Grenoble © Guillaume Piolle
The beautiful university town of Grenoble, known in France as the 'Capital of the Alps', is situated on the Drac and Isère Rivers, and is surrounded by proud mountains, dramatic gorges and hidden valleys. The city's history goes back 2,000 years and visitors can still see the last remnants of the Roman wall which fortified the city in 286 AD. Grenoble is also known in modern history for its resistance efforts during World War II.
Today it is a prosperous, lively and cosmopolitan city, well-known for its industrial and scientific advances and a base for companies involved in the chemical, nuclear research and electronics industries. More obviously to visitors, it is home to 40,000 students, many international. There are some excellent walks among the mountains surrounding the city and there are ski slopes within easy driving distance; head to the Parc Naturel Regional du Vercors for stunning landscapes and outdoor activities. For many tourists Grenoble is simply a stopover before heading further into the Alps, but the city has plenty of attractions of its own. Before visiting, take a scenic ride on the distinctive egg-shaped suspended cable cars known as 'Les Bulles'. Grenoble also has some great little museums including the Archaeological Museum, the Musee de Grenoble and the Musee Dauphinois.