Le phare de la pointe du Petit Minou et la rade de BrestLe phare de la pointe du Petit Minou et la rade de Brest
©Le phare de la pointe du Petit Minou et la rade de Brest|BERTHIER Emmanuel

Visit Brest

The city that feels like the ends of the earth

Forget everything you think you know about Brest. Come and experience a captivating and increasingly vibrant maritime city, nestling within one of France’s most stunning bays. You can look forward to a trip down Rue de Siam looking straight over the harbour, a visit to the extraordinary aquarium and exploring sites that have been repurposed for everyone’s benefit… All by foot, bike, bus, tram, and even cable-car!


Experience Brest

Brest is first and foremost a large port, tucked within a bay beside the Atlantic coast. The bombings of 1944 left the city in ruins, but it has been rebuilt in a fascinating show of modernist, neoclassical, Art Nouveau and Art Deco architecture. As a listed City of Art and History, there’s always something new and different going on in terms of cultural and heritage activities and outings. Looking both seawards and to the future, this is a city at the forefront in more ways than one!

Between two shores

Brest’s streets stretch out in a sloping grid pattern, a bit like a Breton-style San Francisco, with seven districts all with their own distinctive downtown feel. In the middle, a river: the Penfeld. On the left bank, you can wander from Brest’s National Botanical Conservatory to the castle, past the faculty of medicine with its multicoloured façades – in an array of feel-good shades! – and along Rue de Siam. Definitely stop in at PAM, a bustling community venue with all sorts of businesses and coworking spaces, before crossing the Penfeld in the overhead cable-car. Soak up the sweeping views over the ports and Recouvrance Bridge! 3 minutes later you’ll descend at Capucins, a site abuzz with culture, sport, shops, eateries and more, right next to the paved Rue Saint-Malo with its old stone houses. You can’t help but find the whole place charming!

The lowdown on the best places to go

At the mouth of the river, the mediaeval castle, its fantastic National Maritime Museum and its marina. You’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of bars and restaurants (such as Oyster Bar and RemorKeur), bringing a festive atmosphere to the commercial port. Raise a glass to the two ships that are the pride of Brest locals: the Recouvrance and the Abeille-Bourbon. A little further north you’ll find some fabulous eateries and gastropubs by Rue de Lyon, not least Peck&Co and Hinoki, run by one of the few master sushi chefs in France, a former surfer… For evening entertainment, head to one of our iconic concert halls: the Vauban, Quartz or Carène.

Hop onto a bike, a regional train or a boat

Combine your urban sightseeing with outings further afield, to lighthouses, islands, beaches or another town awash with art: they’re a breeze to get to! The beaches are merely a cycle ride away. To the east lie the Moulin Blanc beach, the Iroise and Albert-Louppe bridges, the slipway at Le Relecq-Kerhuon and the picturesque towns of Daoulas and Landerneau, just 15 minutes away by train. While to the west, you’ll find Sainte-Anne-du-Portzic beach and the Petit Minou lighthouse, jutting out into the harbour: it’s the first in a long series, which you can approach on land or from the Iroise sea. This is where the ocean beckons you … out towards the islands of Molène or Ushant for more adventures.

Looking both seawards and to the future, this is a city at the forefront in more ways than one!

Did you know?

One of the largest aquariums in France

Océanopolis is a truly unique site in Europe, offering a fascinating insight into the world’s oceans both at the aquarium and at Capucins, where the 70.8 museum plunges visitors in an oceanic tour from its depths to the surface.

Unique in Europe

There’s still more to see. The large dyke of the commercial port takes you almost to the foot of the castle and its maritime museum. But don’t leave Brest without visiting Océanopolis. This ocean discovery centre, the only one of its kind in Europe, harbours enormous aquariums as well as a clinic for seals. You’ll even be able to touch some species of marine fauna! If you’ve enjoyed this dive into the underwater world, up on dry land you can delve into the plant life at the Botanical Conservatory. Explore a 30-hectare landscaped garden where wild plants blossom alongside exotic flowers. A haven of peace that will delight every one of your senses!

How to get there / get around

Getting to Brest

The aeroplane is a good option for getting to Brest, with scheduled and low-cost flights from several large cities in France (Paris-Orly, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Toulon, Bordeaux, Toulouse). By train it takes 3hours 25 from Paris-Montparnasse, with 11 trips per day. By car, take the RN12 from Rennes and the N165 from Nantes.
The long-distance bus companies  Flixbus and BlaBlaBus provide a cheap option.

Getting around in Brest and its region

There are shuttles all day between Brest-Guipavas airport and the city centre, just 10 minutes away. In Brest, it is easy to get around

  • on foot
  • by self-service electric bike
  • and thanks to Bibus tickets, you can combine the bus, cable car and tram.

From April to September, save time by travelling by sea to reach the Crozon Peninsula: the boats of Le Brestoâ shipping company provide the Brest – Le Fret link in the morning and late afternoon. If the ocean tempts you, boats leave from Brest port to UshantMolène and Sein island.
For a relaxing holiday, BreizhGo coaches run the length and breadth of Brittany.






Official website of tourism in Brittany