As with so many regions that border other countries, exactly what makes Lorraine tick is hard to pin down. For this reason it is a fascinating – not to mention fun – place to visit, drawing on both French and German influences in terms of its food and culture. Whether you prefer the excitement of city-based holidays, or whether you would rather enjoy the relaxation provided by more rural settings, Lorraine has both – and we’re here to let you know about the very best of them!
Places to go in Lorraine
Lorraine has a distinctly Cosmopolitan feel being located very close to Germany and Luxembourg. The city of Metz typifies this European-ness best, since it is something of a gateway for travellers coming from neighbouring countries. Aside from the Ligue 2 football team of the same name, the city boasts a fine Gothic cathedral and the only other Pompidou centre outside Paris. Further south you’ll find Nancy, with its UNESCO-listed Place Stanislas, named after the Duke of Lorraine – who was also the king of the Polish-Lithuanian – giving you a sense of the many kingdoms that have had their fingers in Lorraine’s quiche! Other key towns include Épinal, Forbach, Lunéville, Montigny-lès-Metz, Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, Sarreguemines, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy and Thionville – all offering their own charm and character. Outside of these settlements, rolling green countryside, rivers and forests are just waiting to be enjoyed, with a range of accommodation options to suit every budget.
Our Top Picks in Lorraine
We want you to enjoy the best that the Lorraine region has to offer and so here's a selection of our favourite things to see and do;
Place Stanislas, Nancy
This could be the most beautiful square in France – but then we would say that wouldn’t we? We really mean it though: whether you visit it day or night (both is a good idea), the square is stunning to behold, with a selection of quality cafes around the edges – where you can enjoy local drinks like the Montecarlo, a delicious blend of beer, lemonade and grenadine. The perfect way to watch the sun go down? Quite possibly!
Battlefield of Verdun
If you don’t have an interest in the history in the First World War, it can be tempting to miss out on what is an extremely absorbing area – for adults as well as children. The Battlefield of Verdun is comprised of tracts of land that have hardly been touched since 1916, where artillery craters and abandoned farmhouses are still present. Viewing the crypts in the Ossiary – where the unidentified remains of 130,000 soldiers are kept – is optional; very moving indeed but perhaps not suitable for younger members of your party. The remains of Fort Douamont, however, are sure to be a big hit with children.
Centre Pompidou Metz
Considered by default to be the withered brother of its Parisian counterpart, the Metz version of the Centre Pompidou is in fact a very impressive contemporary art gallery: once you’ve been bowled over by the super-modern structure itself, there is a very good selection of permanent and temporary exhibits to enjoy – find out about temporary exhibits and events before you go. With 5000 square metres of exhibition space, there is a huge amount to see – whatever your age!
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