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Nantes (Breton: Naoned) is the capital of Pays de la Loire region in northwest France. Historically it was part of Brittany, whose dukes built up its castle and made the town their capital. It was also a major port on the Loire. Nowadays the economy of Nantes is driven by the service sector; in 2020 the population was 320,732.

Understand[edit]

Nantes
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Source: Wikipedia. See a seven day forecast for Nantes at Météo France.
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"Des principaux de cité rebelée / Qui tiendront fort pour liberté rauoir / Detrencher masses infelice meslée, / Cris vrlemens a Nante; piteux voir."
"From the principle ones of the city rebellion / Who will strive to cover their liberty / The males hacked to pieces, a futile conflict, / Cries, lamentation, at Nantes; piteous to see." - cheery prophesy of Nostradamus, Century V, Verse 33

The River Loire is navigable by shallow-draught boats for 140 km upstream. Nantes 50 km upstream is at the confluence with the small River Erdre, which has dumped its silt to form river islands and break the Loire into a leash of channels. The Namnetes were a Gaulish tribe; their name likely meant "river" or "stream". The Romans took control in the 1st century BC and stayed until the 5th century AD. In medieval times the town belonged to Brittany, whose dukes built up the castle and resisted the growing power of France, until a dynastic marriage of 1491 united the realms. In 1598 the town gave its name to the Edict of Nantes, which granted tolerance of Protestants or Huguenots; this ended religious wars in France but displeased many and horrified the pope. It was revoked in 1685, leading to a mass exodus of Huguenots and the blighting of French industry.

Nantes became a major port during the 15th century, and was the country's largest by 1700. It then grew rich from the Atlantic slave triangle, exporting manufactured goods to West Africa, thence slaves to the Caribbean, and back to Nantes laden with sugar, rum, tobacco, indigo, coffee and cocoa. The French Revolution was disastrous for the city's economy: Atlantic trade withered, wars with Britain brought a naval blockade, and other French ports outgrew Nantes. By the time the railway arrived in 1851, larger ships struggled to come this far upriver, and trade moved downstream to Saint-Nazaire. One observer of that maritime trade, and fired by tales of exotic journeys, was the writer Jules Verne, born here in 1828.

In the 20th century several river channels were filled in, and small river islands were consolidated into a single Île de Nantes. No sooner done than France was invaded by Nazi Germany, which set about its trademark murderous regime. The city also came under heavy Allied bombing in 1943. Postwar saw the decline of manufacturing industry and the rise of the service sector, plus a large student population which helps the city feel young and lively.

Climate is Atlantic - it rains. Summers are bright with occasional showers, sometimes thundery and heavy. Winters are mild.

Tourist information: Le Voyage à Nantes is the helpful tourist office, at 9 Rue des États next to the castle entrance, open daily 10:00-18:00. The tourist office in Feydeau district has closed.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

1 Nantes Atlantique Airport (NTE IATA), Bouguenais, +33 892 568800. This has regular flights from Europe and UK (mostly by budget carriers) and North Africa, and seasonally from Montreal with Air Transat. For the time being, Air France fly 2 or 3 times a day from Paris CDG, but this is likely to fall foul of the law banning French domestic flights for journeys that can be done overland in less than 2½ hours. Other domestic flights are from Lille, Lyon, Montpellier, Nice, Strasbourg and Toulouse. The airport has the usual facilities including cafes and car rental. It's a single terminal, with a ground-level concourse for both departures and arrivals. Nantes Atlantique Airport (Q1432144) on Wikidata Nantes Atlantique Airport on Wikipedia

The airport is 8 km southwest of town centre:

