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).
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.
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.
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.
NANTES’ HISTORY MUSEUM
The visit here paints a portrait of Nantes from its origins and landmark events that make up the history: the Edict of Nantes, industrialization (LU, BN), shipbuilding…
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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”.
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.
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.
Where to eat
Our favorites 2023 :
- Meraki, 2 rue Menou 44000 Nantes – +33 (0)2 40 74 57 10
- Restaurant ICI, 1 rue Léon-Blum 44000 Nantes – +33 (0)2 40 48 62 27
- Sain, 93 rue Maréchal-Joffre 44000 Nantes – +33 (0)2 40 72 82 48
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
Where to sleep
Rooms designed by artists, tiny house perched above the Loire, former courthouse or chapel, you will find various accommodations. Enjoy your stay!
See accommodation in Nantes
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