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Nantes [4] is the capital of the north-western French region of Pays de la Loire. That said, Nantes has strong historical connections with the adjoining region of Brittany, and is the historical capital of the region (though not its official capital since the days of Napoleon).

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

There is an international airport in the south of Nantes (Nantes-Atlantique) [5]. Regular connections to Paris, Lyon and other French cities. Ryanair and Easyjet operate flights from the UK.

There are three ways to get to the airport from the centre of the town.

  • By bus (TAN AIR) which runs from the center of Nantes (Main train Station) taking 20 minutes, or from the Nantes station taking 30 minutes, 9€.
  • Next options only 1.70€ per person and direction. From Commerce take tram line 3 in the direction Neustrie
  1. from the terminus station "Neustrie", take the Aeroport Shuttle 48, which normally costs 1.70€ and which terminates at Nantes Atlantique airport. This will take around 35 minutes, depending on the daytime, most times less. From the the airport take the airport bus, buy your ticket from the driver, and tell him "Seulement a Neustrie". You will have to pay 2.00€ only. You can use this ticket for 60 minutes for your onward journey with the tram. From Neustrie take tram 3 direction "Marcel-Paul". Change wherever you want to another local bus or tram, but make sure your journey time doesn't exceed 60 minutes.
  2. get off at the tram stop "Pirmil", then take bus line 98 to the stop "Aéroport". This will also take around 35 minutes plus a two minute walk because the busstop is outside the airport.

The last two method just require the regular TAN ticket valid for an hour and will cost you 1.70€ (or less if you already have a day ticket etc.) Also, all tram stations have a very clear tram and bus map and you will easily be able to see these methods to get to the airport.

By train[edit]

Nantes is just over 2 hours (depending on the number of stops) by TGV from Paris passing through Le Mans and Angers. Trains run regularly throughout the day. There are also direct connections from Nantes to Charles de Gaulle airport and to Lille (stopping at Disneyland Resort Paris) which bypass Paris.

It is also possible to go to

SNCF information: 3635 The railways station has two exits usually referred to as "gare nord" and "gare sud".

  • Exit North: tramway to the city centre.
  • Exit South: pedestrian access to Nantes International Convention Centre, car rentals.

By car[edit]

Car hire is available on many websites if you are travelling to Nantes.

By bus[edit]

The TAN public transport system links Nantes to several nearby burgs, as does the Lila system of regional buses. [6] (French)

By boat[edit]

  • Contact TEL +33 (0) 2 40 37 04 62 for detailed information about the cruises.
  • River Ferries (Navibus) Information & schedule TEL 0810 444 444 (TAN ticket valid for crossings.)

Get around[edit]

Public transport[edit]

There are very good public transportation services provided by the TAN (Transports de l'Agglomération Nantaise). It consists of 3 tram lines, a BusWay (like a tram line and numbered as such but with buses rather than trams), many bus lines, and several Navibus (public boats) lines. A one-hour ticket costs 1,70€ (2€ if bought on board a bus). Once on the bus, tram, or navibus you must validate the ticket in one of the green ticket validation machines. The ticket is then active for one hour with unlimited transfers. Tickets are cheaper if you buy them in bulk (a "carnet" of 10 tickets costs 15,30€) and there are also 24-hour tickets (5,60€ for one person, or 9.50€ for up to 4 people). The 24-hour tickets validated on Saturday are valid through Sunday, and a 24-hour ticket validated one day is valid the next day if the next day is a holiday. The trams start early and run till after midnight, later on Saturdays, however there are also several night bus lines.

By taxi[edit]

Nantes's taxi number is 02 40 69 22 22. There are designated taxi waiting spots near Place du Commerce and the train station, but taxi service is infrequent.

By bike[edit]

Nantes is a very bike-friendly city. There are bicycle lanes alongside most major roads, demarcated by green arrows, and many small streets and trails that are only accessible to pedestrians and cyclists.

Bikes can be rented from Nantes Métropole at one of eight parking lots in the city. You may rent a bike for 6€ for 5 hours, 10€ for a day, 20€ for a week, or 30€ for a month. Additionally, there is a 50% discount for holders of an SNCF or a TAN pass. [7] (French)

Bicloo [8], Nantes self-service bicycle network at 79 locations, offering 700 bicycles. Registration starts at 1€ for a day (with a 150€ deposit in case of damage to the bike), the first 30 minutes are free of charge, 30 minutes to 1 hour 0,50 EUR, 1 hour to 1:30 h 1,50 EUR, and each additional 30 minutes (up to 24h) 2 EUR. There are 89 Bicloo stations allover Nantes but no Bicloo stations outside of the Nantes area.

