Top French Cities - Grenoble at a glance

Press release

For more information, visit the Grenoble Tourism Office at

City region: The Alps / Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Population & what they are called: 163,625 inhabitants (2014 census), called Grenoblois

Access from Paris:

  • by road: about 5 h 15 min (357 miles) via A6 autoroute du Soleil

  • by train: about 3 hours by TGV from the Gare de Lyon

Famous native daughters & sons:

  • Stendhal, writer

  • Calogero, singer

  • Jean-Claude Gallotta, dancer and choreographer

Most distinctive and/or unique fact or trait (or little known fact):

  • Some historians date the start of the French Revolution to the Day of Tiles (Journée des Tuiles), a revolt that took place in Grenoble on June 7, 1788.

  • Grenoble has the second largest English-speaking community in France, after Paris.

Notable sites:

  • Fort de la Bastille – old fortifications built on the mountainside, reached by cable car, with superb views of the city

  • Vieille Ville – historic center filled with cobblestone streets and picturesque squares

  • Palais du Parlement du Dauphiné – Renaissance palace used as the Dauphiné Parliament until the French Revolution

Top annual events:

  • Rencontres Ciné Montagne – a unique mountain-centric festival of films, workshops and conferences, the biggest of its kind in Europe (

  • Grenoble Street Art Fest – Europe’s first festival of street art as a multidisciplinary art, featuring frescoes, collages, stencil work, sculptures, photography, digital art, videos and more (

  • Cabaret Frappé – a free, summer, open-air music festival (

Most notable museums:

  • Musée de Grenoble – renowned for its extensive paintings collection, but also sculptures and antiquities (

  • Musée Archéologique Grenoble-Saint Laurent – presents the archeological excavations done on location (

  • Musée de la Révolution Française – located in the Vizille Chateau, the only museum in the world dedicated to this key period in French history (

Culinary specialties:

  • walnuts – in 1938, the noix de Grenoble was the first fruit to receive an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC)

  • cheese – two local-area standouts are Saint-Marcellin and Bleu du Vercors Sassenage

  • murçon de la Matheysine – local boiled pork sausage with aniseed flavor

Local wines & spirits:

  • Chartreuse – the only liqueur in the world with a completely natural green color, a product of distilled alcohol aged with 130 herbs, plants and flowers

  • Bières de Sassenage – one of the beers produced at the Brasserie des Cuves is called Sacrebleu, the first European blue beer with a 100% natural color (


  • Vieille Ville et Championnet – shops selling designer clothes, art and amazing chocolates

  • Halles Sainte-Claire – a huge, classic, covered market packed with fruits, vegetables, pastries, cheeses, meats etc.

  • La Caserne De Bonne – 50 shops in the De Bonne eco-district

Most popular night spots:

  • La Belle ÉlÈctrique – artistic and cultural project that spotlights amplified music: jazz, rock, pop, techno, fusion and more

  • La Bobine – concerts, bar, restaurant, exhibitions, theater etc.

  • Mark XIII – Friendly bar with DJ electro sets and cyber-goth-punk atmosphere

Local population’s favorite activities (or hangouts):

  • Jardin des Dauphins – the city's most luscious garden and a perfect place for a sunny stroll

  • MC2 (for Maison de la culture) – Grenoble's main cultural center, which hosts music, theater, and dance performances (

Local industries:

  • FrenchTech – Grenoble was recognized for its growth in high-tech industries, including biotechnology and nanotechnology

  • scientific research – Grenoble is a major scientific research center (second only to Paris) focused on physics, computer science and applied mathematics

In Pop Culture:

  • electronic music – pioneered in Grenoble since the 1990s by the likes of The Hacker (Michel Amato), Miss Kittin, Oxia and others

  • The Trilogy (On the Run [Cavale], An Amazing Couple [Un couple épatant] and After Life [Après la vie]) – three separate feature films by Lucas Belvax, each set in Grenoble over the same few days in the lives of six characters

  • 13 Days in France (13 jours en France) — a documentary about the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, directed by Claude Lelouch and François Reichenbach

Major 2018 development:

  • 50th anniversary of the 1968 Grenoble Olympics – Chamrousse, host of the 1968 alpine ski events, is organizing events from January 23 to March 10, and will offer a light and sound show about the history


Marion Fourestier
Atout France-The France Tourism Development Agency
New York, 10022
United States