Rennes, the capital of Brittany is a vibrant city, teeming with historical sites and marvellous museums. It’s a city that’s easy to discover on foot, with plenty of places to take a relaxing or delicious break…
Step into the past
Wander the tree-lined, cobbled streets of the medieval district and admire the higgledy-piggledy half-timbered houses with fascinating carvings on the walls and doors.
The colourful, historic centre of Rennes is pickled in the past and it’s not hard to imagine how it looked in the days of the famous Duchess Anne of Brittany and the 14th century Breton Knight Bertrand du Guesclin. Don’t miss Place Ste-Anne or Place des Lices where on Saturday mornings a market is held. It’s one of the largest markets in France and famous for its fish stalls (Saint Malo is just one hour away from Rennes).
Parliament of Brittany
The 17th century House of Parliament in Brittany is a symbol of the region. Incredibly it’s still active as a law court, and you can take a guided tour.
Indulge in the local gastronomy
There’s loads of choice when it comes to eating out but as this is Brittany, you have to try the local crêperies. Try Creperie les Betises (near the Parc du Thabor – see below) with its wall of jelly sweets and picture postcard ceiling, ideal for families. Or try the tiny Crêperie des Portes Mordelaises whose buckwheat pancakes are loved by the locals. A galette saucisse, (sausage pancake) is a local specialty and totally irresistible. If you’ve got a sweet tooth try the local favourites: parliaments, stuffed with apples and almonds – the locals recommend patisserie Le Daniel.
Les Champs Libres
The large futuristic building of Les Champs Libres is home to a stunning library and culture centre. Theres’s also the Museum of Brittany where you can hear Breton being spoken and explore Brittany’s history and culture. Don’t miss the Science Centre which is also housed in the building. It includes a planetarium and Merlin’s Laboratory, an interactive exhibit for kids. Perfect for a rainy day, for families and culture vultures.
Relax in Parc du Thabor
Parc du Thabor is perfect for a picnic or a relaxing wander. It has a water lily pond, bandstand, aviary and rose garden with more than 2,000 varieties.
Take a dip
The Saint-Georges swimming pool is an Art Deco jewel with preserved changing rooms and mosaic friezes created by the craftsmen of Odorico. Swim here and you’ll also get to enjoy this historical monument plus there are regular exhibitions, concerts and the pool even functions as an aquatic night club from time to time!
Activities to suit all ages
Park Gayeulles in the north east of the city is a great kids playground with wooded areas, ponds and perfect icnic areas. ideal for pastoral picnics. There’s also a tree climbing for all ages and mini golf course.
You can take bike tours, a cookery lesson or play Escape games.
Discover Brittany’s agricultural history at the Ecomuseum
Visit the city’s fam at the eco-museum of the Pays de Rennes. The former Ferme de la Bintinais covers 19 hectares and is a working farm where crops are grown and animals live. You’ll discover 5 centuries of local agricultural history and traditions.