Top French Cities - Clermont-Ferrand at a glance

Press release

For more information, visit the Clermont-Ferrand Tourism at

City region: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Population & what they are called: 141,365 municipality inhabitants (2014 census), called Clermontois

Access from Paris:

  • by road: about 4 hours (263 miles) via the A10 and A71 autoroutes

  • by train: about 3 h 45 min by direct intercity train from the Gare de Bercy

  • by plane: 1 hour to Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne airport

Famous native daughters & sons:

  • André and Édouard Michelin, founders of Michelin

  • Audrey Tautou, actress

  • Aurélien Rougerie, international rugby player

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

  • One of the city's nicknames is "France's Liverpool" due its more than 800 artistic groups and the many music, theater and film festivals.

  • Just west of Clermont-Ferrand, the Puy-de-Dôme is the highest volcano in the the Chaine des Puys, a chain of 80 volcanoes located in an area more than 28 miles long and three miles wide.

Notable sites:

  • Place de Jaude – the city's most famous public square, with a large statue of Vercingetorix by Auguste Bartholdi, sculptor of the Statue of Liberty

  • Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption Cathedral – built of black lava stone and crowning the hill in Clermont’s historic center

  • Notre-Dame-du-Port Basilica – 12th-century, Romanesque church included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List

Top annual events:

  • Festival du Court-Métrage de Clermont-Ferrand – one of the world's leading international festivals for short films (

  • Contre Plongées de l’Eté – summer festival of garden readings, circus acts, shows and screening (

  • Europavox Festival – the best in European music (

Most notable museums:

  • Musée d'Art Roger-Quilliot (MARQ) – the city's foremost cultural venue with six levels of art from the Middle Ages to contemporary times

  • Muséum Henri-Lecoq – a journey of discovery into the history of science and the region’s nature heritage

  • L’Aventure Michelin – an exhibition devoted to the Michelin Group’s past, present and future (

Culinary specialties:

  • cheese – the custom is to sample the Saint-Nectaire, Cantal, Salers, Fourme d'Ambert and Auvergne Bleu at Saint-Pierre Market or beneath Saint-Joseph Hall

  • truffade and aligot – two typical potato-and-cheese dishes best eaten in a little local restaurant

  • petit salé aux lentilles vertes du Puy – salted pork meat served with green lentils from Le Puy

Local wines & spirits:

  • Côtes d’Auvergne wine – vintages such as Boudes, Châteaugay, Corent, Chanturgue, Madargue and Saint-Pourçain (the last of which now has a protected name)

  • Chateldon and Volvic mineral waters – naturally sparkling mineral waters from the region (Chateldon is only served in the finest restaurants)


  • city center – the pedestrian zone of antique dealers and booksellers

  • fruit paste and jellies – Cruzilles ( is the last confectionary business remaining in Clermont-Ferrand, which has a confectionary history that goes back almost 800 years

  • knives – made in the nearby city of Thiers (

Most popular night spots:

  • Bell’s Australian’s Pub – a little piece of Down Under right in the center of town, next door to fnac at the Place de Jaude

  • Place de la Victoire, near the Cathedral – restaurants and bars with large terraces that are ideal places to watch ASM rugby team play

  • L’Appart – how about a glass of wine in the bathroom of this bar designed like an apartment?

Local population’s favorite activities (or hangouts):

  • Puy de Dôme – from the top (accessible via a cog railway) there are sensational views over the city and 80 inactive volcanoes

  • rugby match – become a one-day supporter of the local ASM Clermont-Auvergne Rugby team, French champion in 2017

  • learn about volcanoes – in a natural setting like the Volcans d’Auvergne Regional Natural Park or a theme park like Vulcania Park that invites discovery of the extraordinary tale of volcanoes

Local industries:

  • Michelin – the company headquarters are in the city, where manufacturing has given way to the Research, Development and Innovation Campus called Urbalad.

  • seeds – Limagrain, based in Auvergne, is the 4th largest seed company in the world

In Pop Culture:

  • The Sorrow and the Pity (Le Chagrin et la pitié) – Clermont-Ferrand is the basis for this two-part 1969 documentary by Marcel Ophüls about the collaboration between the Vichy government and Nazi Germany

  • My Night at Maud's (Ma nuit chez Maud) – a dramatic 1969 film by Éric Rohmer set and filmed in Clermont-Ferrand, the third in his series of Six Moral Tales.

About Top French Cities -

Top French Cities is an association of 29 cities, from regional capitals like Bordeaux to important towns like Avignon and Versailles. They are perfect for young travelers, families and anyone else looking for fun and authentic French experiences that will fit their budget. Most of these cities are university towns with a youthful atmosphere, but all of them reflect the heritage and distinctive flavors of the regions to which they belong. Many are forward-looking too, with historic buildings repurposed to house contemporary art and activity centers like Les Docks in Marseille. Many have created or integrated new, modern museums to contrast with their classical, architectural heritage, like in Nimes, where the cutting-edge Museum of Roman Civilization (Musée de la Romanité) is located across from the historic Roman amphitheater, or in Nantes, where whimsical mechanical creatures are being created, or in the UNESCO World Heritage Site concrete city of Le Havre.


Marion Fourestier
Atout France-The France Tourism Development Agency