Eco-friendly travel guide to Grenoble advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Grenoble, France.
- Air quality: 3 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 4.5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 5 / 5
- Public transportation: 5 / 5
- Parks: 4.5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4.5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 4 / 5
- Safety: 4 / 5
- Accommodation: US$50 - $245
- Budget per day: US$110 - $375
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Grenoble, the Alps' capital, is a southeastern Franc city that sits at the foot of the French Alps. It is at the epicenter of the meeting point of Drac River and Isère. With 18.13 square kilometers and 158,454 total population, it may look like a small city. Still, it is a global city with the ranking of 'sufficiency' given by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. While traveling to such a significant European city, you must follow specific measures to avoid creating a wrong impression in the locals' minds about the tourists.
- As a tourist, you should always prefer sustainable or eco-friendly measures such as recycled and reusable items, public transports, electronic vehicles, etc. These are friendly to the environment and cause little to no harm.
- You will want to stay at a five-star or luxurious accommodation, but before you book one, you should see if they are worth your money. Green hotels, eco-friendly hostels, and guest houses are better alternatives that will provide you affordable prices and quality services.
Also, you should travel in such a way that the local communities benefit from it. You can do so by buying goods from local stores, markets, and vendors. It will help you get to know the local culture and traditions and support the local communities.
Air Quality and Pollution
Grenoble's air quality is not good because the air pollution in this city is high, which is 63.7% out of 100, which means more than half of the city's air is polluted. For many reasons such as the climate, non-electric vehicles that run on diesel or petrol release harsh chemicals in smoke that mix up in the air and pollute it. Air pollution can lead to various respiratory diseases that can damage the lungs and affect the body's long-term effect.
- PM10 - 31
- PM2.5 - 20
- PM10 Pollution Level - Moderate
- Pollution Index - 55.74
- Pollution Exp Scale - 104.18
Another pollution which is high in this city is noise and light pollution. Any sound which above 65 decibels is considered noise pollution, according to WHO. The primary reason for corruption is traffic, which is present in massive amounts, including car and train horns. Everyone enjoys the nightlife here, but it affects nature by polluting it in noise and light. By statistics, the noise and light are about 65.6% of the total pollution in Grenoble.
Respect the Culture
We should always respect the culture, traditions, and believes in the city that we visit. It helps in developing friendly relations with the locals of that city. Grenoble is a place with many festivals and cultural events. The people here are very humble and generous towards the visitors. You can gain knowledge from them about the culture and can feel the richness of different cultures. You should maintain the dignity and a positive image of a tourist by respecting their culture and not harming it. Many museums can help you gain in-depth knowledge about this city's festivals, practices, beliefs, and idols. You can also see beautiful architecture and buildings made by ancient civilizations.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Grenoble-Bastille Cable Car
It's also known by the name Les bullet that is a cable car located in the French city of Grenoble. This cable car serves as a link from Grenoble's city center with the Bastille, an old fortress overlooking the city. The cable car started working on 29th September 1934. Architect Jean Benoit designed the two stations. It has a vertical distance of 872 feet or about 200 meters above ground and a horizontal distance of 2,310 feet, about 700 meters from one station to another. The approximate time taken for a one-way drip is about 3.5 minutes, and its maximum speed is about 19 feet per second or 5.8 meters per second with a passenger capacity of 2 at a time.
- Fort De La Bastille
It is a fort but a well-conservated one. Every year more than 600,000 people from different parts of the world visit this place when they are in Grenoble. There are many options to climb up. You can walk there or can go there by cable car to hire a ferry. Once you reach the top, the site will leave you amazed. One can see, City of Grenoble from above. The chartreuse mountains provide the top as a fortified structure, preventing other troops from invading the fort. A full package of entertainment and culture make this place one of the favorite tourist spots in Grenoble.
