Nantes travel guide

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Introduction to Nantes

Nantes is known for attractions like Les Machines de l'Île, Château des ducs de Bretagne, and Botanical Garden. Travelers who visit this city in Loire-Atlantique, Pays de la Loire, France are often fascinated by the rich history and interesting culture it offers. We recommend taking the time to explore this city in France on foot and walk alongside the 323.2 thousand locals who live in Nantes.

Traveling to Nantes is especially rewarding for anyone eager to connect with locals and learn more about their unique culture and traditions.

Easily accessible from Nantes Atlantique, Nantes is the perfect base for a memorable and unique vacation in France any time of the year. For further insights into the city's events, traditions, and heritage, consult the official website of Nantes.

Top services in Nantes

On this page, you'll find all the top travel services in Nantes, France. Enjoy the convenience of planning and booking every detail of your trip to Nantes, including flights, accommodations, activities, and more, in one place.

Discover the cheapest and most popular flights offered by a variety of airlines that fly to France. Check out the best things to do in Nantes by browsing over 45 top-rated tours available to you in the city. Compare the rates and services of the stays and 8 car rental companies offering CDW insurance coverage.

Experience the best of Nantes with an expertly curated and fully customizable itinerary. Get answers to questions about the routes and services offered in Nantes from our free 24/7 customer support. We make it easy for you to find and book every detail of your trip to Nantes with this travel guide.

Continue reading this Nantes travel guide to learn how you can enjoy a stress-free and memorable vacation in the city of Nantes!

Learn more about France

With destinations such as Nantes, a trip to France needs no further explanation. Spanning over 643,801 square kilometers, France is an expansive playground of discovery, offering a wealth of diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and captivating experiences awaiting exploration. From bustling metropolises to historic towns and modern urban hubs, France has something to enchant every traveler.

In Nantes alone, travelers are spoiled for choice with an array of experiences and world-famous attractions such as Les Machines de l'Île, Château des ducs de Bretagne, and Botanical Garden. Thus, a trip to France becomes essential. Whether you're drawn to historical sites, natural wonders, or vibrant cultural experiences, France offers an abundance of treasures waiting to be discovered.

There's so much to explore and uncover in France. Click or tap the link below to discover more about France and its offers.

Best time to visit Nantes

The best time to explore Nantes is from June to September, during the warm summer months. The weather is typically pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C, ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing. This period also coincides with the Voyage à Nantes, a city-wide art and cultural festival held from July to mid-August, transforming the city into an open-air museum. If you prefer avoiding crowds, consider visiting in the spring months of April and May. The weather is milder, but the city is less crowded and accommodation prices are generally lower. Additionally, the Nantes Carnival, one of the largest in France, occurs in April, offering a vibrant and unique experience. The fall season, particularly October, also offers a balanced blend of mild weather and fewer tourists. However, be prepared for occasional rain showers. In conclusion, timing your visit according to your preferences for weather, crowd levels, and local events will ensure you enjoy the best of Nantes.

Weather in Nantes

Nantes, a city situated in the western part of France, is characterized by a temperate oceanic climate. This results in mild temperatures throughout the year, with the average annual temperature being around 12°C. The city experiences four distinct seasons.

Winters in Nantes, from December to February, are generally mild with temperatures rarely dropping below freezing point. Snowfall is infrequent. Spring, from March to May, brings slightly warmer temperatures and increased rainfall. Nantes' summer season, from June to August, is warm and sunny, with temperatures typically ranging between 20°C and 25°C. Autumn, from September to November, often sees mixed weather, with sunny days quickly turning into rainy ones.

Rainfall is distributed fairly evenly throughout the year, but the city's location near the Atlantic Ocean can occasionally bring heavy rain or strong winds. Despite this, Nantes is generally considered to have a pleasant climate. Travelers are advised to check the forecast before their trip and pack accordingly.

Local tip for visiting Nantes

An insider tip for a distinctive experience in Nantes is to visit the city on a Sunday. As it is a typical French tradition to close shops and businesses on Sundays, most of the city will be quiet. However, the Isle of Nantes, where the Machines of the Isle are located, remains lively and buzzing. The local ‘Flea Market’ on the bank of the Loire attracts both locals and tourists with its array of second-hand items, from vintage clothing to antique furniture and unique trinkets. It's a unique opportunity to mingle with the locals, practice your French, and possibly find a unique souvenir. Additionally, the city organizes 'Dimanche à Nantes', when exhibitions, workshops, and concerts take place throughout the city, providing a cultural feast. Remember, while this Sunday tradition offers a relaxed, authentic experience, one should also be prepared for many shops and some restaurants to be closed.

