Nantes is located in western France on the Loire River.
It’s the capital of the Pays de la Loire region and is the 6th largest city in France. Nantes is known for its art de vivre which combines culture and relaxation, for romantic excursions in summer. It’s also home to one France’s top symphony orchestras and fine opera company that performs in the Theatre Graslin. The cities historic centre has so much to offer from the Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne to the amazing gothic cathedral, Cathedrale de Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul. If you love architecture and history then this French city is definitely a must. If you are visiting with children then make sure to visit Jardin des Plantes which is one of the most exquisite botanical gardens in France, with a brilliant children’s playground at the end of the gardens.
Nantes is known to be one of the most desirable places for young artists to live outside Paris. Musee des Beaux-Arts houses some of the finest collections of French paintings outside Paris, with works by Georges de la Tour, Chagall, Monet, Picasso and Kandinsky among others. Another amazing museum overlooking the river is Musee Jules Verne, with 1st edition books, hand-edited manuscripts and cardboard theatre cut-outs. Here you will learn about the work of Joules Verne, for instance his famous book ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, which makes the museum well worth visiting regardless.
When it comes to dinning out Nantes caters for all tastes. Some of the best restaurants however are Felix, L’Atlantide, La Cigale, La Poissonnerie, Manoir de la Boulaie and Manoir de la Regate. You will also find that some cafes offer affordable prix-fixe menus for lunch, which are brilliant. Lots of restaurants can be found in the old part of the city (Place du Bouffay), which is the medieval quarter of the city. If you are looking for something cheap then La Piazza d’Italia is a great Italian restaurant that serves a variety of Pizza’s and other delicious Italian dishes.
The cities most famous shopping street is Rue Crebillon. The street houses the most important designer stores as well as a range of interesting local labels. The street also leads to a wonderful passage Pommeraye, a stunning 19th century arcade with chic boutiques. If you love markets then make sure to visit the Marche de Talensac on Place de Talensac, which is the biggest and best market. You will also find really good flea markets on Rue Jean Jaures and around Place Viarme.
At night Nantes turns into one big party. The city is filled with nightspots where most of the cities partygoers and tourists meet. Great cafes and pubs line along place du Bouffay. However the younger crowds tend to meet at Rue Scribe. Other popular spots are the Le Lieu Unique, Le Tie Break, Quai West, Balapapa, Le Royal Club Prive and Wilton’s Club. The bars and clubs in Nantes are very attractive and some have venues that hold presentations like French plays and art exhibits. No matter what you are looking for at night Nantes has it all from Piano bars that play live jazz music to dance clubs that play house music.