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19 Things to do in Grenoble, France

Updated September 7, 2023

Tucked away in the mountains of southeast France, Grenoble is an epic destination for anyone who wants a quieter city but one that still packs a punch. Grenoble provides you with a combination of exciting city spots and tranquil countryside moments. Hikes in the alps are at your doorstep, but so too are great sports teams, Michelin-star restaurants, and cute bars. To be sure you don’t miss a thing in Grenoble, here are 19 of the best things to do. When you’re ready to start planning, get a local to help you craft the ideal itinerary.

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Catch a match at Stade des Alpes

Home to both the Grenoble Foot 38 and the FC Grenoble rugby club, both can be awesome teams to watch take to the field, so check the schedule to see what’s happening while you’re in town. Not only can you catch a great game here, and enjoy an awesome atmosphere amongst the fans, but you can also enjoy the amazing views of the surrounding mountains through the stadium’s roof. 

Uncover history at Musee de la Resistance et de la Deportation de l'Isere

If you’re interested in World War Two history, specifically as it relates to the area and the local resistance, Musee de la Resistance et de la Deportation de l'Isere is the spot for you. The museum is not huge, but it does a good job of laying out the information, with the majority of it translated into English. Plus, entry is free!

Wander the depths of Parc Paul Mistral

With just over 80 acres of green space, this park is the largest in Grenoble and is a really fabulous spot to get a bit of fresh air and slow your pace. Check something off your list of the best things to do in France by grabbing a bottle of wine and some cheese and heading for a picnic on the grass. If you’re traveling to Grenoble with kids, it’s really helpful to know that there is a good playground in the middle of the park. So if it’s a sunny day it’s the perfect spot for everyone in the family!

Explore the collections at Musée de Grenoble

The pieces housed at the Grenoble Museum span time. The collection ranges from ancient to modern times, including many works from the 13th through to the 20th century, but there are also even ancient Egyptian artifacts on display. It’s always great to wander an art museum, but if you’d like to learn a bit more, consider booking a guided tour for a very reasonable price!

Get a taste of the local restaurant scene

Whether you’re after budget eats or the most exquisite Michelin-starred dining experience, there are plenty of fabulous restaurants to choose from in Grenoble – and making sure you get a flavor for the delicious French cuisine is a must-do in France. Your best bet for finding your perfect match is to talk with a local travel planner. Here are a few recommendations to get you started: If you’re looking for something a bit more budget-friendly, try Le Dauphinoix. And for a splurge, check out Le Provence. If you’re not sure about things like tipping in France, make sure to get answers to that and all of your frequently asked France questions!

Have a plate of gratin dauphinois

Eating is one of the most important things to do in France. And this dish is a local specialty. While it originates from the area, it is actually specifically the way that the potatoes are cut which came from the Dauphiné region where Grenoble is located. So now the creamy potato dish is closely associated with the area. Try Restaurant L'Épicurien or ask a local Hero which other spots they’d recommend. 

Head up the Grenoble Bastille Cable Car

Photo by Fabe collage on Unsplash

Go up into the mountains and take in the stunning views from the Bastille fort with a quick ride in the cable car, which locals now refer to as The Bubble because of the unusual bubble-like shape of the cable cars. The ride up takes less than five minutes, and each of the cars can fit up to six people. Do note that there is a yearly closure through January for maintenance. 

Spend an afternoon at the Bastille

Once you’ve reached the top of the cable car, there is more to do than just take in the views (which are of course phenomenal). The site of the fort is now home to two museums, one on military history and the other showcasing contemporary art, as well as a few restaurants. So, with so much to do, this is the perfect spot to enjoy a chunk of your day.

Go for a drink

Whether you want to get a little rowdy and have a party at Le Tord Boyaux, sample delicious wines and snack on charcuterie at L'Apéricerie, or snuggle in with a fancy cocktail to enjoy the atmosphere at Blind Pig, you have a lot of options for places to go for a tipple in Grenoble. For more tips and secret spots, ask a local for help.

Discover Place Notre Dame

Did you know Paris isn’t the only French city with a Notre Dame cathedral? There is another located here in Grenoble. Though certainly not as grand as its Parisian counterpart, it is in Notre Dame square where you can also find a second church as well as cloisters. It’s a gorgeous, peaceful square which is certainly worth visiting. 

Walk through time at Musée Archéologique Saint-Laurent

This is an amazing opportunity to see some incredibly preserved ruins, which is definitely one of the coolest things to do in France. And you’ll get to see them in the exact spot where they were once a necropolis in the 4th century. The museum details 1500 years of funerary and religious history. You’ll get an audio guide for free here, and you can find further info throughout the museum – all of this is free entry!

Hike in the Alps

Nestled beneath the peaks of several mountains, Grenoble is one of the best places to stay in France, especially if you want to explore nature. Whether it’s an afternoon stroll or a full-day hike, there are loads of options for hiking in the Alps, which is easily one of the best things to do in France. Many of the trails have clearly indicated well-worn trails. If you’re unsure which trail would be best for you, talk to a local Hero, let them know what you’re looking for, and have them put together the ideal trip!

Chill out in Jardin de Ville

This garden is another really nice green space, full of roses in the right season, right in the city center. There’s a small playground for kids to enjoy and plenty of grass for a packed picnic lunch. The small park also plays host to an awesome array of summer concerts, including the electric, pop music festival Cabaret Frappé.

Watch life go by in Place Grenette

Grenette Square is, and has always been, the primary square of Grenoble. It was once a bustling market square. It is now still bustling, but more often with visitors and those enjoying a tipple, a bite to eat, or a spot of shopping around its edges. The square is pedestrian-only, as are many of the streets in the nearby neighborhood. 

Catch contemporary artists at Le Magasin

Le Magasin is a small museum in a warehouse that was designed and built by Gustave Eiffel. It is now a contemporary art museum with rotating exhibits, many of which are purpose-built to fit the design of the space. The museum isn’t enormous so it can be a good place to spend an afternoon without feeling rushed to see everything on display. 

Learn more about the region at Musée Dauphinois

The Dauphinois Museum is well and truly dedicated to showcasing the area. From the history to the people to the landscapes, you’ll find a great deal of information about this region of France. From films to posters, there is a rich collection that shows off the mountains and the city and all that they have been through together. Like several other municipal museums in Grenoble, this one too is free to enter. 

Ditch the city for Parc Naturel Regional Du Vercors

Image by lolorun from Pixabay. 

Just to the west of the city is this huge natural park covering more than 50,000 acres of the Alps. There are great walks on which you may be lucky enough to spot some of the diverse wildlife – from deer to sheep and, the most exciting of them, the ibex. Plus look out for eagles, vultures, and even owls. 

Find street art

In recent decades the streets of Grenoble have been transformed into an open-air museum. There’s now even a month-long street art festival that takes place every year from the end of May to the end of June. The best way to see it all is to simply take to the streets. While there are organized street art tours, you might also consider talking to a local trip planner to have them help you plan out a self-guided route. 

Check on the government at Palais du Parlement du Dauphiné

The facade of parliament - Guilhem Vellut/Flickr

The parliament building played an important part in the history of Grenoble. And today it plays an important part in the scenery of the city, particularly with its grand architecture against the backdrop of the mountains. You can visit the interior on a guided tour, which is a good way to make sure not to miss any of the details of the building and of its story.  

Now that you’ve got an idea of the outline for your trip to Grenoble, talk to a local Hero to help you put all the pieces together for your perfect trip!

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