25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (2024)

Discover Nantes, France’s vibrant gem from strolling through Jardin des Plantes’ botanical wonderland, encountering mechanical marvels at Les Machines de L’ile, and stepping back at the Château des Ducs de Bretagne. Embrace artistic flair with “Le Voyage à Nantes,” explore hidden treasures like Village de Trentemoult, and savor pastries at Vincent Guerlais. With its rich history and dynamic culture, Nantes promises an unforgettable adventure.

To help make sure that your trip is an unforgettable one, we’ve compiled our top 25 picks of the best things to do in Nantes. Read on to discover the must-see attractions and activities that will make your stay in this stunning French city truly special.

1. Visit the Jardin Des Plantes

A captivating botanical paradise that invites you to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty. Established in 1807, this enchanting garden offers a serene escape from the bustling city, boasting a diverse collection of plant species and meticulously designed landscapes.

Meander along tranquil pathways, discover vibrant flowerbeds and marvel at the lush greenery in the glasshouses. Whether you seek moments of contemplation or a leisurely stroll, the Jardin Des Plantes promises a delightful experience for nature enthusiasts and those looking for a peaceful retreat amidst the heart of Nantes.

Address: Rue Stanislas Baudry, 44000 Nantes, France

Opening Hours:8:30 AM–8 PM

Phone: +33 2 40 41 65 09

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (1)

2. Explore Les Machines de L’Ile

Explore the magical world of Les Machines de L’Ile in Nantes, where imagination comes to life through awe-inspiring mechanical creations. This extraordinary amusem*nt park combines art, engineering, and fantasy, featuring gigantic mechanical animals roaming the grounds.

Embark on a surreal journey aboard the Grand Elephant, a larger-than-life, fully functional mechanical marvel that takes visitors on an enchanting ride. Delight in the whimsical wonders of this one-of-a-kind attraction, where creativity knows no bounds, leaving visitors of all ages with unforgettable memories and a sense of childlike wonder.

Address: Parc des Chantiers, Bd Léon Bureau, 44200 Nantes, France

Opening Hours: 10 AM–8 PM

Phone: +33 810 12 12 25

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (2)

3. Stroll Around Château Des Ducs de Bretagne

Take a captivating stroll through history as you explore the Château Des Ducs de Bretagne in Nantes. This remarkable 15th-century castle stands as a symbol of the city’s rich past, offering an immersive experience of its medieval heritage. Wander through its impressive courtyards, fortified walls, and charming gardens, where the blend of Gothic and Renaissance architecture leaves visitors in awe.

Step inside the castle’s walls to discover the Nantes History Museum, featuring engaging exhibits that recount the city’s fascinating stories and pivotal moments. From ancient artifacts to interactive displays, the Château Des Ducs de Bretagne provides a captivating journey back in time, making it a must-visit landmark in Nantes.

Address: 4 Pl. Marc Elder, 44000 Nantes, France

Opening Hours:8:30 AM–7 PM

Phone: +33 811 46 46 44

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (3)

4. Discover the Passage Pommeraye

A true architectural gem nestled in the heart of Nantes. This 19th-century shopping arcade is a testament to timeless elegance, with its intricate ironwork, opulent staircases, and meticulously designed storefronts.

As you wander through its three levels of exquisite boutiques, charming cafes, and specialty shops, you’ll feel transported to a bygone era of sophistication and indulgence. The Passage Pommeraye’s unique charm and historical significance make it a delightful destination for both shopping enthusiasts and history buffs alike, offering a glimpse into the city’s past while providing a memorable and immersive shopping experience.

Address: 20 Pass. Pommeraye, 44000 Nantes, France

Opening Hours:8 AM–8 PM

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (4)

5. Marvel at Cathédrale Saint-Pierre ET Saint-Paul de Nantes

A magnificent Gothic masterpiece that dominates the city’s skyline. This awe-inspiring cathedral, with its striking spires and intricate architecture, is a testament to the skill and dedication of its builders. Step inside to be captivated by the ethereal light filtering through the majestic stained glass windows, casting colorful reflections on the ornate interior.

As you explore the cathedral’s sacred halls, adorned with intricate sculptures and delicate carvings, a sense of reverence and wonder fills the air, making it a profound and spiritually enriching experience. Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast, a history lover, or simply seeking moments of tranquility, a visit to Cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul de Nantes promises a truly unforgettable encounter with architectural splendor and spiritual serenity.

