What to do during a stay in Nantes?

01st November 2021

Where to stay in Nantes

Nantes is a historical and cultural city where there is no shortage of activities! Whether you are travelling for professional reasons, on a long or short mission, or on a tourist trip, for a holiday or a weekend, there are a few must-sees. Here are the must-sees.

Are you going to be staying in Nantes soon, for a weekend, with friends or family, or on a business trip, and are you looking for something to do in your free time? For the most comfortable stay possible, remember to book your accommodation as soon as possible, as Nantes is a busy city with a limited supply of accommodation. You can choose between a hotel, an aparthotel in Nantes or a holiday rental in Nantes for short term rental. Each type of accommodation has different qualities and services.  Short-term rentals in Nantes are ideal for discovering the city while feeling at home. Once you have settled in, all you have to do is let yourself be guided through the heart of the City of Dukes. You will find in this article all our ideas for walks, visits and delicacies to discover and enjoy during your stay in Nantes.

Sights and visits not to be missed in Nantes

Nantes is a historical and cultural city where there is no shortage of activities! Whether you are travelling for professional reasons, on a long or short mission, or on a tourist trip, there are a few must-sees. Here are the must-sees. To make the most of your stay, we advise you to book a holiday rental in Nantes.

The Machines de l'Ile

The Machines de l'île have taken over the former shipyard workshops and given them a new lease of life. Fans of Jules Verne's "Invented Worlds" come to dream in front of the impressive mechanical animals that occupy the premises. This fantastic and artistic project imagined by François Delarozière and Pierre Orefice fascinates young and old. Amongst other things, you will discover a giant heron in flight, a spider and a huge ant in the middle of a mechanical vegetation. To end this journey in style, enjoy a ride on an elephant!

Les Machines de l'Île - Parc des Chantiers, Boulevard Léon Bureau, 44200 Nantes

You will find on MagicStay the ideal accommodation in hotel, apartment-hotel or holiday apartment in Nantes.

Short term rental in the city centre of Nantes
Nantes city centre

The Castle of the Dukes of Brittany

Nantes is nicknamed the City of the Dukes, and it's not for nothing. The Château des Ducs de Bretagne, one of the symbols of the city, is a must-see. Built between the 13th and 18th centuries, it mixes Gothic and Renaissance styles. It was classified as a historical monument in 1840. In addition to the beauty of the place, which has been extremely well restored by the city, one comes here to visit the Nantes History Museum. This museum offers adults and children the opportunity to retrace the history of the city. Through a very successful scenography, visitors discover the city from the Gallo-Roman period to the present day.

Magicstay offers a large number of furnished accommodations near the Château des Ducs de Bretagne and the Nantes train station, including apartment hotels in Nantes.

Château des Ducs de Bretagne - 4 Place Marc Elder, 44000 Nantes

The LU Tower

Opposite the Château des Ducs de Bretagne, don't miss the LU Tower. This is the last vestige of the famous Nantes biscuit factory of the same name and its famous little butters. Since 2000, it has been transformed into an art centre hosting all sorts of cultural events. People come here to attend concerts, dance shows, exhibitions, plays, etc. Nicknamed Le Lieu Unique in homage to its past, the former LU tower is now a must-see venue for contemporary culture enthusiasts.

Le Lieu Unique - 2 Rue de la Biscuiterie, 44000 Nantes

The Passage Pommeraye

The Passage Pommeraye is one of the most beautiful covered passages in Europe! This superb shopping mall, spread over 3 levels, was built at the beginning of the 19th century. In this grandiose place, a little out of time, luxury shops and more modest stalls cohabit. You can go there to admire the sumptuous decoration and the imposing wooden staircase and why not find an authentic souvenir to take back in your luggage.

Here again, in the city centre of Nantes, you will find on MagicStay the best hotels, apartment-hotels or short term lets in Nantes. You can also consult here our furnished rentals in Nantes.

Passage Pommeraye - 20 Passage Pommeraye, 44000 Nantes

Escape to the heart of Nantes or the outskirts of the city

Nantes is often cited as one of the most pleasant cities to live in France. In addition to its cultural effervescence, it is also an ideal city for getting away from it all. In fact, it is the only French city to have been awarded the title of European Green Capital (in 2013). Here are our ideas for walks to take a breath of fresh air. The economic development of Nantes is such that a large number of company employees come here to telework or for a long mission (expatriates in particular). Book a seasonal rental in Nantes.

The Bas-Chantenay district

If you want to discover a magical place, head for the Jardin Extraordinaire located in the Bellevue - Chantenay - Sainte-Anne district. This public park has given new life to the Carrière de Miséry, an old disused granite quarry. In this atypical place, you can wander between the 25-metre high cliffs from which flows an incredible waterfall and an abundance of exotic vegetation. In this magical garden, inspired by Jules Verne's "Extraordinary Journeys", you will come across tree ferns, lotuses and banana trees. The writer's house is located right next to this park, which covers 1.2 hectares.

