Founded in the 1st century BC, Nantes survived many legendary events, while being able to maintain its own special charm. An unshakable spirit, a raid of isolation, the presence of one’s own opinion on any occasion - this is all the French town of Nantes. Among the main places that every tourist should visit when they come here is the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany, the Nantes Cathedral, a cyclopean 12-meter sculpture of an elephant, the Passage Pommeraye shopping center, and the Botanical Garden. The surrounding area of the city is no less picturesque. When traveling by rental car, it is worth highlighting a day or two for excursions. Stopping for lunch at one of the local restaurants, it is worth trying seafood, fish and pies. As a souvenir from Nantes, it is worth bringing porcelain from the Pornic brand, a bottle of a branded alcoholic drink, and some of the confectionery.
Nantes Atlantique Airport ( Nantes Atlantique Airport then ) - scheme
The following companies provide car rental services at Nantes Airport: Budget, Hertz, Europcar, Avis, Enterprise, Sixt. Car rental desks are located in the arrivals hall. Parking is available near the airport. You can make a reservation and see the rates on the airport website.
7 Impasse Saint-Laurent cathedrale-nantes.fr
Having rented a car, go see the main shrine of the city - the Nantes Cathedral of Peter and Paul. This is one of the highest Gothic buildings in the country, the construction of which took more than 4 centuries. A variety of legends walk around the shrine: some claim that it was here that Bluebeard confessed before execution, others claim that a nail from the crucifix of the Apostle Peter was hidden on the territory of the cathedral. Having examined the majestic building from the outside, it is worth looking inside to see numerous sculptures, paintings and magnificent stained-glass windows. Attention also deserves the organ of work of Girardot, located in the center, the tomb of the Duke of Brittany Francis II and his wife.
10 Rue Georges Clemenceau museedartsdenantes.nantesmetropole.fr
You can look at the rich collection of masterpieces of sculpture and architecture by going to the Nantes Museum of Fine Arts. On the first floor of the museum exhibits of contemporary French art are presented, on the other - collections of paintings of the XVII-XIX centuries. The works of Delacroix, Baudry, Corot, Picasso, Lancre, Monet, Watteau and many others, both French and foreign masters can be seen in the popular creative space of the city.
Parc des Chantiers, Boulevard Léon Bureau www.lesmachines-nantes.fr
One of the most popular places in the city where you can go with your children is Car Island. The city's amusement park is truly a fantastic place. What you can’t just not see here: the huge "Carousel of Sea Worlds", which accommodates about 300 guests, a 12-meter mechanical elephant (by the way, you can ride it). And for a snack - the extraordinary “Gallery of cars”. Tourists who travel without children will also enjoy spending time here, examining the ideas of Jules Verne and Leonardo da Vinci.
18 Rue Voltaire grand-patrimoine.loire-atlantique.fr
The Dobre Museum is an equally popular place of the city among tourists, especially among those who like to inspect ancient art objects and relics. To date, the museum's collection is really huge. Thousands of exhibits are displayed in the spacious halls of the Neo-Romanesque palace. First printed books, antique furniture, medieval household items, manuscripts, a collection of paintings - all this can be seen during the tour. It will be more convenient to get to the shrine by renting a car.
4 Place Marc Elder www.chateaunantes.fr
Arriving in Nantes, you should definitely visit the magnificent building, which once served as the residence of the French kings and the Breton nobility. First of all, it is worth walking along the fortress walls, visiting the territory of the castle, medieval towers and, of course, keeping your eyes on the panoramas of the city. After seeing the numerous sculptures, getting acquainted with the flora and fauna, it is worth going inside on a tour. In 32 halls, a stunning collection of jewelry, household items, costumes, furniture.
Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel is a walled city, which in itself is a tourist attraction. Located on a mountain and surrounded by a smooth surface, it continually attracts tourists from all over the world. Among the main places worth exploring are the cannon from the Hundred Years War, the city church, the House of the Connable, the Maritime and Historical Museums, and the Archeoscope. Walking through the streets, you can go down to the stone parapet and meet the sunset there. By the way, if you wish, you can stay in the abbey for a couple of days: either inside the city fortifications, or next to Mont-Saint-Michel. Local restaurants offer a varied cuisine. It is especially worth trying the signature dish - lamb fillet.
Rent a car and go to the town of Vannes, located 100 kilometers from Nantes. Its highlight is that it organically combines old and new traditions. The upper part of the city is modern. Life here is fast and by its own rules. The lower part is a kind of medieval chaos. Curved alleys, ancient buildings of the XIV-XV centuries, cathedrals and churches create a special atmosphere. Among the sights that you should definitely visit are the Gothic Cathedral of St. Peter, the medieval Connetable tower, Ermin castle, medieval gates that are distinguished by picturesque decoration, the Church of Saint-Pater Bath. If you decide to stay here for a few days, you can visit the aquarium, the Museum of Archeology and the Museum of Fine Arts.
Fans of prehistoric natural attractions should visit the island of Gavrini, located in the vicinity of the town of Vannes. The town of Larmor-Baden as an intermediate point can be reached by car, and from there by boat to the island. Such a path should be overcome in order to see firsthand the megalithic corridor tomb of the Neolithic era. It is perfectly preserved, and its rich interior decoration makes it extremely attractive for tourists.
