This historic port city on the Loire River is the capital of the Pays de la Loire region in western France. Nantes was once the capital of Brittany and home to the dukes of Brittany, and to this day one of its most-visited attractions is the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany, or Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne.
Featured Nantes Hotel
See All Nantes Hotels >
Ideally located just steps from Passage Pommeraye, of Cambronne Court, Best Western Hotel Graslin is the ultimate destination to take a thrilling adventure around the city of Nantes.
Nantes’ well-preserved medieval Old Town boasts half-timbered houses; the Passage Pommeraye, a 19th-century glass-roofed shopping arcade with Renaissance sculptures; and Place du Bouffay, one of the city’s most quaint, historic and popular districts. The city is also home to the awe-inspiring Machines of the Isle of Nantes, which was inspired by the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci and the novels of Jules Verne, who was born in Nantes.
When to Go
The best time to visit Nantes is during shoulder season, approximately April through mid-June and September through October, in order to avoid the summer crowds.
What to see
The Jules Verne Museum pays homage to Nantes’ most famous native son, author of “Around the World in Eighty Days” and “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” The museum’s manuscripts, books, documents, illustrations and more invite guests to “journey to the center” of Jules Verne’s writing. To delve deeper into the mind of Jules Verne, visit the Machines of the Isle of Nantes, an artistic and cultural project located on the banks of the Loire River where visitors will find the “invented worlds” of Verne, as well as the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci, including a 40-foot-tall mechanical elephant that sprays water from its trunk and guests can ride. For a more tranquil island experience, visit Ile de Versailles in the River Erdre, which features a Japanese-style garden, waterfalls, pavilions and more. The Castle of the Dukes of Brittany is the city’s most iconic attraction and is also home to the Nantes History Museum, which has a room dedicated to the Edict of Nantes.