Grenoble lies near the junction of the Isère and Drac rivers. Most of the city is on the south bank of the Isère, though its most impressive monument, the Fort de la Bastille, stands on a rocky hilltop on the north bank. The center of Grenoble’s historic section is around the Palais de Justice; the more modern part of town is southeast, centered on the Hôtel de Ville (town hall) and the nearby Tour Perret lookout, affectionately known as the “tower to look at the mountains.”

Begin at place Grenette, where you can enjoy a drink or an espresso at a cafe. Don’t miss the place aux Herbes and the place St-André, in the very heart of the centre ville. Place St-André, dating from the Middle Ages, is the most evocative square in old Grenoble, with the Palais de Justice on one side and the Eglise St-André on the other. The Palace of Justice was built in many stages. The brick church went up in the 13th century. Two great streets for strolling and browsing are rue de la Poste, in the medieval core, and rue J.-J.-Rousseau, a 5-min. walk southwest of the city.

Enjoy a ride on the Téléphérique-Grenoble-Bastille (; tel. 04-76-44-33-65), cable cars that take you from the south bank of the Isère River to the top of the fort (closed Jan for annual maintenance). Check the website for the cable car’s operating hours. A round-trip ticket costs 5.60€ for adults and 3.20€ for ages 5 to 15. At the belvedere where you land, you’ll have a view of the city, the mountains, and the remains of the Fort de la Bastille. Come for the view, not the fort. You can walk up in 1 hr. or so if you’re a real athlete; the beginning of the route is signposted to the west of place St-André. We suggest you take the téléphérique to the top and then stroll down along the footpath, Montée de Chalmont, that winds to Alpine gardens and past old ruins before reaching a cobblestone walk that leads to the old town.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.