Metz Travel Guide

1 / General


Metz is a medieval town in Lorraine. Its origins date back to more than three thousand years ago, which is a blessing for History lovers. Birthplace of the Carolingian dinasty, the town has an impressive architectural wealth where antique, medieval and Germanic influences peacefully coexist.

Population: 119 551 inhabitants

Population Density: 2851 inhab./km² (miles square)

Area : 41,94 km² (5.28 miles square)

Demonym: Messins, Messines.

Region: Lorraine

Postcode: 57000, 57050, 57070
Carte : Google Maps

2 / Transport


If you leave from Paris, the mediveval town is only 3h10 away. To get there, nothing complicated here. First, take the motorway A4 to Paris/Strasbourg and change for the A31 to Luxembourg/Lyon. During your journey, you will stop at three toll booths and pay €25*
Once in Metz, you don’t have to worry about where to leave your car. More than 7000 parking spaces scattered in 16 car parks are already waiting for you. However, if you see the bright red “FULL” sign, you might get a chance to find a “Pay and Display” spot. Please note that those spots are divided into 5 zones and that each zone has its own pricing policy.
Good deal : From 7pm to 1am, ten car parks located in the city center offer spaces for just €0,50. You will find the list here.
For more information, please visit the town hall Website.

Aeoport de Nancy Metz


You’d rather take the train? Leaving from Paris, jump on a TGV in Paris Est and Metz will only be 1h25 away. Should you want to book tickets, please visit the SNCF website.


If you fly to Metz, the Metz-Nancy Lorraine airport is only 18km far from the city. Many shuttles to and from Metz will make your trip easier.

Metz Place St-Jacques

Getting around town

  • By bike

    Metz has been developing a plan called “Plan vélo” since July 1st, 2010. The town council aims at creating as many cycle paths as possible in the city. Environmentally-friendly and economical, riding your bike is the best way to discover and wander around town. Furthermore, as the town council created 1150 spots to park your bike, you won’t have to worry about leaving it in a dark alley

  • By bus

    Solicitous about the environment, Metz developped its urban network thanks to the MET’. The 34 lines and 1000 stops make it very easy to go around town in no time at all. A single ticket costs €1,70* (and €1,50* for each top-up), but the Visi’Pass - 1 Day costs only €4* and it’s the best bargain if you plan to spend the day in town. With this ticket, you can take the bus as many times as you want.
    In 2003, an UFO called Mettis arrived in the streets of Metz. As big as a bus but as quiet as a tram, this network was created to relieve some bus lines. As for the pricing, you can use the same tickets as for buses.

3 / When to go ?

- January : You love good deals and finding rare objets? Go to the MetzExpo.The traditional flea market is the place to be for a bargain-hunt and finding local products. If you can’t go there in January, don’t panic! The flea market takes place every Saturday..

- February : Chocolate lovers will definitely enjoy the Chocolate and Sweets Fair. Many events will take place every day, some of them performed by the Best Chocolatiers in France.
Come discover chocolate in many different shapes and flavours!

- April :
  • Litérature
    Jump into an ocean of cutlure with Le Livre à Metz. This festival takes place on the Place de la République and offers you the possibility to meet people working for publishing houses and authors. Who knows? You might find your next bedside book there.
  • Music
    You like the independent scene? The Highschool Musical Festival is for you. It is a real opportunity for highschool students as some of them step on the scene for the first time. They need you to encourage them!
  • Locals products
    After the Chocolate Fair, you are warmly invited to the Wine and Gastronomy Fair. Come discover the latest gastronomic products and wines displayed by the stallholders.
- May :
  • Culture
    Don’t miss the Nuit des Musées in Metz. Rendez-vous at the Centre Pompidou from 8pm to 12pm!
  • Thrilling experience
    Eat delicious toffee apples and doughnuts at the fun fair. With its 60 000m², experience one of the largest fairs in eastern France.
- August :

Let’s celebrate mirabelle plums! The first fêtes took place in 1947. At first, people celebrated this little fruit every two years; but since 1953, this event takes place every year. A week before everything starts, the townies choose their Miss Mirabelle Plum and she is to parade with her court during the big show. It all happens on the Place de la Comédie where you will also find a market displaying local products. Cherry on the cake : do not miss the magnificent firework in the Parc de la Seille.

