Visit the town
The city of Clermont-Ferrand hasa lively temperament, as it is the capital of short films, rock music, andrugby. The exuberant French cityhas an exceptional location surrounded by enormous volcanoes. The town is justa short distance from Puy de Dome, which is a large lava dome that shades theother volcanoes that compose the Puys range. What makes this famous city unique among others arethe volcanic rocks that are used to construct impressive monuments. This is thereason why visitors keep on visiting the city. Adding up, the town is theAuvergne’s capital.
What to do
The two historic centers are Clermont and Montferrand.
- Notre-Dame-du-Port Romanesque Basilica is registered on the UNESCO World Heritage list. At the center of 12th century architecture and sculpture, it is a fully restored Gothic cathedral constructed from Volvic stones. Work began in 1248 and was finally completed in the 19th century by the famous architect Viollet-le-Duc.
- L’Aventure Michelin. On a restored former industrial site, the epic tale of the multi-national company is recounted in a detailed series of museum displays. The Michelin Man is the honored guest!
- Place de Jaude, the beating heart of the town since the days of the Romans. Monuments and department stores decorate it and bring it to life. The statue of Vercingetorix by Bartholdi stands at the centre of the square.
- The Puy de Dôme, certified as a “Grand Site de France”©. At the summit (1465 m), is the Temple of Mercury and a 360° panoramic view of over 80 dormant volcanoes. Starting June 2012, a panoramic rack train will give access to the summit all year round, while respecting the fragile environment.
- Vulcania, the European volcano park, located only 15 km from the town, offers unique experiences in the spectacular natural setting of the Auvergne volcanoes.
- Museum collections. At the MARQ, the fine arts collections are exhibited in a former convent that was refurbished in the 20th century: don’t miss the 19th century grand gallery (Gustave Doré, Chassériau, Bartholdi, Camille Claudel). The Henri-Lecoq museum preserves two rare arithmetic machines invented by Blaise Pascal, born in Clermont in 1623. The Bargoin museum is home to a rich archaeological collection: an ex-voto from the days of the Gauls, unique in Europe.
- Contemporary art. Several sites dedicated to the best of today’s creations: La Tôlerie, Hôtel Fontfreyde (photography centre) and the Frac Auvergne, right in the historic centre.
Main annual events
- National and international short film festival (February).
- Europavox, the best of European music (May).
- “Les arts en balade”, opening up artists’ studios (May).
- Trans’Urbaines, hip-hop, slam, graf music festival (July and November).
- “Les Contre plongées de l’été” festival: circus shows, music, dance, theatre, readings and open-air cinema (July-August).
- “Jazz en tête” festival (October).
- Travel notebook festival (November).
How to get there
- By train:
From Paris: 10 Téoz trains daily (3 hrs 25 mins) including 1 non-stop (2 hrs 59 mins).
From Lyon: 2 hrs 18 mins. Direct connections for Bordeaux, Dijon, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse.
- By plane: Clermont/Auvergne airport (close to the town center).
Numerous daily connections with Paris-Orly and Roissy Charles de Gaulle (1 hr). Direct flights from Amsterdam, Lyon, Nantes and Nice. Regular connection with Southampton.
- By motorway:
Paris: less than 4 hrs.Lyon: Less than 2 hrs. Bordeaux: 3 hrs 45 mins. Montpellier: 3 hours. Geneva: 3 hrs 30 mins.
Clermont-Ferrand Tourist Office Place de la Victoire 63000 Clermont-Ferrand. Tél.: + 33 (0)4 73 98 65 00 - Fax: + 33 (0)4 73 98 64 98