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Top Activities in Nantes

See all 8 things to do in Nantes

Nantes Attractions

Although no longer technically in Brittany Nantes remains its spiritual capital. Situated on the banks of the Loire this ancient city was founded more than 2 000 years ago by the Celts. These days it’s an artistic hub

with a big student population giving it a young and lively vibe. Shop in the markets and explore the city’s vast heritage especially the Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne the onetime home of the Dukes of Brittany. If you’re in the mood for relaxing there are beaches close by with La Baule easily reached by car or train. You will need to tear yourself away from the excellent gastronomic scene including superb seafood and famous wine first though.

Areas & Neighbourhoods in Nantes

Quartier des Olivettes - Just to the north of the Bras de la Madeleine section of the Loire and located around the street of the same name the Olivettes is a lively square section of the city where you’ll find plenty of places to eat and drink.

Bellevue - A constantly changing neighbourhood on the north side of the river and home to a number of other districts including Chantenay. Easy to get around using the handy tramway located here.

Trentemoult - Once a small fishing village Trentemoult was swallowed up by the city of Nantes but remains a charming place to stroll drink and eat. It’s part of the Reze which stretches along the south bank of the river with distinctive three-storey houses designed to avoid flooding.

Ile de Nantes - An island located in the centre of the city surrounded by two branches of the Loire and accessed by 13 bridges.

Things to See in Nantes

The ‘City of Dukes’ is the fifth largest city in France so there’s plenty to see here. Visit the Duke’s Castle which dates back to the 13th century a real emblem of the once mighty Britanny. You can learn more about the city at the Nantes History Museum. The Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul is located close to the castle and worth checking out taking over 450 years to complete. Visit the unique Les Machines de l’Ile home to huge mechanical animals that call to mind something from Jules Verne perhaps the city’s most famous son. Climb the pink La Tour LU or get your cultural fix at the Musee des Beaux Arts de Nantes.

Things to Do in Nantes

Learn more about Nantes’ greatest writer at the Musee Jules Verne which sits overlooking the river or get your fill of science-fact rather than fiction at the Museum d’Histoire Naturelle complete with incredible permanent exhibitions. Hang out at the Passage Pommeraye modelled on the Parisian arcades of the 19th century or get your retail kicks at the aptly named Place du Commerce. The elegant Place Royale at the far end of the chic Rue Crebillon is beautifully designed in the classical style with elegant symmetrical facades.


Discover neighborhoods in Nantes

Nantes Centre

Visitors often come to Nantes Centre for its abundant dining options, but many stay to explore sights like Chateau of the Dukes of Brittany and Nantes Cathedral. Getting around the area on the metro is easy if you take a ride at Commerce Tram Stop.

ShoppingHistorical BuildingsMuseums


You'll enjoy the bars and gardens in Beaujoire. You might want to make time for a stop at Stade de la Beaujoire or Parc des Expositions de Nantes La Beaujoire.

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Ile de Nantes Palais des Congrès

Ile de Nantes Palais des Congrès is noteworthy for its river views, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Machines of the Isle of Nantes and Loire Valley.

UrbanFriendly PeopleWalking

Hauts-Paves - Saint-Felix

Hauts-Paves - Saint-Felix is noteworthy for its shopping, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Ile de Versailles and Loire Valley.

BudgetNatural ParksWalking

Nantes Erdre

Unique features of Nantes Erdre include the river views and restaurants. Make a stop by Parc des Expositions de Nantes La Beaujoire or Stade de la Beaujoire while you're exploring the area.


Graslin - Commerce

Graslin - Commerce is noteworthy for its coffee shops, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Loire Valley and Passage Pommeraye.

Natural ParksTheatresMuseums