  • Navette Aéroport shuttle bus runs daily 06:00-23:00 every 20-30 min, for a fare of €10.00. It runs from outside Arrivals to "gare sud" the railway station south entrance (20 min), Lieu Unique event gallery, and Place de Commerce (30 min; route shortened because of road works in 2023 to Hôtel Dieu).
  • TAN Bus 38 runs from the airport every 20 min, taking 25 min to Pirmil just south of the bridge from Île de Nantes - change here for Tram 3 into town, while the bus continues south bank of the river to Greneraie. A single ticket costs €1.80 from the machine outside Arrivals (bank cards accepted) and is valid for interchanges for one hour. On Saturday and Sunday it's free.
  • TAN Bus 98 runs every 30-60 min and stops at Lindbergh roundabout 500 m east of the airport, on its way from the village of Brains to Neustrie, terminus of Tram 3. You'd only take it for places west edge of town not served by Bus 38. Buy your ticket outside Arrivals as there's no machine at the roundabout stop.
There are no plans to extend the tram to the airport, nor to use the railway which runs right by it; instead a dedicated Busway will be built.
  • Taxis authorised at Nantes Airport are Allo Taxis (+33 2 4069 2222) and Hep Taxis (+33 2 4085 4085). The taxi rank is outside Arrivals. A ride downtown takes 20 min and costs around €30. Have nothing to do with unauthorised taxis.

By train[edit]

Hourly trains from Paris Montparnasse take 2 hr 20 min via Le Mans and Angers, and continue to Saint-Nazaire. From Paris CDG airport you normally change at Les Halles / Montparnasse for a four hour journey, but occasional direct services from Lille or Strasbourg via CDG take three hours.

From Bordeaux takes up to 5 hours, usually with a change at St-Pierre-des-corps. Two direct trains run daily from Lyon (4 hr 40 min), but most destinations in the south of France involve changing across Paris.

From Rennes an hourly regional train takes 80 min; change at Rennes for Saint-Malo. Other direct local services are from Quimper via Vannes, from Orléans via Tours, and from Saint-Nazaire,

2 Gare de Nantes was upgraded in 2020 so it's clean, modern and well-policed; expect some disruption as further work continues to 2025. It's aligned east-west: exit north (gare nord) for city centre and trams, exit south (gare sud) for regional buses and the Convention Centre. Both exits and the connecting bridge have ticket machines and cafes. There's also a connecting subway.

By road[edit]

From Paris follow A11 west. From the Channel ports follow A28 to join A11 at Le Mans.

By bus[edit]

Blablacar (owned by the rail company SNCF) runs three times a day from Paris (Bercy-Seine), taking six hours via Paris Orly Airport, Le Mans and Nantes (Route de Paris) to Nantes Airport. In 2023 an adult single is about €30. Flixbus have two late-night runs.

Blablacar services from other French cities are often car-share rides, and may start or drop off some distance from city centres.

3 Route de Paris is the miserable terminus for inter-city buses, just a draughty shelter outside Clinique Jules Verne in the northeast of town. Trams and town buses stop nearby.

Get around[edit]

Cathédrale de Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul

Public transport[edit]

TAN (Transports de l'Agglomération Nantaise) is the integrated public transport network, with three tram lines, two BusWays (buses with re-assignment surgery into trams), 50-some daytime bus lines, three night buses, and Navibus river ferries. Most stops have real-time indicator boards.

In 2023 an adult single ticket is €2 buying on board, €1.80 from a ticket machine, €1.60 from a carnet of ten, and €1.52 by e-ticket "Formule Sur Mesure". These tickets are valid for one hour with unlimited transfers. A 24-hour ticket is €6 for one person and €11 for up to four people. Town trams and buses are free on Saturday and Sunday: this includes Bus 38 to the airport but excludes the navette.

By taxi[edit]

City fares, last published in 2019, are €7.10 flagfall, €1.78/km travelled and €26/hr waiting. These apply M-Sa 07:00-19:00.

There are taxi ranks by Place du Commerce and the railway station.

By bike[edit]

Nantes is bicycle-friendly, with bike lanes along most major roads, and many small streets only accessible by pedestrians and cyclists.

