For a long time, Nantes was a French city we wanted to visit, but we kept postponing until we found the right moment. We knew there was plenty to do in Nantes, especially things we love. To celebrate our 17th anniversary, we finally found the time and motivation to include Nantes in our travel plan through Brittany and Normandy, right after visiting Mont Saint-Michel and Rennes.
Gastronomy is always one of the pillars of our travels, but we also do other things, so here we bring you a list of cool, unique, and of course, gastronomic experiences to do in Nantes, based on our two-day trip to the city.
12 things to do in Nantes
Visit to the Château des Ducs de Bretagne: a historical and majestic journey
Located in the heart of Nantes, the Château des Ducs de Bretagne is a must-visit for those wishing to immerse themselves in the history of this charming city. This magnificent castle, dating back to the 15th century, is an impressive example of medieval and Renaissance architecture. While exploring its imposing courtyards and towers, visitors are transported back in time to an era of nobility and intrigue. Additionally, the castle houses a fascinating museum that offers a detailed insight into the history of the region, from ancient times to the present day. This museum can be something to do in Nantes during your trip, we chose to visit only the castle. With its impressive fortifications and immersive atmosphere, a visit to the Château des Ducs de Bretagne is truly a historical and majestic journey that will not be forgotten.
Starred meal: an unforgettable gastronomic experience with Michelin Star
Looking for something different to do in Nantes? This might be your chance to have a unique gastronomic experience. It is common for Michelin-starred restaurants to offer lunch menus at more affordable prices, so we didn’t miss the opportunity to visit one when traveling in France. You can check on the Michelin website which restaurants in the city have stars and offer a lunch menu. We tried the Roza and the experience was fantastic and definitely something to do in Nantes.
Discovery of the shops at Passage de Pommeraye: discover the best boutiques in Nantes
If shopping is something you want to do in Nantes then this is the ideal place. When we enter the Passage de Pommeraye, we are immediately enveloped by the charming atmosphere of this iconic shopping space in Nantes. This passage, built in the 19th century, is an architectural masterpiece that combines historical elegance with a contemporary shopping environment. Throughout its three floors, we can explore a variety of charming boutiques and specialty shops, offering everything from fashion and accessories to handmade products and unique souvenirs. With its stunning architecture and diverse selection of shops, Passage de Pommeraye is the perfect place for shopping enthusiasts to explore and discover the best boutiques in Nantes.
Tasty stop at L’Entrecôte: indulge in the famous Nantes steak
Ever since L’Entrecôte went viral, especially the one in Paris, we wanted to understand what made this steak special. The last time we visited Paris, it was during the holiday season and there were a lot of people in the city, so long queues for the most famous restaurants. When we found out there was a L’Entrecôte in the city, we immediately paid attention and decided it was something we wanted to do in Nantes, and since there was no queue, we took advantage right away. Yes, the steak is very good, the fries too, and it even includes a salad with walnuts as an appetizer. For the whole experience, flavor, and quality, it’s definitely worth the visit.
Night at Lieu Unique: unique atmosphere at the bar or restaurant
During the night, the most cultural part of the complex is closed, but there is a bar, a restaurant, and a hammam in operation. If you feel like having a drink after dinner, this place can be an excellent option for something to do in Nantes.
Day at Lieu Unique: discover the charm of this creative space during the day
Visiting Lieu Unique is an opportunity to explore the charm of this creative space during the day. Here, we can immerse ourselves in the vibrant atmosphere and discover a variety of interesting activities and experiences to do in Nantes. It’s the ideal place to enjoy the day, soaking in all its charm and inspiration.
Exploring Marché de Talensac: fresh local flavors in a vibrant market
Our experience at Marché de Talensac was amazing! This market in Nantes is full of life and offers a wide variety of fresh and local products. Whenever we visit a city, we like to explore the markets to smell the aromas and taste the traditional flavors. At Talensac, we saw some local delights and realized that it’s one of those markets where you can find a little bit of everything, from fish, meat, prepared food, wines, and other delights. It was a true explosion of flavors! This colorful and lively market was an authentic and delicious experience that you should also do in Nantes.
Breath-taking cookies: try the city’s best delights
We couldn’t resist a cookie that seems to be soft on the inside. We passed by the street and saw a small line for a shop that sold only cookies. We were promptly drawn to that line. Inside, two very friendly young men, one of them at the counter, advised us between two conversations on two creations from Feeling Good Bakery. Well, we would have regretted it if we hadn’t stopped.
Dream patisseries: the city’s most delicious sweet experiences
During a cheese tasting, we noticed on the menu that the bread was from a specific bakery in Nantes. We immediately noted its name to go the next day. At Emma, we found much more than bread, from puff pastry creations to the finest pastries. We tried a chausson au pomme and an almond croissant, and we would also have regretted not knowing Emma.
Nantes Cheese Experience: a tasting of unmissable flavors and textures
When we started planning this trip, it was immediately clear to us that, as in all of France, the culture of cheese consumption in Nantes would not be small. We chose a restaurant to have a cheese tasting. At Cheese and Friends, we found not only a good selection of cheeses but also good wines and lots of friendliness. There are several places like this, if cheese is something you really like, look for a place in the city to have this experience.
Visit to Ile de Versailles: a piece of paradise in Nantes
Our visit to Ile de Versailles was like finding a special corner in Nantes. This Japanese garden is a calm and beautiful place in the middle of the city. Walking through its paths and bridges is like entering a magical world, with tranquil lakes and exotic plants. It’s a great place to relax and forget about the hustle and bustle of the city, and a visit we will never forget.
Vineyard tour and wine tasting: discover the secrets of Nantes vineyards
One of the experiences we wanted to have when visiting Brittany and Normandy was wine tourism: visiting a wine-producing estate, tasting, and learning more about wines in Nantes. We visited one of the estates in the region that produces wines according to organic rules and is super committed to sustainability. It was an incredible experience that you can see here.
Exploring Nantes was incredible. For two days, we immersed ourselves in the history, culture, and food of the city. From visiting the impressive Château des Ducs de Bretagne to shopping in the charming shops of Passage de Pommeraye, every moment was exciting. The flavors of lunch at Roza were unforgettable, and the unique atmosphere of Lieu Unique captivated us both day and night.
Marché de Talensac offered an incredible variety of fresh and delicious local products. And the cookies from Feeling Good Bakery and the sweets from Emma were simply divine! The cheese tasting at Cheese and Friends was an unmissable experience, and the serenity of Ile de Versailles was a true refuge. Finally, visiting the vineyards of Nantes was the highlight of the trip, revealing to us the secrets of local wines. In summary, Nantes is a city full of history, culture, and good food, and we can’t wait to go back.
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