A trip to Grenoble will take you to the cusp of the French Alps, and a city of great historical interest. The iconic attraction is the Bastille, a sprawling fortification which looms over the city – go up via cable car and enjoy spectacular views over Grenoble. Culture vultures will swoop over to the Museum of Grenoble, where you can see everything from Egyptian sarcophagi to the works of Matisse and Picasso. And of course come winter there's fantastic skiing to be had in the nearby Belledonne and Chartreuse mountains.
Thanks to easyJet, it's very easy to get to Grenoble. Direct flights depart from a very wide range of UK airports, including London Gatwick, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool and Edinburgh. You'll land at Grenoble-Isère Airport, which is situated around 40 kilometres from Grenoble itself. You should always check to see if your hotel offers complimentary transfers from the airport – if it doesn't, you can book a coach transfer yourself beforehand.
While you can always hire a car in Grenoble, you may find this to be more hassle than it's worth, particularly when the roads are busy with traffic. An easier alternative is to use the extensive bus and tram services in the area – depending on how long you're staying, you can get daily and weekly passes which make exploring the city and the surrounding area nice and easy. There are also frequent bus services to the major ski resorts surrounding Grenoble during the peak winter season. Perhaps surprisingly, given the mountains it's nestled within, Grenoble is also easy to get around on a bicycle and you rent one from the main train station.
While skiing may have a reputation as a pursuit for the well-heeled, you can still find plenty of affordable accommodation in Grenoble. If you're on a really tight budget you can stay in a hostel or even on a camp site in the warmer months, while there are also mid-range hotels available. Bear in mind that peak periods such as the height of summer or winter lead to a huge influx of visitors and prices will rise accordingly. If you're not fussed about skiing, for example, you can take advantage of much reduced rates by coming over in spring or autumn.
A holiday in Grenoble doesn't have to break the bank, particularly if you're savvy with where you spend your cash. Instead of dining out twice a day, why not pick up lunch at one of the daily food markets, where you can sample delicious French delicacies and come up with a cost-effective picnic? Look out also for low-cost eateries, like pancake restaurants serving lovely crepes, and places specialising in fondue.
Updated 15th May 2013
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