Bicloo is the self-service network: registration starts at €2 for a day, with a €150 deposit. It's designed for short trips not extended sight-seeing, so the first 30 minutes are free, then you pay €0.50 for the next 30 min, €1 for the following 30 min, thereafter €2 per 30 min up to 24 hours. Other plans are aimed at long-term users. There are almost 100 pick-up / drop-off locations across the city, and the Bicloo map indicates real-time availability.

See[edit]

Place Graslin and Théâtre Graslin
  • Jardin des Plantes is a bosky park just north of the railway station, bounded to the west by Rue Stanislas Baudry and east by Rue Frédéric Cailliaud. It's free to enter in daylight hours. By its northeast corner is the back entrance to Bouteillerie cemetery, with elaborate 19th century ornaments, and First World War graves in regimented rows.
  • 1 Château des ducs de Bretagne (Castle of the Dukes of Brittany), 4 Place Marc Elder, +33 2 5117 4948. Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. Sturdy moated castle built from 1207, though most of it is from 1466. It was a ducal and royal seat, notably of Duchess Anne, whose dynastic marriages sealed the union of Brittany with France in 1532. The Revolution did it little harm until a powder magazine explosion of 1800. It became a museum in 1924 but closed for reconstruction in 1990, re-opening in 2007. The main entrance is west by the tourist office and you can also approach north or south; these all bring you into the courtyard and the ticket office for the museum. Courtyard, ramparts and garden are free to enter. Museum adult €9, conc €5, child free. Château des ducs de Bretagne (Q1289258) on Wikidata Château des ducs de Bretagne on Wikipedia
  • Miroir d'eau is an ornamental pond south side of the castle with a pleasing reflection.
  • 2 Cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul, 7 Impasse Saint-Laurent. Closed. Magnificent Gothic cathedral built in fits and starts from 1434. In modern times it has been seriously damaged by Allied bombing in 1945, by an accidental fire in 1972, and by arson in 2020. It therefore remains closed. The arsonist, an illegal Rwandan immigrant, was later given shelter in a church mission, in the spirit of "turning the other cheek". He then murdered the mission priest. Nantes Cathedral (Q1423005) on Wikidata Nantes Cathedral on Wikipedia
  • Place Maréchal-Foch is the broad pleasant square just north of the cathedral, named for the French military commander of the First World War. The fellow teetering atop the column with his head still on is Louis XVI, one of the few such statues to survive Revolutionary zeal.
  • 3 Musée des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts Museum), Rue Clémenceau 10, +33 2 5117 4500. W, F-M 11:00-19:00, Th 11:00-21:00. A beautiful building of 1801 with an extensive permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. It has absorbed Chapelle de l'Oratoire, a baroque chapel of 1655 now used as an exhibition space. Adult €9, conc €4, child free. Nantes Museum of Arts (Q1783956) on Wikidata Musée d'Arts de Nantes on Wikipedia
  • Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-l'Immaculée-Conception is from 1470. It's in the block south of the Fine Arts Museum on Rue Malherbe.
  • 4 Île de Versailles is an island in the River Erdre 1 km north of city centre, take Tram 2. The entire island is a Japanese garden and a pleasant place to relax.
Belfry of Église Sainte-Croix
  • Musée Thomas Dobrée at 18 Rue Voltaire holds the vast personal art collection of Dobrée (1810-1895). It's closed for reconstruction, probably until 2024.
  • 5 Église Sainte-Croix was built from 1669 in classical style, with a richly decorated interior. The elaborate belfry-cum-clocktower was added in 1860.
  • 6 Tour Bretagne is a city landmark for all the wrong reasons. It's a 144 m skyscraper built on a postwar gap site and completed in 1976, when its slabby modernistic architecture had fallen out of fashion. Commercial and retail clients didn't want to use it so it's mostly stood vacant, and one of the few customers of the 32nd floor restaurant turned out to be a base-jumper.
  • 7 Basilique Saint-Nicolas is a stonking granite neogothic basilica built 1844-69. The site meant it had to be aligned north-south, not "oriented" traditionally to the east. It was badly damaged by Allied bombing in 1943; reconstruction took until 1974.
  • Place Royale just south of the Basilica is a pedestrianised square with an elaborate fountain. It was built from 1786 when the old city walls were demolished and Nantes expanded. It too was bombed, but restored like-for-like after the war.
