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Destination Guide: Brest

A vibrant modern port steeped in French history
Explore centuries of Maritime heritage and see the sun set from Brest’s 15th-century château before strolling along the dockland’s promenade. In the evening dine on fresh seafood and Breton delicacies.

Food and Drink

Authentic Breton crêpes and Atlantic fish and seafood. Sharpen your appetite at the Halles indoor market and stock up on the bounty of Brittany. Go for real Breton crêpes washed down with local cider, or sample fresh oysters, Atlantic fish, and salt-marsh lamb from Ouessant. The lively strip of bistros along Rue Jean Jaurès and Place Guérin in the hip St-Martin quarter are fertile foodie territory.

Sightseeing and relaxation

Maritime history and Europe’s largest drawbridge. Take in sweeping views of Brest’s port and learn about its tumultuous history in the Musée Nationale de la Marine(Naval Museum) housed in a 15th-century château. Or stroll the dockland promenade of the Cours Dajot area, then cross the River Penfeld on Europe’s largest drawbridge, the Pont de Recouvrance, to the 14th-century Tanguy Tower.

Shopping

Breton jumpers and designer boutiques. Take home traditional stripy Breton jumpers and edible goodies such as buttery Traou Mad shortbread biscuits from Roi de Bretagne on the harbour. Rue de Siam juggles high-street chains and one-off boutiques.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Lively bars and open-air summer festivals. By sedate Breton standards, Brest is buzzing with bars and pubs. Bar-hop on Rue de Siam, or opt for something a little more sophisticated around Place de la Liberté. On Thursday nights in July and August, wander down to Quai de la Douane for the open-air summer festival.