What to see in Nantes

Photo of castle of the Dukes of Brittany (Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne) in Nantes, France.

Expect an exhilarating journey through Nantes, a haven brimming with attractions to suit every traveler’s taste. From historical landmarks to natural wonders, and delectable cuisine, Nantes offers an abundance of experiences waiting to be discovered. Dive into this ultimate Nantes travel guide to uncover must-visit spots and get the scoop on what makes the city so special.

Top attractions in Nantes

With its blend of traditional and modern culture, Nantes is more than just a wonderful city in France. It's a hub for diverse experiences, boasting top attractions that range from historical landmarks to modern marvels, offering a glimpse into France's rich heritage and innovative spirit.

One popular place to visit in Nantes is the unforgettable Les Machines de l'Île. Considered one of the most well-known attractions in the city, a visit to this spectacular travel destination is something you shouldn't miss on your trip to Nantes.

For more information about what you can expect during a vacation in Nantes, check out our list of top attractions below. Discover the best places to visit in Nantes, including the fascinating Les Machines de l'Île, Château des ducs de Bretagne, Botanical Garden, Ile de Versailles, and Le Lieu Unique.

Map of attractions

Take a closer look at the city map below for the exact locations of all the top attractions in Nantes.

Things to do in Nantes

Photo of Nantes aerial panoramic view.

You've explored Nantes's top attractions and marked them on your map. So now, it's time to delve deeper and discover the top things to do in Nantes. These activities not only offer excitement and adventure but also provide unique insights into the city's culture and heritage. Take your experience to the next level by checking out the best sights with a knowledgeable guide, embarking on fun adventures unique to Nantes, or learning more about the city's rich history and traditions.

Discover the most popular tours and experiences in the city below.

Most popular experiences in Nantes

A visit to Nantes gets more exciting with memorable experiences. And the city is just perfect for that, with plenty of fun activities. Adventure Tours, Historical Tours, Self Guided Tours, and more are just some of the options you could explore to fully immerse yourself and make the most of your time.

In this travel guide, we've included some of the best things to do in Nantes, adding a special touch to your journey in this vibrant city. Explore bustling markets, embark on scenic hikes, sample local delicacies, or immerse yourself in the rich history and heritage of Nantes. Browse this diverse array of unforgettable experiences Nantes offers and let your adventures begin!

Top tours & tickets starting in Nantes

In Nantes, travelers are spoiled for choice with a dazzling array of 12 categories of top-rated tours and tickets.

Nantes also offers plenty of budget-friendly tours and activities that promise travelers a unique experience. This experience costs around 3 EUR.

Elevate your upcoming Nantes adventure with unforgettable experiences by booking top-rated tours in the city. Uncover the finest tours, activities, and tickets awaiting you in Nantes right below.


All Experiences in Nantes

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Search for things to do in Nantes

Discover the best things to do in Nantes. Choose from 45 fantastic tours and activities available in the city.

Select your dates and number of travelers in the search bar below to receive the best recommendations for your vacation in Nantes. Click the green button to view your options and discover a variety of exciting things to do in Nantes.

What to eat in Nantes

Nantes, a city with a rich culinary tradition, offers a plethora of dining options ranging from street food to high-end restaurants. One of the best places to eat in Nantes is the Bouffay district, a vibrant area teeming with bistros serving traditional Breton crêpes and galettes. Don't miss out on trying 'muscadet', a local white wine that pairs perfectly with seafood, a staple in Nantes' cuisine. For those with a sweet tooth, 'berlingots nantais', small pyramid-shaped candies are a must. For street food lovers, 'Talensac market' offers a variety of local delicacies including cheeses, pastries, and fresh produce. High-end dining options include 'L'Atlantide 1874', which boasts a Michelin star and offers stunning views of the Loire River. Practical advice for exploring Nantes' food scene includes trying to reserve a table in advance for popular restaurants and trying local dishes to get a real taste of the city's culinary culture.