  • 8 Île Feydeau has handsome 18th century architecture. It was an islet in a north arm of the Loire, stabilised and enlarged in the 1720s, becoming prime real estate for shipowners and merchants made wealthy by the slave trade. That river arm was infilled in the 1930s, but Feydeau district retained its unity of style and is still referred to as an "island". The central street is pedestrianised and lined with cafes.
  • Place du Bouffay just north of Île Feydeau is an elegant pedestrianised square laid out in the 1770s, sweeping away a medieval neighbourhood and castle. Lots of outdoor cafes and bars here.
  • 9 Place du Commerce is city centre, with outdoor cafes and upscale shopping. Leading off it are Place Royale, Quai de la Fosse and Rue Crébillon.
  • 10 Passage Pommeraye, built 1840-43, is an elegant shopping arcade festooned with neo-classical statuary. It connects Rue de la Fosse with Rue Santeuil, which is 9.4 m higher so shops are on three levels with a flight of stairs midway.
  • 11 Théâtre Graslin is centrepiece of the neoclassical Graslin district, laid out from 1780. Cours Cambronne just south is a strip of park lined by fine buildings.
  • Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle, 12 Rue Voltaire (150 m west of Place Graslin), +33 2 4041 5500. W-M 10:00-18:00. Huge collection of minerals, fossils and stuffed animals, plus live snakes. Adult €5, student €2, child free.
  • Galerie des Oubliés has rotating exhibitions of 20th century artists who the owners reckon are unjustly ignored. It's at 2 Rue de Bréa, 50 m south of the Natural History Museum, open Tu-Th 14:00-19:00, F Sa 14:00-18:00.
  • 12 Place Général-Mellinet is the focus of the west end of the city, with a circle of eight fine 19th century mansions. Mellinet was the commander from Nantes who from 1850 brought Algeria under French control. His statue is gesticulating with sword in the opposite direction, perhaps to feint a retreat or expedite an overdue lunch break.
The Great Elephant on the rampage
  • 13 Notre-Dame de Bon-Port, more often known as Église Saint-Louis, is a sturdy church built from 1852.
  • 14 Le Maillé-Brézé D627, Quai de la Fosse (Tram to Gare Maritime), +33 9 7918 3351. Daily Sep-Jun 14:00-15:00; July Aug 14:00-17:00. This T-47 destroyer was commissioned in 1957 and named for a 17th century admiral. Her only battle action was in 1962 as a troop carrier against the OAS uprising in Algiers. She retired in 1988 and is moored here as a museum. Visit by guided tour starting every 30 min and lasting 90 min. Adult €10, student €8, child €6. Maillé-Brézé (Q2103611) on Wikidata French destroyer Maillé-Brézé (D627) on Wikipedia
  • 15 Musée Jules Verne, 3 Rue de l'Hermitage, +33 2 4069 7252. W-F Su M 14:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-12:00, 14:00-18:00. The novelist Jules Verne was born in Nantes in 1828; shipping and the sea figured largely in his early life. He went to Paris to study law in 1847 and a thwarted love affair on a visit home soured him against Nantes. This museum of his life and works opened in 1978 and was renovated in 2005, the centenary of his death. He never lived here but it has his original furniture and personal items. Adult €4, conc €1.50, child free. Jules Verne Museum on Wikipedia
  • 16 Jardin Extraordinaire is an exotic garden in a former quarry, with waterfalls cascading from its "cliffs". It's open free 09:00-18:00.
  • Île de Nantes mid-river is 5 km long by 1 km wide, consolidated from a string of islets in the 19th / 20th century, with 13 access bridges.
  • 17 Les Machines de l'Île, Parc des Chantiers, Blvd Léon Bureau, +33 810 121225. Feb-Dec Tu-F 10:00-18:00, Sa Su 10:00-19:00. Gallery of wacky mechanical animals. A guided tour continuously circulates, which you need to join as the guides stir each animal into life, and visitor movement is limited while these are in motion. (You especially don't want to be caught in the path of the monstrous spider.) The highlight is the Great Elephant, which stomps alongside the gallery spraying water at everyone. Those over 13 can ride it for an additional charge - book this in advance, as there are limited seats. Adult €9.50, child €7.50.
  • Carrousel des Mondes Marins 200 m west of Les Machines is a similarly wacky three-level roundabout of underwater denizens.
  • 18 Grue Titan Jaune is a big yellow crane just west of the Carrousel.
  • 19 Grue Titan Grise at the west tip of Île de Nantes is a similar crane, helpfully painted grey so you don't confuse it with the one that's jaune. The former banana warehouse here has been turned into an art and event space.
  • 20 Basilique Saint-Donatien-et-Saint-Rogatien is a neo-Romanesque church built 1872-89; the chapel and cemetery outside are much older. The basilica suffered a serious fire in 2015 but re-opened in 2021. It's named for two Christian martyrs of Nantes around 300 AD.

