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Nantes

Travel Guide Europe France Pays de la Loire Loire-Atlantique Nantes

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Introduction

Fountain at Place Royale and the tower of St Nicholas

Fountain at Place Royale and the tower of St Nicholas

© All Rights Reserved lil_lil

Historically the capital of the Duchy of Brittany, Nantes (Breton: Naoned) is today the capital of the administrative region of Pays de la Loire as well as the department of Loire-Atlantique. The sixth largest city in France, it was once an important port city, situated some 50 kilometres inland and connected to the Atlantic by River Loire. Its position on the delta of rivers Loire, Erdre and Sèvre to the west of France earned the city its nickname "La Venise de l'Ouest" (Venice of the West). Today, Nantes is a modern and industrialised town, yet very much culturally linked to the Breton heritage. Its most famous son is the writer Jules Verne, who brought us "Around the World in 80 Days".

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Neighbourhoods

Nantes is divided into 11 neighbourhoods, each under the control of a Consultative Committee.

  • Centre-ville
  • Bellevue-Chantenay-Sainte Anne
  • Breil-Barberie
  • Bottière-Doulon
  • Dervallières-Zola
  • Hauts-Pavés-Saint-Félix
  • Île de Nantes
  • Malakoff-Saint-Donatien
  • Nantes-Erdre
  • Nantes-Nord
  • Nantes-Sud

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Sights and Activities

Château des Ducs de Bretagne

Château des Ducs de Bretagne

Château des Ducs de Bretagne

© All Rights Reserved lil_lil

The Château des Ducs de Bretagne (Castle of the Dukes of Brittany), dated back to 13th century, was both a residential palace and a military fortress. Over time, the castle was constantly remodelled and very recently a major restoration was underway to return the site to its emblematic glory in the history of Nantes and Brittany. The doors to the castle was reopened in 2007 upon the completion of the restoration, and currently houses Musée d'Histoire de Nantes (Nantes History Museum). The grounds of the castle, along with the ramparts, are free to visit on a daily basis except 1 January, 1 May, 1 November and 25 December. The Museum collections (permanent and temporary) are, however, ticket requiring. A standard ticket to either the permanent or the temporary collection is €5, while a combination ticket for both is €8.

Cathédrale St-Pierre-et-St-Paul

Cathédrale St-Pierre-et-St-Paul (Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul) is a flamboyant late Gothic cathedral located close to the castle. The site was originally that of a Romanesque building but altered over time accordingly to the architecture movement across Europe. It took 457 years to complete the construction of the cathedral. The cathedral opens daily and is free of charge.

Église Notre-Dame de Bon-Port

Commonly known as Église Notre-Dame de Bon-Port, its official name is Église de St-Louis (Basilica of St-Louis). The dome of this basilica was modelled after the dome of Les Invalides in Paris. Admission is free.

Église St-Nicolas

The construction of Église St-Nicolas (Basilica of St Nicholas) started in 1844 and completed 25 years later in 1869. It was among the first Neo-Gothic style buildings built in France. It also contains a marvellous set of pipe organs. The basilica is free for visit, and here is a link that allows 360º virtual visit of the basilica.

Les Machines de l'Île

Mechanical elephant of Les Machines de l'Île

Mechanical elephant of Les Machines de l'Île

© All Rights Reserved lil_lil

Les Machines de l'Île (The Machines of the Isle of Nantes) hosts a number of mechanical animals including the Great Elephant which a ride can be taken. This giant mechanical elephant moves at a crawl of 250 metres per hour with a maximum of 49 passengers on board each time, with realistic flexes and movement, and the trunk will even spray water out every so often! Standard adult ticket is €6.50, and it includes the access to the terrace of l'Atelier de la Machine (the machine workshop) and to la Branche prototype de l'Arbre aux Hérons (the prototypic branch of the tree of herons).

