The Ultimate Weekend in Nantes, France: How to Make the Most of 48 Hours

Ah, Nantes! A city that’s a treasure trove of history, culture, and green spaces, all wrapped up in a vibrant urban package. If you’ve got a weekend to spare, let me tell you, Nantes is the place to dash off to. It’s like stepping into a canvas painted with the brushstrokes of innovation and tradition. So, buckle up, because we’re about to embark on a whirlwind 48-hour adventure that’ll have you falling head over heels for this French gem.

Day 1: Dive into the Heart of Nantes

Start your day with a hearty French breakfast at a local boulangerie. Think flaky croissants and a steaming cup of café Au lait. You’ll need that energy because our first stop is the Château des Ducs de Bretagne. This fortress is a slice of history right in the city center. Wander through the ramparts and museums, and don’t forget to snap some photos of the stunning white tufa stone.

Next, stroll over to the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul. It’s a gothic marvel that houses the tomb of Francis Ii, Duke of Brittany. The intricate details here are mind-blowing. After soaking in the history, it’s time for lunch. Nantes is known for its seafood, so why not try some moules-frites at a cozy brasserie?

Post-lunch, let’s get whimsical at Les Machines de l’île. This artistic project is a blend of Jules Verne’s inventiveness, Leonardo da Vinci’s mechanical genius, and Nantes’ industrial history. Ride the grandiose mechanical elephant or explore the marine worlds carousel. It’s an experience that’s hard to put into words!

Day 1 Evening: Nantes After Dark

As the sun sets, Nantes transforms. The evening calls for a visit to the vibrant Bouffay district. It’s a maze of medieval streets filled with eclectic bars and restaurants. Here, you can savor some local Muscadet wine alongside a plate of fresh oysters.

Afterward, take a leisurely walk along the Loire River. The reflections of the city lights on the water are enchanting. If you’re up for it, catch a live performance at the Lieu Unique, the national center for contemporary arts. It’s housed in a former biscuit factory, and the vibe is just as cool as it sounds.

Cap off the night with a scoop of artisanal ice cream from a local glacier. Trust me, it’s the perfect end to a bustling day.

Day 2: Explore the Quirks and Charms

Rise and shine! Grab a quick coffee and croissant, because we’re heading to the Talensac market. It’s the oldest and largest market in Nantes, brimming with fresh produce and local specialties. Mingle with the locals and maybe pick up some picnic supplies for later.

After the market buzz, it’s time for some tranquility at the Jardin des Plantes. This botanical garden is a green haven in the city. With over 10,000 species, it’s a botanist’s dream and a perfect spot for that picnic you just prepped for.

Post-picnic, let’s add a splash of culture at the Musée d’Arts de Nantes. The museum boasts an impressive collection of art spanning from the 13th to the 21st century. It’s a feast for the eyes and the soul.

Day 2 Afternoon: A Leisurely Wrap-up

As the afternoon rolls in, take a leisurely cruise on the Erdre River. It’s often called the most beautiful river in France, and you’ll soon see why. The châteaux and lush landscapes along the banks are straight out of a fairy tale.

Disembark and find your way to the Passage Pommeraye for some shopping. This 19th-century shopping arcade is an architectural wonder. Even if you’re not in the mood to shop, the window displays and sculptures are worth the visit.

For dinner, indulge in some crêpes in a traditional crêperie. It’s a fitting tribute to the region’s culinary heritage. And hey, why not pair it with some local cider?

Day 2 Evening: Say Farewell in Style

As your weekend in Nantes draws to a close, take a final evening stroll through the Ile de Nantes. Reflect on the memories made and the sights seen. Maybe there’s time for one last glass of wine at a Riverside café?

Before you call it a night, check out the artistic light installations of the Le Voyage à Nantes trail. They’re especially captivating after dark and a perfect way to bid adieu to this vibrant city.


What’s the best way to get around Nantes?

Public transport in Nantes is top-notch. The tram system is efficient and covers most tourist attractions. Biking is also a great option, as the city is quite bike-friendly.

Is Nantes suitable for a family weekend?

Absolutely! Nantes is family-friendly with attractions like Les Machines de l’île and numerous parks and green spaces that kids will love.

Can I find English-speaking guides in Nantes?

Yes, many tour operators offer services in English. It’s always a good idea to book in advance, though.


There you have it, a jam-packed weekend in Nantes that’s sure to leave you with lasting memories. From historical fortresses to mechanical elephants, from serene gardens to vibrant nightlife, Nantes has it all. It’s a city that seamlessly blends the old with the new, creating an experience that’s uniquely its own. So, when you’re thinking of a quick European getaway, remember Nantes. It’s the perfect canvas for your next adventure, and who knows, you might just find yourself longing to return before you’ve even left.

Ready to plan your ultimate weekend in Nantes? Just pack your bags and let the city’s charm do the rest. Bon voyage!

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.