Nantes Travel Guide

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A Ride with the Great Elephant

A Ride with the Great Elephant


Nantes is deemed “the most livable city in all of Europe” and this Nantes travel guide will highlight some of its most interesting places, things to do, and accommodations that will blow you away. Nantes is the most important city in the Province of Brittany and continues to identify with Brittany today.

Nantes Divided

There are 11 separate neighborhoods in Nantes, each mirroring an historic city. Nine of the neighborhoods are located on the left bank with one making its home on the Ile de Nantes island. Every neighborhood has its own unique quality and vibe and always many great things to see and do.

The Unusual

France has always been associated with the unusual and Nantes is no different--from the furnishings in the great hotels to intriguing mechanical museums and safari adventures. Tour the Isle of Nantes and be awed by giant mechanical animals in the Machines of the Isle of Nantes. Visit the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle with its live exhibits on the main floor and creatively designed exhibits on the upper floors.

Climate and Weather

Nantes is approximately 50 km from the coast and experiences cool winters and mild summer temperatures. Winters can naturally bring freezing temperatures and summer days have been known to get very warm. July can be the hottest month in Nantes so pack accordingly and tote a sweater or light jacket for the summer time visits.


Nantes is literally packed with the most beautiful and fairy tales sights you will ever want to see. The towering Cathedral of St. Pierre et St-Paul is one of the most beautiful next to the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany. This castle is a multipurpose building as it houses the Nante History Museum as well as a delightful restaurant and gift shop.

Get High

Nightlife and entertainment in Nantes is unique. You can spend the night dancing and then hit the few after-hours' clubs when the regular pubs and bars give their last call. Spend the night on a safari at the zoo; it promises to be a splendid time with the animals in the night time Savannahs. Or you can take in a show at one of the local cinemas throughout the city.


Shopping has never been more fun than when you shop in Nantes. The Passage Pommeraye is a wonderful place to pick great unique trinkets, jewelry, clothing, and food. Candy stores offer special treats and chocolates that are to die for. Small book shops offer a great variety of walking guides, post cards and other great reading books that will entertain the brain.


With its position by the sea, the city developed into one of France's major ports. While maritime and naval activity have now moved downstream to Saint-Nazaire, the entire estuary has joined forces and turned Nantes-Atlantique into the metropolitan centre for the west of France.

The estuary has a healthy economy that has been undergoing radical change. Every industry within the service sector is established here, e.g. medicine, administration, finance, information technology and trade, which makes Nantes the second most important French city for the service industry. The estuary itself, the fourth most important industrial region in France, is home to an array of engineering companies (maritime, mechanical, electronics, I.T.) as well as the food and timber industries. In an environment which promotes get-up-and-go, talent and success stories can be found in abundance. A busy port, decentralised expansion facilitated by the TGV high-speed train links and a network of training and research centres made up of 2,000 researchers and 43,000 students all contribute to Nantes' considerable reputation. Every year a thousand engineers graduate from the various tertiary industry institutions in the area.

Traditional cultural events are programmed in Nantes, often alongside some quite breathtaking creative innovations. This is only to be expected from the city that was the birthplace of Jules Vernes and the cradle of surrealism. Such eclecticism can be seen today through the harmonious co-existence of institutions such as the famous opera house, the Pays-de-Loire National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Loire-Atlantique cultural centre. Cultural events in the region's calendar include: the Carnival in April, the Summer Festival in June where musicians from around the world come to perform, and the Erdre programme, which combines music and water sports in a unique natural setting.


June 29, 2007 change by lpx

June 15, 2005 change by eurapart

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