Do[edit]

Nort sur Erdre Festival
  • Le Lieu Unique is a cultural centre at 2 Rue de la Biscuiterie, 200 m west of gare sud entrance. It has exhibitions, expositions, sauna, restaurant and bar. You can pay €3 to ascend its Tour LU.
  • Planetarium is at 8 Rue des Acadiens next to Jules Verne Museum, open M-F 10:00-12:30, 13:30-18:00, Sa Su 13:30-18:00.
  • Football: FC Nantes play soccer in Ligue 1, the top tier, and often qualify for European tournaments. Their home ground Stade de la Beaujoire (capacity 35,300) is 5 km northeast of the city centre, off the bypass N844. Take Tram 1.
  • Cinemas near the centre are Le Cinématographe north of the castle, Gaumont just south of Place Royale, and Katorza just north of Place Graslin.
  • Hellfest is a heavy metal concert held in June in nearby Clisson.
  • La Nuit de l'Erdre is a music festival in Nort-sur-Erdre, with the next probably on 27-30 June 2024, tbc.
  • Rugby Union World Cup is held in France 8 Sept - 28 Oct 2023, with matches at Nantes Stade de la Beaujoire, plus in Paris, Saint-Étienne, Marseille, Lille, Lyon, Bordeaux, Nice and Toulouse.
  • Stade Nantais the city's own rugby union club play away down in the regional amateur leagues, at Stade Pascal-Laporte.
  • Boat trips ply the river between Nantes and Saint-Nazaire. They sail May-Oct several days a week, daily in August, taking 2 hr 30 min each way. The riverbank is dotted with wacky artworks. You can return on the train, which you'll have to do if you take an afternoon boat.

Learn[edit]

Nantes Université has over 37,000 students and 2000 academic staff. As well as its undergrad and postgrad programmes, it offers short courses and hosts exhibitions suitable for short-term visitors. Its campuses and departments are all over the city and there are satellite campuses in Saint-Nazaire and La Roche-sur-Yon.

Work[edit]

Grue Titan Jaune on Île de Nantes

You need eligibility to work in the EU, so that includes Irish citizens, but not British unless you've established EU domicile.

Atdec is the clearing house for those seeking or offering employment in the city. It's physically based at 5 Rue de l'Île Mabon (one of the islands consolidated into Île de Nantes) but get started online.

Buy[edit]

  • Supermarkets north flank of the station are Carrefour Express, Delices Alimentation and Apéro Factory. South flank is the larger Carrefour City, open M-Sa 07:00-22:00, Su 09:00-19:00.
  • Marché de Talensac is the principal fresh food market. It's in a covered hall on Rue Talensac 500 m north of the cathedral, open Tu-Su 08:00-13:00.
  • Les Rigolettes Nantaises sells Nantes candies, chocolates and other local specialities. It's at 18 Rue de Verdun, 100 m north of the castle entrance, open M-Sa 10:00-19:00.