- Musee Dauphinois
This Museum was founded in 1906 and was the third Museum in Grenoble. The Museum's construction occupied two buildings, the first being the chapel of Sainte- Marie d-en-Bas and the present site of the convent of Sainte-Marie D-En-Haut. The founder of this Museum was Hippolyte Muller. It came into existence in 1906. In 2018, the Museum experienced the highest number of visitors that is 84,195 people. The total collection of the Museum consists of about 100,000 objects. Some of the most prominent and antique collection like child's ski boots 1960s, hemp twiners, photographed by the Cristille brothers, late 19th-century viol of 19th CentCenturyd many other groups.
- Place Victor Hugo
Place Victor Hugo is one of the best places to visit in the summer. In summer, its abundant vegetation, flower beds, the pond, and water games create a relaxed and shaded atmosphere. In the fall, it hosts the Millésime, an oenological and musical festival that has become a must, while in winter, it rings with the chimes of the Christmas market. Around the square and in the surrounding streets, the facades richly decorated with friezes and bestiaries in molded cement bear witness to this material's importance in Grenoble architecture at the end of the 19th century.
- Cathedrale Notre De Grenoble.
It is also known as Grenoble Cathedral in short. It is a Roman Catholic Church situated in the Grenoble town of France. Declared as a National monument, the Bishop of Grenoble lives here, and the architectural style is somewhat similar to that of Renaissance art. The Ciborium faced destruction during the Wars of Religion in 1562. Therefore, the reconstruction of the cathedral took place in the 19 century.
- Halle Sainte Claire
It is a historical monument in the Alps region that dates back to the 19th century. Designed by Hector Riondel, and Baltard Hall inspired the construction in Paris. The reconstruction of the hall took place in the 1990s. This hall is present today as a municipal market and is part of the commercial sector formed by the pedestrian center of Grenoble. The line B of the Grenoble metropolitan area tram network is the best way to reach the hall. If you are in love with history, this place is a must-visit destination on your trip to Grenoble.
- Funicular de Saint-Hilaure du Touvet
It's a funicular railway which is maintained by the department of Isere in the Rhone-Alps region of France. Located on the Plateau Des Petites Roches and is about 600 meters, which is approximately 1969 feet above the sea level. The construction of the funicular railway started in 1920 and took around four years for completion. This railway service began in 1924 to serves sanatoria built to the place with tuberculosis patients.
- Archaeological Museum
Established in 1846, it is on the River Isere bank and is one of Grenoble, France's best historical sites. The church is Romanesque, but the main characteristic feature is that it has a layering building. The fascinating thing here is a hidden gem, which is as old as the sixth century. The Museum was considered a historic site in the year 1850. The church was reconstructed in 1983 to become an archaeological site. It is a church dating back to the 4th century that has witnessed various Christian beliefs, practices, and architectural styles.
- Office de Tourisme Grenoble - AlpesMetropole
The Grenoble-AlpesMétropole Tourist Office welcomes you every day. It helps you discover the riches of this metropolitan territory nestled in the heart of the Alps, between the Chartreuse massif, the Belledonne peaks, and the Vercors plateau. Grenoble-AlpesMétropole is an innovative, mountainous region with history. It is one of these surprising destinations. You can admire the Saint-Grégoire painting by Rubens in the Grenoble Museum rooms in the morning and follow in the French Revolution's footsteps at the Domaine de Vizille in the afternoon. Whether by traveling aboard the cable car or climbing to the top of Chamechaude or following the galleries of the Cuves de Sassenage cave, everything is a pretext for a life-size escape to experience young and old.
- Saint Laurent Bridge
Saint Laurent Bridge was the only passageway built over the Isere in the past. The bridge features an old chapel of the Lady and an animated sculpture made of wood. First built in 1837 and then reconstructed again in 1909, it is one of France's most beautiful pedestrian bridge. There are many restaurants and bars near the bridge. It is a place which connects both sides of the town. One can easily climb here and watch the Grenoble town from above.
Many places in this city are needed to be visited. If you want to spend an evening with nature, then there are many parks and gardens built. If you're going to learn history, it will be best to choose museums and other architectural buildings depicting ancient times.