Address: 7 Imp. Saint-Laurent, 44000 Nantes, France

Phone: +33 2 40 47 84 64

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (5)

6. Wander Around the Traditional Fishing Village de Trentemoult

Wander around the charming streets of Village de Trentemoult, a picturesque traditional fishing village located just a short ferry ride across the Loire River from Nantes. This bohemian neighborhood beckons with its colorful houses, quirky art installations, and lively waterfront cafes. As you explore the narrow alleys and vibrant squares, you’ll be immersed in a laid-back atmosphere that harks back to the village’s fishing heritage.

Enjoy the stunning views of the river and Nantes’ skyline from the waterfront, and savor the delightful flavors of freshly caught seafood at the village’s inviting restaurants. A visit to Village de Trentemoult offers a delightful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle and a glimpse into the local culture and maritime history that continues to thrive in this quaint and artistic haven.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (6)

7. Spend an Afternoon at Jardin Ile de Versailles

Spend an enchanting afternoon at Jardin Ile de Versailles, a serene oasis nestled in the heart of Nantes. This Japanese-inspired garden offers a tranquil retreat from the bustling city, where you can unwind amidst the calming presence of flowing streams, picturesque bridges, and meticulously manicured greenery.

Take a leisurely stroll along the serene pathways, find a peaceful spot to relax with a book, or simply immerse yourself in the beauty of the carefully arranged flora and fauna. The garden’s charming ambiance, accented by the soothing sounds of water features, makes it an ideal place for meditation, photography, or enjoying a leisurely picnic in the midst of nature’s embrace.

Address: Quai de Versailles, 44000 Nantes, France

Opening Hours:8:30 AM–7:30 PM

Phone: +33 2 40 41 90 00

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (7)

8. Visit Musée D’Arts de Nantes

Embark on a captivating journey through art and history with a visit to Musée d’Arts de Nantes. Housed in a magnificent 19th-century building, this museum showcases a diverse and impressive collection of European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts spanning centuries. Wander through the carefully curated galleries, where masterpieces by renowned artists such as Delacroix, Courbet, and Picasso adorn the walls.

From ancient artifacts to contemporary creations, the museum’s rich exhibits offer a comprehensive exploration of artistic evolution. Whether you’re an art aficionado or simply seeking cultural enrichment, Musée d’Arts de Nantes promises an engaging and enlightening experience that celebrates the beauty and creativity of the human spirit.

Address: 10 Rue Georges Clemenceau, 44000 Nantes, France

Opening Hours: 10 AM–7 PM

Phone: +33 2 51 17 45 00

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (8)

9. Take a Tour of Musee D’Histoire Naturelle de Nantes

Embark on a captivating tour of Musee d’Histoire Naturelle de Nantes, a treasure trove of natural wonders. This fascinating museum offers a captivating insight into the diversity of life on Earth through its extensive exhibits on biodiversity, geology, and paleontology. Marvel at the meticulously preserved specimens, from ancient fossils to exotic animals, and learn about the intricate ecosystems that shape our planet’s history.

The interactive displays and engaging presentations make the museum a perfect destination for families, students, and nature enthusiasts alike, fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world and its intricate complexities. Whether you’re curious about dinosaurs, fascinated by geology, or simply curious about the wonders of life, a visit to Musee d’Histoire Naturelle de Nantes promises a memorable and enlightening adventure into the mysteries of our planet.

Address: 12 Rue Voltaire, 44000 Nantes, France

Opening Hours:10 AM–7 PM

Phone: +33 2 40 41 55 00

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (9)

10. Join in on the Fun at Le Voyage a Nantes

Join in on the exhilarating fun of Le Voyage à Nantes, an annual summer event that transforms the city into an artistic wonderland. Embrace the spirit of exploration as contemporary art installations, performances, and cultural activities pop up across Nantes, inviting locals and visitors to embark on a creative journey. Follow the artistic trail, marked by the iconic green line, and discover hidden gems, unexpected sculptures, and interactive displays that blend seamlessly into the urban landscape.

This unique fusion of art, culture, and urban planning celebrates the city’s creativity and offers a thrilling experience for all ages, igniting a sense of wonder and discovery at every turn. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply looking for a vibrant and unforgettable experience, Le Voyage à Nantes promises a joyful and immersive adventure that showcases the boundless power of creativity in shaping the soul of a city.

