As soon as the house of the Dukes of Brittany, Nantes stands as a beacon of tradition and historical past within the western area of France. With its roots stretching again to the Roman period, town has advanced from a bustling industrial port, with necessary shipyards, to one of the crucial engaging locations to stay in France.

It’s mastered the artwork of transformation, turning its industrial scars into sources of energy and wonder. This can be a place the place the previous is honoured, the current is vibrant, and the long run is eagerly anticipated. Whether or not you’re into historical past, artwork or meals, Nantes makes a lovely vacation spot, significantly for these lengthy weekends.

Château des Ducs de Bretagne

As you wander by way of the streets of Nantes, the echoes of the previous mix seamlessly with the heart beat of latest life. Town’s historic centrepiece, the Château des Ducs de Bretagne, is a fortress that encapsulates the grandeur of Nantes’ heritage. As soon as the house of the Dukes of Brittany, it now homes a museum that narrates the area’s wealthy historical past by way of state-of-the-art interactive displays.

A brief stroll away, the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul towers over town with its Gothic structure. Its serene ambiance invitations contemplation, whereas the intricate stained glass and the tomb of Francis II, Duke of Brittany, remind guests of town’s regal legacy. It’s presently below renovation, after a tragic hearth in 2020, and an exhibition outdoors paperwork the method.

Jardin des Plantes

Nantes is named town of 100 parks, all providing inexperienced areas for rest and recreation. The Jardin des Plantes is a botanical marvel, with its superbly landscaped gardens and unique plant collections. For a leisurely afternoon, take a picnic to the banks of the Erdre River, and benefit from the tranquillity of the water amidst the bustle of the massive metropolis.

Evre River Financial institution

Marché de Talensac

The Marché de Talensac is town’s gastronomic coronary heart, courting from 1937, and its seafood and fish stands are a selected delight.  Right here pattern regional specialties just like the rum and lemon flavoured gâteau nantais or the pungent curé nantais cheese. Pair these with a glass of crisp Muscadet, the area’s signature white wine.

Town centre is well walkable, a lot of it pedestrianised, and seamlessly blends outdated and the brand new. Eating places and bars pop up on each nook and Nantes’ culinary scene is a mirrored image of its various influences and proximity to the ocean. Cooks are usually younger and revolutionary and their menus are surprisingly good worth.

Île de Nantes

Île de Nantes

The Île de Nantes, as soon as the economic coronary heart, has been reworked right into a cultural hub that celebrates town’s revolutionary spirit. A number of the greatest worldwide names in structure have been concerned in regenerating the previous shipyards.  

The large attraction right here is the Machines de l’Île, a mix of the ingenious worlds of Jules Verne, the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci, and the economic historical past of Nantes.

The Galerie des Machines, homes a dwelling exhibition of gigantic mechanical animals, lumbering across the large inside house. The 12m tall Grand Elephant escapes outdoors, carrying a coachload of passengers on its again, to trundle across the quays. Get off and journey the Carrousel des Mondes Marins, an imaginative roundabout with 27 shifting sea creatures.

Carrousel des Mondes Marins

Artwork in Nantes

Le Voyage à Nantes is a novel and revolutionary yearly artwork mission that transforms town of Nantes right into a dwelling gallery. The 2024 occasion will happen between July and September however the installations from 2023 are nonetheless in place.  Guests can observe a artistic itinerary by way of the center of town, taking in over 100 artworks in public areas.

The journey begins on the Château des Ducs de Bretagne, town’s historic fortress, and continues to the Musée d’Arts de Nantes, lately renovated. Right here there’s a splendid assortment of masterpieces from Tintoretto to Chagall. You proceed by way of town to the Machines de l’Île and the memorial to the abolition of savery.

It’s also possible to discover additional. The Estuaire Nantes artwork path continues for 60km alongside the Loire to the ocean at Saint-Nazaire. 33 distinctive artworks sit within the panorama, all particularly designed for his or her location. One notable piece is Le Pendule by Roman Signer, a minimalist construction that includes a 7-meter lengthy pendulum hanging from an unused concrete plant. Others embrace a drowned home, within the centre of the river, and a flexible boat.


GO: Ryanair flies direct from London Stansted to Nantes.

The Stansted Specific is the quickest option to the airport from central London.

INFO: Le Voyage à Nantes has details about town.

The Nantes metropolis move affords free entry to museums, public transport, cruises, and guided excursions.

Les Tables de Nantes has details about eating places.

STAY: Lodge La Pérouse is correct within the metropolis centre with distinctive décor.

EAT: Sain options native seasonal components.

Le Coin des Crêpes serves up conventional Bretagne crepes.

Sépia affords a particular tackle French delicacies.

Maison Bagarre is within the Michelin information with its bistronomy menu.

Café du Musée within the museum has French favourites.

Music Saveurs et Sens mixes Asian flavours with native produce.

La Cigale is an exquisite artwork nouveau brasserie.

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