Metz: a historic city

Metz-centre historic old town and Islands district ("Quartier des îles")
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The reputation of the city of Metz, compared to a garrison town, is over. In close rivalry with the city of Nancy, Metz knows how to seduce visitors by its art and history. With increased popularity, thanks to the arrival of the Centre Pompidou. It is a city that is worth a trip or a detour, and then a visit, as much for its architecture, as its neighbourhoods or its character as a student city!

Metz: a historic city

Metz is a city that has everything to seduce. It attracts in the first place the lovers of architecture. Between the Sainte-Croix district and its majestic cathedral, its imperial quarter and its train station, is one of the most beautiful places in France! Its city center has many streets where you can admire the birthplace of Verlaine, and also the legendary dragon that traumatized the city. Metz does not end to amaze us.
But Metz is also a green city, with more than 1400 acres of green spaces where the stones of Jaumont and the pink sandstone of the Vosges, were coveted by the Germans. You can also stroll along the Seille river and visit the Islands district. Metz is also of a more discreet place for those looking for peace and quiet: the “Conserverie”, which is an authentic art gallery or the Octave Cowbell gallery. In addition to that, let’s not forget the Zoo of Amnéville, which is just only 20 minutes away by car.

The different districts of Metz

Metz is a city which is steeped in history and worth discovering, neighborhood after neighborhood. With multiple architecture, a unique atmosphere, and you will have the opportunity to discover the neighborhood of the amphitheatre and la colline Sainte Croix as examples. Let’s take a closer look at them!

La colline Saint-Croix (The Holly Cross Hill)

It is the very lung of the city of Metz, where the remains of the Bronze Age have been discovered. There are several religious buildings such as the “Eglise des Trinitaires” (Trinitarian Church), the “Eglise Sainte-Ségolène” (Sainte-Segolene Church) and the Cloître des Recollet (Recollet Cloister). With its medieval decor, private mansions and winding alleys, this area has so much to offer. Not to mention the “Musée Cour d’Or” museum on Rue du Haut-Poirier (street) and the remains of the Rabelais residence.

Le quartier Outre-Seille (The Outre Seille district)

This neighborhood has also preserved a medieval decor. In a cosmopolitan atmosphere, you will discover tortuous streets, exotic stores and antique stores. Every year, on the 2nd Sunday of September, the flea market comes to life in Outre-Seille. What can you discover there?
– The Saint-Maximin church with the famous stained glass windows by Jean Cocteau
– The medieval church of Saint-Eucaire which is a very popular place of pilgrimage in Metz.
– “La porte des Allemands” (The Germans’ gate), a real fortified castle whose ramparts have been laid out so that no one can overpass it.

The heart of the city

In the very center of Metz, the squares (“places” in French) have been specially arranged to bring them more grandeur and above all conviviality. Between the “Place de Chambre”, the “Place de la République” and the “Place d’Armes”, there are many events that take place.

“La citadelle” (the citadel)

Why the citadel? Because on the esplanade, that was built in the 16th century, a citadel, recalling Metz, « The Military City ». The martial imprint of the city itself, is recalled by the Palace of Justice.
Nearby, you can bet on the former Abbaye royale de Saint-Arnould (abbey) to plunge back into history. One of the oldest churches in France? That of Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains. An unmissable place? La chappelle des Templiers (The Chapel of the Knights Templar).

The district of the islands (“Quartier des îles”) — WHERE OUR 2 SUITES ARE LOCATED

The district of the islands is exceptional because it combines majestic monuments and nature with the omnipresent Moselle and l’île du Saulcy (island). This district includes the majority of the most famous monuments of the 18th century, namely the opera-theater, the Place de la Comédie (in the process of being classified as a World Heritage Site), the new temple and the church of Saint-Vincent. With its neo-classical architecture is a place full of nature, charm and elegance.

“Le quartier de l’amphithéâtre” (Amphitheatre’s quarter)

Its name comes from the fact that there used to be a large amphitheater with a capacity of 25,000 people. Located just behind the SNCF railway station (“Gare Metz-Centre”), this district represents a revival for the city of Metz.
An urban and dynamic center, you will find the Palais omnisport “Les Arènes”, the Metz Robert-Schuman congress center (“Centre de congrès”) and “Le centre Pompidou” (Pompidou museum), as well as a large shopping center, Le Muse. Housing, offices and hotels are also under development.

“La Nouvelle Ville, le quartier impérial et Sainte-Thérèse”

It is a new district in Metz in the place of the medieval ramparts. It starts from the commune of Montigny-Iès-Metz at the SNCF railway station. Modern and developed district, it has many architectural styles, including Romanesque, Baroque, Renaissance, Gothic and Jugendstil.