Address: 1-3 Rue Crucy, 44000 Nantes, France

Phone: +33 892 46 40 44

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (10)

11. Explore the Le Maillé-Brézé

Embark on a fascinating exploration of Le Maillé-Brézé, a decommissioned French naval ship that has been transformed into an engaging museum in Nantes. Climb aboard this historic warship and delve into the captivating world of naval history, as knowledgeable guides share tales of its voyages and battles. Wander through the ship’s various compartments, from the imposing engine room to the officers’ quarters, gaining insight into the daily life of sailors.

Interactive exhibits offer a hands-on experience, allowing visitors to understand the inner workings of a military vessel. A visit to Le Maillé-Brézé offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and appreciate the bravery and dedication of those who served at sea, making it an enriching and unforgettable maritime adventure.

Address: Quai de la Fosse, 44000 Nantes, France

Opening Hours:10:30 AM–5:30 PM

Phone: +33 9 79 18 33 51

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (11)

12. Get Informed on Local Attractions at Nantes Tourist Office

Nantes Tourist Office is your gateway to the city’s exciting local attractions. Friendly and knowledgeable staff provide a warm welcome, offering valuable insights and recommendations to help you make the most of your visit. From must-see landmarks like Château des Ducs de Bretagne and Cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul de Nantes to cultural events like “Le Voyage à Nantes,” the tourist office provides comprehensive information on Nantes’ vibrant art scene, historical sites, and hidden gems.

Whether you’re seeking family-friendly activities, gourmet experiences, or simply looking to soak in the city’s unique atmosphere, the Nantes Tourist Office ensures your journey is filled with unforgettable moments and a true taste of the city’s charm.

Address: 9 Rue des États, 44000 Nantes, France

Opening Hours:9 AM–7 PM

Phone: +33 892 46 40 44

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (12)

13. Spend a Day at Parc de Procé

Spend a day immersed in natural beauty and tranquility at Parc de Procé, a picturesque oasis in Nantes. This enchanting park, with its lush green lawns, majestic trees, and charming bridges, offers the perfect escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Meander along the serene walking paths, enjoying the peaceful ambiance and the sweet melody of birdsong.

Families can indulge in picnics, while children can delight in the playgrounds and open spaces for play. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing spot to read a book, a place for a leisurely stroll, or simply to bask in the serenity of nature, Parc de Procé promises a rejuvenating and idyllic day for everyone.

Address: 44 Rue des Dervallières, 44000 Nantes, France

Opening Hours:8:30 AM–8 PM

Phone: +33 2 40 41 64 17

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (13)

14. Pay Your Respects at Mémorial de L’Abolition de L’Esclavage

This poignant memorial stands as a solemn reminder of the city’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade and the profound impact it had on countless lives. With its striking architectural design and thought-provoking exhibits, the memorial offers a powerful and moving tribute to the millions who suffered and endured the horrors of slavery.

As you explore the informative displays and learn about the abolitionist movement, you’ll be encouraged to contemplate the importance of social justice and the ongoing fight against all forms of oppression. Mémorial de l’Abolition de l’Esclavage invites visitors to engage with history, fostering empathy and understanding while honoring the memory of those who endured this dark period in human history.

Address: Passerelle Victor-Schoelcher, Quai de la Fosse, 44000 Nantes, France

Opening Hours:9 AM–8 PM

Phone: +33 811 46 46 44

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (14)

15. Take a Stroll Around Place Royale

Take a leisurely stroll around Place Royale, a vibrant square in Nantes that exudes elegance and charm. Surrounded by elegant buildings and bustling cafes, the square offers a delightful ambiance, making it the perfect spot for people-watching and soaking in the local atmosphere.

Admire the impressive statue of King Louis XIV at the center, a historical symbol of the city’s royal past. With its lively energy, picturesque setting, and proximity to nearby landmarks, a visit to Place Royale promises a memorable and quintessentially Nantes experience that captures the essence of this enchanting city.

Address: 5 Pl. Félix Fournier, 44000 Nantes, France

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (15)

16. Admire the Chapelle Notre-Dame de L’Immaculée Conception

A magnificent 19th-century chapel in Nantes. This architectural masterpiece showcases exquisite neo-Gothic design, featuring soaring spires and intricate stained glass windows that flood the interior with a kaleidoscope of colors. Step inside to be captivated by the serene atmosphere and ornate sculptures that adorn the chapel’s walls.

