Nantes is a city in western France, located on the Loire River and the Atlantic coast (Loire-Atlantic). Nantes is the 6th largest city in France that belongs historically and culturally to Brittany, a former duchy and province. This region is famous for its galette bretonne, a crispy version of crepe made with the local delicious grass-fed cow butter. The best location to stay in Nantes is near Nantes train station because it is walking distance to interesting attractions and is convenient to hop on the train to visit nearby cities. Nantes train station has high-speed trains that go directly to Paris and other major cities. The tramway system in Nantes is excellent, convenient, and inexpensive. You can purchase the tickets at the tramway stop using credit cards.

Le Jardin de l’Estuaire (park)

If you have only a short time in Nantes, these are interesting sites to visit:

  • Le Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne (castle)
  • Le Jardin de l’Estuaire (park)
  • Machine de l’Ile (electric animals, featured photo)
  • Musee de l’imprimerie (printing museum)

Within travel distance by train, you can visit the following cities:

  • Guérande which  is known for its famous salt (fleurs de sel de Guérande)
  • Saint-Nazaire (chantier naval) is also a port which is known for ship manufacturing of the largest ship in the world, Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Sea and its sister ship.
  • La Baule, an upscale beach city
  • Angers, a historical town and residence of Plantagenet dynasty at chateau d’Angers
  • Fontevraud Abbaye built in the 12th century. You need to take the train to Saumur. Then, take the bus to Fontevraud. Check the bus schedule with the tourism office because it picks up passengers only a few times a day. Therefore, it is important to time your train and bus accordingly.
Frontevraud Abbey
Le Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne (castle)

The Loire valley is famous for its 21 chateaux (castles). To discover the castles in the region (chateaux de la Loire), you can either drive yourself there or book a day-tour from Paris.

To view a list of castles and their descriptions in the Loire Valley

To view website of Paris City Vision tour company offers Loire Valley Castles trip from Paris

Nantes Tourism Office website: 9 Rue Des Etas, Nantes (facing the castle, Chateau Des Ducs de Bretagne); Tel 02 40 75 75 07

To view site visits in Nantes

To visit Nantes vineyard website

Don’t miss the tour for the ship manufacturer!

The tour for the ship manufacturer (Chantier naval) must be booked ahead of time. The Nantes tourism office can help you book a roundtrip boat traveling from Nantes to Saint-Nazaire. The Saint-Nazaire tourism office sells tours of the ship manufacturer online. Check the tour schedule online first before booking the boat trip. No camera is allowed inside the manufacturer.

Saint-Nazaire tourism office website: Boulevard de la Legion D’Honneur, Base sous-marine/Ville-Port BP 173, 44613 Saint-Nazaire Cedex, Tel 00 33 (0)2 40 22 40 65, contact@saint-nazaire-tourisme.com

Salt Plantation Tour in Guérande 

Guérande is a tiny charming medieval town where the food is delicious. The salt plantation is located on the outskirts of Guérande. It is not walking distance from downtown. Only one bus will take you there and its schedule is not very frequent. Therefore, you must check with the Guérande tourism office for the bus schedule. The salt plantation tour can be booked directly at: http://maisondespaludiers.fr/
Guérande Tourism office website: 1 Place du Marche aux Bois –BP 4530444353 Guérande cedexTel 0 820 150 044 – 02 40 24 96 71, email: contact@ot-guerande.fr

La Baule 

La Baule is a seaside resort within travel distance by train from Nantes with beautiful villas, casino, luxury hotels and an original mix of old Breton and exclusive seaside culture. La Baule has long been home to French high society’s seaside residences. Many Parisians spend their vacations in La Baule.
La Baule official website