Les Machines de l'Ile is an absolutely fantastic artistic project in an environment that whisks you away from normal life. The concept of distinct mechanical animals (they fly!) makes dream come true for both children and parents! This suggests that the drafts of Leonardo Da Vinci have actually come to life. All projects are the latest in technology, just like this tree that will be built on the island of Beaulieu and will be self-sufficient in terms of energy. An interesting project from both an artistic and organic standpoint. Do not miss the elephant ride, it´s great!
The Castle of the Dukes of Brittany, with its interior and surroundings, is definitely worth a visit. It has been beautifully refurbished. A walk through the gardens will also provide a nice view of the monuments, like the Cathedral or The LU Tower, for example. If you have time, you can also enter the Nantes History Museum, which is a very modernist museum.
The Botanical Garden, is another of the famous Green Areas of Nantes. Animals like ducks and deer can easily be spotted wandering about. There are seven acres of "rare plants", medicinal gardens, child gardens ... A real treat to take a walk, read a book ...
This cathedral is a magnificent Gothic building built on the ruins of the old cathedral. The majestic facade is even more beautiful since its restoration. The interior of the cathedral is quite unusual and particularly impressive. The whiteness of the limestone tufa, the imposing size of the nave, a 103 meters long and 37.5 meters high, it has an effect of power, strength and grace. And you can admire the tombs of Francisco II and Marguerite de Foix (parents of Anne of Brittany) at the beginning of the sixteenth century.
The Pommeraye Passage was a nineteenth-century arcade that currently functions as a shopping mall and it's as charming as it is retro. Shop accessories, fashion, comics ... It connects two of the main streets of downtown Nantes.
The famous biscuit factory Lu is a symbol of the city of Nantes. The original building of Lu (Lefèvre Utile) has been converted into a curious cultural activity center for contemporary art. It´s full of references to the old factory but focuses a lot on independent creativity.
Graslin Theatre is in the center of the district of the same name in honor of Jean-Joseph-Louis Graslin (1727-1790) receiver-general of the kingdom farms and ve participated in land management in the western part Nantes. The theater was built by architect Crucy (1749-1826) on an ancient Greek model respecting the golden number in 1788 and Crucy was inspired by neoclassical architecture. Thus, 12 steps provide access to a plateau where 7 Corinthian columns (Greek theater specific) support the pediment decorated with 8 statues. These statues were built during the French Restoration through the work of architect Molknecht. Don't forget the particularity of "the Italian" room in the theater which is one of the rare vestiges of eighteenth-century rooms in France. Restored in 2002 it has resumed its majesty of the eighteenth century.
This museum is located close to The Natural History, and the quartier Graslim, in the center, unfortunately the refurbishment means it will be closed until 2015. The museum consists of two museums, the Archaeological Museum, and Thomas Dobrée Museum itself, with its precious collections on display in nineteenth-century palace. It includes Romanesque and Gothic sculptures, tapestries, furniture, paintings and various decorative elements. A highlight are the Egyptian archaeological museum pieces.
The Jules Verne Museum showcases the amazing stories of this writer´s novels. Located in a house from the late nineteenth century, the museum is in the Loire region. The whole world can be discovered here. Everything is exciting, especially the man of letters in the form of models and the posters of old movies based on his works and his writings. I definitely suggest dipping into a world populated by strange creatures and heroes of all kinds.
Built on a former swamp, the island of Versailles and sun garden which opened in September 1987. It recreates a particularly Japanese atmosphere with its Zen garden, exotic plants, waterfalls, rocks and other. Here we also find a captaincy, a restaurant and Erdre House, which showcases the flora and fauna of this river. It provides a pleasant contrast to the architecture of the city center.
Housed in a magnificent building, formerly the Palacio de la Moneda, this interesting museum showcases important collections of zoology, paleontology, ethnography, minerals, etc. I would particularly recommend seeing the stunning skeleton of a whale, a highlight, or the reptiles or amphibians living in its "vivarium ". Facilities for disabled access. Open 10 to 18. Closed: Tuesdays, 1 Jan, Easter Lu, 1 and 8 May, 1 and 11 November, 25 JAN. Price: 3,10 € (-18 years: no charge), Free entrance on the 3rd of each month.
