Metz, France, although less popular to tourists in comparison to the famously romantic getaway Paris, has some striking similarities. Paris and Metz both share in having a neat and walkable layout of the city, making them the perfect place to stroll through to get a taste of French culture. Metz is located in France’s northeastern Grand Est region, 3 hours by car from Paris. Boasting lush gardens, Moselle and Seille rivers, beautiful bridges and ancient awe-inspiring architecture, Metz is worth the drive. Metz is no stranger to rain this time of year ( May), and the drizzle was just enough to keep from too many crowding the streets, so to us it felt quiet and peaceful.
We visited Metz for a little over a day and a half and snagged a great hotel off Hotels.com: Hotel Alerion. Hotel Alerion was conveniently located next to the train station, and many of the must-see sites. Hotel Alerion was clean and tidy, and our reservation offered breakfast for an extra 5 euros. Hotel Alerion is a great option for those driving to Metz like we did because they have their own large underground parking lot. Plus, they offer validated parking for 24hrs for only 7euros opposed to the generally 15 euros charged by other lots, allowing us to pack the car and enjoy the rest of the time walking around Metz without worrying about our luggage.
Cafè Mathis is a popular French bistro frequented by locals and only occasionally visited by tourists. The atmosphere, menu, and crowd it calls all carry a typical French theme. If you’re looking for a casual place to eat and find out what Metz culture is like, check out Cafè Mathis. Enjoy a delicious croissant or dine at lunchtime and you’ll be sure to hear some entertaining conversations and people watching.
Le Pop White
This trendy cafe in Metz is an ideal spot for drinks- coffee, cocktails, whatever you fancy. Set in a great atmosphere, and attracting a local non-touristy crowd, Le Pop White is sure to be bustling when you arrive. It’s cool and fashionable decor and drink menu makes you feel as if you could be in Paris.
The jaw-dropping Gothic architecture and remarkable stained glass work are just a few of the features that make the Cathédrale Saint-Etienne a must-see when in Metz. This landmark earned itself the nickname “Lantern of God” because of the way the windows catches and reflects light, and the intricate design details spanning 42 meters high make this cathedral the tallest Gothic building in Europe.
Portes des Allemands
Portes des Allemands, meaning “door of the Germans” is a souvenir of Metz medieval days, boasting an ancient bridge, fortified gate and defense towers. Visit it between the Boulevard Maginot and the Rue des Allemands, where close up you feel you could be in a knight’s tale, but from far away it appears as a castle.
Opéra-Théâtre de Metz Métropole
Opened in 1732, The Opéra-Théâtre de Metz Métropole is the oldest working opera house in France and one of the oldest in all of Europe. Located on the Petit-Saulcy island in Metz, stroll to the Opéra to be among 750- others in this auditorium that are beautiful inside and out.
Located ever-so romantically in the “garden of love”, “Jardin d’Armour ” in French, the Temple Neuf is a beautiful sight to see in Metz. Built between 1901 and 1904, this former church boasts an architectural design that commands attention when you’re up close, or far away gazing from the Quai Paul Vautrin, a flattering vantage point to view the temple.
Featuring Renaissant merchant houses, boutiques, restaurants, and cafés, this town square dates back to the middle ages and boasts a charming old-world and Italian influenced atmosphere and architecture.