This coastal city celebrates its rich maritime past with a range of fascinating modern exhibits and historical monuments.
Take a boat tour around the harbor of Brest and discover how this town has always been deeply intertwined with the French navy. Learn more at the maritime museum or go underwater to discover exciting sea creatures living along the local coastline and farther afield.
Strategically positioned within a vast natural harbor, Brest has been a proud naval town since the Middle Ages. Constantly under attack during World War II, the town has been reborn while holding on to its seafaring roots.
Learn more about the naval fleet that has been operating from here for hundreds of years with a guided trip around the port. See huge naval vessels moored and listen to stories from famous battles.
Back on land, stroll to the southern end of town where a grand château is located at the end of a dramatic headland near the mouth of the River Penfeld. This vast structure has stood here for hundreds of years and part of it is still utilized by French forces. A separate section meanwhile is dedicated to the National Naval Museum. View vivid paintings and exquisite models and watch interactive videos that will transport you back in time to the period of world war.
Wander through the bustling center of town and head north to Océanopolis. Children and adults will love this sprawling aquarium featuring exhibits spread between four separate environments. Marvel at penguins and seals in the arctic zone and see bright reefs and colorful fish in the tropical section.
Brest is in the department of Brittany in northwestern France, a 6-hour drive west of Paris. The city has many lavish hotels and less expensive guesthouses. Alternatively, head along the coast to discover campsites and pretty beach resorts. Being near the sea, you can expect the seafood to be exquisite while traditional Breton dishes, such as crêpes, are guaranteed to be delicious.
The fascinating historical city of Brest has adapted to modern times and offers a hugely enjoyable visit.