Located in north-eastern France, in the Grand Est region, about 50 km from both the German and Luxembourg borders, Metz possesses great architectural diversity, with French and German influences.
Qualified for several years as a French communication and Internet city, Metz is also a modern place where art and heritage coexist.
Metz, a garden city by vocation, happily combines greenery and the concept of urban tourism.
Between the Seille and Moselle rivers, from the squares to the alleys, the architecture often defies the passage of time, thanks to its monuments, such as the Saint-Étienne cathedral, one of the most beautiful in France.
Also not to be missed is the Centre Pompidou-Metz, an astonishing ship that transports contemporary art and living emotions. What’s more, a centre full of shops, restaurants and nightclubs awaits you to fully experience this city of art and history.
Built between 1220 and 1522, the cathedral is the result of the union of two formerly separate churches.
With its 42 metre high nave, it is one of the largest Gothic buildings in Europe. Its 6,500 m² of stained glass windows have given it the nickname of God’s lantern. Produced from the 13th to the 20th century, thanks to the contribution of many artists such as Hermann de Münster, Thiébault de Lixheim, Valentin Bousch, Jacques Villon and Marc Chagall, these masterpieces of fire and light constitute a veritable encyclopaedia of glass art.
For the 800th anniversary of the cathedral,Korean artist Kimsooja was chosen to join the great masters already present in the cathedral. His stained glass windows transfigure God’s lantern with the colours of the rainbow.
A sister institution to the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Centre Pompidou-Metz is a masterpiece of contemporary architecture.
Designed by architects Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines, with Philip Gumuuchdjian designing the competition-winning design, it consists of four exhibition galleries, covered by a bold roof reminiscent of a Chinese hat.
The spire, 77 metres high, celebrates the year 1977, when the Centre Pompidou-Paris was opened. The Centre Pompidou-Metz hosts the best of modern and contemporary art through its temporary exhibitions. In fact, it is a contemporary art exhibition space where performances, lectures and receptions take place.
Located on the hill of Sainte-Croix, the cradle of the city, the museum is housed in a group of buildings from various eras: Roman baths, medieval palaces, 18th century abbey.
The Gallo-Roman archaeological collection is one of the most important in France: you can admire the ancient baths preserved on site, the Merten column, the Mithras altar, a labyrinth of rooms and passages leading from the attic of Chèvremont (15th century), the Voué ceilings (13th century), the presbytery of St-Pierre-aux-Nonnains, considered one of the most beautiful collections of Merovingian sculpture in Europe (7th century).
In addition, the Pinakothek des Beaux-Arts displays the productions of Monsieur Desiderio (17th century) or those of the Metz School (19th century).
An imposing neo-Romanesque building, the Metz railway station was built during the German annexation to transport goods and civilians but also, with a strategic purpose, to be able to move large numbers of soldiers in the shortest possible time.
This prestigious building (1905-1908) is 300 metres long and includes the emperor’s flats and reception pavilion, reception halls, galleries and service rooms. It has repeatedly been voted the most beautiful station in France.
This elegant classical square (1738-52) was built around the Opera House, the oldest in France in operation.
A stone’s throw away is the Protestant Temple, in the Rhenish Neo-Romanesque style, built at the time of German annexation, from 1901 to 1904, by architect Wahn, on the site of the Garden of Love, taking inspiration from the cathedral in Speyer.
In the evening, the illuminated apse of the Temple Neuf is reflected in the Moselle, creating a particularly romantic panorama.
In the Middle Ages, Place de Change was a district crossed by the Seille and occupied by moneychangers. Only in the 18th century did it take the name Place Saint-Louis: fairs and markets were held here.
Observing it carefully, you will recognise a particular Mediterranean atmosphere, thanks to the alignment of the houses, an aspect derived from the public squares and monuments of the Italian Republics and which gives it an almost Sienese appearance.
With its arcades, low roofs and the golden sheen of Jaumont stone, it is one of the favourite places to hang out in Metz.
It is a true small independent fortified castle, very emblematic of the city: the Porta Germanica owes its name to the Teutonic Knights, or Hospitaller Brothers of Our Lady of the Germans, who founded a nearby hospital in the 13th century.
It is the most impressive remaining building of the medieval ramparts, including both a double gate and a bridge over the Seille.
From the Porte des Allemands, the ramparts circuit starts, allowing you to discover the remains of the fortifications of the city of Metz.
This beautiful walk will take you to admire the banks of the Seille, the Moselle and the city’s historical heritage in the midst of nature. The guilds route will take you back in time, with its defence towers still bearing the names of ancient trades.
Built in the 19th century to store and store ammunition, the building was renovated by architect Ricardo Bofill in 1989.
Today it is a cultural venue with concert halls, exhibition galleries, reception rooms, a museum shop and events held at two complementary monuments: La Chapelle des Templiers and Saint-Pierre-Aux-Nonnains.
Built in the 4th century, Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains is one of the oldest monuments in Metz and is an architectural testimony of 2000 years of history. After having played civil, religious and military roles, Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains has developed into a cultural site.
Right in front of it is the Templars’ Chapel, built between 1180 and 1220: this small octagonal church, built by the Templars and unique in the region, is an example of the transition between Romanesque and Gothic art. Today it is an integral part of the cultural ensemble of the Arsenal: it cannot be visited internally but is occasionally used as an exhibition hall.
The city of Metz is also called the Green City, due to the presence of a multitude of parks and gardens. The city strives to provide a natural space of about 45 square metres of green space per inhabitant.
If you want to take a nice walk, do not hesitate to go to the Esplanade, not far from the old church of Saint-Pierre aux Nonnains. Here you can admire a splendid panorama of the Moselle Valley.
Built in the 19th century, this natural spot is ideal for lovely family walks. Alternatively, you could opt for the Pas de Loup park, the Jardin Boufflers, the Parc Imon or the Botanical Garden.
In addition to the green spaces, Metz is characterised by an enchanting stretch of water, designed in the 1970s: it is one of the most popular promenades in the city, the ideal place to meet up with friends, play sports, have a picnic, go boating or simply relax. Located in the heart of the city, it is organised for water activities and many water sports such as kayaking, canoeing and rowing.
In this lively corner, you can admire dancing fountains, relax at the Metz-Plage, watch the hot-air balloons take off, have an aperitif on the Flottille terraces at the Quai des Régates or at the Guinguette de l’Esplanade.
River excursions to discover the Moselle are also organised, as well as musical sunset cruises offering unique views of the Saint-Etienne Cathedral or Temple Neuf.
In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article
The War of 1870 and Annexation Museum, opened in 2014, deserves a mention. As its name suggests, it is the only museum entirely dedicated to the history of the War of 1870 and the annexation of Alsace and part of Lorraine to the German Empire (1871-1918).
It tackles the issues raised by this conflict from a new perspective: German unity, life during the annexation, the tensions as the First World War approached, a period during which Moselle and Alsace shared their history with Germany.
The museum uses the techniques of today’s museography, in particular audiovisual and multimedia.
A city with a rich historical heritage, Metz is a culturally dynamic city: the main attractions are all very close to each other and can easily be reached on foot. For this reason, we recommend finding a hotel in the city centre, where many quality accommodations are concentrated.
In fact, the hotel offer in the centre of Metz guarantees the presence of many medium-high class hotels, while the large hotel chains, which offer cheaper solutions, are located on the outskirts of the city.
Very close to the Luxembourg border, Metz is nestled in the north-eastern part of France, in the upper part of Alsace.
What's the weather at Metz? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Metz for the next few days.
Metz is located in the Grand Est region, at the confluence of the Moselle and Seille rivers, only 55 km from the Luxembourg border.