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What You Need To Know

In Grenoble, the capital of the French Alps and the Dauphiné region, mountains are ubiquitous. Grenoble boasts a profound constract between the dramatic views of the three massifs and the urban architecture of the city. They have managed to preserve vestiges of 2,050 years of history. Today a European centre, Grenoble is at the forefront of technology. Welcoming and captivating, Grenoble awaits you.

Area:13.18 km²
Population:155,637 (2010)

Currency

  • The Euro is the official currency of France, and of most European Union member states, excluding the UK and the Czech Republic, among others. The Euro, symbolized by a “€,” has been in public circulation since January, 2002. The franc, the former official currency of France, is no longer accepted, however, you may see that some price tags in France give the price both in Euro and in francs, to help those who still think in terms of francs.

    There are 8 different Euro coin denominations and 7 different Euro bill denominations in circulation. Coins are denominated in 2 and 1 Euro, then 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents. Each member state decorated their own coins, but all coins are interchangeable within the countries. Bills are denominated in 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 and they vary in color and size.

  • By far the easiest way to pay for things in France is simply to use an international credit card or debit card. Visa and Mastercard can be used all over France, and American Express cards and other international cards in a number of places. But obviously, there are situations in which paying with plastic is not an option. Visitors to France therefore need to have some Euros to hand, to pay for small or larger items and in cases where the trader does not accept cards.
  • So again, the simplest solution is to use your international credit card or debit card. You can withdraw money from cash-dispensers (ATMs) in France in exactly the same way as you would at home – except that you will be asked to select a sum in Euros. Your card company or bank will automatically debit your account in your usual currency, having converted the sum at the day’s exchange rate.

    However, there are some golden rules that you need to follow if you do not want to end up paying far more than necessary for this service, or running out of cash because you have reached your limit for withdrawals.

Weather

Grenoble has a marine west coast climate that is mild with no dry season, warm summers. Heavy precipitation occurs during mild winters which are dominated by mid-latitude cyclones.
In the winter time records indicate temperatures by day reach 6.7°C (44°F) on average falling to -2°C (28.4°F) overnight.
In spring time temperatures climb reaching 16.3°C (61.4°F) generally in the afternoon with overnight lows of 5.3°C (41.6°F).
During summer average high temperatures are 25.3°C (77.6°F) and average low temperatures are 13°C (55.4°F).
Come autumn/ fall temperatures decrease achieving average highs of 16°C (60.8°F) during the day and lows of 7°C (44.6°F) generally shortly after sunrise.

Language

As with the rest of France, French is the only official language of the region. Until the mid-20th century, Arpitan was widely spoken in the whole region, while many of the inhabitants of the south spoke varieties of Occitan; both are in steep decline in this region. There are immigrant populations from Armenia, Italy, North Africa, Poland and Portugal amongst other places.

Health and security

  • The French healthcare system relies on both public and private facilities, which cater to both residents and foreigners. Care is funded by a public health insurance scheme, which is financed by mandatory contributions to the state health system.

    This funding covers the majority of costs; however, in most situations the patient is liable for a fraction of the cost (usually around 30%). This remaining charge can be funded directly by the patient or through a supplementary private health insurance.

    Given the cost of treatment, it is advisable to take out supplementary cover. There are a number of insurers to choose from, some catering specifically to expats and English speakers living in Rennes while others are targeted to certain professions.

    Unlike in other countries, the French health system caters to all. Those without private health insurance are entitled to use the same facilities as everybody else, so you can take your pick of treatment facilities should you need them.

  • France is generally very safe, and has a have relatively low rate of violent crime, but as with visiting unfamiliar towns and cities, some neighborhoods in this town do merit a bit of extra caution. Overall crime in France has fallen in recent years, but visitors should be careful when on the move. And unfortunately petty crime has in fact, been on the rise, and typically tourists are at the greatest risk. The most common types of crimes are pickpockets at train stations, on buses and even at the airports.

DON’T

  • Beware of the danger of avalanges! Especialy when you want to ski off-piste, but also ‘just’ skiing on the prepared slopes you should pay attention to the warnings for avalanges.
    There are two warning-systems. One is a set of numbers. Warning 1 means no danger, warning 5 is great danger. The other one is with flags. A black flag indicates great danger of avalanges, a black and yellow chekered flag indicates medium danger.
    If great danger is indicated don’t go outside the opened ski-pistes!
  • DON’T Go to your bank and exchange all your money before your France or European trip. You will probably pay a higher rate than necessary, and you don’t want to be running around with all that cash in your wallet.

DO

  • Be a smart visitor and spend less. To discover Grenoble, choose the Grenoble City Pass!” This all-inclusive pass will allow you to get the most out of the capital of the French Alps.
  • Visit The old town, its 2,050 years of history and its exceptional heritage , The Bastille fort and its cable car: an unobstructed view over Grenoble and the surrounding massifs.