La Tour LU and Lieu Unique

La Tour LU (The LU Tower) is a rather "pink" and picturesque tower that stands by the entrance of the former factory of Lefèvre-Utile (LU) Biscuit Company. The unused factory was rescued from demolition in the late 1990's. The tower offers a vantage viewpoint of the city, while the factory has since been renamed Lieu Unique (Unique Place) and it is now used as a cultural centre.

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes

The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes (Fine Arts Museum of Nantes) is housed in a beautifully designed museum of late 19th century. Works of arts by Delacroix, Money, Picasso, Kandisky, de La Tour and Courbet may be found here. The museum opens daily except Tuesdays and public holidays, and a standard adult ticket costs €3.50 each.

Musée Jules Verne

The Musée Jules Verne (Jules Verne Museum), dedicated to the Nantes native Jules Verne, is located on the side of Butte Sainte Anne, overlooking the River Loire. There are 8 rooms/themes at the museum, housing a collection of artifacts, replicas of Verne's inventions, and memorabilia inspired by his writings. Open daily except Tuesdays, public holidays and Sunday mornings. Standard adult ticket price is €3.

Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle

Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle

Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle

© All Rights Reserved lil_lil

The Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle (Natural History Museum) has permanent zoological collections as well as that of earth sciences. From time to time, external temporary exhibitions are also presented. Ticket costs €3.50 and the museum is open daily except Tuesdays and bank holidays.

Passage Pommeraye

Passage Pommeraye is an 19th century arcade/galleria named after the man who built it, Pommeraye. Located between rue Crébillon and rue de la Fosse, it was modelled based on the arcades in Paris at the time, complete with elaborate decors and includes renaissance style sculptures. It contains a variety of interesting shops and cafés.

Place du Commerce

Place du Commerce (Commercial Square) is the main square of the city and is fully pedestrianised. The main stations/stops for all the different public transportations of the city converge nearby in order to cater the needs of the consumers. Since 1990, it is also alternatively known as Place Sarajevo, as a sign of solidarity with the people of Sarajevo who were caught in the conflict during Yugoslav wars.

Place Royale

The elegant Place Royale (Royal Square) lies at one end of the chic rue Crébillon. Designed in a classical manner - symmetrical façades, open square in the heart of the city, adorned with a fountain at the centre with allegorically allusion to the city, the Loire and its tributaries (l’Erdre, la Sèvre, le Cher and le Loiret) - the square was most recently renovated in summer 2007.

Pass Nantes

Pass Nantes opens the door to 25 top attractions in Nantes, allows unlimited travel on all TAN network transportations including airport shuttle TAN Air, gives reductions at partner outlets as well as free guide book and map. The passes available are: 24h pass - €18, 48h pass - €28 and 72h pass - €36. Online purchase of the pass has a special 10% reduction.

For more information on tourism in Nantes, please check the page of the tourist office of Nantes Métropole.

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Events and Festivals

Each year, Nantes hosts a large number of cultural events and festivities, and the following are just a few that may be of interest to visitors. For a more complete listing, have a look at this page by Ville de Nantes.

  • Jumping International de Nantes, end of January - international show jumping competition.
  • La Folle Journée (The Follies of a Day), end of January/early February - annual classical music festival, and the largest of its kind in France, each year focuses on particular theme/composer.
  • Foire Internationale de Nantes (The International Fair of Nantes), early April - annual international tradeshow.
  • Printemps des Arts, May-June - annual European Baroque festival with music and dance performances, and balls to attend.
  • Fête de la Musique, 21 June - a musical celebration of the summer solstice.
  • Estuaire, June to August - biennial contemporary art exhibition between Nantes and Saint-Nazaire (along the Loire estuary).
  • Festival Les Rendez-vous de l'Erdre, late August - a celebration of Jazz along River Erdre.
  • Festival Les Celtomania, October - a festival that celebrates all things culturally Breton, from music to art.
  • Solidaire du Chocolat, October-November: biennial transatlantic race exclusively for Class 40 sailboats from France to Mexico, with a co-theme of love for chocolate.
  • Utopiales, end of October/early November - annual international science fiction festival, featuring sci-fi literature, film, comics, figurines, role-playing games and animations.
  • Festival des 3 Continents (Festival of the Three Continents), end of November - annual film festival devoted to the cinematography from Asia, Africa and Latin America.

