Cultural and festive Nantes

From its prestigious Château of the Dukes of Brittany to its giant elephant, Nantes has all it takes to enchant everyone. Come and discover its pedestrian districts and its marvellous, buzzing Ile de Nantes! 

Nantes, "ville de culture" ("city of culture")

Nantes can boast a large number of splendid eighteenth-century houses. Many of these can be admired in the Feydeau district, once an island in the Loire. The Château of the Dukes of Brittany, the last castle before the ocean offers plenty of attractions, including its ramparts, courtyard, garden moat and, within, the Musée d’Histoire de Nantes (History of Nantes Museum).

Nantes is a cultural city down to its famous passage Pommeraye, filmed many times for the cinema. A great place in which to linger or go shopping.

Buzzing Nantes: the île de Nantes, events and restaurants

Cross one of branches of the Loire to reach the île de Nantes and its Machines de l’île (Island Machines). A whole imaginary world worthy of Jules Verne awaits you!

Take care with the Great Elephant which – if you are not riding him – might decide to spray you after trumpeting a couple of warnings... Continuing with your island stroll, you will come to Daniel Buren's Rings, a work from the permanent collection of the  Estuaire itinerary between Nantes and Saint-Nazaire.

In the evening, Nantes comes to life, both on the island, near the Hangar à Bananes, and in the centre of town, in the medieval districts of Juiverie and  Bouffay. For dinner, take your pick from the "Tables de Nantes" selection of restaurants and then go for a nightcap at the Lieu Unique, known as "LU". Formerly the biscuit factory of the same name, it is now the national centre for contemporary arts at Nantes and offers a bar, a restaurant, a bookshop and even a hammam... 

In summer, be sure not to miss the Voyage à Nantes (Journey to Nantes) event, which since 2012 offers an unusual jaunt through the town. 

Nantes is located at the crossroads of two important cycle itineraries: The Loire by bike and Velodyssey.

Tourism in Nantes: some 'must-sees'

To make the most of your stay in Nantes, here are some of the major attractions:
  • The cathedral of Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul, containing the tomb of Francis II, last Duke of Brittany;
  • The gardens covering seven hectares in the middle of town;
  • The Graslin district and its opera house;
  • The memorial to the abolition of slavery; 
  • Trentemoult, a small fishing village 10 minutes from Nantes by boat;
  • The Bretagne tower and its panoramic view over the town.

For more information, visit the Voyage à Nantes website.
Accommodation nearby
Are you looking for a hotel, bed and breakfast, campsite, gite or traditional horse-drawn caravan? Discover all our accommodation ideas for your stay in the Loire Valley.


at approximately 18 Km


International cuisine
at approximately 104 m


Traditional cuisine
at approximately 515 m


Park, Botanical garden, Pleasure garden
at approximately 178 m