Even though it’s less than an hour and a half by TGV train from Paris, Metz (pronounced mess) is not exactly on the radar of the millions of people who visit The City of Light each year. And that’s a good thing, because it is one of those rare gems: a beautiful European city that is not packed with tourists.
Located near the junction of Belgium, France and Germany, Metz has had a front row seat for some important events in European history. During the past 5,000 years the city has been a Celtic settlement, a Roman trading center, a Merovingian capital city, and a German military fortification. In one day, you can see a 2nd century Roman aqueduct, visit a magnificent Gothic cathedral, and walk through streets lined with Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Romanesque buildings.
Metz also boasts plenty of green spaces and pedestrian streets, and has several distinct neighborhoods to explore, like the quartier des iles which is surrounded by the Moselle River and its canals. Museums, city parks, and more sidewalk cafes than you can count! There’s so much to see and do in Metz, I know I’ll be returning soon.