Attractions

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 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…
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…
Museum in Nantes

Musée Jules Verne

Overlooking the river, this is a magical museum with 1st-edition books, hand-edited manuscripts and cardboard theatre cut-outs. Child-friendly interactive displays introduce or reintroduce you to the work of Jules V…
Park in Nantes

Jardin des Plantes

Opened in 1860, this exquisitely landscaped park is among France's most interesting botanical gardens. Century-old magnolia and mulberry trees, Japanese maples, tulip trees, redwoods (sequoias) and magnificent cedar…
Memorial in Nantes

Mémorial de l’Abolition de l’Esclavage

Down by the water, 2000 brick-sized glass plaques embedded in the quay-side pavement scream out the names of slave-trading ships that regularly set sail from the port of Nantes from 1750 until the early 19th century…
Cathedral in Nantes

Cathédrale St-Pierre et St-Paul

Inside Nantes' Flamboyant Gothic cathedral, the tomb of François II (r 1458–88), Duke of Brittany, and of his second wife, Marguerite de Foix, is a masterpiece of Renaissance art. Enjoy a moment of peace afterwards …
Gallery in Nantes

Le Cale 2 Créateurs

Edgy temporary art exhibitions, events and happenings fill this old industrial slipway, shaped like a wedge of cheese at the foot of Île de Nantes' landmark yellow Titan crane (erected in 1955 to lift boats onto the…
Museum in Nantes

Musée d’Histoire Naturelle

Nantes' Natural History Museum has a fascinating collection of minerals, fossils, stuffed animals and an impressive whale skeleton. There are frequent temporary exhibitions.