- Jardin de Ville
- Hoche Garden
- Paul Mistral Park
- Dauphins Garden
- Georges Pompidou Park
- Écrins National Park
- Cascade of Fauge
- Vanoise National Park
- Gran Paradiso National Park
- Cévennes National Park
- Plage du Lac de La pierre
- Plage de Savel
- Plage Des Marquisats
- Plage de l'Impérial
- Plage des Cordeliers
- Palace of the Parliament of Dauphine
- Perret Tower
- Porte de France
- Fontaine des Trois ordres
- Museum of the resistance and deportation of Isere
- Musée Dauphinois
- Grenoble Archaeological Museum
- Musée des troupes de montagne
- Natural History Museum
There are many cuisines available at different restaurants, so you can have it here to try any cuisines. Another option is traditional dishes; if you're going to eat traditional dishes, there are many restaurants.
Traditional Local Restaurants
- La Maison de la Pizza Sana
- Restaurant Chez Nous
- La Ferme à Dédé Grenoble - Centre
- Chez Marius
- Restaurant Le Gratin Dauphinois
Vegetarian and Vegan
- ESCALE Indienne
- Restaurant Au Clair de Lune
- Restaurant Shiva
If you only focus on visiting Grenoble's cultural and historical places, your trip will be incomplete. When you visit any French city, it is a must that you explore the food culture. Grenoble's food items will make your taste buds dance in pleasure and blow your mind with the unique combination of flavors.
- Gateau des Rois
- Les ravioles du Royans
- Le murçon de la Matheysine
French wines and beers are some of the must-try ones as they are the finest in the world. You will find many beverage choices that include many options in non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks in Grenoble produced indigenously. You have to indulge in exploring the drinking culture along with the food culture, or your Grenoble trip will not be worth it.
- Chartreuse Liquor
- French Wine
- Vin Chaud
- Grenoble Wines
- French 75 (Soixante-Quinze)
Grenoble's tap water is fit for drinking, with only 18.7 % out of 100% is considered polluted. The primary source of water is the Isere River. This river is the result of melting a colossal glacier which is present at Vanoise National Park. The length of this river is estimated to be around 3000 meters. There are many fountains built in this city with a sign of drinking, so it is your responsibility to refill your bottle from there rather than buying plastic water bottles, which will increase your carbon footprint. As it takes many years to biodegrade plastic, therefore, you must throw it in a recycling bin.
Some are listed below, which are popular on the Island with different cuisines for health-conscious people who want to have organic food. They either own a farm or get it from the locals supporting them. It is very beneficial for health as the ingredients used are fresh and free from chemicals.
- Le Café Vélo
- Association La Soupape
- Restaurant Tête à l'Envers
- Kai iwi Café
- L'Arbre à Thé
Grenoble breweries produce beer for the locals, but it would cost them a slightly higher price for commercial purposes. Different beers are available in this city that the local brewers produce from local ingredients and traditional methods. You must visit the breweries or brewpubs and indulge in exploring Grenoble's drinks to get the proper French experience.
- Brasserie Solstice
- Kiltin' Brewpub
- Bar-tobacco Beaulieu
- Brasserie des Cuves
- Les copains d'abord
You can perform many adventurous activities filled with joy, including water and ice sports. Other activities involving visiting historical places and architectural excellence are also available to tourists.
- Yacht Tour
If you love water, you can have a yacht tour. A Yacht is a type of boat usable for cruising, racing, and pleasure. It has a cabin, and you can stay overnight. There are different types of yacht, depending on the kind of wind force. They come in four groups; A, B, C, and D, from which A can handle airspeed up to or more than 25 meters/ second, B type which can take less than 21 m/s, C is the type of yacht which can handle a wind speed of 14 m/s, and the last is D type, which can take wind force up to 8.2 m/s. Depending upon wind force, you can get a tour of one hour for 88.43 French Francs, a term of 2 hours costing 454.91 French Franc, and an entire city tour costing 888.85 French Francs.