See[edit][add listing]

Cathédrale Saint-Pierre
  • Château des ducs de Bretagne, (Castle of the Dukes of Brittany) - Nantes History Museum - Expositions. [9]
  • Cathédrale Saint Pierre and its two crypts where the treasures and the history of the cathedral are displayed. Next to the Château des ducs de Bretagne.
  • Musée des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts Museum), Rue Clémenceau. Very beautiful building with an excellent art collection and temporary exhibitions.
  • La Chapelle de l'Oratoire. Rue Henri IV. Near to both the Castle and the Cathedral.
  • Place Maréchal-Foch. Contains one of the few existing statures of Louis XVI, the beheaded king, left in France
  • Le Passage Pommeraye. A shopping mall between la rue Crébillon and la rue de la Fosse built in the 19th century.
  • l'Ile de Versailles, a peaceful island in the Erdre with a Japanese garden.
  • Le Cours Cambronne. A few steps from la place Graslin containing imperial buildings.
  • La Place Mellinet. Contains some of the restored architecture in Nantes and consists of eight perfectly symmetric houses built around an octagon. 200 meters from Port and from Maillé-Brézé.
  • Place du Bouffay. A pedestrian area between the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany, Saint Pierre Cathedral et la Place du Commerce; ancient medieval quarter of Nantesvieux known for its Breton culture and for the pubs and restaurants.
  • Ile Feydeau, magnificent architecture of the 18th century. Shipowners' houses in the sculptured mascarons and the balconies of wrought iron illustrate the wealth accumulated at the time of the triangular trade.
  • Le Maillé-Brézé, a warship (which never saw a battle) which has been moored in Nantes for many years which is open to visitors [10]
  • The Jules Verne Museum, on the Butte Sainte Anne, which has just been completely restored. Has a very good collection of memorabilia and objects associated with Jules Verne. There is also a very nice view of the port of Nantes.
  • The new Palais de Justice on the Île de Nantes, designed by Jean Nouvel and built in 2000.
  • La Tour LU (The LU Tower) - a picturesque tower guarding the entrance of a former Lefevre-Utile biscuit factory.
  • The lieu unique, centre of atypical art shelters a restaurant, a bar, a shop, theaters, etc.
  • Musée Thomas Dobrée.
  • Le Jardin des Plantes (Garden of Plants), situated just outside the main train station (North exit).
  • Le Marché Talensac, the main town market, full of high quality local produce.
  • The Machines de l'Ile (Machines of the Isle of Nantes), an exhibition of fantastic mechanical animals including the Great Elephant on which you can take a ride. Take tramway line 1 to Chantiers Naval, then walk across the bridge. Price is around €6. [11]

Nantes - Collage.jpg

Around Nantes[edit]

The beach, especially the resort town of La Baule, is only a short drive away or can be easily reached by train. There are often cheaper deals if you take the local trains such as the TER or Corail (as opposed to the TGV). You can also travel to the beach at Pornic, a very beautiful town and much less of a beach resort than La Baule. The salt swamps at Guerande, where Breton sea salt is harvested, are worth a visit, as well, and feature an exhibit on the salt-harvesting process.


  • There are around 50 000 students in Nantes Metropole among which 32 000 students in the University of Nantes, the third multi-disciplinary university in France.
  • The city supports the research in the excellent domains of the town with 2 200 researchers and 200 research laboratories.
  • And 15 Elite Schools.


The "Maison de l'Emploi" of the Nantes metropolis was created on October 17th, 2005. This initiative allows to make employment more accessible and also to act against the discriminations in the districts where the unemployment rate is the highest.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • La Frindande, 12 rue Paul Bellamy, from caramels, candies, jams to home-made chocolates.
  • Les Rigolettes nantaises, 18 rue de Verdun et rue Franklin, Nantes candies, chocolates and other regional specialities.
  • Bookshop of the Castle of the dukes of Brittany, place Marc Elder [12], artworks, objects, postcards and collections.
  • Lieu Unique Boutique, quai Ferdinand Favre, LU collections and artists' creations.
  • Tourist Office Boutique, 3 cours Olivier de Clisson et 2 place St Pierre, books, guides, postcards, regional specialties, etc.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Nantes has a rich gastronomic culture, certainly for its famous wine and seafood. Additionally, this region of France is famous as the birthplace of crêpes. For a more savory variant, try the galettes de sarrasin (buckwheat crêpes).


  • Some cafés and crêperies offer affordable prix-fixe menus for lunch, but you probably won't meet many nantais in a creperie, crêpes are done at home, crêperies are for tourists. What about Les Docks near the machines de l'île or La cantine further on l'île de Nantes, or Comme Un PiqueNique Chic near place Bretagne for vegan and vegetarian food, or Les Copains d'abord rue de l'Arche sèche, for a bistrot with a nice retro feel?