Nightlife in Nantes

Nantes, a pulsating city in western France, showcases a vibrant nightlife scene full of diverse options to suit every preference. The Bouffay district, with its charming historic streets lined with bars and pubs, is arguably the best area for bars in Nantes. Here, you'll find a blend of traditional Irish pubs, trendy cocktail bars, and vibrant dance clubs. Le Nid, located at the top of Tour de Bretagne, is a must-visit for its panoramic city views and unique bird-themed decor, perfect for starting the night with an aperitif.

The Hangar à Bananes on the island of Nantes offers another dynamic nightlife hub, with its converted warehouses now housing some of the city's hottest nightclubs and music venues. Don't miss Le Lieu Unique, a former biscuit factory turned cultural center, where you can enjoy a multitude of performances, from live music to DJ sets. The city's late-night transport services, including night buses and affordable taxis, make it easy to navigate this lively city after dark.

In Nantes, the night is not merely a time but an experience, a cultural phenomenon that reflects the city’s youthful energy and innovative spirit.

Best shopping in Nantes

Nantes is a haven for shoppers, offering a mix of trendy boutiques, traditional markets, and modern shopping centers. Passage Pommeraye, a stunning three-level shopping arcade from the 19th-century, is arguably the best place to go shopping in Nantes. It is not only an architectural marvel but also hosts unique boutiques with a distinct French fashion sense.

Head to Rue Crébillon for a selection of high-end brands, or explore the vibrant Talensac Market, Nantes' largest food market teeming with local produce and gourmet delights. The Erdre River Banks are an ideal spot for those seeking local craftsmanship, offering handmade jewelry, ceramics, and textiles.

Don't miss out on Nantes' specialty, the Petit Beurre biscuit, available at any grocery store. For an authentic shopping experience, visit the flea markets at Place Viarme or the trendy boutiques in the Quartier Graslin. Remember that most shops close on Sundays and during lunch hours, typically from 12 pm to 2 pm. With its rich shopping culture and diverse offerings, Nantes provides a memorable retail experience in every corner.

Best Free Things to Do in Nantes

Nantes, a vibrant city on the Loire River, is filled with an abundance of free activities that allow you to immerse yourself in its rich history and culture. One of the best free things to do in Nantes is to visit the Château des Ducs de Bretagne. While the museum inside has an entry fee, you can roam the grounds, admire the stunning architecture, and soak in the historical atmosphere at no cost. Another must-visit is the Jardin des Plantes, an exquisite botanical garden that houses thousands of plant species. Wander through its beautifully landscaped paths, marvel at the stunning flower displays, and relax by the tranquil ponds. Don't miss the Passage Pommeraye, a stunning 19th-century shopping arcade. Its grandeur and elegance make it more of a historical monument than a shopping center. Lastly, visit the vibrant Trentemoult district. Once a fishing village, it's now a kaleidoscope of colorful houses, quirky art installations, and waterfront cafes. All these places offer a rich and fulfilling experience without spending a penny.

How to get to Nantes

International travelers can fly to Nantes by booking flights with Volotea, Ryanair, easyJet, Transavia France, and Vueling, offering flights to Nantes Atlantique. From the arrival airport, travelers can choose from various public and private transfer options to Nantes.

For those seeking the best flight ticket deals to Nantes, knowing the cheapest travel times and which airlines offer the most affordable flights is helpful. Luckily, we provide this information to help you discover the cheapest and most popular flights to Nantes. Go to this page to compare all flights to Nantes.

Find cheap flights to Nantes

Photo of view on the saint Pierre cathedral in Nantes city in France.

Booking budget-friendly flights to Nantes is a crucial part of planning your trip to the city. This section will guide you through the process, helping you find the best deals for your journey.

Booking in advance is a smart move when traveling to Nantes. Airlines release their best deals months ahead of departure, so early birds catch the lower fares. Consider flexible travel dates while planning your visit to the city. Mid-week and off-peak seasons often offer more wallet-friendly options.

To help you find cheap flights to Nantes, you can use the powerful booking widget below. Enter your departure city, choose between round trip or one-way, pick your fare class, select travel dates, and specify the number of travelers. Click "Search" and the widget will do the rest. You'll see a list of flights matching your criteria, making your trip to Nantes even more convenient.

