The 10 Best Things To Do In Rennes

Ah, Rennes! A city that’s a delightful blend of history and modernity, where every cobblestone seems to whisper tales of the past. It’s a place where you can wander through medieval streets one moment and enjoy cutting-edge exhibitions the next. If you’re planning a trip to this charming city in Brittany, you’re in for a treat. Here’s a list of the top 10 things to do in Rennes that will ensure your visit is nothing short of memorable.

1. Step Back in Time at the Parlement de Bretagne

The Parlement de Bretagne is a grand symbol of Rennes’ historical significance. This majestic building, once the center of Brittany’s parliamentary power, offers guided tours that are a must for history buffs. The intricate murals and ornate architecture are a feast for the eyes. Just remember to book in advance, as it’s quite the popular spot!

2. Stroll Through the Parc du Thabor

Imagine a serene oasis in the heart of the city. That’s Parc du Thabor for you. With its beautifully manicured gardens, aviary, and bandstand, it’s the perfect place for a leisurely stroll or a picnic. Don’t miss the French and English gardens, and if you’re lucky, you might catch a free concert on a sunny afternoon.

3. Discover Local Flavors at Marché des Lices

Foodies, rejoice! The Marché des Lices, held every Saturday, is where locals and visitors alike flock to sample the region’s best produce. From fresh oysters to artisanal cheeses, your taste buds are in for a treat. It’s a bustling atmosphere where you can savor crepes just off the griddle or grab ingredients for a gourmet meal.

4. Admire the Half-Timbered Houses

Rennes is famous for its half-timbered houses, and a walk through the Old Town will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale. The colorful facades of Rue du Chapitre and Rue Saint-Sauveur are particularly picturesque. Don’t forget to look up; the wooden beams and intricate designs are truly a sight to behold.

5. Unwind at Les Champs Libres

Les Champs Libres is a cultural hub that combines a library, museum, and science center. It’s a great spot to learn something new or just relax with a book. The exhibitions are always thought-provoking, and the planetarium offers a journey through the stars that’s both educational and enchanting.

6. Explore the Musée de Bretagne

Located within Les Champs Libres, the Musée de Bretagne offers a deep dive into the region’s history and culture. The exhibits range from prehistoric artifacts to modern-day objects, telling the story of Brittany through the ages. It’s a fascinating way to spend a few hours and gain a deeper understanding of the area.

7. Enjoy the Nightlife at Rue Saint-Michel

Rue Saint-Michel, affectionately known as ‘Rue de la Soif’ (Thirsty Street), is where the night comes alive. This narrow street is lined with bars and pubs, each with its own unique vibe. Whether you’re in the mood for a cozy wine Bar or a lively pub, you’ll find the perfect spot to enjoy the evening.

8. Visit the Cathedral Saint-Pierre

The Cathedral Saint-Pierre stands as a testament to Rennes’ religious heritage. Its imposing structure and beautiful stained glass windows are awe-inspiring. Take a moment to appreciate the silence and spirituality within its walls. The cathedral is not only a place of worship but also a piece of art.

9. Catch a Performance at the Opéra de Rennes

The Opéra de Rennes is an architectural gem with a rich program of performances. From Opera to ballet, there’s always something happening here. The acoustics are phenomenal, and attending a show is an experience that will stay with you long after the final curtain call.

10. Get Creative at the FRAC Bretagne

For contemporary art enthusiasts, the FRAC Bretagne is the place to be. The collection is dynamic, featuring works from regional and international artists. The building itself is a work of art, with its striking design making it a landmark in Rennes. It’s a space that challenges and inspires in equal measure.


  • What’s the best time of year to visit Rennes?

    Spring and fall offer pleasant weather and fewer crowds, making them ideal times to explore the city. However, Rennes is charming year-round, with each season offering its own unique events and atmosphere.

  • Is Rennes suitable for family travel?

    Absolutely! Rennes is family-friendly, with parks, interactive museums, and plenty of open spaces for kids to enjoy. The city is safe and welcoming to visitors of all ages.

  • How walkable is Rennes?

    Rennes is very pedestrian-friendly, especially the historic center. Most attractions are within walking distance of each other, making it easy to explore on foot.


Rennes is a city that captures the heart with its blend of history, culture, and vibrant energy. From the historical Parlement de Bretagne to the lively Rue Saint-Michel, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re indulging in the local cuisine, enjoying the greenery of Parc du Thabor, or getting lost in the world of contemporary art, Rennes offers an array of experiences that are both enriching and delightful. So pack your bags, and get ready to discover the best things to do in Rennes – a city that’s sure to leave an indelible mark on your travel memories.

By exploring these top 10 attractions, you’ll not only see the best of Rennes but also engage with its soul. Each activity is a thread in the vibrant tapestry that is this Breton capital. So, when you’re planning your trip, keep this guide handy, and you’ll be set for an unforgettable adventure in one of France’s most captivating cities.

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