In the Old Harbour and through the Old City’s arched streets you can enjoy a pleasant walk or decide to jump on a horse carriage. You will see medieval houses, fine Renaissance homes and 18th-century residences, as well as sober and noble town mansions from ship-owners.
The three 14th and 15th century towers dominate the port area of the city and are architectural symbols of La Rochelle as a strong opponent of state power in the past. You can visit the towers for great panoramic views and some sightseeing! Don´t forget to bring your camera!
From La Rochelle you can go on a boat that takes you to beautiful Ré, Aix and Oléron islands, viewing or stopping by the famous Fort Boyard on the way. Many organized or private tours as well as nautical activities such as sailing are available. One company who takes you to Fort Boyard including Aix and Oleron Island is Croisières Navipromer:
If you don’t feel comfortable on a boat, you may want to rent a bike and go to the Ré Island on an excursion. The island is linked to La Rochelle with a 3-kilometres toll bridge. Enjoy the empty beaches, sensational Atlantic sunsets and delicious seafood on this beautiful island! Don´t miss the lighthouse called "Whales Lighthouse" and enjoy the breathtaking view on the top.
In La Rochelle you can find one of the largest European aquariums, featuring some 10,000 creatures from the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and even the Tropics! La Rochelle Aquarium is also a centre for the protection of marine species and also a centre for marine studies.
If you are feeling adventurous, contact Altitudes Parachutisme. They are located right next to the airport and offers both solo and tandem skydiving. This will for sure be an experience, combining amazing view over the spectacular coast as getting an adrenaline rush!
The Musée des Automates is a small museum, showing 300 automated dolls from the last two centuries including life-size figures and a full-size re-creation of a street in Montmartre with shops displaying automatons in motion in their windows. In the second museum, Musée des Modèles Réduits, next door, they display models of boats, trains and cars.
Visit the traditional Latin Mass chapelle, similar to its bigger sister in Paris. This church is small, quiet and rarely full of tourists and is conveniently located in the centre of La Rochelle. A place where to get some peace of mind while admiring the interior, especially the stained glass windows.
This inviting restaurant has a warm atmosphere and is popular among its guests due to great service and excellent French dishes (also serving pizzas). Baitona is passionate about great products so expect the dishes to be beautifully presented. Its ideal location close to the towers and the sea front is just an extra bonus.
This Vegetarian-friendly restaurant is a great choice if you are looking for something different, the menu also includes fish and meat dishes. Les Perot-Quais is truly popular among its customers and serves lovely dishes with thrilling combinations of food and flavours. Think about making a reservation at this French/European restaurant!
This café has a lovely atmosphere and an elegant decor with Napoleon-style woodwork including chandeliers and large wall mirrors. Created in 1793, Café de la Paix is one of the favourite old town cafés where you can enjoy a delicious Cognac made locally in the Poitou-Charentes region.
This small coffee shop is favoured by the sweet tooth and the children for its waffles! Come have a bite! The young and enthusiastic team will happy cover your waffle (and your heart) with melted nutella, speculoos paste or any other flavour you feel like.
Halfway between a bakery and a coffee shop, Aux Delices de Vero sells coffees and other beverages, bread, sandwiches and some sweet treats. Great for a breakfast or a quick lunch. They recently opened a salad bar where you can compose your own salad by choosing the ingredients.
This bar-lounge and club features Latin rhythms and exotic cocktails in a warm and fun ambiance. Open as a bar from Wednesday to Saturday at 9pm, it turns into a club after 12am. Saturdays tend to be a bit crowded, but this is only one more proof that the Cohiba is king of La Rochelle's nightlife.
The Oxford Club is a trendy club located close to the sea that has not stopped attracting clientele since its creation. The DJs play all kind of music such as latin sounds, zouk (dancing music coming from the French Isles), disco and all other styles you'd like to bust a move on.
This wine bar is an amazing place to have a good old subtly flavoured wine. Short opening hours it makes this place feel rare and the customers privileged. The ambiance is great and really special, and the managers organize several games, such as a tombola and others.
Le Triolet club is one of the most iconic nightclub in La Rochelle. It hosts numerous events such as its emblematic "Christmas at the Triolet" celebrating... the beginning of the Summer! The club has its own signature drink, the Trio Drink and a patio where to mingle with other tourists and with locals.
This Bar/Restaurant is great for a meal or a drink accompanied by some cheese or small dishes. The place is nice and - as promised by its name - cosy, with a service that does not disappoint. It is only a few meters from the water if you need a walk before you head home or to the next bar.
The 19th-century covered market seethes with stallholders selling fresh fruit and vegetables, fish splayed on beds of ice, and meat. The building itself is worth the detour, but we suggest you come in and buy a few local specialties and fresh seafood, some of which you can even eat on location.
Authentic, handmade leather crafts, jewellery, sand sculptures and more are sold by the artists themselves on the waterfront. You can also have your portrait painted or buy a representation of La Rochelle. If you have no purchasing intention, this market is still a nice walk by day or night.
Cognac and Pineau is produced by this local vintner make great souvenirs for your loved ones (and yourself) as they are very typical of the region and are sold in beautiful bottles. You can buy all the products in the wine store or directly at the vineyard, for the same prices!
This well-known French department store gathers everything from fashion to house decoration in four large floors. It presents all the major French and global brands and is the perfect place to get your fabulous French Woman panoply: beret, Coco Chanel style pants and classy suit vest.
The only producer of caramel made with AOP Poitou-Charentes butter containing Ré island 'fleur de sel' salt. Learn about artisanal caramel production, visit their workshops and taste delicious products. If you are convinced these are the best chocolates you ever had, you can bring some home!
The international airport, Aéroport La Rochelle-Ile de Ré, is located only 5 kilometres from the city centre. The cheapest and fastest way to get into town is by bus. Buses are available all week (Mon-sat take line 7, Sundays take line 47), running from the airport to the centre of La Rochelle, and vice-versa, about every 30 minutes. The journey takes around 15 minutes. You can also take a bus to the Ré Island. The bus tickets are available on board (cash only). There are many taxis available at the airport, but you can also book a taxi in advance. (Abc Taxi 05 46 42 22 00) (Abeilles Taxis 05 46 41 55 55, [email protected], www.taxi-la-rochelle.com) For rental cars you can contact one of the car rental companies situated at the airport. Available companies at the airport are: Sixt, Europcar, Avis, Hertz and Enterprise.
"Yeló" runs an efficient network of public buses, boats and bikes in La Rochelle. You can purchase bus tickets on board or in most of the kiosks of La Rochelle and there are plenty of ticket types to choose from: single ticket, 24 hours ticket, 10 trips ticket and 7 days pass. The Sea Boat is a regular boat service between the Old Port and Les Minimes, with two stops available: The old port "Vieux-Port" (at the bottom of the Tour de la Chaîne) and the public library "Médiathèque" (avenue Michel Crépeau). They run all year long from 7.30am and until 10pm in April-May, 12am in June-Septembre, 8pm in October-March. The famous yellow bikes of La Rochelle can be hired to discover the city! They are free the first two hours and available in many spots in the city.
There are many taxi companies operating in la Rochelle. Here are a few: Abeille Taxi +33 546 41 55 55 [email protected] www.taxi-la-rochelle.com Mélitourisme +33 648 22 87 32 [email protected] www.melitourisme.fr Yélo, on demand transport +33 546 34 02 22 www.yelo-larochelle.fr You can also find them in several spots in La Rochelle such as the train station, the airport, the Cours des Dames, in front of the Grosse Horloge and Place de Verdun.