Fine-tune your search with filters to sort by price, airline, layovers, and more. Once you've found your ideal flight, click "Book" and you'll be redirected to the booking page to complete your reservation. Enter your payment details and receive a confirmation – it's that simple!

Remember to book ahead, stay flexible, and utilize the widget's features to make your journey to Nantes both affordable and unforgettable.

Popular flights to Nantes

Travelers visiting Nantes can easily access the city via Nantes Atlantique, offering direct connection to 471 destinations worldwide. To streamline your travel planning process, explore the most popular flights to Nantes below. Discover direct routes from major international hubs and convenient connections tailored to suit your travel preferences. Click to delve into the diverse array of flights available to Nantes and embark on an unforgettable journey.

Car rentals in Nantes

Photo of Jardin des plantes de Nantes is a municipal botanical garden in Nantes city.

To navigate Nantes effortlessly, renting a car is an excellent choice. With your own wheels, you can explore every nook and cranny of the destination without relying on public transportation and even venture off the beaten path. On our website, you'll discover a selection of over 8 car rental companies in Nantes, ready to provide you with the perfect vehicle for your travels.

Automatic cars for rent in Nantes start at 44 EUR per day or 305 EUR per week. The cheapest automatic rental car is a Fiat 500 Electric. If you prefer driving a manual car, you'll find multiple options for rent in Nantes, starting at 34 EUR per day or 239 EUR per week. The cheapest manual rental car is a Fiat 500.

Learn more about the different types of cars you can rent in Nantes, France below.

Popular types of cars for rent in Nantes

Renting a car in Nantes is a popular choice among travelers who want to explore the city at their own pace. A wide variety of popular car rentals are available to choose from in Nantes, ensuring you find the best car for your travel plans.

Check out all the options available and book your car rental in Nantes for your upcoming adventures in France below. All car rentals come with CDW insurance for added protection throughout your trip.

Search for car rentals in Nantes

Get ready to hit the road and explore the beautiful city of Nantes. Find the best deals on a variety of popular car rentals in Nantes, France, or any other destination in Europe by using the search tool below.

Enter your pick-up and drop-off location, driver's age, and dates. Click the green button to view your options.

Popular destinations to visit after Nantes

Photo of tourist in France- the Erdre river in Nantes.

The city of Nantes is just one of the many unique and scenic destinations you can visit in France. So if you're itching for another cultural adventure, a relaxing road trip, an action-filled city break, or a memorable weekend getaway, know that France has it all.

Each destination in France offers something unique to experience! Take the opportunity to visit other captivating places in France that are as magical as the city of Nantes. The most popular travel destinations in France are listed below. Click on the name of the place you want to explore next to learn more about it.

All the best destinations in France

When unsure about where to go next, use the map below. This map shows the locations of all the best destinations in France. Use the map to plan your trip and find the best routes.

Domestic flights from Nantes

Photo of aerial view of castle in Nantes in France.

Experience the authentic charm of France by expanding your travels beyond the boundaries of Nantes. Explore other destinations around France with a domestic flight. A domestic flight is typically a short-haul flight, with the longest duration not exceeding two hours. To find the best flights from Nantes to other amazing locations in France, add the required details below and select 'Search' to view the best domestic flights in France for your chosen dates. You can also jump to the last section of this travel guide to find the most popular domestic flights from Nantes.

Popular domestic flights from Nantes

Travelers in France can catch flights to domestic airports in Perpignan, Nîmes, Nice, Montpellier, and Marseille. Domestic flights in France are operated by 7 airlines, including Volotea, Ryanair, easyJet, Vueling, and Transavia France. There are around 34 scheduled flight routes operating to Nantes on a weekly basis.

From Nantes, travelers can book scheduled flights to 27 domestic destinations. The most popular flights from Nantes depart to many top-rated destinations in France and are offered by Volotea, Ryanair, and easyJet.

Search domestic flights from Nantes

Traveling to another city or region in France? Use the flight search tool below to quickly find the cheapest one-way or round-trip flights from Nantes to different local destinations.

Enter all the necessary information and click or tap on the Search button to see a list of the available domestic flights in France on the selected dates.

Most popular countries in Europe

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