What to do in Grenoble
August 28, 2007 9:08 AM   Subscribe

I'm moving to Grenoble, France next week to begin a Masters in International Business. Normally, I have a tendency to arrive in new places blind, not knowing what to do but extremely excited by the mystery of the unknown.

However, what normally happens is that because of my lack of research, I end up at a loose end and miss out on a stack of stuff which I would have loved to have done.

I'm going to an incredible part of the world, and I'm lucky enough to have been given an incredible opportunity. Please, Metafilter, help me to make the most of it.

Any suggestions whatsoever with regard to things to do would be greatly appreciated. For what it's worth, I'm 23-years-old and male.
posted by Zé Pequeno to Travel & Transportation around Grenoble, France (10 answers total)
How long are you going for? Will you have (access to) a car? Will you have a tiny student budget or a trust fund behind you? Do you speak french? I lived in Lyon last year, (didn't visit Grenoble) so some vague/broad/Lyon-centric suggestions I have are -
-go to the Christmas markets in Lyon, and up in Strasbourg if you can get there (accommodation is VERY DIFFICULT to find during those though!)
-go skiing in the Alps (although the tags suggest you've already thought of that),
-go on a daytrip to some random train station, get off and wander round the town you land in,
-go to Marseille and the Pelanques(sp?) (weather should be great for a few months yet)
-drive to the medieval village Perouges
-eat at a bouchon in Vieux Lyon
-(if it's your kind of thing) check out the English/Scottish/Aussie pubs in Lyon.

And if he doesn't appear here, try and contact KevCed, who was living near Grenoble for a few months earlier this year.
posted by jacalata at 9:38 AM on August 28, 2007

Get Le Dahu as soon as you get there, it's a student made guide of Grenoble and its surroundings.
Apart from that drink a lot of Chartreuse, it comes from there.
posted by SageLeVoid at 9:51 AM on August 28, 2007

Thank you to you both, jacalata and SageLeVoid. In answer to jacalata's questions, I'm going to be there for at least a year, possibly more - it's a 2-year course, but in the second year I will be taking an internship and that could be anywhere in the world. I'm not on a shoe string budget but there's certainly no trust fund behind me, if only! Also, I'll have no car. So, I'm either at the mercy of the expensive, though admitedly excellent, transport system or I need to make friends with someone who has one!

I'm currently learning French and I'm picking it up quickly as I'm a fluent Portuguese speaker, but I would like to go places to meet French people of my age possibly. I hear Grenoble's a bit quiet and not that good for clubs and that the best place to go for those is Lyon?
posted by Zé Pequeno at 10:21 AM on August 28, 2007

I lived in Grenoble for about half a year. Hopefully these places are still open. Here are some things I remember fondly:

- La Soupe Aux Choux, on the north bank of the Isere river, at the base of the mountain that the Telepherique goes up, is a nice little jazz bar.
- There is a bar called "Cybernet Cafe" which I enjoyed very much. London Pub was also popular but less my style. These are near the Saine-Claire Les Halles tram stop on the B line.
- Also in that area are a couple movie theatres, good sandwiches.
- Hang out in the city on June 21 if you can.
- At the Fontaine end of the A tramline is a huge nightclub called Espace Drac Ouest which had all night parties while I was there.

Man, I miss Grenoble. Take me with you?
posted by mkb at 10:30 AM on August 28, 2007

I lived in Grenoble a couple of years ago. He's what I'd do:

  • Hike up to the fort.
  • Visit Aix-Les-Bains, Mont Blanc, and the Olympics Sites
  • Go to Lyon
  • Just wander around town, it's awesome

  • posted by blue_beetle at 11:30 AM on August 28, 2007

    As far as train travel goes, make sure and get the TGV discount for those under 25 (there's info on their site).
    posted by Phatty Lumpkin at 11:38 AM on August 28, 2007

    Oh yeah, and Grenoble has numerous daily departures by TGV to Paris, and is on the line down to Marseille. Easy to get to Montpellier which is also gorgeous.
    posted by mkb at 11:45 AM on August 28, 2007

    You are in the French Alps, not far from the Mont-Blanc tunnel (shortcut to Italy), within a 2 hour drive or train trip to (Southward) Provence, Côte d'azur, Languedoc and (Northward) Beaujolais, Bourgogne and Switzerland. Enjoy.

    And public transportation in France is ubiquitous and affordable.
    posted by bru at 12:34 PM on August 28, 2007

    Also, you're an hour's drive from Geneva and Weetamix.
    posted by mkb at 1:09 PM on August 28, 2007

    as a lyonnais I can only advice you to visit this city, it's not far from Grenoble and well worth a few days.
    I haven't been in Grenoble itself for a while, but if hiking/canyoning/mountain-biking/any-other-outoor-sport is your thing, you we'll be delighted with Grenoble surroundings.
    On transportation, if you're there for the whole year and under 26 years old, you should probably consider getting yourself a railway card "carte 12-25" . It's not cheap (49 €) but clearly worth it if you're planning on moving around. It gives you 50% discount on most train (the discount drops to 25% on peak hours). if your planning on visiting Paris Marseille or Strasbourg for instance, the initial cost would repay itself shortly.
    posted by crez at 4:29 PM on August 28, 2007

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