"Venice of the West (without tourists)" Top 5 Page for this destination Nantes by mindcrime

Nantes Travel Guide: 167 reviews and 463 photos

We visited Nantes because we wanted to attend Hellfest festival that takes place in Clisson(a small town 30km away) and brings in the area about 25,000 people every year. The 3 days of the festival we were leaving early in the morning only to return back to the hotel at 2:00am so we couldnt really enjoy the city but we decided to add 2 extra days for a proper sightseeing in the city that Jules Verne was born.

Nantes is located 385 SW of Paris (3 hours by fast TGV train) and 50km from Atlantic cost, in our days it?s the capital of Pays de la Toire region but it used to be the capital of Brittany (Bretagne).

In the old days it used to an important port serving the trade with Africa and West Indies. Nantes has about 800,000 inhabitants in the general metropolitan area(and about 50,000 students at the university) . One interesting fact about the city is that it is named after the gaulish tribe Namnetes, a pre-Roman era tribe that lived there in 70BC

It?s a normal french city, clean, with a small old city centre where you can see the cathedral, the château, some small but good museums and enjoy your wine at some nice small brasseries. Of course it?s not high on tourists? lists but we saw some tourist buses passing by.

Due to its proximity with the Atlantic they have cold winters and mild summers but the main problem is the rainfalls, we noticed a lot of them in mid june. We spend most of the evenings at Place du Bouffay, the old part of the city where you can find many restaurants and bars. In the morning we checked some of the sights but also walked a bit near Loire river(actually its branch that is called Erdre) that passes through the city.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:peaceful, clean, no tourists
  • Last visit to Nantes: Jun 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (26)

Comments (6)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    May 29, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Thanks for the introduction to Nantes, a city I have never been to so far and know amazingly little about. I haven't even been to the Opéra Graslin yet, but would like to see a performance there sometime. (The operas of Nantes and Angers were merged at some point, so they now have one opera company for both cities.)

    • mindcrime's Profile Photo
      May 29, 2013 at 9:09 PM

      we added 2 extra days just to see Nantes and didnt regret it.

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo
    Aug 28, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    nice interesting page, remarkable monument to the 50 murdered hostages. somehow, i get the feeling this is not a top tourist attraction for good reasons. the elephant doesn't help.

  • vichatherly's Profile Photo
    Jul 5, 2011 at 1:08 AM

    Great Nantes tips. I like the story about the waitress and the coffee. langauage can be awkward at times but if you work in a cafe ... most people come in for a coffee!!

  • Aitana's Profile Photo
    Jul 4, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Nantes must me a nice city. A good place for your annual rock event. And of course, the visit to the castle ;-) Good page.

  • janetanne's Profile Photo
    Jul 4, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    That river boat reminds me of the movie 'Chocolat.' Why did they have a rock festival in an area that has so much rain at that time of the year? Looks like you had a good time anyway!

  • iblatt's Profile Photo
    Jul 3, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    Interesting tips! What brought you to Nantes? I'm now working on my Oxford page (you are welcome to visit!). Kalinichta! Ilan


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