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Nantes Tour Guide For History and Cultural Travelers

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Nantes is a historical city of France with a little touch of modernity in its culture. This beautiful city is situated on the bank of the Loire river. The city fascinates its visitors from the lovely shore with the old town, historical structures and botanical garden. Nantes tour gives you a brief of a long port history and portrays it as the industrial hub of France.

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Nantes tour will satisfy every traveller’s soul. The city is well-known for many aspects and holds many family-friendly destinations.

Nantes City France
Nantes City France / Image Credit: theculturetrip.com

Let’s began the Nantes tour virtually will us and explore every historical aspect as well as the popular attraction of the city.

Start Nantes Tour by Learning Chronicles

Few chronicles from the various eras are associated with the city which can be seen at numerous tourist sites during the Nantes tour. In history pages, until the 16th century, Nantes was the capital of Brittany. Before the Duchy of Brittany was merged with France, the Dukes of Brittany ruled their lands from here. After that, Nantes came into existence. You can explore the ancient Château des Ducs de Bretagne where the Dukes of Brittany once resided. Tourist can explore this iconic castle on your Nantes tour.

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Check out popular attractions to explore during Nantes Tour –

Start Your Nante Tour With Place du Bouffay

Why I am telling you to start your trip with Place du Bouffay is because it is located in the center of Nantes. When you start your Nantes tour from here you can easily explore any destination. Place du Bouffay is the oldest district which features many quaint streets and passages where travellers can exlopre city history and stay.

Place du Bouffay, Nantes Tour
Place du Bouffay, Nantes Tour /Image Credit: emoniteur.fr

The cobblestone square with padestrian street offer many options for dinning out such as Chez Lulu, China Town, Le 13 et 3, L’Epicerie etc. Bouffay district is quite popular of due to its historical past which can be seen on its buildings and restaurabts. Thus it manage to attract a many travellers.

Visit the Iconic Chateau des ducs de Bretagn

Château des Ducs de Bretagne is also known as the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany. It is biggest attraction and truly incredible architectural landmark of Nantes tour. This impressive medieval fortress was established by Francois 2nd in the 15th century. Later it became the residence of French kings as we stated above. It looks mesmerising from outside but as soon as you enter, its wide courtyard welcomes you, walk on the rampart and relax on the moat gardens.

Chateau des ducs de Bretagn, Nantes tour
Chateau des ducs de Bretagn, Nantes tour / Image Credit: pixabay.com

Château des ducs also houses the Musee d’Histoire de Nantes within its Gothic halls which exhibits the history & heritage of the city. You can visit the museum and participate in the exhibitions. After all this visit the cafes & restaurant that serves savoury meals in a pleasant ambience.

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Les Machines de l’Île – Unique Attraction of Nantes Tour

An incredible and unique attraction to visit in Nantes is Les Machines de l´Ile. It is also famous as the machine elephant. This futuristic presentation of giant mechanical elephant is popular among kids as well as adults too. You can entertain your kid by sitting at Machines of the Isle of Nantes. The idea of constructing this fantastic structure taken from the Jules Vernes’ novels and Leonardo da Vinci’s creation.

Les Machines de l´Ile, Nantes
Les Machines de l´Ile, Nantes / Image Credit: pixabay.com

This animatronic creativity designed by François Delaroziere which is now became the highlight of the Nantes tour. The grand elephant is of 12 m in height and bears 52 passengers at a time on its back for a walk. For enjoying the ride of this ain’t elephant you have to pre book the rides.

Visit the Botanical Garden With Kids

The Jardin des Plantes de Nantes is a specailly designed botanical garden located in the city centre. It not an ordinary garden but you can relax and have fun with your kids, plan a picnic and watch tropical greenery of Nantes. Travellers can stroll the beautiful pathways of park and appreciate the plant exhibition.

Jardin des Plantes de, Nantes tour
Jardin des Plantes de Nantes / Image Credit: OUI.sncf

The botanical garden spread in an area of 70,000m², out of which in 800m² of region greenhouses are present featuring a remarkable array of African and Asian orchids. Also witness the Palm House here from 19th-century. Jardin des Plantes provides a tranquilenvironment for visitors with over 11,000 species of plants and flowers exhibited between waterways and ponds.

You Can’t Miss Visiting Nantes Cathedral

Nantes’ cathedral is another important landmark of city which cannot be missed by any traveller. This largest religious building in Nantes is also known as the as the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul. The construction of this cathedral started in 1434 but it took around 450 years and completed in 1891.

Nantes Cathedral
Nantes Cathedral / Image Credit: unsplash.com

When you enter the cathedral, look for the Tomb of Francis II and Marguerite de Foix, Duke and dutchess of Brittany. They are considered as masterpiece of the French Renaissance. It stands majestically above the rest of the city and is as impresses tourist with its gathoic architecture.

Explore Art at Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes

Call it Museum of Fine arts of Musee des Beaux Arts, this destination of Nantes hold a special places in heart of art lovers. This huge museum houses beautiful galleries of historic artefacts & vast collection of contemporary art o France. In 1801, Napoléon Bonaparte founded the Musée des Beaux-Arts.

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes / Image Credit: rdvludique.fr

Over 900 pieces of art are on display at the museum, including an outstanding collection of European paintings. Many notable masterpieces can be found in the collection of 13th to 18th century French, Dutch, Italian and Flemish, paintings. David et Isae, a classic work of religious art by Le Pérugin should not be missed by art freaks. Paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, Philippe de Champaigne, Jean-Antoine Watteau and Tintoret are among the other highlights.

Finish Nantes Tour by Shopping at Passage Pommeraye

Your whole Nantes tour isn’t worthy if you dont’t shop from Passage Pommeraye. To keep your memories always fresh you need to visit this covered shopping mall located in the heart of Nantes, in Rue de la Fosse. The Passage Pommeraye established in the 19th century following the classy Renaissance-style architecture. Thus apart from shopping street, it is also renowned as a historic masterpiece.

Shop from Passage Pommeraye, Nantes tour
Shop from Passage Pommeraye, Nantes tour / Image Credit: pixabay.com

The major highlight of this street is its excellent marble staircases, glass ceiling and ancient sculptures. So don’t waste much time shop trendy clothes, perfumes, accessories from exclusive stores and side by side accknowledge the history of Passge Pommeraye.

Apart from all these mentioned above Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, Le Lieu Unique, Île Feydeau which is a pretty urban oasis, colorful trendy streets of Trentemoult and La Grue Titan are the other attrcation of Nantes. If you have planed long Nantes tour then you can also visit these destinations.

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Food & Bevarage Option at Nantes Tour

After completing your nantes tour, you must be starving right?? The cuisines of Nantes offer a blend of Brittany and the Loire Valley flavours. Mostly you will find sea food here. At Place du Bouffay offer many dining options for you which I have already stated above. But what you savour is still a qurrey for many travellers. Try to relish oysters and Muscadet wine here.

Savour Muscadet Wine and Oyster at Nantes Tour
Savour Muscadet Wine and Oyster at Nantes Tour / Image Credit: themanual.com

There are many speciality dishes in Nantes such as lamb’s lettuce, boiled sweets Berlingot, Petit Beurre, Curé Nantais cheese, etc. After that savour Gâteau Nantais, a cake made with rum. Taste Muscadet, a white wine which you can found at Nantes vineyard.

Bottom Line

The old mediaeval centre of Nantes, with its cathedral and castle, as well as other attractions, is enough to entice visitors to plan a Nantes tour. This city offers a thriving ambience which is also good for kids. If you are looking for a family friendly holiday destination then this incredible city of France would be a great idea.

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