- Jeep Safaris
Jeep Safari is a bold tour for nature lovers to various locations like landscapes, natural forests, etc. In this, you obtain a driver and an open jeep to move around. In Grenoble, you get two dissimilar types of Safari, one visits sceneries and the other you see nature and wildlife. If you love exploring nature and wildlife, then you must try this jungle safari tour. The clean oxygen from the trees and the calm wind blowing from the forest will give you incredible vibes. There are more than thousands of species of plants that are present in this city. The best time to go on a tour in the morning time immediately after sunrise, whereas the Safari tour for the landscape is good to visit during sunset so that you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of sunset. In this tour, you will get a professional driver a guide pick up and drop facility at the cost of 59 Euros. If you want it different and a long Safari tour, you can opt for an 80 Euros tour.
- Water Skiing
Water Skiing is a water sport that usually involves a boat or a cable ski. You can learn water skiing in this city. You will get a pickup and drop off facility available with proper social distancing guidelines on this trip; complimentary food and drinks included. They are eco friendly as they provide a mobile-based virtual ticket instead of a printed ticket. This skiing comes with a duration of 20 minutes, 40 minutes, and 60 minutes depending upon your strength.
- Ice Skating
Ice Skating involves skating across a sheet of ice with skates having metal blades to glide. It is a recreational sport activity that can be performed indoor and outdoor on a manually prepared ice track for naturally frozen water. According to research, this came into existence around 4000 ago to save energy while traveling in winter. In this city, you can learn ice skating, and if you know how to perform, then there is a large area covered with ice where you can quickly skate. You can even get equipment on rent like ice skates, helmet and knee, and elbow protectors. The guide here can speak English also.
- Free Fall adventure
Freefall looks parallel to new age bungee jumping; a slight dissimilarity in both is that your body never gets a pull or a base at regular intervals in freefall. Freefall is not as hard as everyone thinks it is. In Grenoble, you can enjoy the thrilling experience at a cost that will less than 50 Euros. You can take pleasure in this in many places. Here you have to dive from 40 feet. The danger is less as back custom made harness and safety wires, and the safety is from the United Kingdom. For facilitating the tourist, this place is open daily, which is seven days a week. The timings for visiting are different from Monday to Friday. It is available for the tourists and locals from 2 pm to 7 pm from Monday to Friday, whereas on Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays, the place is only available from 11 am to 7 pm.
Yoga and Retreats
Yoga can help you to release tension and stress, which decreases depression and anxiety. Also, it helps to gain strength and peace of mind. There is a variety of yoga taught in this city; you can very well learn it.
- Dojo De L'éveil
- Resonances Grenoble
- Yoga vinyasa Joanne
- Kundalini Yoga Grenoble
As this city is a tourist spot, it has many staying options available according to your budget. Also, remember to be a good tourist and opt for an eco-friendly alternative to stay. Like solo travelers, they have hostel rooms that are very budget-friendly if they are running low on budget and love simplicity. Other options like guesthouses or apartments are best if you want to stay for a longer time, and hotel rent costs you higher than expected. Adventure loving people can camp in camping areas with their partners.
- Hôtel Mercure
- Novotel Grenoble Centre
- 1924 Hotel Grenoble
- Hotel Europole
- Okko Hotels Grenoble Jardin Hoche
Hostels and Guest Houses
- HI Hostel Grenoble
- Residence Galilee
- Hostel Gambetta Grenoble
- Ibis Grenoble Gare
- Novotel Grenoble Centre
- Le Château des Arènes
- Appartement Milhan quartier Aigle Championnet
- Appartement spa privatif Grenoble At Home Spa
- Inovallée Home Appartement
- Appartement 3ch - Grenoble gare
- Appartement Sémard - Gare
Due to the excessive crime rates, you should not try Couchsurfing as this might be harmful to you. If you want to try couch-surfing anyway, then you can search for hosts on the couch-surfing website before visiting Grenoble.
- Camping Le Bois de Cornage
- Camping La Virette
- Camping Du Buisson
- Camping Pré du Lac
- Camping L'Imprévu
How to Get There
There are many ways to reach Grenoble, such as roadways, waterways, and airways. You can opt for the one that satisfies your comfort and budget. The best way is through airplanes, but you should prefer an option that is friendly to the environment and efficiently.
