©PRIE Guillaume
RennesA capital in the west

Visit Rennes

Famed for its university and cultural dynamism, Rennes unites the heart and head and is ideal for a leisurely stroll through its cheerful and surprising streets. Majestic façades, concert halls, trendy restaurants and designer boutiques all captivate the visitor. Discover Rennes at your pace… and take the metro!

At the heart of history

Enter the narrow streets and courtyards: the old town unveils its charms in its stairways and suspended galleries. You’ll recognise the 15th-century half-timbered houses, with very obvious corbels, and the later ones with vertical façades. Rue Saint-Sauveur, Rue du Chapitre, Place du Champ-Jacquet, Rue Saint-Michel, etc., are as beautiful as they are lively with their cafés and terraces. More formal and luminous, Palais du Parlement illustrates the arrival of royal art in the 17th century. This magnificent building was rebuilt after a terrible fire in 1994. The Grand’Chambre is the masterpiece.

A city with a “happy chic” vibe

Here, enjoyment rules. The Marché des Lices, one of the most beautiful indoor markets in France, bursts with colours and flavours. Why not share a plate of oysters on the terrace opposite the market? For a breath of fresh air, Thabor Park has formal French gardens, a botanical garden, a superb rose garden and the Orangerie café-gallery. The trendy boutiques and designer addresses make for a delightful shopping spree.
After a break in a lounge bar or pub, try a restaurant highlighting local produce. Or perhaps you would prefer a traditional crêpe restaurant. The party continues in a café-concert or a city centre nightclub. It seems that the people of Rennes have found a magic potion!

From Asterix to artistic audacity

From the foundations of Condate (1 B.C.) to the very architectural Champs Libres created by Portzamparc, centuries of history have shaped the city. Around the two royal squares – Parliament Square and Town Hall Square – half-timbered houses and Renaissance hotels line up. In the cobbled streets, heritage is expressed with elegance. The creative spirit welcomes other influences in the Odorico Art Deco mosaics or Thabor Park. There is always something going on!

What shouldn’t you miss?

  • Portes Mordelaises, the Duchesne tower (15th century)
  • The Palace of the Parliament of Brittany: one century of of building work (1618-1709)
  • The mansion houses (17th to 19th centuries)
  • A rich tradition of half-timbered houses (15th to 17th centuries)
  • The royal square of the town hall and the royal square of the Parliament of Brittany (18th century)
  • The opera (19th century), Saint-Georges palace (17th century) and Saint-Georges swimming pool (1925)
  • Saint-Yves chapel (15th century): permanent exhibition “Rennes, Métropole d’art et d’histoire”

Guided tours

  • Guided tour for individuals
  • Interpretation circuit
  • Special tour for children
  • Guided tour for groups
  • Heritage interpretation centre
  • Podcast
  • Mobile app
  • Boat tour

Destination Rennes Tourisme et Congrès

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How to get there / get around

Getting to Rennes 

Rennes is easy to reach by train from the main cities. With the opening of the High-Speed Line in July 2017, Rennes is just 90 minutes from Paris-Montparnasse. There are 22 TGV, inOui and OuiGo trains from Paris each day.

For the other direct lines, it takes 3 hours 20 for Lille-Rennes, 3 hours 50 for Lyon-Rennes, 5 hours 26 for Strasbourg-Rennes and 4 hours 50 for Marseille-Rennes without going via Paris.

Do you want to fly? A number of airlines propose scheduled and low-cost flights. From the airport, take the bus to the city centre in 20 minutes.

By car, it takes 3 hours 30 from Paris on the A11 and then the A81, and 4 hours 30 from Bordeaux on the A83 and the N137 after Nantes.

For a low-cost journey, choose from the coach lines Isilines, Eurolines, Flixbus and Ouibus.

Getting around in Rennes and its region

The best way to feel the soul of the Breton capital is by strolling leisurely through the cobbled streets in the old town and the pedestrian streets. Did you know that Rennes is one of few cities outside Paris to have a metro? This means you can travel the city from north to south very quickly. With the STAR network (bus + metro), you can leave your car in a park&ride to discover the city with peace of mind on public transport. If you fancy, you can hire self-service bicycles starting at €1. TER train links also take you to the coast, in particular Saint-Malo, in less than one hour.

Official website of tourism in Brittany