Jardin Extraordinaire - Quai Marquis d'Aiguillon, 44100 Nantes

Thanks to its many green spaces, Nantes is the perfect city for outdoor sports activities.

The Island of Versailles

Nantes is definitely full of peaceful spots. If you need to relax between meetings, head for the Île de Versailles. Many locals and visitors come here to recharge their batteries throughout the year. This incredible place, created on an artificial island of 1.7 hectares, has been laid out like a traditional Japanese garden. All the codes of the Zen garden can be found here, both in the flourishing vegetation and in the various architectural constructions. It is the perfect place to take a break and find serenity.

Île de Versailles - Quai Henri Barbusse, 44000 Nantes

Take a cruise on the Erdre

The Erdre is to Nantes what the Seine is to Paris. Many people from Nantes and tourists alike enjoy walking along the banks of this river that runs through the city. To discover the City of the Dukes in a different way, you can hire an electric boat or take a boat cruise from the Ile de Versailles for a trip on the Erdre, heading north to the town of Sucé-sur-Erdre. On the programme? The superb châteaux and "folies nantaises", the sumptuous pleasure homes, which border it.

Aparthotel in Nantes
Aparthotel in Nantes

Escape to the village of Trentemoult

Just 10 minutes south of the city, on the banks of the Loire, lies a beautiful little fishing village. With its charming coloured houses, its guinguettes and its exotic gardens, Trentemoult has lost none of its authenticity. You can spend a few hours strolling through the narrow streets and picturesque squares, having a drink or a bite to eat in front of the port.

Trentemoult - 44400 Rezé

Take the Muscadet route

Muscadet-Sèvre-et-Maine is one of the typical wines of the Nantes region. If you are a fan of this AOC or simply curious, take the opportunity to escape on the wine and castle route between the Maine and Sèvre rivers. On the way, some stops are worth the diversions: Vallet, the capital of Muscadet, the charming little town of Vertou, Clisson and its castle, its church, its medieval bridges mixed with Tuscan architecture, or the Château de Goulaine.

Vallet - 44212

Vertou - 44215

Clisson - 44043

Château de Goulaine - Allée du Château, 44115 Haute-Goulaine

Taste the culinary specialities of Nantes

Nantes may not be known for its gastronomy, but it is! If savoury lovers will not be outdone with the Challans duck or the Nantes lamb's lettuce, the city is renowned for its sweet delicacies. Here are a few sweets and specialities to try at any time during your stay in Nantes.

Fall back into childhood with the Rigolettes nantaises

Cousins of the Berlingot - the Nantes sweet par excellence - the Rigolettes are softer than the latter. They were created in 1902 by Charles Bohu, a grocer in Nantes. Inside a sugar crust, there is a soft and chewy heart of fruit pulp. You can also find them filled with salted butter caramel or chocolate, a delight!

Les Rigolettes Nantaises - 18 Rue de Verdun, 44000 Nantes

Treat yourself to the famous Curé Nantais

The Curé Nantais is the typical cheese of the city. It owes its name to the meeting between Pierre Hivert, a farmer from Saint-Julien-de-Concelles, and a priest who was visiting the region in the 19th century. Together, they created this square, soft, raw milk cheese and named it "Régal des gourmets". Curé Nantais is still produced in Pornic, about 50km from Nantes.

To buy it, visit one of the town's cheese shops or creameries, such as Mona - 10 Rue de la Bastille, 44000 Nantes

Have tea with a piece of Gâteau Nantais

It is impossible to be in Nantes without trying the famous Gâteau Nantais. Made of flour, eggs, sugar, butter and almond powder, its recipe is the same as that of pound cake. However, the Gâteau Nantais has two specificities: it is iced and flavoured with West Indian rum. These exotic notes are linked to the past of the city of Nantes, which was for a long time the largest slave port in France...

The Nantes cake can be found in many of the city's delicatessens and bakeries such as Debotté Père Et Fils - 2 Rue des Hauts Pavés, 44000 Nantes

Enjoy a glass of Muscadet

AOC since 1936, Muscadet is a light and fruity white wine typical of the Loire-Atlantique region. Its particular taste is due to its noble and unique grape variety, called Melon de Bourgogne. It goes wonderfully with fish and seafood, but also with Curé or Gâteau Nantais for dessert. Even if it is delicious, Muscadet should be drunk in moderation!

In town, it can be found at the many wine shops in the centre of town such as Maison Lemaitre, Les Caves du Beffroi - 12 Rue de la Paix, 44000 Nantes


As we mentioned for Paris, organising a seminar in Paris, Nantes is also an exceptional city to organise a seminar in. Nantes is close to the sea and in particular to La Baule. Your employees will be able to practice all kinds of sports activities in Nantes. The Nantes tourist office will provide you with all the activities available for your stay as well as the best accommodation offers.