The dazzling city of Nantes in western France is the ideal destination for a city break. It is a lively university city where modernity and history meet to offer tourists striking art, deep culture, and unforgettable fun. In the case that you have had a thorough encounter with Paris and looking to go elsewhere in France for magical moments, Nantes is primed for you. Though not so big, the city’s sceneries are stunning, and it is a city definitely worth visiting.
>>Also Read: Nantes Travel Guide
Here Are Some Reasons Why Nantes Is Worth Visiting:
It Is Every Parisians’ Second Home
Nantes’ reputation for art and culture in uniquely outstanding. It is the capital of the Pay de la Loire and has transformed itself in the last few decades. Though there is hardly any industrial activity along the Loire River, the city is vibrant and clean, and filled with students, hardworking architectural projects and tech companies.
Nantes is widely known to rank high on the list of quality of life. That is why Parisians love to escape the bustles of the capital for this gentle and friendly atmosphere. It will come as no surprise if you meet retirees from Paris when you visit Nantes.
The city used to be well-favored bin the heydays of French royalty. The history is rich there, and visitors will learn more about the château des Ducs de Bretagne which is a castle that looks over the medieval district. When you step inside, you will find a delicately designed museum that takes you on a trip back in time to the Middle Ages. There you will learn more about the slave trade in Nantes and the city’s occupation and bombing in the Second World War.
The Old Town is Wonderfully Preserved
A legacy of the 1700s and 1800s, when the city was a rich, lively river port, is broad boulevards meeting on impressive squares that are filled with cafes in the summertime. You can stroll through the ornate Passage Pommeraye, a stalely 1800s arcade marked with chic shops, and have a seat at La Cigale, a lively brasserie on Place Graslin, popular for its affluent, new art décor which makes for a decent spot to people-watch.
Great Art Scene
The Louvre Museum is to the French capital while the Musée d’Art is to the city of Nantes. There have been new additions to the museum that makes it more elegant. The Cube is a new wing in a semitransparent marble that houses works from Monet, Kadinsky, and Picasso. The major palatial gallery leads visitors from pieces works from the 1200s to the 1800s.
This is not the only art presence in the city. There are arty destinations through Nantes. Most of them are in the form of offbeat installations like the procession of massive rings at the Ile de Nantes waterfront, an island in the river, and their sensational glow that goes off in the river at night.
Art On The River Banks
The city spreads along the Loire banks, which sprawls as it courses west, its banks marked with fields and marshland until it touches the ocean at Saint-Nazaire, the lively port. The 120 minutes’ journey by day cruiser is filled with wonders, so get a map from the tourist office and watch what goes on.
There is a spectacle here, a curved house in the middle of the river. There is also a yacht that seems to have dropped and melted at the bank. These are parts of the Art Trail of about 30 installations.
Lodging In a Boutique Hotel On a Budget
The city has a great selection of chic hotels in its neat center, and they are reasonably affordable. You can check-in at the Hotel Pommeraye. It is located by the Passage Pommeraye, where the rooms are well furnished and minimalist, but some have been designed by local artists. There is also the Hotel de France that has interesting art decoration feel and looks over Place Graslin.
The Entire City Of Nantes is Walkable
On the pavement connecting all main sites from the medieval quarter to the modern regeneration projects, the Nantes tourist office has painted a green line. With this, visitors cannot get lost. When they have had a decent session of strolling, they can hop on a tram. Trams are efficient and affordable. This is also a brilliant way to come closer to the city’s major monuments.
A Mammoth Mechanical Elephant
Jules Verne is a native of Nantes and has inspired Les Machines de L’Ile and an impressive collection of inventors’ workshop that fills he site of a spot that used to be a shipyard on the Ile de Nantes.
It is a 12 m high mechanical elephant. It conveys about 50 people and marches around the quayside, bursting spray from its trunk. Strange sea animals, including a bi crab and an angler fish, turns on a carousel. In a massive hangar, visitors can attempt to fly in a basket hanging from a pterodactyl-ish heron. They can also ride on a strange-looking spider. Children will be particularly interested in this destination.
Sampling Gourmet Chocolate
Relate with the New World from the 1700s’ ships. The vessels were meant to arrive in the city with strange new items like coffee, cocoa, and sugar. Therefore, chocolatiers merged in different parts of Nantes, and visitors can still see many of them.
Eat Well For Under €30
Not many cities are like Nantes, where you can eat for less than €30. The city does not have a shining culinary scene and Michelin stars, but its rising chefs concentrate on traditional ingredients, especially seafood from the Atlantic ocean.
Île de Nantes
This natural feature in Nantes is worth visiting the city for. It is an island area of the city situated in Nantes central and circled by the Loire. A component of big development work, Île de Nantes, is a spectacular part of Nantes to relax. It is also made of four areas. For the visitor looking for artworks and exhibitions, they can proceed to Republic and walk through the Parc de Beaulieu. There is the Quai des Antilles that is one of the island’s major spots. There, visitors will discover broad paths for walking, nice installations, and bar terraces.
The Château Country
If you have added rural exploration to your itinerary, Nantes is a perfect place for that. There is the Chateau Country is the base for every exploration in the suburb that you have planned to undertake. You can rent a car and go into the beautiful Loire Valley. There, you can also discover some of the country’s most impressive castles.
Beach Day Trips
The city is perfect for some hop, skip, and jump to the sea adventure. This makes it as enchanting for both summer and winter holidaymakers. After appreciating the sights, visitors can also plan day trips to the beach. Among the close wonders to the southwest is the beautiful island of Noirmoutier-en-Île. There, pine forests meet dunes within a few hours’ drive.
Is Nantes Worth It- Summary
Nantes is an ideal destination for a laidback vacation. Parisians, especially, can attest to how fascinating the city can be. And if you are traveling to France for the first time, there is no better way to introduce you to the French style of leisure than a visit to Nantes. It is affordable and alluring regardless of the time of the visit.