Eat[edit]

Stylish dining at La Cigale

Budget[edit]

Some cafés and crêperies offer affordable prix-fixe menus for lunch. Try the local galettes de sarrasin, buckwheat crêpes.
  • La Ripaille Burger, 10 Rue du Château (50 m west of castle entrance), +33 2 5189 9951. M-F 12:00-14:00, 19:00-22:00, Sa Su 12:00-22:00. Above-average quality at this sit-in fast-food cafe.
  • L'Épicerie de Ginette, 6 Place du Bouffay (north of Feydeau by Bouffay tram stop), +33 9 6704 6163. M-Sa 12:00-00:00, Su 12:00-23:00. Friendly small grocery cafe.
  • L'endroit, 2 Allée de la Tremperie (by Bouffay tram stop), +33 2 4035 5523. Tu-F 09:00-22:00, M, Sa 11:00-22:00. Small brasserie just north of Feydeau.
  • Café du Passage, 1 Place Félix Fournier (facing Basilique Saint-Nicolas). M-Sa 09:30-20:30. Pleasant cafe-bar for coffee and light bites next to the Basilica.
  • Fresh Burritos, 5 Rue de Gorges (south off Place Royale), +33 2 4012 4508. Daily 11:00-22:20. Good Mexican food.
  • 1 Le Loo Librairie Gourmande, 22 Rue Baron, +33 9 7352 3475. M 10:30-15:00, Tu-F 10:30-19:00. Pleasant coffee-shop cum bookshop.
  • 2 Au Bureau Nantes, 10 Quai Francois Mitterrand, +33 2 2808 7076. Su-Tu 11:00-22:00, W-Sa 11:00-23:00. Chain pub near the law courts similar to TGI Friday. Mixed reviews on value for money.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Le Molière, 2 Rue Racine (west flank of Théâtre Graslin), +33 2 4073 2053. M-Sa 08:00-02:00. Chic cafe-bar with good menu selection. You're paying for the location.
  • Le Cambronne Bistrot Chic, 6 Rue de l'Héronnière (50 m south of Place Graslin), +33 2 4047 3642. M-Sa 12:00-14:30, 19:00-22:30, Su 12:00-14:30. Smart restaurant with varied European menu.
  • Le Bistrot Basque de Nantes, 5 Rue Beauregard (100 m west of Église Sainte-Croix), +33 2 4035 3117. Tu-F 08:00-19:00, Su M 10:00-19:00. Spanish tapas and similar cuisine.
  • Le Falstaff, 1 bis Rue Kervégan (central on Feydeau island), +33 2 4020 0910. Tu-Sa 12:00-14:00, 19:00-22:00. Tartare is the specialty here, oozing with garlic.
  • 3 Au Petit Raphaël, 100 Rue des Hauts Pavés, +33 2 2825 7232. M Tu 12:00-14:30, W-F 12:00-14:30, 20:00-23:00. Small restaurant, so are the menu choices and portions, but fresh and creative dishes.

Splurge[edit]

  • La Cigale, 4 Place Graslin, +33 2 5184 9494. Daily 07:30-00:30. Rightly called "the most beautiful brasserie in France" for its turn-of-the-century decor. Seafood is a specialty, lively service. Fixed price menus are available for €15 and €25. A cheaper way to experience this delightful place is to go in the afternoon for dessert and coffee.
  • 4 L'Instinct Gourmand, 14 Rue Saint-Léonard, +33 2 4047 4164. Tu-Sa 12:00-14:00, 19:30-22:00. Very good bistro food in a relaxed atmosphere.
  • 5 Le Lion et L'Agneau, 40 Rue Fouré, +33 2 5510 5874. Tu-Sa 12:00-13:30, 19:30-21:30. Excellent, imaginative cuisine and friendly service.

