of Grenoble.
Address: Parc Paul Mistral, Boulevard Jean Pain, Grenoble, France.
Grenoble-Bastille cable car
The spherical cabins of this cable car, opened in 1934, have been transporting people from the center of Grenoble to the fortress of Bastille for years.
The cable car is almost as famous as the fortress itself: to ride on it, tourists flock to the city almost from all over France. From her transparent cabins, people call “bubbles”, you can admire the river Isere and the beautiful Alpine scenery, and on clear days in your field of vision will be even the tip of Mont Blanc.
The aerial expedition in the transparent “bubble” of the world’s first urban cable car will surely be remembered for many years.
Address: Téléphérique Grenoble-Bastille, Quai Stéphane Jay, Grenoble, France.
2000 year old Grenoble is simply full of history and stories and this amazing museum is the perfect place to start your journey back in time.
The Archaeological Museum of Grenoble is located right on the banks of the River Isère in the 12th century church of Saint-Laurent. Many of its exhibits were excavated right here, on the very spot where the museum stands.
Allow yourself to be transported back in time with authentic artefacts and ancient rarities.
Address: Musée Archéologique Grenoble Saint-Laurent, Place Saint-Laurent, Grenoble, France.
Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum.
Are you tired of the abundance of art and cultural attractions in this fabulously creative city? No problem – a visit to the Museum of Natural History is a great alternative.
You will be amazed at the magnificence of all that is on display in this wonderful museum. Its interactive exhibits and the opportunity to not only look, but also touch everything you see will transport you right into the world of wild alpine nature. В
The rarest and most beautiful plants and animals, which have made this region a natural paradise, are on display. The collection of precious stones and minerals is also astonishingly diverse.
The stunning neoclassical building that houses the Natural History Museum is a sight in itself, and the aquarium within is a constant source of excitement for nature lovers.
One of the museum’s highlights is the nearby Botanical Gardens. 20,000 square meters of lush greenery with greenhouses, conservatories and flowerbeds give you the chance to see species that are rare in this region.
Address: Natural History Museum, Rue Dolomieu, Grenoble, France.
Head to the Grenoble suburb of Sassenage, a 10-minute drive from the city, to discover the fascinating world of underground caves.
A tour of the caves will give you the opportunity to marvel at how the planet we live on has been shaped and changed over millions of years, and to marvel at the power and splendor of nature.
This “journey to the center of the Earth” promises to encounter many natural wonders and an unforgettable experience.
Address: Grotte les Cuves de Sassenage, Grotte les Cuves, Sassenage, France.
Ancient Bishopric Museum
The Museum of the Ancient Bishopric.
L’Ancien-Evesche Museum, which translates from the French as ‘Museum of the Ancient Bishopric’, is housed in the former bishop’s residence, built in the 1200s, hence its name.
Now housed in the sumptuous interiors of this ancient palace is a collection of exhibits tracing the history of the region from prehistory to the present day.
You can also see some of the oldest architecture in Grenoble. Don’t miss the engineering skills of the ancient Romans who built the city’s defensive walls in the 3rd century.
You also have a rare opportunity to visit the baptistery, which dates back to the 4th century. In addition to regular guided tours the museum offers interactive lessons and other activities for children.
Address: Musée de l’Ancien Évêché, Rue Très Cloîtres, Grenoble, France.
Jardin des Ville Urban Gardens
Jardin de Ville Urban Garden | Photo: Vinicius Pinheiro / Flickr.
This elegant garden, bordering the Old Town, was once the private property of the Dukes of Lediguers.
It became a public park in 1710. The impressive seventeenth-century mansion on the grounds was also formerly the property of the Dukes of Lédiguyer and is now home to the Association des Relations Internationales, which promotes cultural exchanges with other countries.
Jardin de Ville, with its bright rose gardens and French flowerbeds, has a special charm.
When the weather is nice, locals like to relax on its lawns. It’s a great place for a picnic or a leisurely stroll.
During the summertime, the Jardin de Ville hosts many events.
Address: Jardin de Ville, Jardin de Ville, Grenoble, France.
Grenoble, France – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main attractions of Grenoble with descriptions, guides and maps.
City of Grenoble (France)
Grenoble is a city in south-eastern France in the department of Isère. It is a major industrial and educational center and the capital of the historic Dauphiné region. Grenoble is an ancient city more than 2000 years old. It fascinates with its stunning architecture and magnificent historical character. The city is located in a valley at the foot of the Alps and is one of the most picturesque places in France, surrounded by snow-capped peaks and green forests. Also Grenoble boasts a beautiful historic center with typical old European boulevards and an impressive number of museums.
Things to do (France):
51€46 per person.
The Louvre in the morning or in the evening. Tickets guaranteed!
Two hours in the company of great masterpieces and without the tourist crowds on a tour in a mini group
€285 per tour
One Day in Paris” sightseeing tour
Grand tour of the city for a full day – all the best things to see in the city.
