Grenoble: Entertaining Things to Do and See

Updated On: March 08, 2022

Traveling can be a mind-stimulating experience. Nothing beats the euphoria of learning about the whole world that exists beyond your little bubble. If France is your next pick, someone should tell you this; there is much more to it beyond Paris. 

One of the cities that people will rarely tell you about is Grenoble. First-time travelers usually miss this magnificent city, for it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. It is more prevalent among students as it houses some of the world’s top universities. However, you can still get the most out of it as a tourist.

Grenoble restfully sits in southeastern France, where there is the region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alps. Not only does it house a handful of respectable universities, but it’s also home to prominent museums and research centers. Being an extremely snowy city, it is popular for hosting winter sports as well.

So, it’s time to create a new bucket list! Keep reading to learn about the activities you can do and the things you can see while in Grenoble.

Top Tourist Attractions in Grenoble

Grenoble is more of an industrial city, yet that doesn’t make it any less approachable when it comes to tourism. In fact, its strategic location makes it one of the most splendid cities in France. Thanks to the great mountains, this city offers an opulent vista that you won’t find elsewhere.

While observing the superb landscapes, you can take a glimpse into the city’s history through the bountiful museums and art centers. So, get yourself acquainted with the city’s top tourist attractions and add them to your bucket list.

Fort de La Bastille (The Bastille Fortress)

You can’t step a foot into Grenoble without willing to visit its most popular attraction, La Bastille. This magnificent site has been around since the 19th century when it was initially a military fort. It still stands tall, and that made it one of the city’s most well-known sites.

The Bastille towers over Grenoble city by being hundreds of meters above sea level. Such height offers a picturesque panoramic view of the whole city. Don’t deprive your eyes of seeing those scenic outlooks and scrutinize the surrounding mountains from up there.

Le Magasin National Center of Contemporary Art

This building was formally a warehouse that Gustave Eiffel, one of the world’s most prominent architects, built back in 1986. Today, this building has become one of France’s most prevalent art galleries that have recently become a significant tourist attraction. It is large enough to cast a shadow over the city of the Alps, Grenoble.

The art gallery has a relatively bright space, thanks to its spectacular glass roof. It displays some of the finest modern artworks that merit seeing. Interestingly, it also offers the opportunity for young talents to get noticed by featuring their art.

Musée Dauphinois (The Dauphinois Museum)

For all the history buffs out there, the Dauphinois museum should be your next destination. This museum houses a bountiful exhibition that showcases the history of the Dauphine Highlands’ natives, hence the name.

This area is characterized by Alpine weather, which makes for turbulent atmospheric conditions. Thus, the natives developed their own identity and culture in an attempt to cope with the harsh environment. They had their own art, customs, and traditions. Not only will you learn about the natives, but you’ll also be fascinated by the history unraveled within the museums’ walls. 

Musée de l’Ancien Évêché (Museum of the Ancient Bishopric)

This museum has been standing tall since the 1200s; it was a bishop’s palace back then. There is so much to do there besides learning history. Activities for different ages and workshops are offered, a great opportunity for parents with children and active people.

This museum possesses beguiling interiors and embellishment to admire. It also holds some of the country’s rarest and oldest objects and collections in history. Moreover, you’ll find a baptistery that dates back to the 4th century. Visiting this museum seems like an actual trip to a bygone era, so seize this opportunity while you’re in Grenoble.

Musee d’Histoire Naturelle (Museum of Natural History of Grenoble)

Grenoble is home to various museums and houses many of France’s art and history. However, that’s not the only thing you’ll stumble upon while exploring this magnificent city. The Museum of Natural History is an exciting alternative to explore the nature of the Alpine world.

A natural cove where you’ll get to see rare species of animals and an alluring part of the botanical world. There’s also an aquarium that features a diverse species of marine life alongside a spectacular mounting of copious birds.

You thought it ended here? Well, no, there is so much more than that. On top of all that was aforementioned, the museum also features a dazzling biennale of rare stones, minerals, and gems. Not to mention the exhibition of insects where you get to learn a lot about their life cycles and plentiful kinds.

Enthralling Activities to Do in Grenoble

Well, museums are definitely interesting and highly informative when it comes to history and art. However, there are other ways to explore the authenticity of a city. In this case, Grenoble has a lot in store to offer. So, let’s get started.

Taste the Grenoble Walnuts

If you happen to know about this walnut, it’s time to learn that this is where it originated. The Grenoble walnuts grow in the Rhone-Alps region on the fresh waters of the Isère river. These waters are responsible for giving this walnut its genuine taste and sturdy crust. 

You can find this walnut almost everywhere, especially in the local markets. So, visit the nearest market and buy some of this bonafide nut while exploring different sides of the city.

Bike Along the Isère River 

Grenoble is famous for having relatively active residents, hence the abundance of walking passages and biking trails. Not only will you stay active, but you’ll also get to watch the city with a fresh breeze caressing your face.

There are many areas where you can bike or take a brisk walk. However, if you are up to sightseeing some colorful buildings, head to the Isère River. It’s one of the most popular areas to walk and bike, so you’ll enjoy the simple yet unique experience.

Eat the Traditional Raclette Cheese

Many countries around Europe are famous for producing premium quality cheese, and France is no exception. When you’re in the heart of Grenoble, you have a bite off of one of the world’s best cheeses, raclette. Raclette cheese originates from Grenoble in France and other regions in Switzerland.

To have an authentic experience, you should head to La Ferme A Dede. This restaurant is quite popular and always overpacked that you need to book a table beforehand. It’s a fun experience that you shouldn’t miss out on. Also, you’ll get to explore the areas around the restaurant and see more of this exquisite city.

Take a Ride on the Téléphérique

You have probably seen in movies people riding in those bubble-like capsules across the sky. Well, it is commonly known as the téléphérique across different parts of Europe. They’re also known as cable cars since they are attached to an ever-extending cable to transport people across the city.

Since it’s not something you get to see every day or everywhere, you should get on one of those cable cars. It’s been around since 1934, transporting people from the center of Grenoble to different places around the city.

You’ll witness breath-taking landscapes of lush forests, tremendous mountains, and ever-coursing rivers. Needless to say, a bird-view over such a magnificent city is a gushing experience that you’ll remember for years to come.

Snowboard Down the Alps

If you happen to catch winter when it’s around, you should give skiing or snowboarding a try.

Grenoble imparts a chain of mountains upon the world; these mountains provide slopes perfectly suitable for all snowboarding levels.

Observing the splendid views can add too much joy to the beholder. But, it’s also a good idea to pump some adrenaline and carry out the rest of your day with great stamina. So, slide through the snowy lands of the city and enjoy yourself. 

Visit France’s Oldest Cafes

Living in the modern world can sometimes leave us wondering about life in ancient times. Interestingly, France is rich with historical events, and visiting some old places can be an enchanting experience. Old cafes are the real deal in Grenoble. You can grab a warm cup of coffee while probing through the cracks in the walls that speak of many years.

Cafe de la Table Ronde is one of the oldest cafes managed to survive to this very day. This cafe opened in 1739 and has been around since then. You can’t help but wonder the countless people this cafe has witnessed and the numerous conversations that took place here. It is also said that this cafe used to welcome the German resistance fighters during World War II.

The next time you visit France, Paris shouldn’t be your only destination. Grenoble should be on top of your list, where you’ll get to explore a whole new dimension of this world. So, what are you waiting for? Book a flight, grab your luggage and head to the magnificent city of the Alps.