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France’s sixth-largest city, lies on the Loire estuary in the west of France, some 50 km from the coast. A former commercial and maritime centre of Brittany, the city boats a strong historical and cultural heritage. Nantes was the capital of the independent Duchy of Brittany back in the Middle Ages and came to be a key trading port in the 18th century, thanks to its strategic position at the Loire, Erdre and Sevre rivers. Today, the city remains a prosperous and popular part of Western France. Its impressive Castle of the dukes of Brittany, the cobbled streets and the charming half-timbered houses in the medieval Bouffay quarter still remind visitors of Nantes’ glamorous past, but the city has more to offer than just history. It boasts a lively art scene, a strong culinary background as well as a thriving nightlife. Live performances, exhibitions, concerts and tourist attractions interact with an original and coherent offer. The figureheads of these numerous suggestions are: the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany and the Machines de l’île.
Do you know of any other destination that – in one single kilometre – can bring together; a walk along the banks of the river Loire on a 12m high Grand Eléphant, a XVth century castle, a history museum that uses contemporary scenography to conjure the past, present and future and on top of that, an artistic trail designed by some of today’s greatest artists? Come to Nantes to discover the “cité des ducs” and a single part of its rich architectural and cultural heritage. Nantes has 1,001 attributes; none more important than the one making you want to come on another journey in Nantes!
The area boasts some of France’s finest produce, recipes and wines. Wherever you go, seafood, straight out of the Atlantic, is on the menu. Want a simple grilled fish? Eat it with a beurre blanc sauce, created right here in town and surroundings. Need a pinch of sea salt? The very best comes from Guérande. This is also France’s kitchen garden, producing flavourful, tender vegetables. Partner it all with a glass of Muscadet, the local white wine that goes so well with oysters or fish, mussels or crab. Award-winning winemakers and chefs guarantee memorable meals. www.lestablesdenantes.fr/en/
The city offers many places to relax and where you can have a break around a coffee and Nantes‘ sweetmeats like BN or biscuits LU, “berlingot” and “rigolette” sweets, butter-scotch caramels, “fouace” starshaped sweet bread, Nantes cake, chocolates, coffee…
Nantes has a thriving and young nightlife, thanks largely to its growing student population. Whether you are looking for an arty bar to discuss philosophy with like-minded people, or if you just fancy bogeying all night long – Nantes has something for everyone.
A port-town, a student-town, a cultural and friendly place to be, Nantes rarely goes to sleep at the end of the day. Night-time activities light up the town. Theatre or opera, cinema, concerts, dance shows or circus, night-time exhibitions, festivals and all sorts of events in and around Nantes sowing the seeds for an exciting night out. Even well into the night the lights don’t dim, as Nantes is a port-town…
If you like shopping, you will love Nantes! When people go window-shopping in Nantes, they talk about "crebillonner" – which comes from Rue Crébillon – the city’s most famous shopping street and its area. Rue Crébillon houses the most important designer stores as well as a range of interesting local labels. The street leads to the famous Passage Pommeraye, a stunning 19th-century arcade with chic boutiques: a must-see for Nantes visitors. Don’t miss the Marché de Talensac on Place de Talensac, which is the town’s biggest market – open every day except Monday. Bargain-hunters should go to the shops on Rue Jean Jaurès and around Place Viarme, where the city’s flea market kicks off every Saturday morning.
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