With its fusion of old and new, it’s no wonder Nantes often lands on the travel itineraries of those planning a trip to Brittany. The first thing one may notice about this artistic French city in Pays de la Loire is how easy it is to discover by foot. In fact, exploration is as simple as following the green line. The unusual trail known as ‘Le Voyage à Nantes’ runs throughout the city, directing travellers to the centrepieces of Nantes’ art scene and key landmarks. From architecturally stunning French castles like Le Château des ducs de Bretagne to playful public art projects (including the city’s famed mechanical Great Elephant), this path is anything but boring. If you decide to walk the line in its entirety, make sure to spend at least two days in Nantes to see all the highlights.
While Brittany’s former capital underwent a massive restoration after World War II, the invasion of modern art has not come at the expense of its cherished history. Architectural gems like Cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul and Théâtre Graslin reveal the city’s rich past. On the flip side, Nantes’ contemporary art scene is equally alluring, as public art projects like Les Machines and the Estuaire spark inspiration in travellers from far and wide.
With the green line serving as a direct route to many of these treasures, Here & There Magazine’s city guide to Nantes outlines a few highlights to see along the way. If your feet tire, just stop for a break in one of Nantes’ parks, or grab a refreshing cocktail from La Cantine or Altercafé. If you want to step away from the buzz of the city for a while, a day trip to Trentemoult is just what you need. When you’re ready to explore the line, this guide will show you the way to Nantes’ arts and culture-filled corners.