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Nantes, the sixth largest city in France, is steeped in history and rich in cultural diversity. Known as “la Venise de l'Ouest”, this dynamic city on the banks of the Loire River offers an intriguing blend of history, arts and vibrant street life.
Nantes' verdant expanses, enriched by a long-standing commitment to sustainable living, and a plethora of architectural masterpieces, reveal why this fascinating city was once the seat of the Dukes of Brittany. The city's lively, multi-cultural ambience ensures that every holiday spent here provides a unique, unforgettable experience.
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Château des ducs de Bretagne
Begin right at the heart with the Château des ducs de Bretagne. This 15th-century monument is more than just a striking castle. It now houses the Musée d’histoire de Nantes, which offers an enriching perspective on the city's heritage complete with striking nighttime illuminations.
Step right into the wonders of greenery at the Botanical Garden. Embrace the serene beauty of thousands of plants, interspersed with innovative art installations. It is indeed a haven for nature enthusiasts and art lovers alike.
Les Anneaux de la mémoire
Take a historic trip with Les Anneaux de la mémoire. This association brings alive Nantes' slave trade history through immersive and thought-provoking exhibitions, walking tours and educational materials.
Keep aside a day exclusively for the charming nearby seaport, Saint-Nazaire. Its maritime vigour and vibrant culture is certainly worth exploring.
Le Voyage à Nantes
Finally, soak in the embrace of Nantes’ artistic spirit at Le Voyage à Nantes. This annual summer event livens the city with art installations, concerts and cultural events that ensure a spectacular climax to your visit.
Crêperie Heb Ken
How about an authentic taste of Nantes with a classic galette, a savoury, gluten-free crêpe paired with cider. You can try this iconic Breton dish at Crêperie Heb Ken.
Indulge your sweet tooth at La Cigale, a historic brasserie famous for its exquisite pastries and equally delectable Art Nouveau decor.
Coffee lovers must visit Café L'Orée, known for its speciality, artisanally roasted coffee, enjoyed best with homemade pastries.
Le Comptoir des Vins et Terroirs
Treat your senses at Le Comptoir des Vins et Terroirs, a wine bar that brings together an exceptional selection of wines from across the region.
Finally, end your culinary exploration on an elevated note with a panoramic dining experience at Le Nid, a bar-restaurant perched at the top of the Tour Bretagne offering far-reaching views of the city.
Nantes offers a gratifying travel experience round the year, yet to fully embrace the city at its sunniest, consider visiting between June and July. These months offer the best weather conditions with longest daylight hours, enhancing your exploration.
However, if you wish to avoid rainfall, pack your bags for September, traditionally the driest month. The months of January, February, and March are the least crowded, making it an ideal time for tourists seeking a more tranquil experience. In all, Nantes is a classic French city with modern expectations and timeless appeal.
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