Destination Guide: Nantes
A striking château, zingy wines and mechanical animals
In Nantes, 18th-century grandeur meets vibrant
contemporary arts on the banks of the River Loire. Take in
the city from a quirky viewpoint - while riding on the back
of the Ile de Nantes' giant mechanical elephant.
Food and Drink
Fresh seafood and crisp Muscadet wine. Restaurants in
old city serve fish plucked straight from the River
Loire and Atlantic Ocean. Dine in lavish Art Nouveau
surroundings at national monument
Brasserie La Cigale, or at the chic former
LU Biscuit Factory. Foodies stock up on local cheeses
and Muscadet white wine at
Sightseeing and relaxation
Maritime history and Gothic towers. The grand
Castle of the Dukes of Brittany Museum traces Nantes'
history back to its days as a colonial port and a former
regional capital. Stroll past 18th-century merchants'
Rue Kervegan in the
Île Feydeau quarter, and admire the imposing Gothic
Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul in the old town.
High-end fashion and antique curios. Smart boutiques
line up along
Rue Crébillon, but take a walk along the 19th-century
Passage Pommeraye to see upscale designer stores
beneath a lavishly decorated arcade. Antique hunters keep an
eye out for bargains in bric-a-brac stores along
Rue Jean Jaures and sweet-toothed shoppers take home
decadent treats from Nantes' venerable artisan
Nightlife and Entertainment
Elegant opera and contemporary arts. Start with an
apéritif at a classy café on
Place Graslin, before watching opera at the colonnaded
Théâtre Graslin. Contemporary dance, music and drama
shows take place beneath the domed tower of former biscuit
Lieu Unique in the city centre. Bars stay open late
around the old town's cobbled alleys.