The Chapelle Notre-Dame de L’Immaculée Conception serves as both a place of worship and a testament to the city’s rich religious heritage, making it a must-visit for those seeking to appreciate the artistry and spiritual significance of Nantes’ cultural legacy.

Address: Rue Malherbe, 44000 Nantes, France

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (16)

17. See the Works of Vincent Guerlais at Gare de Nantes

Indulge your taste buds and feast your eyes on the delectable creations of Vincent Guerlais at Gare de Nantes. This renowned patisserie, located at the train station, showcases the exceptional artistry and craftsmanship of the master chocolatier and pastry chef.

From intricately designed chocolates to mouthwatering pastries, every creation is a true delight for both the senses and the soul. Whether you’re grabbing a treat on the go or taking the time to savor each delectable bite, experiencing the works of Vincent Guerlais at Gare de Nantes is a decadent and unforgettable experience that epitomizes the finest of French confectionery.

Address: Bd de Stalingrad, 44000 Nantes, France

Opening Hours:6 AM–7 PM

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (17)

18. Step Into the Past at Musée de L’Imprimerie

Step into the fascinating world of printing history at Musée de l’Imprimerie in Nantes. This captivating museum offers a captivating journey back in time, showcasing the evolution of printing techniques from ancient times to modern innovations. Admire vintage printing presses, intricate typefaces, and beautifully preserved manuscripts, gaining insight into the art and craft of bookmaking.

Engaging exhibits narrate the impact of printing on culture, communication, and society, making it a haven for book lovers, history enthusiasts, and anyone curious about the transformative power of the written word. Musée de l’Imprimerie provides an immersive experience that celebrates the heritage of printing while fostering an appreciation for the enduring artistry and technology that have shaped our world.

Address: 24 Quai de la Fosse, 44000 Nantes, France

Opening Hours:10 AM–12 PM, 2–5:30 PM

Phone: +33 2 40 73 26 55

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (18)

19. Immerse Yourself in Nature at Parc de la Beaujoire

A sprawling park in Nantes that offers a blissful escape from the urban bustle. This verdant oasis invites you to reconnect with the great outdoors as you meander along peaceful walking paths, surrounded by lush greenery and colorful flowerbeds. Find a quiet spot to relax by the tranquil ponds or enjoy a leisurely picnic with family and friends.

Sports enthusiasts can partake in various activities, from cycling and jogging to soccer and frisbee. With its well-maintained landscapes, refreshing ambiance, and ample space for recreation, Parc de la Beaujoire is the perfect destination to unwind, rejuvenate, and embrace the beauty of nature in the heart of Nantes.

Address: 344 Rte de Saint-Joseph, 44300 Nantes, France

Opening Hours:8:30 AM–6 PM

Phone: +33 2 40 41 90 00

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (19)

20. Take in the Sights of Basilique Saint Nicolas

Take in the awe-inspiring sights of Basilique Saint Nicolas, a magnificent religious landmark that graces the Nantes skyline. This Neo-Gothic masterpiece boasts intricate architectural details, including soaring spires and ornate facades. Step inside to be mesmerized by the grandeur of the interior, adorned with stunning stained glass windows that bathe the space in a kaleidoscope of colors.

The basilica’s serene ambiance and intricate sculptures offer a sense of tranquility and wonder. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, or simply seeking moments of reflection, a visit to Basilique Saint Nicolas promises a captivating and spiritually enriching experience that celebrates the rich cultural and religious heritage of Nantes.

Address: Pl. Félix Fournier, 44000 Nantes, France

Opening Hours:7 AM–7:30 PM

Phone: +33 2 40 48 19 94

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (20)

21. Enjoy Events and Performances at Le Lieu Unique

A dynamic arts center housed in a converted biscuit factory in Nantes. This unique venue hosts a diverse array of events and performances, from contemporary art exhibitions and theater productions to live concerts and dance performances. Immerse yourself in the creative energy of this cultural hub, where innovation and experimentation thrive.

With its eclectic program and inviting ambiance, Le Lieu Unique is a gathering place for artists and audiences alike, fostering a sense of community and sparking inspiration. Whether you’re seeking cutting-edge art or simply looking for a memorable night out, a visit to Le Lieu Unique promises an exciting and immersive cultural journey in the heart of Nantes.

