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Weekend Trip to Grenoble

 Grenoble, a city in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France, sits at the foot of mountains between the Drac and Isère rivers. It's known as a base for winter sports, and for its museums, universities and research centers.

At the beginning of October, my university took me on a free trip to the city of Grenoble in Les Alpes. Coming from the Adirondacks, I certainly have an appreciation for the beauty of mountains, but I had no idea how truly breathtaking Grenoble would be.

Photos cannot capture this city’s beauty. Interestingly, it is one of the flattest cities in France, despite being surrounded by Alpine elevations. For this reason, as well as its relatively small size, Grenoble is surprisingly easy to get around. A tram will take you within walking distance of anywhere, and there are also some beautiful but relatively easy hiking destinations nearby.


Grenoble Riverside View

The beautiful sights of the Alps alone suggest that Grenoble is worth a visit, but Grenoble is also a very cute college city where you can sit at countless cafes and enjoy a wide variety of foods. There is an extremely open and inviting air to Grenoble’s streets, and the “small town” feel was nice to experience after living among the crowds of Paris for a month. Grenoble also offers a historical context like no other French city.

It was a sight of the French Revolution (Journee des Tuiles, in which Grenoble parliamentarians refused to obey the king’s decisions to repair the deficit.



View of Grenoble from the Téléphérique

The king’s soldiers arrived in the city to quell this rebellion. The people of Grenoble welcomed them by throwing roofing tiles at their heads.) as well as the area where the French Resistance maintained a hold during World War II.

This was the main idea of my university trip,and we visited plenty of museums, monuments, and cemeteries that commemorated the brave Resistance fighters.

French flag at a Resistance Monument

Luckily for me, my tour group had hired a bus driver that could carry us to beautiful places outside of Grenoble. If this is not available to you, I would still recommend trying to get out of Grenoble for a bit and visiting a neighboring town.
I had the opportunity to visit the valley of Vercors, which was absolutely beautiful and surrounded by enormous mountains, as well as Grotte de la Luire. Here we were able to explore a beautiful cave and see (but unfortunately not participate in) spelunking. The tour involved manufacturing our own candles out of beeswax as well as a beautiful light show among the rocks of the cave.



Spelunking at Grotte de la Luire

Must See:

Téléphérique de Grenoble Bastille – A small cable car ride over the river and up to a nearby mountain, this ride is more affectionately known as Les bulles (The Bubbles). This was most definitely most worth the view, and cost only around 4 euros.


Les bulles Le Musée de la Résistance et de la Déportation – This museum is pretty much self-explanatory. If you enjoy museums, it is definitely worth a visit, as it is extremely relevant to Grenoble’s history. People from Grenoble are very proud of their city’s role in World War II, and this museum embodies that pride with the faces and names of countless Resistance fighters.

It was touching to see the way this relatively smaller city took a stand against foreign oppressors and fought for their independence against seemingly impossible odds.

Note: most of the explanations are not in English, so if you cannot read in French, just be comfortable with looking at the displays.



Chateau de Vizille


Le Musée de la Révolution Française de Vizille - This is not in Grenoble, but in the nearby town of Vizille, this beautiful museum combines historical displays with a gorgeous chateau and surrounding park.

Combined with swans, waterfalls, and French gardens, this was one of my favorite visits of surrounding Grenoble. Inside the museum, there is beautiful artwork and an exhibition on the way the French Revolution still permeates world media today.

Outside, with a total of 320 acres, there are peaceful pathways where you can sit and picnic, and also a small zoo. If this isn’t enough to spark your interest, the idea of visiting a French castle should be.


Post by Eva Krakowski, a travel blogger at The Vacation Rentals Experts – an online and offline digital marketing agency that creates marketing solutions for vacation rentals, holiday homes and brands.

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