13 thoughts on “How to be poor in Grenoble”

  1. Really great post! I’ve been looking for a cheap bike and I’m definitely going to check out the Métrovélo option. I had no idea you could rent them so cheaply for a long period.

  2. Great article, John – but I’m a bit upset to learn that Ed is closing down :-( Still, there is always Lidl and Leader Price…

    I know all about ‘free’ tram rides. I’ve never done it myself but have had to pay hefty fines for each of my three daughters. I won’t pay up again – their ‘but everybody does it!’ falls on deaf ears these days…

  3. There is a new store called Dia Store now in Grenoble. It is at the Louis Maissonat stop in Tram A line- Direction Fontaine La Poya.It is at the same location where the old ED store was situated. But the new store is much bigger and offer all products under the brand DIA. It is really cheaper than Casino products which I used to buy being happy about the “smiles” I recieve on each purchase and later discovered that they are all over priced.

    Check out the new DIA……

  4. Yeah, in fact, Ed was owned by DIA before. DIA is just the Spanish equivalent, and Ed used to carry lots of DIA products, and it looks like they have just chosen to standardise their international brand. The only plus side about Casino/Geant, I would say, is that you get 5% off on mondays if you are a student, but otherwise, go to DIA.

  5. Hi John,

    Great post, thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. I’m thinking of applying to the PhD program at the Grenoble Managment school and supposedly they cover tuition and provide a living stipend for what will presumably be indentured servitude. None the less, my question for you is “how poor is poor?” perhaps in terms of Euros a month.

    Income Range A = pauper, better get that street performance down.

    Income Range B = poor, but manageable

    Range C and above = comfortable, but modest (ie, occasional dinner out, pub night, no car but ski trip on occasion)

    On the small chance I’m accepted, any numbers the school would send me would be meaningless without context and perhaps you can provide that for me. Thank you for your time and help.


  6. Thanks for this post and for the site! Since moving to Grenoble in August for a semester at Stendhal University I’ve used several of these tips to get by cheaply in the city.

    I can heartily recommend renting a Metrovélo bike (around 35 euro for three months, as I remember) – they’re great value, including lights, a helmet and a quality lock. With their three gears they struggle up mountain sides but in the flat city centre they’re great, and preferable to a p’tit vélo given the latter’s typically poor state of repair and lack of essential accessories.

    Dia is indeed one of the best value food supermarkets. As well as the store in Fontaine discussed above, there is another on Avenue Gabriel Péri near the intersection with Rue Georges Sadoul. For any students, this is walking distance from the campus.

    Following Avenue Gabriel Péri out of the city will lead to Ikea, with good value furnishings for anyone new to the area.

    Take the tram to the Grand Sablon stop in La Tronche and you’ll be a 5 minute walk from Decathlon, a sports superstore with own-brand items that tend to be good value and quality.

  7. Dia is not Spanish but FRENCH – it is owned by Carrefour – it is the Lidl of Carrefour Group.

  8. From Wikipedia:

    “Dia is a Spanish international hard-discount supermarket chain which since 2000 is part of the Carrefour Group [1] but since 13 May 2011 has begun a legal process of separation as a listed company on the Madrid stockmarket. [2] The independent company will be headed by Venezuelan-born Ana María Llopis, making it the largest Spanish company to be headed by a woman.[3]”

  9. Hey John,

    Thanks for the informative post! My husband and I recently moved to Grenoble from Canada, and now that we’ve been here a few weeks, we can totally relate to your tips for budget-living. Also, we had yet to hear of Dia, and will definitely be paying it a visit!

    If I may contribute my own opinion regarding La Petit Velo however, my husband and I both purchased re-furbished bikes there (for €40 and €50) and have been very, very happy with them. Not only was our experience at the workshop fantastic (we’ve been back since to add some modifications to our bikes), but the bikes ride smoother than any bikes we’ve owned in years. Not to mention, by purchasing a bike at La Petit Velo, you are getting a unique bicycle while supporting their very worthy cause — that is, to continue recycling/refurbishing local bicycles and to promote cycling in France’s flattest city. Of course, Metrovelo’s vision is similar — even if you choose to go with one of their bicycle contracts, we recommend paying a visit to La Petit Velo’s atelier – it’s quite the operation!

    On another note, for cheap eats, we recommend crossing the river and eating out in the Quartier Italien. If you can choose something from an endless menu of pizza, pasta and salads, you will be able to eat an excellent meal for easily under €15, wine and coffee included.

    Also, if you live anywhere near the hyper-centre and Vieux Grenoble, market shopping is incredibly cheap and you’ll get the freshest produce money can buy.

    Lastly, I recommend IKEA wholeheartedly for home furnishings. For the smaller things, Casa is also a great store to peruse — there is one in Vieux Grenoble, just off of Place aux Herbes, and another in Grand Place.

    Thanks again for this very informative and entertaining post, John!

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