The railway station has been built for the Winter Olympics on 1967. Grenoble has a very good fast connection with Paris by the TGV though it runs at high speed from Paris to Lyon while Lyon to Grenoble is at regular speed. However, on the whole, it takes a little less than 3 hours to go to Paris, which means that for this connection, you have better take the train than fly. There are an average of one TGV every hour.
Together with the bus system, the Semitag runs 2 tramway routes (4 in 2006) with 80 tram stops. The tickets can be used both on the bus system and on the tram system.
For more on the Sémitag, visit their web site
The tram routes have been created in 199. It was the first tram in France that had an ultra low frame that allowed full access for handicapped. New carriages will run in 2005, they are faster, have a higher capacity and an even easier access for the handicapped.
The Sémitag (Société d'Économie Mixte de Transports de l'Agglomération Grenobloise) runs the bus system with 23 bus routes and 1600 bus stops.
There are 4 additional routes for the evening. The whole network serves the 27 cities of the Grenoble agglomeration.
A part of the old town has been turned into a "zone piètonne" (pedestrian only) about 20 years ago, the first city in France. In the beginning, there was much opposition from the shop keepers but they soon realized that if would be customers came in front of the shop but were unable to park they would go away. Now the pedestrian district covers most of the old town.
Genève Cointrin airport is a little further (150 km) but can be however considered as a third airport possibilities for Grenoble. It offers connections different than Saint-Exupéry.
Those that have a visa problem with Switzerland must know that Coitrin is a Swiss AND French airport and has a direct exit to France, without any transit into Switzerland (towards Ferney). This exit is very seldom used.
It is easy to reach Grenoble by the autoroutes..
The A48/E711 leads to Lyon and from Lyon the whole Northern part of France.
The A49/E 713 leads to Valence and from Valence to the Mediterranean and Spain.
The A41/E 712 leads to Chambéry, Aix-les Bains, Annecy and Geneva and further to the whole Switzerland and Germany.
Another leg of the A41 becomes the A43/E70 and connects to Turin, Milan, the whole Italy and South Central and Eastern Mediterranean.
Of course, besides the autoroutes, there are numerous mountain roads; often very spectacular.
The airport of Grenoble is Saint-Etienne-de-Saint-Geoirs, 45 minutes drive from Grenoble. It has never grown to a main airport as the fast train connections to Paris have taken so much on flights than the Saint-Etienne-de-Saint-Geoirs Paris air line has been canceled recently as it did not make enough money. However, in January 2005 Easy-jet has opened a low cost connection with London that seems to work well and is used mainly to reach ski stations.
I feel that the architecture of tha Satolas TGV station is very impressive and I wanted to give anothe view, under another angle.
All the TGV stations that has been built especially for the TGV, usually more or less outside cities have a special architecture and I will try to give pictures of others.
Saint Exupéry airport actually acts as the airport of Grenoble. It is only 1 hour drive from the city center and has a good service of shuttles. Saint Exupéry is a main international airport connected with most European capitals and more.
As Grenoble is one of the flatest large town in France, cycling is very easy and the Métro has developed a large network of bicycle lane (more than 200 km), either in the urban part of the city or along the banks of the Isère river.
You can cycle your own bike or rent one with Metrovelo, a department of the Sémitag, in charge of Public transportation . Two hundred bikes are available for rent at the train station, on the campus and near the Tourist office. The prices are the following (first regular price, second for students) :
One hour, 1.20 € 1.00 €
Half day 3.00 € 2.00 €
Day 5.00 € 3.50 €
2 to 29 days 3.50 €/ day 2.50 € /day
month 30.00 € 21.00 €
3 month 75.00 € 52.00 €
6 month 120.00 € 85.00 €
A 50 € deposit is required.
For those who ride their own bike, there is a left bicycle facility at the train station for 1 € per day and 8 € per month.
From Paris On arrival in Paris you need to go to the Gare de Lyon (railway station) to catch the high speed train (TGV) to Grenoble directly (approximately 3 hours). Alternatively there is a train from Paris to Lyon (St Exupéry) international airport and buses onward to Grenoble
From Lyon The easiest way is to take the shuttle bus from the Lyon St Exupéry international airport to Grenoble. Inquire at the information desk as to where to catch it. The cost is 15€ if you are under 25, otherwise it’s 20 €.
From Geneva There is a train from the airport to bring you into the city center of Geneva. There, you must change trains to come on to Grenoble. You can buy a ticket at the airport rail station which will get you all the way to Grenoble. Alternatively there is a direct coach service.
Check the SNCF (French railways) website on www.sncf.com
If you are under 25, I recommend you buy a card “la carte 12-25” which grants you from 25 up to 50 % discount. It costs 48 €. A one way ticket Paris – Grenoble costs 80 € (without any discount).
A bus or tram ticket costs €1.20, a ‘carnet’ of 10 tickets – €9.00, monthly season ticket €22.00 for students 19 to 25 years old, or €37.00 for those over 25. Available from the TAG information desk at the tram stop at Grenoble Train Station (Tel 04 76 20 66 66) or from the Tourist Office.
Grenoble maps could be downloaded (I recommend the pdf format) from tourism information center web site (english version in the adress)
A lot of brochures are also available here, a good way for cooking your visit in advance
I have found on a roller's website, that Grenoble was a great place for rollers as they can use the bicycle lanes.
For example, they say that a 27 km route from Saint-Quentin sur Isère to Grenoble center follows the banks of the river with a very good surface on at least 20 km
For more, visit the website of Roller en ligne
(A côté de la gare SNCF)
Correspondance au départ de Grenoble avec les stations de montagne.
Ouverture bureau du lundi au samedi de 6h15 à 19h et le dimanche de 7h15 à 19h.
(Next to the SNCF station)
Correspondence to the departure of Grenoble with the stations of mountain.
Opening office of Monday to Saturday of 6h15 to 19h and Sunday of 7h15 to 19h.