Geography and climate
Grenoble is located in the valley of the river Isere at the foot of the French Alps. The city is close to the Italian border between Lyon and Turin. The climate is temperate with warm summers (slightly cooler on average than in central France) and cool winters. Rainfall is about 1000 mm per year, evenly distributed throughout the year.
- Population – more than 160 thousand people.
- Area – 18.13 km 2 .
- Language: French.
- Currency is euro.
- Visa – Schengen.
- Time – Central European UTC +1, in summer +2.
- There are three airports in the vicinity of Grenoble: Isère airport (40 km), Lyon airport (100 km) and Geneva airport (157 km). It is therefore easy to get here by plane.
- By train you can get to Grenoble from Paris, Lyon, Geneva, Valence.
- Not far from the city there are several ski resorts including the famous l’Alpe d’Huez.
- The Grand Place is a large shopping center. The markets are Sainte-Claire Les Halles, L’Estacade in Cours Jean Jaures. For street shopping head for the Grenette Square area.
- Grenoble is famous for its pastries and confectionery (buns with fillings, cakes with nut cream).
- Bars and clubs are located between Place Grenette and Notre Dame.
- At night, it’s best to avoid the Ville Neuve area. Overall, though, Grenoble is a safe city.
The first mentions of Grenoble date back to the 1st century BC. At that time, a fortified settlement of the Celtic Allobrog Cularo tribe was founded here, which was later subjugated by the Romans. In the 3rd century a fortress was built around the small Roman town. In 380 the city was named Gratianopolis. At the end of the 4th century, Christianity began to spread, and a diocese was founded in Grenoble.
The panorama of Grenoble
After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the city became part of Burgundy and then was part of the kingdom of Arles until the 10th century. In 1032 Grenoble became part of the Holy Roman Empire. In the 11th century, during the reign of the Counts of Albon, the city grew considerably and became the capital of the Dauphiné County. In 1339 a university was founded there. In 1349 the Dauphiné lands were sold to France, and Grenoble became a border town with the Duchy of Savoy.
As part of France, Grenoble was an important strategic city where French troops were stationed. In the 19th century, industrialization turned it into one of the most important industrial centers in the southeastern part of the country.
Grenoble’s Old Town (Vieille Ville) is a delightful medley of narrow cobblestone streets, pretty little squares and fine old buildings. The old bishop’s palace (which now houses the Museum de l’Ancien Évêché) sits on the remains of ancient Roman ramparts. The medieval Place aux Herbes still hosts markets. And the 15th-century Palais de Justice impresses with its vivid Gothic and early Renaissance facade.
Grenoble Museum is one of the most prestigious art museums in France and has a stunning collection of paintings from the Middle Ages to the present. There are masterpieces of the 15th – 20th century, including works by Rubens, Gauguin, Picasso, Monet and many others.
Fort de la Bastille
Fort de la Bastille is a hilltop fortress that offers a spectacular panoramic view of the Alpine landscape from its impressive height. Once a prison, it is now a military museum and contemporary art center.
Grenette is Grenoble’s main town square, surrounded by quaint historic houses that now house cafes and stores. In the 17th century, this space was used for the hay and grain trade. In the center of the square is an elegant fountain with winged cherubs and dolphins.
The Lesdiguers’ Mansion is a historic 17th-century building located on the edge of the old town. The mansion has an elegant garden, which is a public park and a popular recreation spot.
Port de France
The Port de France is a 17th-century historical monument that is now a memorial to fallen wars.
Perret is an 84-meter reinforced concrete tower that was built in 1924 and is the first such structure in Europe.
Notre Dame is a medieval church that was built on the ruins of the Gallo-Roman settlement of Cularo. The current building dates from the 13th century and has an interesting Romanesque bell tower, striking Gothic choir elements and 17th-century wooden bas-reliefs. Nearby is the bishop’s palace, which houses a museum with artifacts from the city’s ancient past.
Fountain of the Three Estates
The “Fountain of the Three Estates” is an interesting late 19th-century fountain located in front of Notre Dame Cathedral.
Place Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo Square is an elegant urban space built in the 19th century on the site of the old bastions and military barracks.
Saint-André is a beautiful 13th-century Lombard-style collegiate church.
Church of St. Bruno
St. Bruno’s Church is a 19th-century neo-Romanesque man-made stone church on the west side of town.
The Island Tower is a 14th-century medieval structure that once housed an arsenal.
Port of Saint-Laurent
Port St. Laurent is a bridge gate built in 1837.
Church of Saint-Louis
Saint-Louis is a Baroque church completed in 1699.
Sacré Coeur is a beautiful basilica built in the style of the famous church on the Montmartre Hill in Paris.
From €105 for a guided tour
Grand tour of Montmartre
The Moulin Rouge, Dalida House, Villa Léandre, Chateau des Mists and other iconic spots of the bohemian quarter
from €130 for a guided tour
The Louvre for children ages 6 and up
An educational but not boring adventure that will be remembered by young travelers