The musts in Metz

“Cathédrale Saint-Etienne”

It is undoubtedly one of the tallest European buildings with a nave height of 42 m and a stained glass area of 6500 m2. Called “Lantern of the Good Lord”. It was built from the 13th to the 16th century, and it is a meeting between the Bishop’s Church, the Cathedral and the Canons’ Church, with Our Lady of the Round.

The “Centre Pompidou” of Metz

The Centre Pompidou museum is a space in its own right dedicated to contemporary culture and art. A building much appreciated by tourists and residents of Metz, and it hosts events every year. Created by Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines with the assistance of Philip Gumuchdjian Architects, it is one of the most popular buildings in the city.

“Le musée de la cour d’or”

This museum takes its name from the kings of Austrasia. It has a medieval archaeological section, a space devoted to fine arts and another for the history of the Jewish community in Metz. Our favorites ? Medieval painted ceilings or ancient Roman baths.

“L’opéra-théâtre” and the “Place de la Comédie”

It is the oldest opera-theater in France. Erected between 1738 and 1752, it has a beautiful typical architecture of the 18th century. The statues are visible all along the balustrade and are the work of Charles Pêtre. In the process of being classified as a “World Heritage Site”.

“Le Temple Neuf”

The “Temple Neuf” (New Temple) is greatly inspired by the Rhenish cathedrals of Speyer and Worms. It has a unique medieval structure, although it was only built at the beginning of the 20th century. Places of worship are also host for cultural events.

“La chapelle des templiers”

The chapel of the Templars is the perfect representation of the transition from Romanesque to Gothic art. The only octagonal chapel in Lorraine in which it was built between 1180 and 1220, and it is an integral part of the culture of Metz.

“La place Saint-Louis”

Originally called “Place du Change”, Place Saint-Louis has everything to please. It offers a magnificent architecture of Italian influence. A picturesque building, it bears witness to the prosperity of the city of yesteryear.


The Arsenal was built during the reign of Napoleon 3 in 1864 and was completely renovated by the Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill in 1989. First of all, Arsenal is now a space dedicated to entertainment where the Grande Salle is renowned for its acoustic qualities.

“La porte des Allemands” (German’s gate)

Why this name? Simply in reference to the Teutonic Knights or Hospital Brothers because there is a hospital right next door, it perfectly testifies to the medieval presence in the city.

“L’église Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains”

A 2000-years-old Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains church is one of the oldest buildings in Metz. Belonging to the cultural complex of the Arsenal, concerts, conferences and exhibitions which are organized there.

“Le Cloître des Récollets (cloister)”

Visitors love this place because it is a peaceful haven in the city center. Its name comes from the Community of Recollets who lived here from 1603 of the Revolution. In 1972 the European Institute of Ecology was founded and 2002 the municipal archives have been there.

“La Gare ” (Train station)

Everything revolves around this railway station in the city of Metz. Built at the beginning of the 20th century, its dimensions are such that good, and people (as well as animals and materials) can be easily transported. Next to it, there is the marina and the nautical center, benefiting from the ecolable European Blue Flag.

Avenue Foch

This avenue is a living symbol of the eclecticism of styles and materials used in the 20th century. An urban building that visitors flock to it.

Parks and gardens

Today, Metz has just over 1400 acres of green spaces! There are about 45m2 per inhabitant. It is one of the most popular green cities in France between Esplanade, Seille park and various lakes. You can refresh yourself at every street corner.

What to do in Metz with family or friends?

Culture and places to go to :

– “Bowling de l’étoile” at Augny
– Marlymages Cinema
– House of Culture and Recreation
– Kinébowl
– Braun Hall
– Kinepolis movie theater at St-Julien

Museums to visit

– Afromuseum Pilatre de Rozier
– Frac Lorraine
– Museum Enamels and art glass
– The historical museum of the Land of Gorze

Shopping in Metz

Metz Métropole is a 100% commercial city. You will find the modern stores as well as local craftsmen, leather goods, vintage items, lingerie and household items. But where to go shopping?

“Rue Serpenoise” and “Rue des Clercs”

These are undoubtedly the most unmissable places in Metz for shopping. Often, they offer you a little more than 500 French brands including Galeries Lafayette, FNAC, André, Jennyfer, but also international brands such as Nespresso, Sostrene Grene, Lush or The Kooples. From the end of November to the end of December, you will have the chance to stroll at the Christmas market.

“Rue des Jardins”, “Rue Outre-Seille” and “Rue Taison” in Metz

These streets are rather intended for local crafts. The “rue des jardins” is an example at which it is located near the Cathedral. You will find designer stores there. The historic district of Outre-Seille is worth a visit with its craftsmen, antique stores, and cosmopolitan atmosphere. The Taison street is picturesque and original.

