"Rennes" Top 5 Page for this destination Rennes by Goner
Rennes Travel Guide: 100 reviews and 327 photos
Rennes is the largest city in the Brittany Region of France (Bretagne) with nearly a quarter of a million inhabitants. They have two large universities and many hi-tech factories. You won’t find as many tourists here as the great medieval icon Mt. St. Michel or the lovely seaside village of St. Malo, but Rennes does have its own medieval core. The fire of 1720 that burned for six days destroyed most of it, but there are picturesque half-timbered buildings lining its narrow streets, as well as the highrise granite structures built after the fire. The Palais de Justice - Rennes’ law courts, built in 1618-55 still stood after the fire with parts of building being used until it was severely damaged in a fire during the riots over fish prices in February 1994. Since then, it has been renovated back to its original state.
Rennes is a good base for visiting the region of Brittany as many trains arrive from Paris each day, and nearly any part of Brittany can be reached from here within a two-hour drive. There are many designer shops to enjoy along with many hotels which usually have rooms when the other tourist areas are full. There is an active nightlife in its many restaurants and bars. Brittany’s exceptional regional food, crepes and hard cider, can be enjoyed in restaurants or creperies.
Rennes sits on a peninsula on the Atlantic coast where the rivers Viaine and Illi converge. It was an important Gallo-Roman town. In the 10th century it became the capital of the Breton county of Rennes. Under the ancient régime it was the seat of the provincial Breton estates, the powerful parliment of Rennes, and several courts of justice. The town was ravaged by the Norsemen and again in the Hundred Years War. It also took a beating during WWII, but was the first town in France to be liberated.
- Pros:Great nightlife, many hotels and some medieval charm
- Cons:The medieval area can be seen a a half a day
- In a nutshell:Great base for exploring Brittany
Rennes is but a two-hour ride on the TGV from Paris. Its modern gare SNCF is located south of the Vilaine, around twenty... more travel advice
Rennes' old quarter, with its surviving cobblestone streets and half-timbered, 15th- and 16th-century Renaissance and... more travel advice
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