Nantes, France Rundown
There is a reason why Nantes, France, nicknamed the ‘Venice of the West’, was once voted the most livable city in Europe. Nantes is located on the banks of the Loire River, and this artsy city boasts many unique restaurants, a vibrant nightlife and fun museums to explore.Le Lieu Unique is Nante’s contemporary arts centre and is housed in a former Lefèvre-Utile biscuit factory. This large artistic space showcases a wide array of theatre, visual arts, dance, music, circus, music and much more.
For a more historical perspective of Nantes, take a tour of the Château des Ducs de Bretagne, which also hosts the History Museum of the City of Nantes. Several churches with stunning architecture are located throughout Nantes, including the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul and the Église Notre-Dame de Bon-Port. Those looking for some fun can enjoy a ride inside a 45-tonne mechanical Great Elephant in the Gallery of the Machines de l'île or let the Musee Jules Vernecaptivate with its unique displays of the works of the famous French author. Visitors looking for hip restaurants and clubs need to look no further than Hangar à Bananes on the Île de Nantes.
When To Go
Nantes has cool winters and mild summers. Keep your umbrellas, raincoats and boots handy in this city, however, because it rains almost every week. The best time to visit Nantes is April through October.
- April through October: Highs 20°C (68°F); lows 10°C (50°F)
- November through March: Highs 10°C (50°F); lows 0°C (32° F)
- Best time to visit Nantes is April through October
The Nantes-Atlantique International Airport just south of the city has regular connections to Paris, Lyon and other French cities. Ryanair and British Airways operate flights to and from the United Kingdom.
By train, Nantes is just two hours from Paris, and there are several throughout the day. Public transportation consists of three tram lines, the BusWay and several public boats. The trams start early and run until after midnight, and buses also run late into the night. Taxi service is available, but you will have to call ahead and make a reservation.
Bicycles are prevalent in Nantes, and there are bicycle lanes alongside most major roads and small streets. Many streets and trails in the city are designed only wide enough to allow bikers and pedestrians.
- By air: Nantes-Atlantique International Airport
- By rail: Two hours from Paris
- Public transit: Trams, BusWay, public boats are readily available and convenient
Attractions & Activities
Restaurant & Nightlife
Nantes has a temperate climate, with mild conditions throughout the year.
- Winter (December to February) 2-11°C
- Spring (March to May) 5-19°C
- Summer (June to September) 11-25°C
- Fall (October to November) 4-17°C
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