  • Cafe Moliere, located in the Place Graslin next to the Theatre Graslin, offers excellent lunch fare, including sandwiches, croques-monsieur (open-faced sandwiches with ham and melted cheese; a delicious variant is the croque-anana, which also features a pineapple slice), steak-frites (steak and French fries), and salads. Coffee and dessert are also available, and the restaurant becomes a bar at night. Get a table outside if Nantes is experiencing rare sunny weather. Café Molière is well situated but widely over priced for what is served, which is just reheated basic bistro fast food. You might want to try nearby Café Boucot, rue Lekain, or Chez Peyo, place de la monnaie. Nearer Bouffay - L'aménité, rue Fénelon, and L'instinct gourmand, rue Saint Leonard. Local seasonal produce, sourced at the farmers market, to taste something authentic.


  • La Cigale, situated in the Place Graslin, has been called "the most beautiful brasserie in France" for its turn-of-the-century decor. Seafood is a particular specialty (as in all of Nantes), and the chef can be seen preparing seafood in front of the restaurant, where there is outdoor seating during warmer months. 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. And that's why it's not splurging, although the decor is amazing, the food is good but not great, and a bit over priced. At the Michelin * L'Atlantide 1874, on butte Sainte Anne. Great food, amaizing view of the Loire and former shipyards, quaint neighbourhood. Awesome. There is also Lulu Rouget on l'île de Nantes, La Poissonnerie Et Pas Que on l'île Feydeau, Un nouveau monde also île Feydeau but nearer to Commerce, or Imagine, rue Gresset near place Graslin. All of them embody the renewal of french food, with local produce perfectly cooked with the a twist of foreign influence to make them interesting and modern again.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Nantes's nightlife is concentrated in the Bouffay area, although there are also many bars and nightclubs near the Place du Commerce and the Théâtre Graslin.

  • Le Bar du Coin located next to the Église Saint-Croix, with an old-fashioned interior occasionally offering an in house DJ.
  • Le Barlocks (19 Rue des Carmes) - a small bar with a nice local feel. Located North of the square to the west of the elaborate clock (Eglise St. Croix). A few hundred metres past the "Place du change" (Place of Change - Mixed Timber house). 3 Belgian Beers on tap, 10 bottled Belgian Beers. Good personality, and great tunes. Bar staff speak a fair amount of English. Hours: Monday - Friday - 12:00 - 24:00. Saturday until 01:00 or 02:00 Google Maps Geo Location
  • Les Fées Maison bar decorated in a fairy-tale theme, offering many unique cocktails and local beers, located near Place du Commerce, close to the tram stop.
  • La Maison bar decorated in the style of an old house from the 70's. You can have a drink sitting in a bathtub in the "bathroom" of the house. Located on the rue Lebrun, a small alleyway off the rue du Maréchal Joffre near the Place Foch with great indoor and an enclosed outdoor area.
  • John McByrne (21 rue des Petites Ecuries, +33 2 40 89 64 46) is a popular traditional Irish Pub in the quartier Bouffay that opened in 1998. With great pints of Guinness served by friendly staff from the Emerald Isle and elsewhere around the globe, this is the place to go to enjoy an authentic Irish atmosphere. Gaelic sports are shown live on TV along with English and Scottish Football and the occasional International Rugby match, all commentated in English.
  • Délirium Café(19 Allée Baco, +33 2 40 08 90 77) is great bar with a good student atmosphere. Offers a lively environment with tables and the bar, as well as an enclosed outside area offering a nice change from the inside scattered with tables. A little bit pricier for the students, but the environment is well worth it. Hosts English themed nights every Wednesday while the local university is in session.
  • Flemming's (22 rue des Carmes, +33 02 40 47 32 86) is a freshly opened Irish pub with a newer, book lined walls, classier interior than the others located around town. Anglophones are typically the only bartenders working, unless the owner is there who is French. As a result if you're looking for the familiarity of the English language or you'd like to improve your English, this is the place to go. Has tables upstairs and down stairs as well as tables outside if the weather is nice enough. Open from 10am to 2pm everyday. Also show's rugby and soccer matches throughout the weekend by way of a screen and projector they have located downstairs.
  • Le Shaft(14 Rue Petites Ecuries, +33 02 40 47 78 56)is a small bar on a corner with a terrace and a friendly, crowded interior. If you're looking for a cheap drink, they offer 3€ pints and Giraffes for cheap.
  • Bier Garten (11 rue de la Juiverie) is located in Bouffay and is perfect for groups of people. Although it looks small, inside it offers 4 rather large back rooms which are more than accommodating for groups. Offers salsa, bands, and various themed nights throughout the week as well.

