Grenoble, France: The #1 Thing That You Need To Do Here

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The #1 thing to do in Grenoble, France offers something for everyone.

The #1 thing to do in Grenoble France

Sightseeing? Check.  Adventure? Check. Culture? Check. Dining options? There’s literally something for everyone, no matter what your interests in Grenoble, France.

The Grenoble-Bastille cable car is the coolest cable car I've ever taken.

The #1 Thing To Do in Grenoble 

The #1 thing to do is taking the cable car to La Bastille! La Bastille is a fortress overlooking the entire city.  Its’ strategic location has played an important role in the city’s history for over 2000 years.  La Bastille was built in 1823 and is very well-preserved.  But getting there is half the fun! I’ve never seen a cable car like one in Grenoble.  They reminded me of Christmas ornaments, but perhaps I was inspired by the Grenoble Christmas Market that I had visited the night before.  Many visitors refer to them as bubbles.

Related Reading: Tour du Mont Blanc: Hiking Tours

Taking the Grenoble-Bastille cable car to La Bastille is the #1 thing to do in Grenoble, France.

Whatever you think they look like, the Grenoble-Bastille is the coolest cable car ride I’ve ever taken!

The 3-4 minute journey takes visitors up a vertical drop of 263 meters to the fortress which offers stunning views over Grenoble. Despite being surrounded by mountains, Grenoble has the distinction of being the flattest city in France!

What To Do At The Fortress Mountain

Besides enjoying the views, there is actually a lot going on at the hill dubbed The Fortress Mountain.  Visitors can enjoy dinner at the upscale panoramic restaurant (reservations required) or relax in the more casual cafe, which also offers stunning views and outside seating.

In warmer months visitors can also test their fear of heights at the Acrobastille, which appears to be similar to the climbing obstacle course I did at Activo Park in Umbria.  I LOVE these types of adventures but doing it with the incredible views afforded by The Fortress Mountain would be very special!  I’m coming back when it’s warmer to check it out.

La Bastille, the #1 thing to do (via the Grenoble-Bastille cable car) in Grenoble, France.

The Mandrin Caves were also closed when I was there but sounded intriguing.  They consist of an underground passage near the entrance to the fort, which shows how expansive the defensive system was.

Then there’s the National Memorial to the Mountain Troops just a 30-minute walk from the fortress.

But what really caught my eye was the Chartreuse massif in the background of the fortress.  Hikes here can last anywhere from a couple of hours to several days. To say I’m intrigued would be putting it mildly.  I was already planning my return trip as I looked at it in awe.  I swear I could hear it say, Laurel, climb me!  Strangely no one else heard this but me, maybe it was just the voices in my head.

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And if you really are looking for something special, you can even get married on The Fortress Mountain!

Me enjoying the views over Grenoble from La Bastille.

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If all of that sounds like way too much action, (or you are not looking to get married), you can also visit the Centre d’Art Bastille or the Mountain Troops Museum.  (I also highly recommend the Musée Grenoble (Grenoble Museum). It’s  across the river from La Bastille and  is one of France’s most prestigious art museums.)

Travel tip:   Locals and photographers know that the best time to visit La Bastille is at sunrise with the sun appearing over the mountains and waking up Grenoble.

Romantics at heart (and non-early risers) visit at sunset… Yet another reason to return to The Fortress Mountain, although I’m likely to be one of the sunset visitors!
Very few attractions offer so many options appealing to young and old, romantics at heart, fitness fanatics history buffs, you name it!

Accommodation in Grenoble

3-Star

Hôtel d’Angleterre Grenoble Hyper-Centre is located in the heart of Grenoble opposite the gardens Victor Hugo. The rooms are soundproofed and some rooms include a hydro-massage bathtub and a balcony with views of the Vercors mountain range. 

Royal Hotel Grenoble Centre is well located near the SNCF train station in the centre of Grenoble. The hotel offers free wifi and the rooms are soundproofed and include private bathrooms. There is a daily American style buffet breakfast. 

4-Star

Okko Hotels Grenoble Jardin Hoche is a design hotel located next to Hoche Gardens. The hotel offers a terrace and free wifi. Each of the rooms is equipped with a coffee machine and desk. Guests can enjoy a daily breakfast buffet as well as free soft drinks during the day in the lounge area. The hotel also offers the Le Club lounge and a library. 

Le Grand Hôtel Grenoble is located just 10m from the Place Grenette. The rooms are spacious and comfortable and some of them offer a balcony. The hotel offers free wifi and an onsite bar as well as a choice between express breakfast and full breakfast. 

And every one of all ages will enjoy the views, making the cable car journey and La Bastille the #1 thing to do in Grenoble!

Check out La Bastille’s official website and Rhône Alpes website for further info on what else you can do in the area.

Thank you to Rhône Alpes Tourism for hosting me.  As always all opinions expressed are my own.