Nantes

From the Château des ducs de Bretagne to the Passage Pommeraye, from the Musée d’arts to the Galerie des machines, every street in Nantes reveals its historical, architectural and artistic wealth. The city surprises visitors with its creativity and ability to constantly reinvent and renew itself.

Discovering the former city of Brittany’s dukes means enjoying exceptional architectural heritage, discovering contemporary artwork in random streets, and strolling around “the only city in France where I feel like something worthwhile might happen to me.” (André Breton).

Château des ducs de Bretagne - Nantes vu par Patrick Messina. 2011 © Patrick Messina/LVAN .

THE CASTLE OF THE DUKES OF BRITTANY

The inner courtyard reveals an elegant 15th century ducal residence made of tufa stone as well as other buildings dating back to the 15th and 18th centuries. With its exceptional collection, this 32-room museum is the ideal place to understand the history of Nantes, from the Breton Duchy right up to WWII.

Les Machines de l'île, parc des Chantiers, Nantes
© Franck Tomps / LVAN

A BESTIARY OF MACHINES

This totally unprecedented artistic project received the award for the most original attraction in the world. It sits at the crossroads of Jules Verne’s “invented worlds”, Leonardo da Vinci’s mechanical universe, and Nantes’ industrial history, all housed in the exceptional site of the city’s former shipyards. Not to be missed : the Gallery, the Grand Elephant and the Carousel of the marine Worlds.

Ligne verte
© Nautilus Nantes/LVAN

Follow the green line

Throughout Nantes, you’ll find a green line painted on the ground. All year long, it will take you from a work or art by one of today’s great artists to a remarkable example of our heritage, from classic sites to undiscovered treasures! This public collection with over 100 artworks by major artists is one of a kind in France and invites visitors to discover the city.

Le Voyage à Nantes 2021, Le Géant de Nantes, 2020
Crédit : Le Voyage à Nantes 2021, Le Géant de Nantes, 2020, Éric Croes © Philippe Piron / LVAN

LE VOYAGE À NANTES

JULY 3RD – SEPTEMBER 12TH 2021 

Every year, Le Voyage à Nantes enhances its sensorial and poetic urban itinerary by inviting artists, creators, and architects to express themselves in public spaces. All along the green line that has been painted on the ground, the city is turned upside down by art!

Hab galerie
Crédit : Gilles Barbier, Smiling Skull, 2008, Jean-Christophe Lett © ADAGP, Paris, 2021

HAB GALERIE 

WORKING ON SUNDAYS, GILLES BARBIER
EXHIBITION – UNTIL SEPTEMBER 26TH 2021

Sculptures made of organic or artificial materials, gouache paintings, drawings, photographs and objects form an ensemble examining the enigma of existence. Out of this emerge other, falsely similar worlds from ours in which hyper realistic characters are represented in absurd or schizophrenic situations.

NANTES’ HISTORY MUSEUM
Expression(s) décoloniale(s) #2, Romuald Hazoumè, Pièce Montée, Musée d'histoire de Nantes © David Gallard / LVAN

NANTES’ HISTORY MUSEUM

EXPRESSION(S) DÉCOLONIALE(S) #2, ROMUALD HAZOUMÈ
EXHIBITION – UNTIL NOVEMBER 14TH 2021

Major African contemporary artist, Romuald Hazoumè,organized an itinerary of his works throughout the castle courtyard and several rooms in the museum to decolonize our thinking, views, and perceptions.

Le Musée d'art
© Musée d'arts de Nantes
Hufton+Crow

MUSEUM Of ARTS

The Musée d’arts de Nantes with a new building dedicated to contemporary art, over 12,000 m2 of additional exhibition space since 2017, restored windows and facades, a new restaurant, and more… The museum’s rich collection extends from ancient to contemporary art and contains examples of every medium imaginable.

Le lieu unique
Tour LU, le lieu unique - Nantes vu par Patrick Messina. 2011 © Patrick Messina/LVAN .

LE LIEU UNIQUE

Housed in the former LU biscuit factory, le lieu unique is a venue for artistic exploration, as well as a friendly cultural hotspot that mixes styles, cultures and all sorts of people.

Le jardin des plantes
Filili Viridi, le Jardin des plantes, Le Voyage à Nantes 2020, Installation de L'Arroseur © Ville de Nantes / Jean-Félix Fayolles

THE BOTANICAL GARDEN

With its 7 hectares (17 acres) of greenery right in the heart of the city, over 10,000 living species, 800 m2 (8,600 sq. ft.) of greenhouses, Nantes’ botanical gardens are considered to be one of the top four in France.

Passage Pommeraye, Nantes
© Franck Tomps / LVAN

A 19TH CENTURY COVERED ALLEYWAY

There aren’t many European towns that can claim to have a more architecturally valuable shopping arcade: Passage Pommeraye, a 19th century covered gallery.

JULES VERNE’ MUSEUM
Crédit : Butte Sainte-Anne, Musée Jules Verne, Nantes (Loire-Atlantique) © Jean-Luc Cochard / LVAN

JULES VERNE’ MUSEUM 

Nantes, the birthplace of Jules Verne, fueled the imagination of one of the most translated writers in the world. This museum offers a tour with multimedia supports and strives to make the work of Jules Verne known in its richness and diversity.

Tadashi Kawamata, belvédère de l’hermitage, le voyage à Nantes 2019 © Martin Argyroglo

PROMENADE DES BELVÉDÈRES

Towering above the Chantenay neighbourhood are six belvederes – including a monumental one by Tadashi Kawamata – all offering an exceptional panoramic view of the city. This walking tour will take you from Musée Jules Verne to the brand new “Jardin extraordinaire”.

LE MÉMORIAL DE L’ABOLITION DE L’ESCLAVAGE
Mémorial de l'abolition de l'esclavage. Nantes (Loire-Atlantique). © Franck Tomps / LVAN

MEMORIAL TO THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY

An impressive 400 meter-long walkway under the quayside, from the Victor-Schoelcher passage to the Anne-de-Bretagne bridge. This memorial pays homage to all those who have fought and are still fighting against slavery in all its forms throughout the world.

Trentemoult
Quai du village de Trentemoult. Rezé (Loire-Atlantique) © Jean-Dominique Billaud - Nautilus/LVAN

TRENTEMOULT QUARTER

It’s only a short ferry ride away making it close to the centre of town. Trentemoult lives at its own pace: its narrow streets, brightly painted houses, old-style bars and patio tables are locked in a time of their own.

FYI

Eat

Our favorites 2021 :
  • La Mandale, 32 rue Léon Jamin 44000 Nantes – +33 (0)2 28 44 21 34
  • Sépia, 1 quai de Turenne 44000 Nantes – +33 (0)2 51 82 71 59
  • Vacarme, 5 rue des Bons Français 44000 Nantes – +33 (0)9 87 34 18 82
Our favorite restaurants in Nantes

Have a drink

  • Little Atlantique Brewery, 23 Boulevard de Chantenay, 44100 Nantes
  • La Guinguette de Trentemoult, 20 Quai Marcel Boissard, 44400 Rezé – +33 (0)2 40 75 88 96
  • La Cantine du Voyage, Quai des Antilles, 44100 Nantes
Our favorite wine-bars in Nantes

Sleep

Rooms designed by artists, tiny house perched above the Loire, former courthouse or chapel, you will find various accommodations. Enjoy your stay! 
Our favorite accommodation in Nantes

Full travel guide

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