Nantes city guide
Download the Nantes city guide in pdf format
The Nantes Pass, valid for 24, 48, or 72 hours
Simple, practical, and easy to use, the Nantes Pass is your key to getting the most out of this great city!
Free access to 25 fantastic sites and activities (museums, cruises, guided tours around the city, mini-train tour, bus tour)
Free public transport (Tramway, Bus, BusWay, Navibus)
Shopping, leisure, and event discounts
On sale at the hotel reception or at the Tourist Information Office
GENERAL GUIDED TOUR OF NANTES CITY CENTRE
VISIT on foot, with an audio guide, by mini-train, by bike, or by boat…..
TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICE 0892 464 044
Tour of Nantes city centre:
- the medieval quarter
- maritime history (the 18th century Ile Feydeau),
- 19th century town planning (Passage Pommeraye, Graslin district, the Cigale Brasserie + the Cours Cambronne square)
- contemporary architecture (Palais de Justice)
For the full programme, contact the Tourist Information Office on 0892 464 044. Advanced booking advised.
10 rue Georges Clémenceau / 02 51 17 45 00
This 19th century building, enclosing a grand, light-filled patio, is home to one of the most beautiful collections in France, from primitive Italian works through to contemporary pieces. On the 1st floor, look out for masterpieces by Ingres, Georges de la Tour, and Courbet. The contemporary gallery is a complete overview of the 20th century, from Chagall to Picasso, Chaissac to Dubuffet, Tinguely, Morellet, and more. A remarkable collection by Kandinsky will certainly delight admirers of the master of abstraction.
A large number of temporary exhibits, including the Russian avant-garde, Flanagan, Vuillard, and Matisse, regularly spice up the art scene in Nantes.
CASTLE OF THE DUKES OF BRITTANY MUSEUM
Built at the beginning of the of the 15th century on the banks of the Loire, the fully renovated Castle of the Dukes of Brittany reopened to the public in February 2007 after being fully closed for three years. It is now home to the Nantes history museum, which is equipped with new audiovisual and multimedia technology. Other new additions include the moat garden and 500 metres of walkways atop the ramparts, ideal for a light stroll, plus beautiful lighting that brings the building to life as night falls.
LES MACHINES DE L'ILE (ILE DE NANTES)
Located right in the heart of Nantes city centre, where the old shipyards once stood, the first feature of the ‘Machines de l’Ile de Nantes’ has been open to the general public since 1st July 2007.
The Great Elephant is the first of a series of extraordinary machines stemming from the combined imaginations of Leonardo da Vinci and Jules Verne (in late 2011, the Marine World Carousel opens, which will then be followed by the Heron Tree). This 45-ton and 12-metre-high pachyderm can carry 40 passengers in its belly and on its back for an out-of-the-ordinary tour of the city and the Loire Valley.
The Machines de l’Ile attraction also includes:
The Machines gallery, a laboratory open to the public. Here the machines built in the workshop are displayed in all their glory.
The drivers get them going and tell us about their history…
The Workshop, located in the ships of the old yards: see where the machines are created from a gangway.
TOUR OF THE ILE DE NANTES
Ile de Nantes, a new urban centre.
This is one of the biggest urban projects in France. Surrounded by the Loire, the Ile de Nantes is a mixed area of land covering 350 hectares, opposite the historic centre.
To the west: the Quai François Mitterrand, the ‘quartier de la Creation’ neighbourhood - Manny, the banana hangar, the Titan crane, the ‘Machines de l’Ile’, Jean Nouvel’s Palais de Justice, the Buren rings, the Prouvé station, and more.
LE HANGAR À BANANES (THE BANANA HANGAR)
This 8,000 m2 area, formerly used as a warehouse to ripen bananas, has become an area for walking and leisure. Located at the westerly tip of the Ile de Nantes, very close to the Titan crane, it is home to a contemporary art gallery, restaurants, bars, a night club, and many terraces. To get there: follow the Buren Rings standing tall along the Quai des Antilles.
ESTUARY 2007 / 2009 / 2011
Full programme available at the Tourist Information Office
Advanced booking advised - call 0892 464 044
An artistic journey spanning 60 kilometres, to discover or rediscover the exceptional sites dotted along the banks of the Loire. Every two years, over a three-month period, the estuary, from Nantes out to Saint-Nazaire, is given over to around thirty internationally known artists.
For 2007, works by Daniel Buren, Felice Varini, and Kinya Maruyama, among others, were on display.
The area is brought to life by contemporary works that are monumental, fun, and surprising, long-standing or temporary, created in situ, in the towns or in the ports, in or on water, which can be seen from the banks or from the river itself.
Download the Nantes city guide in pdf format