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Sitting astride the confluence of the Moselle and Seille rivers, Lorraine’s graceful capital, Metz (pronounced ‘mess’), is ready to be feted. Though the city’s Gothic marvel of a cathedral, superlative art collections and Michelin star–studded dining scene long managed to sidestep the world spotlight, all that changed with the show-stopping arrival of Centre Pompidou-Metz. Yet the Pompidou is but the prelude to Metz’s other charms: buzzy pavement cafes and shady riverside parks, a beautiful old town built from golden Jeumont stone and a regal Quartier Impérial up for Unesco World Heritage status.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Metz.