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Weather

Nantes is a temperate city with oceanic climate given its proximity to the Atlantic. Summer in Nantes is generally mild, with temperatures not exceeding 25 °C and at a minimum of about 15 °C. The months of June, July and August are also usually the sunniest with the least rainfalls. In autumn, it remains mild with intermittent sunny days (day temperature between 12 °C to 22 °C) and cool nights. Winter in Nantes is rainy and can be very wet, although the rain is often followed by clear skies. Winter temperatures generally hovers between 5 °C to 10 °C. Occasional frosts may also occur. Spring remains cool in temperature until around May. The change in the weather in Nantes can happen suddenly, from sunny to rain and sunny again within minutes.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max8.7 °C9.9 °C12.7 °C14.9 °C18.7 °C21.9 °C24.7 °C24.8 °C21.8 °C17 °C12.2 °C9.5 °C
Avg Min2.8 °C3 °C4.4 °C6 °C9.5 °C12 °C14.2 °C14 °C11.8 °C8.9 °C5.2 °C3.7 °C
Rainfall86 mm74.9 mm59.3 mm58 mm62.8 mm41.3 mm46.6 mm40.8 mm68.2 mm82.8 mm84.8 mm92.7 mm
Rain Days12.411.210.59.611.17.76.86.48.511.311.512.8

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Getting There

By Plane

The Aéroport Nantes Atlantique (NTE), formerly Aéroport Château Bougon, is located about 12 kilometres from the city. Air France operates several direct domestic and European flights daily, connecting Nantes to cities including Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Nice, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, London and Amsterdam. Ryanair also flies direct to Dublin, Shannon, Milan (Bergamo), Barcelona, Leeds and East Midlands. Iberia serves both Madrid and Barcelona in Spain. Other destinations (some services may be limited to certain months/ seasons) served include Casablanca, Agadir, Québec, Pointe-à-Pitre, Fort-de-France, Saint-Denis de la Réunion and Port Louis.

TAN operates TAN Air airport shuttles to/fro the city centre of Nantes with a journey time of approximately 20-30 minutes. Ticket costs €7 each (which can be bought on the bus from the driver) and is valid for the entire TAN network transportation for an hour, including unlimited connections. The shuttle runs on a nearly hourly basis, so narrowly missing a scheduled shuttle means a considerable wait for the next one. The shuttle also has a very limited operating hours on Sunday and public holidays, with the first service from the airport starting at 3:20pm and the first service from Nantes starting at 3:50pm.

Alternatively, take bus number 37 to Neustrie and connect to the city centre by tram line 3. On Sundays and public holidays, when the operating hours for TAN Air start only in the late afternoon, this is the way to go. This option is also cheaper, requiring a standard 1-hour transportation ticket that costs €1.50. On days of limited service and for travel to the airport, do check the timetables for both the tram and the bus carefully to ensure sufficient time is given to make the flights.

There are also taxis at the taxi stand by the esplanade outside of Hall 1. Arrivals at Hall 4 should go to the shelter where a facility to call for a taxi is available. The trip to the city centre takes about 15-20 minutes. Expect to pay €25 to €30 for the journey.

By Train

Nantes is linked by TGV to major French cities, including Paris (2 hours), Lille (4 hours), Lyon (4.5 hours) and Marseille (6.5 hours). It is also linked to other cities by Corail including Bordeaux (4 hours) and Toulouse (6.5 hours), whereas rail travel by TER connects Nantes to regional cities including Rennes (1.5 hours), Tours (2 hours) and Orléans (2.5 hours).

Note that Nantes SNCF train station has 2 exits - North (access to the tram & city centre) and South (access to the Cité Internationale des Congrès). Train tickets may be purchased in advance through Voyages-SNCF or TGV-Europe.