Another lovely day trip town is Pornic. It is especially nice to come here in the warm season, when you can enjoy gorgeous beaches and views of the old port. One of the main attractions is the “Duke Bluebeard Castle”, which once guarded the port entrance. After enjoying the views of the bays and pine groves, you can try all the delights of local thalassotherapy. Here are some of the best wellness centers, which combine both treatment and boring leisure time.
The picturesque town of Rennes is an hour's drive from Nantes. There are plenty of options for spending leisure time here. It is worth starting with a walk through the medieval quarter, which stretches right from the main entrance to Rennes. Next, go to the Parliament Palace with gilded statues on the roof, take a walk along the southern coast of Vilen and reach the Museum of Fine Arts. Not far from it is Vasselo street with old mansions, and the center of Colombier, on the contrary, is considered the embodiment of modern Rennes. You should take care of a comfortable trip in advance by renting a car.
If you are not a fan of breakfast at the hotel, Sugar Blue is a great place for a morning meal. The first thing that makes an impression is a cozy and at the same time bright interior. Starting from 8 in the morning, the institution opens its doors to guests, delighting with coffee, pastries and hearty dishes from the main menu. If you wish, you can take your favorite takeaway dishes. The atmosphere is both for family vacations, and in the company of friends. Especially in the afternoon, the restaurant is full, so you may have to wait for a free table.
4 rue desaix
For a quick bite, Le Bistro des Enfants Nantais is fine. This is one of the few places where everything is spotless: food, service, atmosphere. The menu is regularly updated, so when you arrive in Nantes after a while, rest assured that they will find in this restaurant how to surprise you. The staff is extremely courteous and friendly. Anything you ask for is here to do with pleasure. By the way, for the recommendation of food and drinks, you can safely contact the competent waiters.
11 Rue de l'Héronnière www.facebook.com/kerbreizhnantesa
When you rent a car, take a snack at Creperie Ker Breiz. French cuisine and vegetarian options are on the menu. You should definitely try traditional pancakes and cider here. If it is difficult to decide on the assortment of dishes for lunch, you can order something from the “special offer”: there is always an excellent selection. From time to time, the chef goes into the hall, so waiting for the order, you will have the opportunity to chat with someone who creates incredible beauty in the kitchen.
1 Rue du Cheval Blanc www.lestablesdenantes.fr/restaurants/lulurouget
LuluRouget is a restaurant for those who like to taste something new and appreciate creativity in dishes besides excellent taste. It is worth trying fish, lamb, desserts prepared according to the chef's signature recipes. Having decided on the dishes, order wine, entrusting the choice to the waiter. The staff is very competent and friendly, rest assured, your meal will be held in the best French traditions. The menu in the restaurant changes every day, so every time you can taste something completely original.
114 Rue Saint-Léonard www.linstinctgourmand.com
L'instinct Gourmand - one of the best restaurants in Nantes, which is famous for original dishes and first-class serving. The ideal solution for those who do not really want to deal with a wide selection of dishes on the menu - sets. By ordering one of these with an excellent selection of appetizers, main courses and desserts, you can fully appreciate all the delights of the establishment. The restaurant is great for a family trip. The best time to visit is evening.
24 Rue Crébillon
+33 2 40 73 57 91
double room - from € 109
For a romantic getaway in Nantes, Oceania Hotel de France is a good choice. It is located in the city center, and this is a definite advantage. Delicious places and spectacular sights can be reached in minutes. It offers spacious and comfortable apartments, in the morning - hearty breakfasts. The courteous staff makes every guest feel as comfortable as possible. For tourists, rented cars are equipped with free parking.
3 Allée Jacques Berque
+33 2 40 99 07 07
double room - from € 81
For families, Residhome Nantes Les Berges de la Loire is the best place to stay in Nantes. It is located on the banks of the Loire, which means guests have a beautiful view from the windows. In addition, along the promenade you can run in the mornings and enjoy walking in the evening. Despite the central location, the rooms are quiet at any time of the day. It features a fitness center. You can contact the hotel staff for any help or advice.
6 Place Aristide Briand
+33 2 72 00 10 00
double room - from € 104
Radisson Blu Hotel is one of those hotels, staying in which you do not have to worry about any trifles, but only enjoy your vacation. The first thing that attracts attention is the unusual architecture. The rooms are decorated in a contemporary style, the rooms are spacious and comfortable. The hotel is located in a historic building and it brings a special atmosphere. Spend leisure time in the fitness center, restaurant, bar.
29 Rue Bobby Sands
+33 2 28 27 07 00
double room - from € 128
If you plan to travel by renting a car, LE COLISEE Hotel & Spa is one of the best hotels for a comfortable stay. The apartments are cozy and spacious, equipped with everything necessary for every guest to feel at home. The competent staff does everything to make your vacation unforgettable. After a long flight or hiking, you can regain strength by visiting the spa treatments or jacuzzi. The hotel also provides free parking, a conference room.
50-51 Quai de Malakoff
+33 2 40 35 30 30 www.hotel-mercure-nantes.com double room - from € 70
Are you looking for a budget option to stay in Nantes while wanting a beautiful view from the window and a comfortable room? Mercure Nantes Center Gare is the best fit. Nearby are the main attractions and many delicious restaurants. The rooms are small, while comfortably equipped. For a business trip, there is everything you need. In the mornings, hearty breakfasts are offered in the restaurant, here you can dine if you don’t want to go anywhere in the evening.
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© Anastasiia Voloshina, 2017