The Médiathèque Jacques-Demy on Quai de la Fosse is a great place for book lovers. It's a library, but it also holds reading workshops, book signings, exhibitions, and more. I particularly liked the newspaper area with the impressive archives.
This square is the heart of the city, and is dominated by a magnificent fountain since 1865 representing the city of Nantes. The square was drawn by the same architect, Crucy ve created the neoclassical building of the Exchange, located not far from here. The Church of St. Nicholas stands in the square, and see the Holy Cross (at its side), with the most beautiful bell tower of the city, surrounded by Angels playing trumpets.
Navibus is the name given to a water transport service offered in Nantes. The small boats cover three lines in the Loire and Erdre rivers and carry passengers along across the river. Each line has different boats, but all accept passengers (4 in the smallest, 10 in the largest). They are owned by the same company as the tram and the stops are near tram or bus stops. The "Navibus Loire" connects Rezé and Nantes in a short 10-minute trip. The "Navibus Erdre" has 6 stops and travels along the Erdre, a tributary of the Loire. Finally there is the Navibus "Passeur de l'Erdre" which runs between Port Boyer and the university campus. It takes about 6 minutes. Tickets are sold on the boat. Personally, I don't see it as a particularly practical service, as it doesn't offer a lot of stops, but as a tourist, it's a good choice and far cheaper than the dedicated tour boats.
The mild climate of Nantes (which is caused by the proximity of the coast) is one of the reasons you can find such great horticulture there ... And the green, beautiful gardens. Among the many parks and gardens that you can visit (19 in total), the most impressive is the Ille de Versailles, designed with a Japanese style with small waterfalls, rocks, bridges, ponds ... Although we didn´t dare, you can rent boats to coast around the Erdre from the island. At Maison de l'Erdre you can learn a little about the flora and fauna of the Nantes River
The Museum of Fine Arts in Nantes is one of the highlights of a city famous for its culture. It is an elegant building with some statues on the outside, and a central courtyard. The stained glass dome protects the courtyard from the worst of the weather, and fills the rooms with natural light so you can see all the works on display. The collections are varied and extensive - ancient art, works from the thirteenth to nineteenth centuries, and modern art and graphic arts. Activities are organised throughout the year, so visitors can learn more about the art on display. If you travel to Nantes, I recommend dedicating a full day to culture, and there's really nothing better than a trip to this museum and the opera.
This neighborhood is a must if traveling to Nantes. The atmosphere is always friendly and its where all the nightlife is. Young people choose herewhen they want to go out at night. It's great to have a drink in one of the bars, You decide!
Are you planning your holiday and do not know what to do in Nantes? Don't worry, there are lots of things to see in Nantes. The city is a mix of traditional, modern, and science fiction, so there's no way you'll be bored.
You can start your visit at the Place Royale, a square that connects the two parts of the city -- the new and the old. This is one of the places to visit in Nantes where there are tourists and locals, and is a great spot to start the day with a coffee or finish the day with a good wine. The historic town should be next on your list of Nantes attractions. Many of the places to see in Nantes are in this area. The Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral, the Basilica of San Nicolas, Eglise Saint Croix (with its tower) and the town hall are many things to do in Nantes that are in the center. The Castle of the Dukes of Brittany is also one of the most interesting attractions in Nantes; it is a great medieval fortress that towers over the rest of the city.
If you're interested in science fiction and looking for Nantes activities, head to the Isle of Nantes, an artistic center which is constantly changing. You can visit the HAB Galerie, dedicated to modern art and machines, and the Marine Worlds Carousel. This is a place to admire strange and incredible structures of animals and fantastic creatures inspired by the worlds of Jules Verne. Literature lovers should put the Jules Verne Museum on their list of stuff to do in Nantes. To end the day, there's nothing better than a dinner with regional specialties and local wine. If you're not too tired, take advantage and enjoy the nightlife of the city.
Visit Minube to learn more about stuff to do in Nantes.