“Le Quartier impérial” et “l’Amphithéâtre”

The Imperial district is ideal for gatherings with its numerous cafés, restaurants and stores.
You will have the chance to taste its local gastronomy at the Verrerie, the “Terroirs de Lorraine Restaurant” or the “Lemoy Pastry Shop-Chocolaterie”. Where you can stroll for shopping? At the Muse shopping mall, with its 37,000 square meters of space, there are 89 stores and 19 food outlets with big name brands!

“Waves Actisud” shopping mall in Moulins-lès-Metz

Just 10 km from the downtown Metz is the “Waves Actisud shopping center” in Moulins-lès-Metz. It is the perfect place for the whole family with over 45,000 square meters of retail space. In all, there are 45 stores and 9 restaurants, all on a beautiful Provençal alley. Beyond that, you will discover animals, shows and playgrounds and entertainment for your children.

The great events that take place in Metz season after season!

In Metz, the cultural and sporting events are really numerous. Between cinema, literature and festivals, you will be spoilt for choice!

In Spring

– The European Days of Crafts: this is an important event for the enhancement and development of crafts in France and Europe. Between thematic tours, events, workshops. You will discover many things.
– Festival “Le Livre à Metz”: this is a festival that lasts 3 days. There is a meeting of authors, and the promotion of reading through activities or animations.
– Festival “Passages”: this festival opens the doors to a unique universe by artists who come mainly from the east. Theater, music, opera, exhibitions and meetings are there.
– “Marly Jazz Festival” : this festival takes place in May. Not only are there aperitif-concerts, but also musical workshops, exhibitions and educational concerts…
– Potters’ markxet in Plappeville: if you want to discover both the local and regional heritage, the potters’ market will showcase the pottery.
– Strawberry festival in Woippy : this event exists since 1929 and takes place every year. Between concerts, parade, flea market, there are many festivities, without forgetting the famous election of the Queen of Strawberries.

In summer

– “Constellations de Metz”: it is a 12-week event that gives you access to over 400 important events, including festivals, spectacular screenings, shows and exhibitions.
– “Montigny Jardins”: this event takes place outdoors and offers shows and concerts. It ends in beauty with a picnic on the 1st Sunday of July with a gourmet market which takes place at the Europe Courcelles park.
– “Mondial Air Ballons” : taking place in Chambley, between Nancy and Metz, this is an event not to be missed which takes place every 2 years. There are about 1000 balloons with 1000 pilots coming from the 7 continents. On the program? Kites, Baptisms of the air, mini balloons, night inflations…
– Mirabelle Festival: it is an event that has existed since 1947 and welcomes thousands of visitors. The festivities include street entertainment, balls, Mirabelle plum market, concerts and the election of the Miss Mirabelle candidate for the election of Miss Lorraine .

In Fall

– Hot air balloons: is a must-see aerostatic event in Metz. Every year, it brings together enthusiasts in the field.
– La brocante outre-seille: the flea market takes place every first Sunday of September. In total, you will have access to more than 250 antiques and second-hand dealers. You may find the rare pearls among all these antiques.
– European Heritage Days: these days are held all over Europe and show how much we make it a point of honor to preserve and showcase our architectural heritage.
– Moselle Open: it is a renowned tennis competition which nevertheless brings together the best players from the world’s top 50.
– Fête des Jardins et des Saveurs in Laquenexy: in total, you will find more than 60 exhibitors. You will discover new rare plants to enhance your garden or terrace, garden tools and decorative objects.
– Metz Marathon: sports enthusiasts? Metz becomes a sport city for a weekend. It’s the perfect opportunity to discover the city’s many attractions. – Festival “Musiques sur les Côtes” : it is a rather particular event taking place in a church. You will be entitled to 4 musical evenings in the fortified churches of Lessy, Plappeville, Lorry-lès-Metz and Scy-Chazelles.
– Amateur of culture and literature, the Salon du livre d’histoire de Woippy is made for you. During two days, you can meet authors, see film screenings and attend conferences.

In winter

The most eagerly awaited moment for tourists and inhabitants of Metz is undoubtedly “Christmas”. There are two events that stand out from the crowd including :
– The Christmas market and Saint Nicolas: the Christmas market is present on different sites and in many parts of the city. Indeed, Saint Nicolas is present to bring toys to good children!
– Salon du Livre de Jeunesse in Montigny-lès-Metz: this is an event that takes place on the weekend in February. For children and teenagers, it will be possible to meet authors and participate in workshops.

Events throughout the year we talk about?

Throughout the year, the city of Metz spoils its visitors. You can thus go to the Metz flea market once or twice a month. It is the biggest flea market gathering in the east of France. The “expos château” in Montigny-lès-Metz are also very popular. Between painting, sculpture, crafts, you will be able to increase your level of culture.

