Situated in a valley at the base of the French Alps at the confluence of the Isere and Drac rivers, Grenoble is renowned as a scientific center as well as a fantastic location for mountain sports throughout the year.
There are three airports which provide access to Grenoble. The Grenoble-Isere Airport, also called St Geoirs, is located 40km from the city and has connecting coach services several times a day. St Geoirs is a small, budget-flight airport serviced by airlines including easyJet and Ryanair, with more flights available during the high-season. Around a one hour trip from Grenoble is the Lyon airport. The Geneva Airport over the Swiss border is just two hours away and is the usual destination for major international and domestic routes. Both of these other terminals offer train and bus links directly to Grenoble.
Grenoble is also serviced by the TGV high-speed rail route running from Paris. Direct services operate daily, with the one way fare costing €70 for the three hour journey. Regional TER trains also connect Grenoble to Lyon, Valence and Geneva.
Bus links to the city are also available, with many services stopping directly at the ski resorts. During ski season, it is recommended that bus tickets are bought well in advance. Grenoble is well-positioned on the national road network and easy to reach by car. Take the A48 from Paris, the A49 from Marseille, the A51 if you are travelling from Aix-en-Provence or the A41 if you are driving in from Geneva.
Once you arrive in Grenbole it is best to park the car and make use of the system of local trams and buses instead, as the city is quite difficult to negotiate by car and traffic jams are common during the peak season. Regular tram services operate along the four tram lines that crisscross the city. Buses also provide easy access to all of the main attractions and amenities, running until 8pm daily. Tickets for trams and buses are available from the drivers and ticket machines.
As the town itself is quite flat, it is easy to negotiate on bicycle. In town cyclists share the bus lanes and there are also many lovely recreational bike tracks located along the riverside.
The natural attractions of Grenoble are a paradise for skiers and hikers. The mountain lakes also make for a cool and peaceful escape on a hot summer’s day. For a less physical way to take in the view, take a ride on the cable car or the little train “La Mure”.
Amongst the other attractions are
- Fort de la Bastille;
- Parc Paul Mistral;
- Palace of the Parliament of Dauphine; and
- A large selection of museums including Grenoble Museum, Dauphinois Museum, National Centre of Contemporary Art, Museum of Old Bishop and the Archaeological Museum of Saint-Laurent.