Once a mining and industrial hub, Saint-Etienne is an artsy city in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It’s home to outstanding museums and one of Europe’s most beloved soccer teams, AS Saint-Etienne, which plays at the 42,000-seat Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
Things to do in Saint-Étienne
Delve into Saint-Etienne’s cultural heritage at Musee d’Art et d’Industrie, which occupies a mid-19th-century mansion designed by Etienne Boisson. In addition to boasting one of the largest weapon collections outside of Paris, it features exhibitions dedicated to the city’s bicycle manufacturing and textile industries, with Saint-Etienne being a creative centre for ribbon making.
Don’t miss Musee de la Mine, which occupies the site of a coal mine that closed its doors in 1973. In addition to a reconstructed tunnel where you can experience daily life for the miners, it features displays of vintage mining machinery. Explore the “Great History of Couriot” exhibit and see inside the locomotive maintenance workshop before admiring the large relief of the Loire area created for the Universal Exhibition of 1889.
Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to Musee d’Art Moderne, which is housed within a striking, cube-shaped building north of the city centre. Its impressive collection totals more than 19,000 works that include paintings by Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Alberto Magnelli, as well as several examples of ancient art.
Getting around Saint-Étienne
Saint-Etienne is around an hour’s drive from Lyon and Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe and North Africa. High-speed train services connect from Paris and Lyon to the Gare de Saint-Etienne-Châteaucreux railway station. Trams, trolleybuses and buses serve the city and bicycle-sharing stations are dotted throughout Saint-Etienne.