- September :

You are warmly invited to the Metz International Fair ! During 11 days, the city becomes the center of the world. Each year, about 700 stallholders coming from 26 countries come to the fair to offer many services regarding new technologies, gardening, wine, gastronomy etc...

- Winter in Metz :

Located in Lorraine, Christmas is obviously very important for the Messins. Embark upon a frozen journey to Santa’s land thanks to the numerous chalets and mulled wine aromas.

  • Place Saint-Louis
    From mid-November to mid-December, have a look at the chalets, hand-crafted creations and regional products. Froie gras, oysters, gingerbread, christmas decorations, wooden toys… You will find all you need to spend unforgettable holidays. Adults are very fond of those markets, but what about the little kiddies? They can console themselves with the carousel on one condition: that they have been good girls and boys!
  • Forum Saint-Jacques
    Welcome to wonderland ! Mischievous elves ride from chalets to chalets on the traditional little touristic train, which will surely amuse the little ones. After this show, it is time to give Santa your Christmas wish list.
  • Place de la Gare
    The huge Christmas tree coming direcly from the Vosges proudly stands right in the middle of the square and lights the nativity scene. All those enchanting lights will surely transport you to the North Pole.
  • Place de la Republique
    Get ready for a thrill! Take a ticket for the Ferris wheel and discover Metz from above.

4 / Information and useful adresses

Traveller information :

Tourist information center :

Emergency number: dial 112 (European number)

Fire brigade: dial 18

Ambulance / Paramedics: dial 15

Police: dial 17

Missing children: dial 116000

National center for emergency calls for people with hearing problems: dial 114


Train tickets:


Public transportation:

Car parks:

Museums and Places to be :

Saint Stephen’s Cathedral::

Le Temple Neuf:

La Place Saint-Louis::

La Porte des Allemands:

L’Opéra-Théâtre de Metz Métropole:

Le Centre Pompidou Metz

5 / Budget in Metz


The following prices are indicative. They refer to a one night stay in a standard double bedroom and may be subject to confirmation at the time of booking.

Economical accommodation between 30€ and 50€ :A small budget doesn’t necessarily mean sleeping in cheap hotels. You will find several hotels with 2 or 3 stars but they are a bit far from the city centre.

Average price (between 50€ and 100€) : If you’d rather stay in a calm and quiet appartment, you won’t have any problem finding a flat. And they’re very close to the city center. .

If your budget goes over 100€, you will be able to sleep in sophisticated four-star hotels at the heart of the city.

Take a look at our website to find a place to stay in Metz.


The following prices are indicative. They refer to the price of one course or a menu for one.

From 3€ to 5,70€ : : You have very little time to eat? Push the door and enter Petit Mona, Once inside, you can choose between a selection of quality sandwiches, salads, and paninis. The chef only cooks fresh products to serve tasteful dishes. We finally found a fast-food to go to without moderation!
(Le Petit Mona, 8 Avenue Foch)

Between 15€ and 30€ : You wish to travel around the world without leaving Metz? Go to theL’Upper East Side. The name of this restaurant may come from New-York, but it is a genuine French brasserie, though it is famous for its Belgian chips. The menu is not that big , but the chef wonderfully cooks.
(L’Upper East Side, 8 Place des Charrons)

Between 30€ et 70€ :Cook like a chef during your lunch break. L’Académie des Chefs gives you the opportunity to cook your own meal. What a delicious idea! .
(L’Académie des Chefs, 30 rue des Jardins)

Over 70 € : If you want to live a visual and gustatory experience, please do try the Magasin aux Vivres.The cuisine is exquisite, the service is perfect, and you will love the sophisticated setting.
(Le Magasin aux Vivre, 5 Avenue de Ney)

Culinary Specialities

The Lorraine has an impressive range of specialities. We all know the famous quiches et sweets from the Vosges. But do you know what’s typical from Metz?

