Coming from a foreign country or a different French city, you might miss some of the hidden secrets or facts about Grenoble. Always hanging out in the same places and going to the same parks can get boring, can’t it ? Here I am to help you with 7 hidden gems of this amazing Alpine city.
First of all, for all you sports addicts or adrenaline cravers, here is a little something you will enjoy! You must already be familiar with the Bastille and the short hike up to it. However, have you ever imagined what it would be like to go over the ramparts into the fort? Well, that is what it is like to go up the “via ferrata” and into the bastille. It starts at the bottom of the valley and goes up a series of cliffs and walls to the top of the fort. “Via ferratas” are a mix between climbing and adventure parks.
You are harnessed and attached to a cable that you follow like a lifeline all the way up to the top. There are steps and hand-bars to make it more accessible and safer. It is a great way to spend time outside and enjoy the sun and the view, even impress a girl or guy, and who knows what a bit of adrenaline can bring?
Jardin des Plantes
Next there is a park that not very many people know about: the Jardin des Plantes is exactly that. It is a park in a rather secluded part of the town that has really nice gardens. It is right next to a museum and is all about different plants. It has plants, a pond,and a rose garden. It is a great place to go for a picnic or what about a romantic date? Not to mention a picture with the big brass elephant guarding the entry.
Have you ever had any Chartreuse? It is another specialty of Grenoble – one of the proud drinks that is one of the oldest unchanged mixtures. Its recipe is made with 130 plants and has been unchanged since its invention in 1764. The recipe remains a secret to our day and despite many attempts ; has never been copied. It is also interesting because its aging caves (in Voiron, next to Grenbole) are the biggest ones in the world. And finally, this alcohol was invented in order to create a “long life elixir” and so has often been called “healthy” or used as medication.
Are you more of an art fanatic? Then you would like “Le Magasin”. It is an contemporary art exposition venue. The architecture of the place alone is interesting as it is a rehabilitated factory. It houses expositions for a couple months at a time. It has no permanent collections, only exhibitions designed by artists that come and go for a brief amount of time every time.
The « Musée Archéologique »
Looking for a Halloween activity? Or just an archeology nut? You will like this discovery! Close to the bastille is what they call the Archeological Museum it is the crypt of an old church, back when people were buried inside of churches. The mausoleum is now open to tourists and you can see more than 1500 remains and even a crypt. There also is an exhibit on people’s relationship with death, and the dead over history starting at the beginning of times. However, this might not be the greatest place to bring your hot date to ; I would keep this excursion for a rainy day with platonic relations.
The stroll along the Isère
Finally are you just looking for an afternoon stroll? Have you ever been to the other side of the river? If not, you should go. You can walk along the river on Rue Saint Laurent. The houses there are all colorful and the street is very “picturesque”. It is a great place to go and have a cup of tea and stroll along, or even to go for pizza at one of the many places. There is a very nice space to walk along or go for a run. And many cute cafes.
A hike in St Hilaire du Touvet
If you are a mountain fanatic, this one might suit you. Close to Grenoble, in a village called St Hilaire du Touvet, where a cable car goes up a tall slope to the top of the top of the mountain. It is very old and has kept its old-fashioned charm. You can purchase a pass and land on the “plateau des petites roches” where a lot of people go paragliding. You can enjoy the view, have lunch and hike down the mountains ; or you also could rent a paraglide and fly back down to the city! Sound nice?
As you can see, Grenoble has much to offer. Get your shoes on and get out the door.
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