Try Breton (hard) cider, which comes in either a brut or doux (sweet) variety. A variation is a kir bréton, which is cider mixed with a fruit liqueur (usually black currant, blackberry, or peach). The Nantes area is also known for its Muscadet wine, inexpensive but surprisingly delicious, which goes well with seafood dishes.

Live Music[edit]

Music venues[edit]

  • Le Lieu Unique
  • Le Live

Music Festivals[edit]

  • Soy Festival
  • Hellfest
  • Les nuits de l'Erdre
  • Scopitone
  • L'ère de Rien

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • Youth Hostel, 2 place de la Manu, tram station "Manufacture" (line 1).
  • Camping du Petit Port, camping ground which can be reached by tram from the centre of the town.

When they are not full, sometimes the university residences will rent out rooms for a reasonable price. Contact the director of the desired residence to be sure. Visit CROUS Nantes [13] for more information. (link in French)


  • Matthews Holidays, 0044 1483 285213, [1]. Camping les Genets is just south of the popular seaside resort of St Jean de Monts, about 45 miles from Nantes. Its a family campsite with a Wild West themed swimming pool complex, tennis, table tennis, childrens club and much more.  edit
  • Matthews Holidays, 0044 1483 285213, [2]. Camping le Clarys Plage is located just south of the popular seaside resort of St Jean de Monts, about 45 miles from Nantes. The Splash and Play waterpark forms the centre piece to the campsite, which is 600 yards from the beach, making it is a hit with families year after year.  edit
  • The Novotel hotel, 3 rue de Valmy, (+33)2/51820000, [14]. Near the Convention Centre and the train station, close to the castle and the Cathedral.
  • The Mercure hotel, 50/51 Quai Malakoff, (+33)2/40353030., [15]. A 3* hotel located in city centre, near Nantes' main train station. Ideal for meetings and conventions.
  • Hôtel Kyriad Nantes Centre, 8, allée du commandant Charcot, 44000 Nantes, 02 40 74 14 54 (Fax : 02 40 74 77 68), [16] inexpensive hotel with a good location in central Nantes; Canal Satellite TV, Wifi.
  • Ibis Centre Gare Sud, 3 Allée Baco, 02 40 20 21 20 (Fax : 01 40 48 24 64), [17]. Between the Château des Ducs de Bretagne and the Place du Commerce.
  • Ibis Tour de Bretagne,19 rue Jean Jaures, 02 40 35 39 00 (Fax : 01 40 89 07 74), [18]. Covered parking and a bar and restaurant, l'hôtel Ibis is close to the Tour de Bretagne.
  • Hotel Pommeraye, 2, rue Boileau, (+33)2/40487879. [19] A hotel located next to the Passage Pommeraye(shopping), free Wifi (and PC to use) in the lobby.


  • Westotel (***). [20] swimming pool and free internet. Can sometimes get a good deal.
  • Radisson Blu Hotel, Nantes, 6 place Aristide Briand 44000 Nantes France, +33 (2) 7200 1000, [3]. Built in 1851 this is a truly beautiful building in which to have a hotel.  edit


The first part of the WIFI network covers the city center, lieu unique, SNCF train station, Ile de Nantes district. From the Nantes WIFI portal site, the access is free and directs towards some sites of practical information in Nantes Métropole (in English and French).

  • Hotel bookings
  • Cultural and tourist activities
  • Restaurants
  • Traffic information

Many bars and cafés also offer free Wifi to those with a laptop computer. Look for the WiFi logo in the windows.

Stay safe[edit]

Nantes is a very safe city in comparison to most major European cities. Police presence is reasonably visible and the trams are patrolled by TAN officials at night. Be prudent and exercise caution after dark. The European emergency number 112 is accessible in Nantes.


There is a very strong international presence in Nantes because of the many international students attracted by the large and well-known Université de Nantes. Every Wednesday evening international students meet at Buck Mulligan's bar to meet new people and socialise in a variety of languages. In addition, there are several Irish bars in Nantes in which the bartenders speak fluent English. Most Nantais are fairly friendly and will do their best to help you get by, although obviously they will be happier if you make an effort to communicate in French.


  • Gr-flag.png Greece, Rue de la Caillette, +03 240-759-929 (fax: +33 240-759-929).  edit

Get out[edit]

  • Guérande, a fortified city surrounded by Medieval walls. Guérande is also famous for its sea salt production.
  • Clisson, a small town with a ruined castle and an annual open-air heavy metal festival, Hellfest, in June.
  • Le Croisic, a small fishing town, also a short walk from the scenic Côte Sauvage.

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