Alpes Isere Airport is an International Airport present in this city, built over 1302 feet. Grenoble airport has approved a historical record equally in terms of traffic and times of the number of airlines in service at the Airport. Forecasts previous to the beginning of the winter season showed a substantial increment ahead. Predictions proved to be accurate as the airport traffic grew by 95% over the last winter season. The Airport has handled more than 341,000 passengers from December 2005 to April 2006. It does not serve every country; therefore, you must travel to the country and then take the indirect flight to Grenoble Airport. Another airport nearest to the city that serves many countries is Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport, which is present in France's third-biggest city. The Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport is a public type airport with an elevation of 821 feet and has three terminals. Terminal 1 has two parts; the checking and departure. There are coaches present that serve the neighboring towns, including Grenoble, every hour. If you can't fly directly to Grenoble's International Airport, this should be the nearest and best Airport to land.
Several intercity buses travel to and fro from the neighboring cities. The buses are well-furnished with many onboard facilities available like Wi-Fi and drinks at a low cost. The buses have a socket next to each seat, which you can use to charge your mobile or laptop if they run out of battery. There are toilets built inside the bus. You can reduce your carbon footprint by booking a bus online through you it's app. The buses regularly undergo various pollution and control tests, stating that the smoke is very low in harsh chemicals. You have to be present in France to reach this city by bus.
Grenoble Station is the important railway station built in Grenoble. The station first opened on 3rd January 1849 and is present on the Lyon–Marseille in Grenoble. SNCF operates train services. The position is currently undergoing renovation, which includes the electrification of the Valence-Grenoble route in addition to the Grenoble-Chambéry way. There are a total of seven stations, with each station containing a single track. There is a waiting area open for everyone each day with different timings on Saturday and Sunday. There is a ticket counter in the side hall, which opens from 10:15 am till 5:15 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Hitchhiking is possible, but no one does it because the fare is so cheap and easily affordable. You can try this adventurous way of traveling to Grenoble and interacting with the amicable French people you meet on the highways.
You can travel to Grenoble by taxi. There is a unique taxi stand in this city where black color taxis are present. There is already a lot of pollution in the city; therefore, it is advised not to use any transport that harms the local environment. Using a taxi will pollute the environment by releasing harmful chemicals in the air by smoke. Also, there is traffic on the highways and in most neighboring cities through which you will be traveling. Therefore, this will take much of your time, and it would be costly for you. There are many taxi scams which happen in Grenoble; consequently, you must be alert while traveling in a taxi.
Grenoble has a comparatively smaller area, which makes moving around and exploring easier than other French cities. You can opt for walking or cycling on the streets healthily, or you can use public transports and electronic vehicles to keep your carbon footprint minimal.
Grenoble is a small city with an area of 18.13 kilometre². Therefore you can cover the city on foot and visit many tourist spots and attractions. There are many places present for walking, which will be fit for work as is a small city with an area of 18.13 kilometre². Therefore you can cover the city on foot visiting many tourist spots and attractions. There are many places for walking, including hills, beaches, and streets. The sunset or the sunrise view from the beach is must-see because of the fabulous scenery it provides.
Bicycling can be very beneficial for health as it involves the exercise of the whole body. It strengthens muscles and bones and improves the coordination of mind and body. It also decreases stress levels by lowering the rate of depression. Many bike rentals offer a variety of cycles, including geared, non geared, and cargo cycles. If you are staying for long, you can even purchase a subscription card for bike rentals, which is available for a day, for a week, for a month, for a quarter, and for the whole year. There is the procedure to rent a bike, which involves submitting valid documents such as ID proof, passport, and presenting the security deposit from which the rent is deductible automatically. The remaining amount is returnable to you.
There is a company that has planted many EV charging stations in this city. The main motive was to connect electric vehicles to public transport; therefore, three-wheeled and four-wheeled electric vehicles were present in Grenoble. There are a total of 70 rentable cars available at a minimal cost. You will find a separate station where these vehicles are present and ready for use, you can rent a car from there to travel wherever in the city you want. When your time limit is over, you can park the vehicle in a similar station irrespective of the original station. While taking a taxi, you can even have a cab sharing facility, which will reduce the fair by splitting it into two. For electric vehicle rentals, the fair will be according to the time duration; for 15 minutes, the fare is 3 Euros, increasing to Euros if taken for 30 minutes.