  • Le cochon de lait
    It is a piglet fed on his mother’s milk only and it has to weigh less than 33 Lbs. Roasted or served with jelly, people eat it everytime there’s an important celebration.
  • Le boulet de Metz[Metz’s cannonball]
    Time for deliciousness now. Those cannonballs are so called because of their shape, but they are pure chocolate. Leon Bohr, a pâtissier working in the rue des Clercs, created this recipe in 1934. This little ball is a combination of the best products you can think of. First, take a biscuit, stuff it with chocolate ganache and coat it with chocolate almond paste. Then coat it again (!) with caramel and dust the cannonball with hazelnut chunks. Finally, no cherry on the cake but a third chocolate coating. Yummy !
  • The mirabelle plum
    This is the emblem of the region. You can eat this little yellow fruit from mid-August to mid-September. Taste it as a whole fruit, in a jar of marmelade, in a pie and even in a glass of Schnapps !

6 / Unmissable visits!

Cathedrale de Metz

Essential stops

La cathédrale Saint-Etienne : This is the most visited site in town. Built between 1220 and 1522, its numerous stained glasses (some were designed by Marc Chagall) make it very light. So much so that the cathedral was nicknamed “Lantern of the Goog God”. Registered as Historic Monument on February 16th 1930, Pope John-Paul II visited the cathedral in 1988.

Le Temple Neuf : At the edge of La Moselle, this religious building was built between 1901 and 1905. The Temple goes back to the German annexation. Its neo-Norman architecture is very different from the rest of the city. Just like Saint-Etienne cathedral, Le Temple Neuf was registered as Historic Monument in 1930.

La Place Saint-Louis : This is where you can find the Christmas market from mid-November to mid-December. Built in the 14th century, it is at the heart of the city. With its galleries and 60 arcades, this medieval square is a real jump in the past.

La Porte des Allemands : Located on the eastern part of the town, this fortified gate used to be a bridge on the Seille. This small castle is the biggest medieval vestige you can find in Metz. Its name comes from Teutonic knights who founded a hospital not far from the gate. Sadly, it was destructed in 1552. Please note that there is a guided tour around the town walls starting at the German Gate. Become a knight by walking in their steps !

L’Opéra-Théâtre Metz Métropole : This is the oldest French theater that still welcomes performances. The construction started in 1738 but the first show took place 14 years later. Why so much delay you may ask? At that time, there were many wars and embezzlements… Today, people can see many classical and modern performances in this archaeological jewel.


Le Centre-Pompidou Metz  : It opened in 2010 and if you don’t take Paris into account, it’s the most visited museum in France. There are 3 galleries where you can see a myriad of exhibitions. Its singular architecture was conceived by Shiregu Ban and Jean de Gastines and reflects the type of art you can find inside.

Le Musée de la Cour d’Or - Metz Métropole  :If you want to discover the origins of the city, this museum of archeology and art is the perfect place to do so. Go back to the Gallo-Roman period thanks to the different exhibitions and art collections !

Quirky Metz

  • Tired after all this walking around? Stop at Hisler-Even a cosy bookshop located very close to the cathedral. You can pick a book and devour it with a good coffee
  • Once you’ve finished your book, surf on the Désencyclopédie to discover Metz from a humorous point of view. Here are some examples of what you can read on this website :
    • “Metz is between Siberia and Freyming-Merlebach. There are only two seasons : Winter and August 15th. Temperatures go from a freezing -30°C to a stuffy +40°C.”
    • “Trying to find a parking space is what most of the Messins do during their free time.” Funny, isn’t it ? But what the Désencyclopédie doesn’t mention is that you can park your car for just €0,50* from 7pm until 1am.

*This travel guide was published in March 2015, prices may then vary.

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