Gastronomy and wines in Metz

What would Metz be without Mirabelle plums? Yes, it is the unavoidable gastronomic emblem of the city and especially of Lorraine. However, other specialties deserve to be highlighted.

Metz’s gastronomy: generous and renowned

The most popular savory dish in Metz is the quiche lorraine. Created in the 16th century in which it has an international reputation. It consists of only three main ingredients, including bacon, eggs and cream, on a base of puff pastry or short crust pastry.
In the bakeries, you can also taste the Lorraine pies made with a marinated pork stuffing, all in a crispy puff pastry. The smoked pork pie from Lorraine (which is a 17th century charcuterie) is also worth a visit as well as the Potée Lorraine which can be eaten as a family or with friends: carrots, leeks, are mixed with smoked charcuterie.
If you are rather sweet, you will appreciate fruit tarts, snow eggs, tôt-faits or other culinary specialties based on Mirabelle plums. In pastries, you can also taste Paris-Metz, a small colorful cake made with macaroons with Harlequin and raspberry mousse. Boulay macaroons are also very popular. And to accompany your desserts, you can enjoy brandy, Moselle AOC wines and Mirabelle plum liqueur.

Wines in Metz

In terms of grape varieties, we are entitled to fine and clear wines mainly from the Pinots and Auxerrois grape varieties. Then, in order to vary the offers, a richer palette appeared such as pinot noir, pinot gris, Auxerrois, pinot blanc, Muller-Thurgau, riesling or even gamay and gewürztraminer.
The Metz wine route is 46 km long and stretches from Moselle to the Messin country. You will have the chance to cross the entire wine region during a wine tour. Not only limited to the estates, it connects about twenty villages and gives you the opportunity to conquer a rich heritage based on orchards and vineyards, while contemplating the Lorraine plateau and the Moselle valley. By taking this path, you will have the opportunity to meet 12 winegrowers of the AOC Moselle for a small tasting of their wines!

Some information to remember for your trip to Metz

How do you get to Metz?

You can easily reach Metz by train or bus. There are direct lines from Nancy, Luxembourg (from Belgium, you will take a train to Luxembourg city to catch another train to Metz) or other cities in France. The closest airport is Metz-Nancy-Lorraine airport, just 25 minutes away.

Where to sleep?

If our two Suites are full, we can refer you to other Prestige Suites partners.

Where to eat?

– Délices Veggies: a restaurant serving good vegan cuisine for those who want to discover.
– Le magasin aux vivres: a starred restaurant in the hotel La Citadelle. Although the quantity is quite small, the quality is there.
– Crêperie Les Sans Culottes: a good restaurant where you can enjoy pancakes and other specialties for less than 10 euros.
– La Table de Pol: a restaurant that knows how to revisit meat and fish for the delight of fine gourmets.
– Did you know that Mirabelle plums are one of the specialties of Lorraine? In every restaurant and in the bars, you can order a Metz Mirabelle plum beer.

Metz City Pass

Are you visiting the city? You can save money with Metz’s City Pass. Valid for one year, and for 13.50 euros, you will be entitled to one admission to the Metz-Pompidou Centre, one admission to the Cour d’Or Museum and a guided or self-guided tour. The City Pass Plus entitles you to unlimited travel on the LE MET network for one day.

All around Metz

Beyond the borders of the city, you will also discover bucolic estates and breathtaking places.
– In Metz metropolis and the Pays Messin, you can take a tour of the Moselle wines, pass by a Mirabelle plum distillery, visit Mont St Quentin, or go to the fortified churches of the Republic of Messina.
– On the Moselle side, you will have the opportunity to discover the country of Sarrebourg with its ponds; the country of the three borders with its castles and its mining sites; the country of Nied for the lovers of macaroons of Boulay…
– In Lorraine (sharing its borders with Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg), you will have the opportunity to visit its prestigious Pompidou-Metz Center, or its Place Stanislas, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Let’s not forget its spas and Mirabelle plums (note that more than 70% of the world’s production comes from this region). Nature lovers are not to be outdone with its natural and regional parks, its wild forests, the Vosges and its ski resorts.
– In Luxembourg, Metz, Saarbrücken and Trier: these are the so-called “Quattro Pole cities”. You will have access to a wide choice of visits and discoveries.
– Let’s not forget the Greater Region: from Germany, France, Luxembourg to Belgium.

Conclusion and question to the readers

Metz is a city steeped in history. From the Gallo-Roman period to the present day, the city has many architectural attractions. In addition to this, you can enjoy its vast area dedicated to green spaces. Visiting Metz means having the opportunity to travel back in time while enjoying cultural and historical visits and activities that you can do with family or friends. Don’t forget the city’s bars, bistros and restaurants!


For an unforgettable stay in Metz!

For an unforgettable exceptional stay by the water in the heart of the historic centre of Metz!