Clermont-FerrandA historical and cultural hub, Clermont-Ferrand houses architectural beauties and glorious cathedrals with a clear Gothic accent. Nestled at the foot of a chain of volcanoes, this ancient city is the capital of "Massif Central", the rural and mountainous Auvergne region. The city is the gateway to the Natural Volcano Park, which shifts from mountains to valleys, providing breathtaking views over unspoiled landscapes.
The CityClermont-Ferrand ranks among the oldest cities of France. Renowned for its thermal springs, it acquired great importance under the Roman emperors and became an Episcopal city ruled by its bishop in the Middle Ages. The counts of Auvergne decided to found the city of Montferrand just next to Clermont to counteract the power of the clergy. The two cities were eventually forced to join in 1630 by a royal edict. Nowadays, the old city centres are still separated. The city has kept this unique historical identity embarking onto a huge transformation program that is aimed to shape its new image as a European metropolis.
RestaurantsThe region’s abundant resources supply the finest ingredients, enriching the local cuisine with tons of flavours. The vast pastureland provides beef and lamb, as well as some of the best cheeses of the region. A regional ham, Jambon d’Auvergne, and various pork sausages are also available fresh from local farms, whereas rivers and lakes contribute to a diverse variety of seafood. Fine dining restaurants and laid-back bistros line up neatly down Clermont-Ferrand's downtown streets, making its centre a vibrant and lively hub to mix and mingle while sampling sophisticated Auvergnat flavours, a regional cuisine that caters to nearly all tastes.
Do & See
The city's major sights and historical beauties are connected by several walking paths that run through the two ancient town centres of Clermont and Montferrand. The whole area is home to architectural treasures, museums, castles and some of France’s richest Roman heritage. The region where the city lies is a wonderful site for outdoor activities and adventures, providing travellers with some incomparable walking-trails that twist and turn around the imposing Puy De Dôme volcano.
France's coffee culture has developed around a deep love towards a strong, full-flavoured coffee brewed "the Italian way". Clermont-Ferrand is dotted by quaint cafeterias, intimate spots to relax by enjoying a cafe au lait or a croissant. Strolling down the centre, you certainly won't find yourself short of options to satisfy your sweet tooth - French patisserie is renowned worldwide for its vast assortment of pies, crepes and colourful pastries and Clermont-Ferrand lives up to the reputation.
Bars & Nightlife
Clermont-Ferrand might be a relatively small town, but it is also an outstanding and attractive university town. Thanks to its 35,000 students, one third of the inhabitants are around 20 years old, making the nightlife quite eventful. Plentiful bars and pubs fill the downtown area's cobbled streets, coming to life in the evening when a cheerful crowd pours down the centre to enjoy the vibes.
In Clermont-Ferrand, you will find a lot of markets and shops featuring local products, mainly located in or nearby the historic city centre, an ideal location to combine an afternoon of sightseeing with shopping. The area surrounding Place de Jaude houses several souvenir shops and a large number of international stores. Some shops can also be found along the main pedestrian streets such as Rue du Port, Rue Pascal or Rue Savaron.