To historians & travellers interested in discovering France's rich medieval history Angers is located in the French region which was known as Anjou in the Middle Ages. Today Angers is an bustling French city which is home to around 150,000 people in the city itself and roughly 270,000 people in the greater metropolitan area.
Having a long history of "almost sovereignity", the Angers people can seem cold and very proud of their city. Historically, Angers was a stronghold facing Brittany, then an political hub by the Plantagenêt era, making it a city of crucial historical decisions and events, regarding France's history. It has to be taken into account when meeting locals, as even people from other large cities around sense this slight mentality difference.
Mostly a student city, Angers gets quite calm and kind of empty during the summertime (July and August).
Like most French cities Angers can be easily accessed by motorway. The A11 connects Angers to the French capital Paris and nearby Le Mans. By car Angers lies roughly 295km west of Paris and 95km west of Le Mans.
TGV offers frequent rail-links between Angers and many of France's major towns and cities. The trains are generally of a very high quality, offer very comfortable seating and have suitable storage spaces for luggage. Trains are quite regular and generally depart on time. Ticket checks take place on every journey, as a result it is very important that you are in possession of a valid ticket at all times. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the train and the use of mobile phones in the seating area of the carriage is frowned upon by other passengers.
See more details at the airport website Angers Loire Aéroport
Due to the plan "vigil pirate", the national anti-terrorism policy, all possibilities to store luggage consignment around the train and busstation have been suspended.
Public buses are widely available in Angers. The main bus terminal, Lorraine, is located on Boulevard Foch, north of Jardin du Mail. These provide frequent access to the town-centre from the train station. Tickets, which can be purchased on the buses, cost €1.40 for a 1 hour unlimited ticket or €3.60 for a whole-day pass. Bus routes are clearly marked on the maps which are in most bus stops.
The city has constructed a one-line tramway that provides access throughout the town and crosses the river. It connects the two suburbs of Angers, La Roseraie and Avrillé.
A second line has been approved and is expected to be completed by 2015. This will connect Beaucouzé to Monplaisir/Parc d'Expos. However, construction has yet to begin.
Travellers who don't feel confident enough to take the bus can avail of a taxi. Taxis cannot be hailed on the street, however there is a taxi point next to the train station. One of the main taxi companies is Allo Anjou.
One of the best ways to experience Angers is by foot and generally all of the main tourist attractions and shopping areas are located in close proximity to one another. One exception to this is the nearby lake, Lac de Maine, which is roughly 30 minutes from outside of the centre of town. It is located to the north of Parc Balzac, west of the banks of the Maine river. However, on a summer evening a walk out to the lake and back can be quite pleasant.
For being a fair-sized town, Angers has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment and night-life.
There are two cinemas: Les Quatre Cent Coups for movies in their native language with French subtitles, author movies, niche movies, and such (Rue Claveau) ; and Gaumont Multiplexe (St. Serge) for blockbusters. A third cinema opened in the suburb city of Les-Ponts-de-Cé, can be accessed in 10 minutes by car, and is cheaper than the Multiplexe.
The main pedestrians strip runs along rue St. Laud. There you will find many cafés, such as Bar du Centre, and bars. In the summertime, get on the top of Le Quai (a teater and art center along the Maine river) to have a drink on the terrace.
For runners, the Saint-Nicolas pond is a must-go. This artificial lake offers two running path of 5 and 7,72 kms in a slightly wild forest environment (totally safe) with countless up and downs (making it a difficult track). It's obviously very suitable for a walk. There you can see the slate careers or a War monument.
La crêperie du château (Rue Saint-Aignan)
Le dos de la cuillère (Rue Toussaint) to get a tea or a coffee. You can also have lunch there.