Metz is a beautiful city in the northern Lorraine region of France. It is often overlooked for more popular destinations, like Paris and Luxembourg. But with quaint streets, pretty views from the riverside paths, lovely parks, and various historic monuments, you can’t deny its charm. Metz has a bustling city scene, yet feels incredibly peaceful and serene. If you’re considering making a visit, here’s a basic Metz city guide to help plan and make the most of your trip.
When to Visit Metz
There really isn’t a bad time to visit Metz, in our opinion. But here are a few things to keep in mind when thinking of which season to travel.
The summer months of June, July, and August are the most popular time to travel here. Days are warmer with high temperatures averaging 21-27°C (70-80°F). It’s also generally sunnier.
Winters can be cloudy and chilly, with average high temperatures ranging from 4-10°C (40-50°F). January and December generally receive the most rain. Because travel during the winter is less common, many attractions decrease their operating hours. However, prices for accommodation and activities can be lower. Additionally, the holidays are a wonderful time to go if you want to experience the Metz Christmas Market.
The shoulder seasons of spring and fall also have their perks. While days tend to be a bit cloudy, there is less precipitation than the winter and temperatures are more mild. Depending on the months, you may also get to take advantage of lower prices if you visit closer to winter. Additionally, the city is less busy in the shoulder season.
We visited Metz in mid-October. Hotel prices had gone down a bit and the city was quite quiet. It was mostly cloudy, but the fall colors were absolutely beautiful!
Getting to and From Metz
There is a small airport just over 25km (16mi) from Metz. Lorraine Aéroport offers direct flights to Algeria, Morocco, and French cities of Marseille and Toulouse. There are some other flights offered to some other cities in France with a connection during certain times of year. Note that this doesn’t include Paris.
The more common way to reach Metz is by car or public transport. Many choose to rent a car after flying into a larger city, like Paris, then drive to Metz.
There are buses and trains connecting Metz to many different locations, including Paris, Nancy, Luxembourg, Reims, Saarbrücken, etc. Buses are often cheaper, but they take longer. Note that even if you utilize a Eurail Pass, many trips in France still require a seat reservation that costs extra. We arrived to Metz via train from Paris and left via train to Luxembourg.
Getting Around Metz
Many of Metz’s hotels, restaurants, shopping, and other activities are located around the city center. This makes it very walkable. And with all the pretty parks, unique architecture, and river views, you’ll definitely want to take a stroll around!
There are taxis and Uber in Metz, though rideshare options aren’t always available. Otherwise, Metz does have a bus system you can use to get around the city. Check routes and timetables here.
If you decide to rent a car in Metz, there are a few agencies near the train station and on the outskirts of the city. Parking in the city center is very limited and a bit expensive.
Where to Stay
Much of Metz’s available accommodation consists of apartments, but there are some great hotel options as well. Even on sites like Booking.com, note that some apartments have an additional cleaning fee.
If you want to stay near the city center, we recommend booking as far in advance as possible, especially if you visit during peak season and around holidays. Following are some good accommodation options.
- Le Petit Barclay – one-bedroom apartment with equipped kitchen
- Odalys City Metz Manufacture – studio apartment with equipped kitchenette and option to add breakfast
- Monte Cristo – one-bedroom apartment with equipped kitchen
- Chic en Ville – two-bedroom apartment with equipped kitchen
- L’Appartement des Roches – private one-bedroom apartment with equipped kitchen
- Hotel de Fouquet – double rooms to suites and included breakfast
- Spa et Sauna au Coeur de Metz – private one-bedroom apartment with equipped kitchen
- La Citadelle Metz Gallery – double rooms with option to add breakfast
- Villa Camoufle – double rooms to suites and included breakfast
Where to Eat
Metz has a variety of eateries, whether you’re looking to grab a quick bite or have a nice sit-down meal, or whether you want to try traditional dishes or find foreign cuisine.
Metz has several Michelin restaurants where you can grab a delicious meal. Some of these include Chez Moi, Derriére, and Le Jardin de Bellevue. For other great places to try some local French cuisine, try Le Bistrot de G, Original Grill Home, and 2’Moiselles. There are honestly so many other places to try local dishes that you’ll see as you walk around Metz.
If you’re looking for some international cuisine, try Vallée du Kashmir for Pakistani and Indian food, Casa Ricci or Mona for Italian, Kyou for sushi, La Table d’Aladin or Au Coeur du Liban for Lebanese, or Su Xi for Chinese.
Lastly, there are many other cafés and spots to grab something quick and simple. Head to TooGoo for salads, sandwiches, and smoothies; Boulangerie Jeremy Simon for sweet treats and baked goods; City Kebab; Fox for tasty café bites and coffee; or Ammé Thé for sandwiches and boba.
There are various places to get groceries in Metz. There are some larger supermarkets, like Carrefour chains and Aldi, where you can find produce, baked goods, packaged/canned foods, some household items and toiletries, etc.
The local Covered Market and other market booths that may be set up around the city are a great place to find fresh produce, seafood, meat, homemade ravioli, pastries, and other delicious foods. These can be a great option if you’re looking for easy snacks or have a kitchen space at your accommodation and are looking to cook a meal or two.
Taking tours within Metz is not super popular and there are many things to do here that don’t require one. There are a few tour options that include boating on the river or touring the Metz Cathedral. These can be booked upon arrival or sometimes beforehand online.
There are many self-guided tour options or interactive games/tours available on sites like Get Your Guide if you’re looking for something fun and unique to do.
Pretty much everywhere we went in Metz accepted card. But, it’s always a good idea to carry some cash for market stalls you may want to shop at or just in case you encounter a situation where you can’t use card.
There are quite a few ATMs around the city center, some of which are open 24 hours. Before traveling, check with your bank to see if your card will incur international transaction fees or if there are any ATMs that offer fee-free withdrawals.
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