Top things to do

Top Choice Amusement Park in Nantes

Les Machines de l’Île de Nantes

Nantes' quirkiest sight is this fantasy world – a serious and seriously wacky workshop with mechanical contraptions galore displayed in plant-filled hothouses – where you can fly giant herons in La Galerie des Machi…
Top Choice Modern French in Nantes

Pickles

This buzzing neobistro would be right at home in Paris. Market-sourced, modern and wholly creative cuisine by English chef Dominic Quirke (a Newcastle lad wed to a French lass) is sensational – and extraordinarily g…
Top Choice Theatre in Nantes

Le Lieu Unique

Within the one-time LU biscuit factory (crowned by an iconic angel-sculpted, domed tower, which you can ascend for €2), this industrial-chic lieu unique (unique place) is a cutting-edge venue for dance, theatre, art…
Top Choice Bar in Nantes

Le Nid

Far more than just a bar, Le Nid (or The Nest) is an interactive art installation by Nantais artist Jean Jullien. Designer armchairs, with yolk-yellow seat cushions, resemble broken eggs and the bar squats inside a …
Top Choice Castle in Nantes

Château des Ducs de Bretagne

Forget fusty furnishings – light-filled rooms inside the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany house multimedia-rich exhibits detailing the city's history. Look out for sobering documentation of the slave trade, and vinta…
Top Choice Wine Bar in Nantes

Le Jéroboam

This enchanting bar à vin with vintage green wood facade is the best spot in town to taste regional wines with a laid-back, hipster crowd. When the munchies strike, order a perfectly paired tartine (open sandwich). …
Top Choice South American in Nantes

Nazca

Bruno Triballeau, chef at the French embassy in Bogota for 10 years, and his Colombian wife make a formidable duo at this stylish cevicheria. In their bright, two-room restaurant they serve Peruvian-inspired ceviche…
Top Choice Chocolate in Nantes

Gautier-Debotté

A young Jules Verne was awed by this beautiful chocolate shop's chandeliers, marble floors and circular velvet banquette where Nantais have lingered amid the sweet aroma of chocolate since 1823. Handmade specialitie…
Top Choice Mall in Nantes

Passage Pommeray

Pedestal statues represent traditional Nantais industries inside this ornate, three-tiered shopping arcade. It was built in 1843 to link the then–stock exchange with the post office and extended in 2016 to stunning …
Museum in Nantes

Musée d’Arts de Nantes

A six-year renovation job by London architects Stanton Williams has done wonders for Nantes’ art museum, open again since 2017 inside the historic Palais des Beaux Arts, which was built to house the city's collectio…