"Rennes" Top 5 Page for this destination Rennes by Goner

Rennes Travel Guide: 127 reviews and 394 photos

A Stay in Rennes

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 and Cons
  • 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
  • Last visit to Rennes: Aug 1998
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (11)

Comments (5)

  • LauraWest's Profile Photo
    Mar 1, 2005 at 6:09 PM

    I had to add your Rennes section to my Custom Guide. Maybe I'll add this city to my trip. thanks.

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Jan 14, 2005 at 6:01 PM

    very interesting architecture and Musee de Bretagne sounds interesting as well, not to mention salty crepes.

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo
    Jul 6, 2004 at 8:25 PM

    I love the old parts of the city. I was surprised by the language there. Salt crepes sure sound different. What a dreadful experience with your hotel!!

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Jun 26, 2004 at 8:52 PM

    The architecture here is grand...the opera, cathedral, and parliment building in particular. The hotel tip story was, indeed, a nightmare tale. Excellent text.

  • Toyin's Profile Photo
    Jun 19, 2004 at 8:35 PM

    I guess I am the first visitor here. I could see the excellent architecture of Renne's, it is very reminiscence. Nice page.


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