"A surprising city" Top 5 Page for this destination Nantes by chess_machine

Nantes Travel Guide: 220 reviews and 643 photos

Nantes is the town I am coming from, and where I have lived, all periods added, around 20 years of my life. I am 28, so it is a quite important part of mine! ;)

I have spent around 18 years while living at my parents place. When very young, the city was limited for me to around 3-4 blocks and distances to go not so far away from my home seemed huge at that time. I was living in le Quartier Graslin, in the city center. Going to Bouffay seemed far, far away when little. Now, it takes me 5 minutes walking;)

When a teenager, I hated Nantes. Thought it was boring and just dreamt of going to Paris, where there seemed to be much more excitement and entertainement. So that's what I did.

And then came back again a few years later to Nantes and now that I had lived away, started to see it differently and actually started to appreciate the city.

Nantes is not the most beautiful city in France. Clearly. It just lacks major sightseeings, which explains why there are still few tourists. HOWEVER, the city has a real personnality, is beautiful and above all is changing very quickly and transforming into a quite avant garde place.

Over the last 10 years, many artistic and architectural projects have emerged in Nantes. You may have heard from les Machines de l'Ile, those huge animals in metals from the artistic company Royal de Luxe. They were built in Nantes. Lieu Unique is also a major artistic place in Nantes, with sets of famous DJs, very modern exhibitions and... the biggest hammam in France. Several naval warehouses have been transformed in clubs, bars and restaurants and the city is focusing its effort in recentralizing the city center around la Loire, France's main river.

Nantes is not a city with oustanding beauty, such as Venize, Firenze or Amsterdam, where you turn your eyes at every corner. Though, it is more a city quite humble architecturaly speaking, but that you have to discover by yourself.

I recommend Nantes for people who like cities where water plays a major role and where there is artistic innovation. Even for some who dont recognize themselves in this description, Nantes is still a very nice place to wander a few days, visiting the wonderful Passage Pommeraye, going to have oysters at one of the most beautiful brasserie in France: la Cigale, or going into the Cathedrale and the Chateau.

If you stop in Nantes and have some time, there are plenty places very nice to visit on the sea side: La Baule bay, Noirmoutier, Vendée, etc.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:going along la Loire and seeing the construction of a new ambitious district, la Cigale brasserie
  • Last visit to Nantes: Jan 2009
  • Intro Updated Feb 12, 2009
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Reviews (47)

Comments (12)

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2009 at 8:20 AM

    Thank you for the introduction to your home. I, too travelled far away and returned to my roots w/ greater appreciation. Perhaps I will visit Nantes one day.

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Jul 24, 2008 at 12:19 PM

    Excellent page of Nantes. Cheers, SL :)

  • Apr 22, 2008 at 9:52 AM

    Durring my last visit to nantes some of the pubs had "bulldog" strong ale by the J. courage co. Can it still be found anywhere?

  • codrutz's Profile Photo
    Apr 22, 2008 at 4:03 AM

    Great tips for Nantes, thanks

  • zlatiq's Profile Photo
    Sep 1, 2007 at 6:48 AM

    thanks for the tips;i'll be visiting a friend there soon,so its good to know that i have options;cheers

  • Polychrome's Profile Photo
    Mar 22, 2007 at 5:22 PM

    I LOVE that castle! My one time beofre to Nantes my hotel room looked out onto the castle and it was just dreamy! I must've taken a zillion pix of it, including the green moss and algea in the mote.

  • mustertal's Profile Photo
    Nov 21, 2006 at 1:23 PM

    I've enjoyed your pages, I am coming to Nantes next year for the Rugby World Cup.

  • sprdak11's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2006 at 6:25 AM

    Hello. Great page about Nantes. Greetings :)

  • CALSF's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2005 at 8:21 PM

    Hi, great tips of your former hometown. I should consider a visit as it's just 2+ hours away from Paris via TGV.

  • La_Holandesa's Profile Photo
    Oct 26, 2005 at 4:01 PM

    Merci Olivier pour ton email! the doggie & the thing is funny yeahh, lol! happy travels!! and I have to visit Belle-Ile, Noirmoutier, l'Ile d'Yeu someday!! Anita

chess_machine Used To Live Here!

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