Vannes (Breton: Gwened) is the fifth-largest city in Brittany in France.
- 1 Tourism office, Quai Éric Tabarly (right bank of harbour, CP23921), ☏ +33 2 97 47 24 34, fax: +33 2 97 47 29 49, firstname.lastname@example.org. Sep–Jun M–Sa 9:30–12:30 & 13:30–18:00 closed on Sunday; Jul–Aug M–Sa 09:30–19:00, Su and bank holidays 10:00–18:00. Free Wi-Fi.
The high-speed TGV from Paris goes to Rennes. Switch to the regular-speed SNCF train to Vannes. NOTE: the main train direction is not marked Vannes. You can also take the TGV from Paris to Quimper which makes a stop in Vannes without switch.
- 1 Gare de Vannes, Avenue Favrel et Lincy (1.5 km (0.93 mi) north from town centre, 18 min by foot). M–Th 05:35–22:40, F 05:35–01:40, Sa 05:35–21:45, Su and bank holidays 07:00–22:45.
Vannes can be reached directly from Nantes or Brest by taking the highway N165. From Rennes, take the N24 and switch at Ploërmel to the N166. These roads are free.
Local buses are operated by Kicéo. A Pass Journée is €4.20 (January 2019) and allows for unlimited rides across their bus network.
A small bike hire scheme, Vélocéo, enables you to hire bikes from a few points across Vannes, using a smartphone app.
Vannes is best explored on foot.
The Medieval Village
The medieval village has several pedestrian and vehicle entrances. The port-side entrance to the rempart surrounded old town is just next to the port. Follow signs on the roads to le port, there is ample parking. Outside the walls of the village, there are several cafes on the port-side. Just inside the walls, you will find many boutiques and Creperies.
The Eglise in the old village at the top of the hill. The square nearby is often graced by musicians in the summer, while the cobblestone streets are used for costumed parades calling back centuries ago. Bastille Day in Vannes is a spectacle with horse-drawn carriages, costumes for men, women and children of all distinctions, and a small zoo of live animals...
Take a boat to one of the Islands. Though Vannes is a lovely town, if you have any time to spare, you should check out the timetables for sailings to one of the islands in the Gulf of Morbihan.
The Fayencerie in Vannes (located in the medieval town, near the eglise) has beautiful pottery for sale. Though not exactly local to Vannes-proper, the pottery is very popular with locals and tourists alike.
The boutiques of the medieval town are best for prime-time shopping: find clothing, nautical-themed gifts, lingerie, home and bath goods, jewelry, and many other gifts.
The larger stores like Carrefour and Leroy Merlin are off the main highway, all centralized. There are many good independent stores mixed into the mass development.
Galettes are a must in Vannes: there are so many varieties, everyone is safe (carnivors, pescetarians, and vegetarians alike). Seafood is fresh and oysters are readily available. Les pizzas are also found. For dessert, similar to the galette (made with buckwheat), crepes (made with plain wheat) are a must.
If you visit the Golfe du Morbihan, there are many local restaurant gems: serving les menus gastronomique. The spa hotels of the Morbihan or les Thalassotherapies generally serve decadent meals. Every village in the Vannes area has a local favorite, not to be missed.
- Wines of the Loire
Known as a vacation spot for French people, the Golfe du Morbihan is full of rental properties and spa hotels.
Also, with Vannes as the closest train station for the Presqu'Ile, many people rent cars in Vannes and stay near the beaches. Camping cars are popular too.
For hotels in the area, search in Vannes or the Golfe du Morbihan.
- 1 Villa Kerasy, 20 avenue Favrel et Lincy (facing the railway station), ☏ +33 2 97 683 683, toll-free: +33 2 97 683 684, email@example.com. Boutique hotel with spa in the centre of Vannes not far from the train station. Each room represents a stopover on the 17th century Spice Route, to dream of far-off, exotic voyages. Each room is unique, decorated in the colors of French, English or Dutch ports of call. 4-star, "Hôtels de Charme et de Caractère en Bretagne". Free Wi-Fi. from €99.
- 2 L'Océan, 4 place Gambetta (town center, north end of harbour, near to the main city gate Saint-Vincent), ☏ +33 2 97 47 22 81. 2-star hotel. 13 rooms. View on harbour. Free Wi-Fi. Dbl €59–69, Family €66–96, +€9/person for breakfast.
- 2 La Poste Vannes République, 25 place de la République, ☏ 36 31. M–W F 08:30–18:00, Th 08:30–13:15 & 14:30–18:00, Sa 08:30–12:00, closed on Sunday.
- 3 La Poste Vannes Saint-Patern, 11 rue Saint-Nicolas (next Saint-Patern church), ☏ 36 31. M 14:00–17:00, Tu–W 09:30–13:00 & 14:00–17:00, Th 09:30–12:30 & 15:00–17:00, Sa 09:30–12:00, closed on Sunday.
- Golfe du Morbihan
- The Presqu'ile
- The Suscinio Castle