Grenoble is an important town in the alps to the southeast of Lyon. With snowy mountain peaks as its backdrop and a Winter Olympics in its past, Grenoble has earned its title as “the Capital of the Alps.” The town is also the final destination on the Route Napoleon that starts near Cannes.
The capital of the Isère department is a center for mountain sports, and it is also an important center for academia. Founded in 1339, the University of Grenoble now boasts 50,000 students, which has helped to establish the city as a major center for research, especially in science. Two rivers, the Isère and the Drac, wind through Grenoble and the Fontaine du Lion at the Place de la Cimaise symbolizes the two waterways with a statue of a lion (the Drac) grappling with a snake (the Isère).
Grenoble also has a cathedral, though it does not look like a traditional cathedral because it is dominated by its large 13th-century gate tower, which looks as much like a fortified entrance to the town center as a church! For a midday coffee, pre-dinner apéro, or evening cocktail, there are cafés, bars, and pubs scattered throughout the center of town between Place Grenette and Place Notre-Dame.
Getting around Grenoble is easy with the four-line tram and extensive bus service. The train station is centrally located and it is possible to walk to most major attractions. It is also an option to cycle in one of the flattest European cities.