Rennes basks in a buzzing yet easy-going atmosphere, appealing to the heart and the mind with a leisurely welcome and plenty of surprises in store. Along its cobbled streets you’ll love its lively café terraces, Arc Deco architecture, friendly restaurants, local markets, festivals and designer boutiques. Take your time, and why not the metro, to explore it!
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A strikingly contrasting and varied present, steeped in a prestigious past on the edge of Brittany, Rennes is a truly eclectic cityscape, shaped by its colourful history – its half-timbered houses hark back to the Middle Ages, the Places du Parlement and de la Mairie showcase the grandeur of the 18th century, Maillols’ Towers are ‘60s landmarks and the futuristic-looking train station is undoubtedly 21st century… A city that moves with the times, yet is still one of France’s greenest, with gardens – first and foremost Thabor – its river, towpaths and miles of cycle paths. For those in the know, exploring it aboard an electric boat or a kayak is a delight!
Weekend break in Rennes
This is THE city to get away for the perfect weekend, just 90 minutes from Paris. Here you can effortlessly combine shopping, heritage and insightful discoveries for a thoroughly enjoyable time! Enjoy its lively bars, upbeat community venues and waterside cafés and marvel at the temporary wall frescoes on the M.U.R., Rue Vasselot… There’s much to thrill in terms of art, architecture and design too: its Regional Contemporary Art Fund (FRAC) is among the most impressive in France. The Fine Arts Museum is home to a trove of treasures, from La Tour to Rubens. Designed by the architect Christian de Portzamparc, Les Champs Libres champions art and science with a museum, science centre, library and spacious café. From the Odorico Art Deco mosaics to the works of Jean Nouvel, Georges Maillots or the Bouroullec brothers, set off on a treasure hunt around this creative city!
Every Saturday morning, for four centuries and counting, the city has hosted France’s 2nd largest market, the Marché des Lices.
Did you know?
Rocking it for 40 years!
Marquis de Sade, Daho, Obispo, Niagara, Her, Lujipeka: the capital of French rock is a hotbed of musical talent. From the Trans Musicales to the Maintenant festivals, not to mention its acclaimed concert halls, Rennes embraces all styles of music.
A celebration of flavours
With a rich spread of local producers and markets, Rennes is a foodies’ paradise. Every Saturday morning, for four centuries, the city has hosted France’s 2nd largest market, the Marché des Lices: a cave of the finest, wholesome wonders. You simply must try the famous delicacy: sausage wrapped in a buckwheat pancake! Creative, locally-sourced cuisine is the star of the show here, with a wide array of supporting acts: food tours, brunches, Marché à Manger every first Sunday of the month and a big culinary festival in October led by Nourritures, a group of chefs rallied around meaningful and inspiring values. Food is given pride of place at the city’s music festivals too: at Mythos and the Grand Soufflet, you can chomp and stomp along to the beat in equal measure!
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 18 TGV, inOui and OuiGo trains from Paris each day.
For the other direct lines, it takes 3 hours 25 for Lille-Rennes, 3 hours 50 for Lyon-Rennes, 5 hours 05 for Strasbourg-Rennes and 5 hours 45 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.
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.
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