Firstly, Nantes has a rich culture and intriguing history, projecting it an interesting city in the Pays de la Loire région. Nantes is the 6th largest city in France has one of the oldest ports. Located in the northwestern part of France and has two beautiful rivers flowing, the Loire and the Erdre. Nantes is famous for its wine and LU biscuits. Now, the interesting places to visit and things to be done are mentioned below.
1.Château des ducs de Bretagne
The Château des ducs de Bretagne (English: Castle of the Dukes of Brittany) was the residence of the Dukes of Brittany between the 13th and 16th centuries built in the gothic style stands majestic around the city center. The castle’s interiors were renovated and converted to a museum and reopened to the public after 2007. The museum displays the history of the city, the revolution period, modern ideas and future enhancements with quite diverse artifacts collected over time.
The display includes paintings, sculptures, models, engravings, photographs, various tools, instruments, furniture and many more which portrays the significance of hard work and efforts involved to build the castle and the city of Nantes.
2. Cathedral of St.Peter and St.Pau
Cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul de Nantes is of gothic architecture. It took close to 457 years to finish completely and its iconic towers dominate the city rooftops. The tomb of François II, Duke of Brittany and his wife Marguerite de Foix are a few of the highlights of the cathedral. The sun rays highlight the colorful stained glasses and their reflection inside the cathedral is phenomenal.
Cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul de Nantes has stunning light show once in a few years during Chrismas which will leave you awestruck. The light show weaves a story and carves the facade of the cathedral with vibrant colors. If you need an aerial view, I would recommend visiting the top of the Tour de Bretagne and cherish the spectacular lighting.
3. Les Machines de l’île
Les Machines de l’île (English: Machine of the isle of Nantes) is an exhibition space located on the Island of Nantes, near the old shipyard. The perfect place for enthusiasts of Jules Verne and machines. Moreover, the exhibition includes mechanically functioning models of a giant hummingbird, spider and finally the Grand Elephant. In 2019, a sloth had its entry into the list of machines.
The majestic animal comes out for a walk powered by hydraulic oils and gear mechanisms which can accommodate 50 passengers. While riding on the elephant one can have a wonderful view of the Loire river and the former shipyards. Oh yeah !! The trunk sprays water if you fancy it, have a go at it.
This is an indoor shopping mall near the central part of the city of Nantes is well known for its passage and the grand staircase. The famous statues are of teenagers in reflecting in deep or serious thoughts all tend to hold a hidden meaning about the Commerce, Industry, Fine arts, Science, Entertainment and Maritime Commerce.
Inaugurated in 1843, this was a dream of Louis Pommeraye who wanted to transform an insanitary and ill-framed district into a passage of luxury shops. However, of the years it has become a popular place for social and walking place and now holds 66 stores of various businesses.
5.Jardin des Plantes
Jardin des Plantes is one of the most iconic spots if you like to take an evening stroll and be one of the beautiful flowers. The garden has more than 10,000 species of plants and mainly celebrated for its camellia collection, wild Sylvestre tulip, and the Magnolias. All around the year, the garden has close to 2 million visitors. Over the years, the garden has been well maintained and has been brightened up to be a home for a lot of the birds. If you’re lucky you might even get to see a few tortoises strolling around the park.
6.Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle
The museum was inaugurated in 1810 by François-René Dubuisson. It is filled with important scientific heritage. There is a Zoology Gallery, Gallery of Earth and Universe sciences, Vivarium and many more. The collection holds about 25,000 specimens of birds, which is one of the largest in France. Apart from them, it has 1,600 mammals, 400 fish specimens, whale fin of 18.60 meters long weighing approximately 35 tons.
The Earth and Universe collection include minerals, rocks, and fossils. It also one of France’s best meteorite collections. Some of the remarkable collections are Amethyst quartz geode, Black beauty, Meteorite of Rocheservière. Apart from them, the museum also holds a great collection of various snakes from different parts of the world.
7.La Place Royale
La Place Royale is located in the city center and the monumental fountain was opened in 1865, but was damaged during WWII and later on was renovated and opened to the public. The monument is a Greek mythological figure Amphitrite, goddess of sea and wife of Poseidon. Now the square is now filled with restaurants and kiosks. Over the past few years, it has become a major hangout spot for a lot of residents and tourists in Nantes. La Place Royale is bubbling with markets during the Christmas and looks staggering.
8.Le Hangar à bananes
Le Hangar à bananes is the recent name for ‘Hangar 21’ of the port of Nantes. This is located along the banks of the Loire river. After the first world war, the banana trade bloomed and the port was used to import goods for the French colonies. Therefore, a hangar especially to store and handle bananas was built, which after 2000 was rehabilitated and converted to bars, restaurants, nightclubs and residential areas.
Over the years, some of the well know party clubs and hangout spots in Nantes has been established here. In 2007, the artwork of 18 rings was created which are fitted with neon lights to glow during the night and have become a major photo spot.
9.Le Nid @ Tour Bretagne
Tour Bretagne is a 37-story skyscraper with a height of 144 meters and is the third tallest building in France. The top floor of the Brittany tower holds a cozy bar ‘Le Nid’. People visit this tower frequently is because of the amazing 360° panoramic view of Nantes with the price of admission being just 1€ !!!! The best part is it’s open till midnight on weekdays and on Saturday till 2 am. You can view the city during daylight, twilight and after sunset.
Fellow tourists interested in watching the sunset and admire the beauty of the color of the sky, this will be the perfect place and be at peace. You can grab your drink and enjoy the view with your friends or loved ones.
How many days do you need to explore Nantes : A minimum of 2 days, 1 night.
What is the Language spoken in Nantes : French (Francais)
Do locals speak English : Very less, However, you can manage to go shopping and to restaurants without knowing French.
What is the Currency used in Nantes : Euros ( € )