Drink[edit]

Place Royale by night
  • Buck Mulligan's is an Irish pub at 12 Rue du Château near the castle entrance, open daily 16:00-00:00.
  • Le Live is at 7 Rue des États by the castle entrance. It has food and live music and is open M-Sa 14:00-02:00, Su 14:00-00:30.
  • Le Bar du Coin, east side of Église Saint-Croix, has an old-fashioned interior and occasionally an in-house DJ. It's open M-W 14:00-02:00, Th-Su 12:00-02:00.
  • John McByrne is the name of two entirely separate Irish pubs along Rue de la Juiverie, midway between castle and Église Saint-Croix. Only in Ireland, eh? John McBryne & Co is the one mid-street, jostled by two Japanese and one Lebanese restaurant and a curry house. John McBryne without the "& Co" is round the corner at 21 Rue des Petites Ecuries. They both have TV sport and English-speaking staff and are open late.
  • Le Shaft is a small cosy bar nearby at 14 Rue Petites Ecuries, open daily 16:00-02:00.
  • La Maison Café is a bar decorated as a 1970s house, so you can have a drink sitting in a bathtub in the "bathroom". It's at 4 Rue Lebrun, an alley connecting Rue Sully and Rue du Maréchal Joffre 150 m north of the cathedral, open M-Sa 15:00-02:00, Su 17:00-00:00.
  • Délirium Café at 19 Allée Baco has a lively student atmosphere. It's open Tu-Sa 17:30-02:00.
  • Fleming's is an Irish pub at 22 Rue des Carmes, corner with Rue des Trois Croissants, open Su-F 14:00-02:00, Sa 10:00-02:00. It's lined with books so they're aiming for literary Irish, and show TV sport. Mixed reviews for service and welcome.
  • Little Atlantic Brewery is downriver at 23 Blvd de Chantenay. The beerhall and restaurant are open daily.
  • Nantes vineyards are to the southeast towards Clisson. The local Muscadet goes well with seafood. Local wine is also distilled into marc and brandy.
  • Breton cider comes in brut or doux (sweet) varieties. For a summertime drink, kir Breton is cider with fruit liquor such as black currant, blackberry, or peach.

Sleep[edit]

Passage Pommeraye

Budget[edit]

  • 1 Nantes Camping, 21 Blv du Petit Port (5 km north of centre), +33 2 4074 4794. Clean well-run site open year-round, on tram route to centre. Pitch €38.
  • Crous Nantes is a student accommodation bureau that may be able to place others, for instance in university residences during vacation.

Mid-range[edit]

Lots and lots of chain hotels around the railway station:

Splurge[edit]

  • 3 Westotel Nantes Atlantique, 34 Rue de la Vrière, La Chapelle-sur-Erdre (12 km north of city centre), +33 2 5181 3636. Modern edge-of-city place with pool, good for motorists, but rooms lack safes. B&B double €160.

Stay safe[edit]

Jules Verne grew up in Nantes

Standard precautions about avoiding drunks, low-life and demos, any of which can turn violent. Central areas and the trams are well policed.

Cope[edit]

Consulates[edit]

Always start by checking the embassy website - something like a lost passport will be handled from there or even from the home country rather than the local consulate. This section doesn't list Honorary Consuls, who will express sympathy at your predicament but advise you to call the embassy in Paris.

Connect[edit]

As of June 2022, Nantes has 5G with all French carriers.

Go next[edit]

  • La Baule is a beach resort north of the Loire estuary, and Pornic is a quieter place south of the estuary.
  • Saint-Nazaire is a busy port on the Loire.
  • Guérande still has its medieval walls. Breton sea salt is harvested here.
  • Clisson is a small town with a ruined castle and hosts Hellfest heavy metal festival in June.


Routes through Nantes
ENDS AT PORTE DE RENNES  W L'Oceane E  AngersParis
ENDS AT PORTE DES SORINIÈRES  N Autoroute des Estuaires S  La RochelleBordeaux
Rennes ← Châteaubriant ←  N Route des Estuaires S  ENDS AT PORTE DE RENNES




This city travel guide to Nantes is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.