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Grenoble France


Grenoble

Grenoble thinks of itself as the capital of the Alps, and with its own airport, beautiful location, thriving universities with over 50,000 students, and prosperous industries, it has a good claim to the title. Grenoble is in the Dauphiné region, traditionally the seat of the Princes of Dauphiné in the Middle Ages before it was sold to France in the 14th century, hence the eldest son of the French king was called the Dauphin because he ruled Dauphiné.

Grenoble airport information http://www.grenoble airport.com/http://www.grenoble airport.com/

Today Grenoble makes for a lively and modern place to visit, and its setting between the Isère and Drac rivers, with mountains all around, is truly stunning both during the summer and in the winter, when skiing is the most popular regional activity. Indeed, the 1968 Winter Olympics were held here. However, in June and July there is a European theatre festival, and there are two music festivals during the spring (jazz in March, rock in April), which means that Grenoble has more to it than proximity to the slopes. The tourist office at 14 rue de la République (04 76 42 41 41) can provide detailed information about walking in the mountains during the summer and skiing in the winter.

http://www.grenoble isere tourisme.com/http://www.grenoble isere tourisme.com/ Official tourist site for Grenoble.

To get the best view of Grenoble you should take the téléférique cable car from quai Stéphane Jay up to the Fort de la Bastille (€5.50 return) or walk up the steep footpath from the Église St Laurent. From the fort you have magnificent views of the old town, the Italian St Laurent quarter and the mountains all around, even as far as Mont Blanc to the northeast on a clear day. At the tourist office you can buy a Multipass Option Plus that gets you a return trip on the téléférique, entry to the city's fine museums, a guided tour, unlimited public transport and €2 parking voucher for €14 (one day) or €23 (two days).

The old town is centred around place Grenette and lots of narrow streets and lively squares in this area afford pleasant places to eat and drink, such as Le Tonneau de Diogène in place Notre Dame (04 16 42 38 40) which is a cheap and cheerful, popular hangout for travellers and tourists in the old town. In place St André is the second oldest restaurant in France, À la Table Ronde, founded in 1739, where you can dine on €21 evening menus in the knowledge that Rousseau was here first.

There are plenty of hotels in all categories in Grenoble, everything from the old Du Moucherotte, 1 rue Auguste Gaché near the tourist office (04 76 54 61 40) with rooms from €30 40, to the grandiose Park Hotel, overlooking the lively place Paul Mistral (04 76 85 81 23) and offering luxury 4 star rooms for over €150.