Grenoble is a nice city of 400 000 inhabitants in the French Alps. It's a flat city surrounded by mountains. Many students are living there, quite a lot of alternative things are going on, and the nature is close by.
There are five lines of tramway (A B C D and recently E). There are also a lot of bus lines. A bus/tram ticket cost 1,5€ at a ticket machine and 2€ inside the buses, with it you can travel one hour. Ticket machines are at every tram stops but not at the bus stops. You can enter a tram without ticket really easily, there are not a lot of controllers, but when there are some, if you don't manage to escape you will have to pay something like 50€. If you a stranger, you can maybe say that you don't have money and give an abroad address. The public transport has an interactive map or some downloadable versions.
Anyway since Grenoble is not a huge city and it's flat, it's perfect for riding a bike ! You can buy and repair bikes at uN p’Tit véLo dAnS La Tête , you'll have to pay a year membership of something like 20€, and after bikes are cheap (30-70€) and you can repair and get spares parts for free. Otherwise you can find one on Le Bon Coin, or ask someone to lend you his bike, you could try Couchsurfing for that.You can also rent a Métrovélo bike, it's 3€ a day, 20€ a month.
But be careful in Grenoble, bike stealing is really common, never let a bike without a good lock, the best are the U-locks.
It's really easy to hitchhike to and from Grenoble city. Check Hitchwiki.
- Airline: Norwegian
There is also a squat community in Grenoble, along with other legal, politically like-minded autonomous spaces. To get more info about ongoing things (demos, events, shows, etc.), you can try going to the local anarchist/punk infoshop Local Autogéré, opened Wednesdays 5-9pm and Saturdays 3-6pm (as of December 2016).
There are a few places where you could pitch a tent or sleep outside.
In the middle of the city there is a big park, Parc Paul Mistral (where the stadium is. Tram A and C, stop "Chavant"); many people hang around, so choose a bit of a hidden spot.
If you come to Grenoble, you can hardly miss La Bastille, the fortress looking above the city center. From the city to the top, there are many places to put a tent. Especially in the week-end there are many people, but the place is not of ill repute.
A bit further away from the city center, you could try wild camping in the campus in Saint-Martin-d'Hères (tram B or C. Stop "Bibliothèque Universitaire" is the more or less the middle). It's a big university site, with many green spots to put your tent. And not far there is the side of the river (if it rains tooooo much don't go, water can rise ha ha). Look around to find the perfect spot. Maybe a young student will spot you and host you :)
On the other side of the campus, there is the Parc de l'île d'amour. You can reach it straigt from the city, or from the campus by crossing a walking bridge. This should be a nice spot.
Food is expensive like in the rest of France. But you can dumbsterdive, even more easily if you have a car. Check also squat information, they are doing free price lunch sometimes, and they are the best source of information for dumbsterdiving. Check also trashwiki.
If you want to buy a snack you can get a kebab for 4,5€, or you can try the tacos (not the mexican one), it's something like meat and fries in a shawarma crêpe, it was invented in Grenoble ! There are Kebab/Tacos shops everywhere in the city, but ask some locals for their favourite ones. Or you can go to Subway bar in center city, where you can get food from 4€ to 6€ (like fries, sausage, steak, salad, ...). Traditional food is more expensive!
There is a wifi network in the campus. You can try to ask a student to give you his login/password. There are some free wifi also in the center city, like in place Victor Hugo. Big brand shop in the city center like McDonalds or Fnac have also free wifi.
- CS map for Genoble (bars, wifi etc)
Where to party?
Cheapest bars are EVE on the campus, or Plan B and les Copains d'Abord in city center. If you are there on Thursday night, you might want to give a look at the small and crowded room of Just Beer: this is not really a bar, it is an association only open Thursdays, and every week they make discover some (very) special beers from all around Europe. If you arrive too late, you might not get in as there are really a lot of people sometimes. But the cheapest is always to buy beer in the supermarket and to go in a flat or in Parc Paul Mistral. When it's summer time the PPM (Parc Paul Mistral), is loaded with young people drinking beers, playing music, and walking on slake lines.
If you want to party and have some other music than the mainstream radios, you should go to one of the under. The clubs are really not as alternative as in some other cities, but they have some good evenings and music.
- L'Ampérage (used to be called ADAEP) and Le Drak-Art: Two of the main alternative clubs in Grenoble which are right next to the other, l'Ampérage is on the left and the Drak-Art on the right. L'Ampérage has a smaller room and garden than the Drak'Art, is usually a bit less expensive as well and is more trance, drum'n'bass and even metal oriented. Drak-Art is usually a bit more electro. Actually both are only rooms that you can rent to organize a party, so evenings can be really different depending on who organizes. People start to come at midnight usually and they close at 6am, but no alcool is served after 4am (by municipal law, sorry about that). But it is fun to see all people from 4 to 6 dancing with glasses of water! Entry prices range from 5€ to 15€ usually.
To go there: Tram A stop 'Berriat - Le Magasin'. From city center 10min by tram, about 25 walking. Once at the tram stop, walk on the left side of the rails in the direction of the bridge. Follow the road between the park and the rails and just before the bridge goes up on the cycle and footpath, take the street left and enter the parking area. In front of you is the Drak-Art and a bit further on the left l'Ampérage.
- La Bobine: This is big pub/concert room inside the Parc Paul Mistral, not far from the 'Anneau de vitesse' (the running ring). Every Tuesday evening until is free entrance and overcrowded, so a lot of people just buy plenty of beers and go sitting on the grass drinking and smoking, and from time to time going inside to move their booties! To got there, go to the tram/bus stop 'Chavant' in the city center and enter the park. Follow the park on the right side until you hear something. If you don't find, ask 'La Bobine' or 'L'Anneau de vitesse' to people.
- La Bifurk: This is a skate park during the day and they have some interesting evenings, and not only music events. To get there, go to the tram stop 'MC2: Maison de la Culture'. If there is a park with a big building (the MC2) in front of you, then turn yourself 180º and take the small road until you see a big hangar in front of you, you are there.
- La Belle Electrique has some nice concerts sometimes, a bit more pricy 15-20€ usually.
- Parc Paul Mistral: As said before, this is just a parc but full of people during the warm nights, playing music and more. Can be a good starter ;)