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Grenoble is a bustling city in the southeastern region of France situated at the very foot of the French Alps. The city is bordered by three separate Alp mountain ranges – the Vercors, Chartreuse, and Belledonne. The river Drac meets the Isele at the city’s end.
Founded over 2,000 years ago as a Gallic village, Grenoble has grown to a university town that lays claim to importance in the European scientific community. It isn’t only science that fuels the economy, however, but also a large tourism industry.
This doesn’t come as a surprise, of course, since there are many things to see and do within the town. From historic landmarks to museums, outdoor activities, and delicious ethnic cuisine, there is plenty to experience. Below we’ve come up with just a few of the many things you’ll want to experience when you travel to Grenoble.
Things to See in Grenoble
These are ancient fortifications from the middle ages that overlook the city. One of the things which makes them so unique is that La Bastille is the most extensive example of architecture from the 18th century in all of France.
Museum of Grenoble
Over 200K visitors grace the museum each year, and it’s hailed as one of Grenoble’s brightest gems. The extensive painting collection includes works from Renoir, Monet, and Andy Warhol, among others. There are also sculptures, as well as antiques from the historic civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
Parc Paul Mistral
Right in the centre of the city sits this sports and garden park. There is a roller rink, and extensive grounds. There is also a tall tower, called Perret, which is said to look very similar to Tolkien’s Tower of Mordor.
Natural History Museum
Includes extensive, informative exhibits on local minerology, as well as Alpine wildlife. An aquarium is housed inside the museum as well, which is great for families traveling with children.
This museum has exhibits (in both French and English) pertaining to the people and lifestyle of the historic Dauphine province, which used to reside where the city of Grenoble now stands. Outside the museum is a garden with a breath-taking view of the city.
Museum of Resistance & Deportation
This unique museum tells the story of the French resistance in the Alps during the Second World War. There is no entry fee, making it a great option for travelers on a budget to get a little piece of French history.
Those who love the great outdoors will find a slew of fun activities to keep them entertained. You can take a ride on the cable car, or (if it’s winter) hit the slopes for some skiing. You could also go fishing, swimming, sunbathing, hiking, or – if you’re feeling adventurous – mountain climbing.
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A few of the most famous dishes that hail from Grenoble include: Chocolate and Hazelnut Brownies, Confit de Porc, and Almond Milk Custard Tart. Common ingredients include pork, garlic, shallots, mushrooms, potatoes, duck, seafood, beans, and thick, creamy French sauces.
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