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Overview

Rennes, the gateway to Brittany

The Breton capital is a city of art and history which is 2 hours away from Paris by TGV and less than 1 hour from Mont-Saint-Michel and Saint-Malo. This dynamic city, which counts more than 50,000 students, has a diverse architectural heritage, charming medieval streets, a large pedestrian area, quality shops and convivial restaurants.

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Have a tour of the historic centre by exploring the winding streets lined with colourful half-timbered houses dating back to the 15th century. Have a look at the Cathedral Saint-Pierre and the city’s defensive heritage before moving to the Place des Lices, where every Saturday the second largest food market in France is held.

Discover the two royal squares and the City Hall designed by the architect of Louis XV, and visit the Parliament of Brittany, a key building with sumptuous French-style ceilings. Unique in France, it was painted by Errard and Coypeln who are famously known for having decorated the Royal Chapel of Versailles castle.

Visit the Champs Libres Centre, designed by Christian de Portzamparc (Pritzker Price in 1994), and which hosts a Science Museum and the must-see Museum of Brittany.

Offering a showcase of the entire history of painting and some internationally renowned pieces such as the “Newborn” by Georges de la Tour, the Museum of fine arts is the perfect starting point (closed on Mondays).

Fans of contemporary art will love the bold architecture of the FRAC, contemporary art centre close to the ‘21st century standing stones’, a monumental work by Aurelie Nemours, a nod to the region’s megalithic menhirs.

Have your lunch at the Terrasse, a restaurant in the Jardin du Thabor which itself is considered as one of the most beautiful French gardens. This peaceful oasis in the city centre was harmoniously designed in the 19th century by the famous gardens’ creator, Bühler. End your day by admiring the beautiful fountains and statues, and discovering one of the major Art Deco building in France - the Saint-Georges swimming pool.

Our tip: Specialities in Rennes include galettes and crêpes, Pâtés, Parlementins (pastries) and cider. Amateurs of fine cuisine will enjoy the Festival Gourmand.

Rennes has plenty of markets to keep your roving eye occupied. Every Saturday the central food market in the Place des Lices near the Medieval Quarter sells huge varieties of French specialties. For good value clothes, games and make-up visit the Galleries Lafayette Mall. Between Place Sainte Anne and Place de la Mairie, there are numerous pedestrian street, ideal to shop.

Office de tourisme de Rennes
11, rue Saint-Yves, 35064 RENNES CEDEX
Tel: +33 (0)2 99 67 11 11

The city’s tourist office has a helpful personnel, insider information and tips as well as handy maps and brochures. The city’s tourist office also arranges tours and excursions and is a focal point for local accommodation.

Train station(s)

Trains are a convenient way of reaching many towns and cities throughout Europe. The majority of cities in Europe have a minimum of one train station, while larger, more populated cities have two or more stations. Train stations, in general, are located in the heart of the city. Review the map below to get an idea of where the train station(s) in Rennes can be found.

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