There are many buses available to travel around the city. You can either directly give the cash or can buy a pass, which involves certain free rides for an hour. The access is available at the head office of TAG, which controls every bus. You have to submit relevant documents with an amount of 20 Euros to get this pass. As soon as you swipe the card, you will get a free ride for an hour; but the charging will start accordingly after that. The free rides are limited to 35 only.
Tram, Train and Subway
There is a tramway in this city, which first opened in 1987. The transfer network is well connected as it has 81 stations with a total of five lines. The total length covered by the tramway is 42 kilometers. The five tubes get their name after the alphabets A, B, C, D, and E. Line A has 29 stations, line B with 22 stations, line C with 19 stations, line D with six stations, and line E has 17 stations.
It is a type of shopping that involves buying products and using services that support local communities and the environment. This kind of shopping is essential in the modern era because of the increasing pollution levels and natural disasters. In Grenoble, many local businesses and even some international companies provide people with eco-friendly goods and services. You can find such items in the local food markets, eco fashion stores, flea markets, and second-hand stores.
Food markets sell food items such as vegetables, fruits, baked goods, meats, seafood, spices, etc. These markets are the best places to get organic and fresh products that surpass the quality of packed food items.
- The St. Clair Halles
- Hoche Market
- Market Place Aux Herbes
- Marché de producteurs Bio Europole
If you want to buy second-hand items, then flea markets are the best choice. These markets usually operate on specific days of the week or month and provide the customers with a wide range of used or recycled items such as furniture, utensils, clothes, electronics, car parts, etc.
- San Bruno Market
- Flea Market
Second Hand Stores
Unlike flea markets, second-hand stores work daily. These stores are quite popular amongst locals of low-income groups and tourists with low budget. These places sell many unique objects and antiques representing the traditions, art, and culture of Grenoble.
- La Malle d’isidore
- Ma Petite Armoire
- Point Cash
- Les Potins de Jeanne
- Lili Rose
Sustainable fashion or eco-fashion is quite trendy these days. This style supports organic and locally sourced items that support local businesses and handicrafts and are also very affordable and unique. You can find many sustainable fashion stores in Grenoble that offer a wide variety.
- The Original Shop
- Maje Galeries Lafayette
Recycling is an excellent way of getting your used items converted into reusable items that cost less and hold almost the same potential as brand new products. In present times, you must support such eco-friendly practices. You will find that Grenoble's pollution levels are not the best but are under control compared to other cities in the world. One reason for such a better quality of pollution is the proper implementation of recycling measures by the local government and the locals' support.
Grenoble government has set various garbage disposal schemes and laws in full support by the local communities. Because of the small area, the locals need to maintain cleanliness and not harm the local environment. You can find different dumpsters and waste disposal containers in the streets or corners of Grenoble.
Work and Study Abroad
Grenoble is an excellent option for pursuing further studies or career options because it is home to world-class educational institutes. It might look like a small town with few opportunities, but it has a lot of potentials. If you want to study in any French city, then the Alps' home, Grenoble, will be the best option for you. There are many international companies in Grenoble as well that will provide some excellent opportunities for career advancement.
Université Grenoble Alpes is part of the worldwide student exchange program that provides educational opportunities for students worldwide. The student exchange program offers students an excellent opportunity to explore Grenoble's local French culture and art. You can either apply to the university directly or from the student exchange program.
Au pairing isn't that famous in Grenoble as it is quite a small city, and the local French communities can live peacefully with a quality life. You can register yourself on the au pairing program website and search for Grenoble families that need financial assistance.
Many non-profit organizations and agencies in Grenoble aim to resolve societal, environmental, economic, and cultural issues. These organizations hold activities regularly, in which even tourists can take part.
- AVF Grenoble
- Laboratoire Ouvert Grenoblois
- Geraçao Capoeira Grenoble
Volunteering activities will help you positively impact the local environment and play a significant role as a responsible tourist. Also, these activities will give you a sense of satisfaction while helping out a person in need. You can travel responsibly and respectfully by taking part in such societal development activities.