Address: Quai Ferdinand Favre 44000 Nantes, France

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (21)

22. Spend Time Outdoors at Parc du Grand Blottereau

Parc du Grand Blottereau, is a delightful green space in Nantes that invites you to embrace nature’s wonders. This expansive park features lush gardens, meandering pathways, and peaceful ponds, offering a perfect setting for leisurely walks, picnics, or relaxing moments in the sun. Immerse yourself in the park’s diverse plant collections, including a beautiful rose garden and a greenhouse filled with exotic flora.

Children will delight in the playgrounds and open spaces for play, while nature enthusiasts can appreciate the tranquil ambiance and the harmonious coexistence of wildlife and vegetation. Whether you seek a moment of serenity or a family outing immersed in nature’s beauty, Parc du Grand Blottereau promises a refreshing and rejuvenating experience for all who venture within its verdant embrace.

Address: 16 Bd Auguste Peneau, 44300 Nantes, France

Opening Hours:8:30 AM–10:45 PM

Phone: +33 2 40 41 90 00

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (22)

23. Visit Le Miroir d’Eau

Le Miroir d’Eau, also known as the Water Mirror, is a captivating attraction located in Bordeaux, France. This unique masterpiece of urban design combines art and architecture, creating a mesmerizing reflection of the surrounding buildings and the sky. Covering an expansive area, Le Miroir d’Eau transforms into a shallow reflecting pool, producing stunning mirror-like images that change with the passing light and weather conditions.

Visitors can walk on its smooth surface, making it a popular spot for children and adults to cool off on hot summer days. The interplay of water, light, and architecture makes Le Miroir d’Eau an enchanting place to visit, providing a tranquil and visually arresting experience in the heart of Bordeaux.

Address: Pl. Marc Elder, 44000 Nantes, France

Opening Hours: 24 hours

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (23)

24. Explore Belem

A magnificent historic ship docked in Nantes that invites you to step back in time and embark on a maritime adventure. This beautifully restored vessel, with its impressive masts and sails, offers an immersive experience into the world of seafaring. Wander through its decks and cabins to gain insight into the life of sailors and discover the intricate workings of a bygone era.

As you explore the ship’s rich history and learn about its voyages across the oceans, you’ll be captivated by the romance of the sea and the resilience of those who navigated it. A visit to Belem promises an unforgettable glimpse into the maritime heritage of Nantes, making it a must-see attraction for history enthusiasts and anyone drawn to the allure of the open sea.

Address: Quai de la Fosse, 44000 Nantes, France

Opening Hours:9 AM–12:30 PM, 2–5 PM

Phone: +33 2 40 37 04 62

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (24)

25. Take a Guided Tour of Ferme de la Chasseloire

This idyllic farm offers a delightful escape from the city, where you can experience the beauty of the countryside and connect with nature. Led by knowledgeable guides, the tour provides fascinating insights into traditional farming practices, animal husbandry, and sustainable agriculture. Engage with the friendly farm animals, witness the daily routines of farmers, and even try your hand at some hands-on activities.

Whether you’re a family seeking a fun and educational outing or simply looking to unwind in a picturesque setting, a guided tour of Ferme de la Chasseloire promises an authentic and heartwarming experience that celebrates the beauty of rural traditions in the heart of Nantes.

Address: Rue de l’Ouchetien, 44800 Saint-Herblain, France

Opening Hours:9:15 AM–1 PM, 2:30–6:30 PM

Phone: +33 2 28 03 19 28

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

For directions, click here.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (25)

In conclusion

Nantes is a vibrant city full of history and culture. From exploring the awe-inspiring landmarks like Cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul de Nantes to strolling around Place Royale, there are plenty of attractions for visitors to explore.

Enjoy breathtaking views at Parc de la Beaujoire, marvel at the stunning stained glass windows of Basilique Saint Nicolas, and take a guided tour of Ferme de la Chasseloire to get an authentic taste of rural life. Whether you’re seeking art, culture, or outdoor adventures, Nantes has it all. With its rich heritage and diverse attractions, the city promises a memorable and rewarding experience for visitors of all ages.

25 Best Things to Do in Nantes, France - Simply France (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Laurine Ryan

Last Updated:

Views: 5308

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (57 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Laurine Ryan

Birthday: 1994-12-23

Address: Suite 751 871 Lissette Throughway, West Kittie, NH 41603

Phone: +2366831109631

Job: Sales Producer

Hobby: Creative writing, Motor sports, Do it yourself, Skateboarding, Coffee roasting, Calligraphy, Stand-up comedy

Introduction: My name is Laurine Ryan, I am a adorable, fair, graceful, spotless, gorgeous, homely, cooperative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.