By Car

Nantes is linked by A11 to Paris via Angers and Le Mans, by E62 to Poitiers, by E60/N165 to Brest, by A83 to Niort, by E03 to La Rochelle, and by E03/N137 to Rennes. They are also connected to other routes to regional towns as well as other European cities (e.g. E62 extends to Geneva, Milan and Genoa).

By Bus

Lila bus network extensively connects Nantes to cities and towns in the département of Loire-Atlantique. Eurolines buses, on the other hand, connects Nantes to other major European cities.

By Boat

Nantes was once a major commercial port but most of the commercial traffic has since been moved downstream to Saint Nazaire. The areas of the river close to Nantes are now usually accessed by leisure cruises and are not exactly mean of direct transportation to get to Nantes.

There are ferries from UK and Ireland that arrive at various ports in Brittany and Normandy, including Caen, Cherbourg and Saint-Malo. From there, connect to Nantes by train or by car.

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Getting Around

By Car

Drivers unfamiliar with the city should take particular care, especially in the city centre area where there is a high density of pedestrians, the roads are often narrow and in parts windy, and many streets operate on a one-way system. Parking is not easy to come by either.

Taxis are available in and around Nantes. There are also designated taxi stops at the train station and by Place du Commerce. Taxis are operated by Allo Taxi Nantes Atlantique (telephone: +33 (0)240 69 22 22).

By Public Transport

TAN (Transport de l'Agglomération Nantaise) operates the public transport network system in Nantes, including buses, trams, BusWay (similar to tram system but with bus running instead) and Navibus (water bus service). The tickets issued can be used on any of the transportation within the network. Tickets must be validated on the first use and they are valid for certain period of time in accordance to ticket type. Unlimited transfer is allowed.

Ticket types for visitors/casual users:

  • Standard ticket: €1.50, valid for 1 hour; also available as carnet of 10 tickets at €12 per carnet
  • 24 hours ticket: €4, valid for 24 hours following the time of the first validation
  • 24 hours shared ticket: €6.50, valid for 24 hours use for up to 4 passengers travelling together

By Foot

The historic centre of Nantes can be explored by foot with ease. Sights are relatively close to one another.

By Bike

Bicloo is a nearly-free bike-hire service in Nantes. There are 79 pick-up points and some 700 bikes around the city for hire. A subscription is required - 1 day subscription costs €1 and 7 days subscription costs €5. The bike is free for use the first 30 minutes it is taken out. If it's not returned within 30 minutes to any of the bike stations, charges will be incurred - the first 30 minutes, €0.50; the second 30 minutes, €1.50 and subsequent 30 minutes period, €2 per period. After 24 hours, the bike is presumed lost and €150 will be charged to your credit card.

NGE is an alternative bike hire option and it does not observe the 30-minutes restriction periods like Bicloo. It is a good options for users planning to bike outside of the city area. The rates of hire are as follows: 1/2 day (4 hours) - €6, 1 day - €10, additional day - €6, 1 week - €30, 1 month - €50. Parking spots for the bikes may be rented at €0.80 per day or €8 per month.

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Eat

Café in Nantes

Café in Nantes

© All Rights Reserved lil_lil

The cuisine of Nantes is very much influenced by its Breton roots, conjured in the kitchen using fresh produce of the lands in the region and of the daily catch straight from the Atlantic. However, among the local and regional specialties, international cuisines are also cropping up in Nantes, and the chefs of the city are definitely not afraid to infuse some of the old with some of the new. The following are some of the more traditional dishes that visitors to Nantes (and its environs) should try.

Savoury

  • Galette de sarrasin (buckwheat pancake) which originated from the Upper Brittany region is a savoury crêpe made from buckwheat flour (blé noir or sarrasin in French), water and egg, forming a dark and thicker pancake. Often filled with egg, cheese, meat and even vegetables, it is very filing and make a meal on its own.
  • Kig ha Farz (Breton for "meat and flour") is not exactly a dish you'll see listed in restaurant menus but it is distinct and unusual that if you do see it, try it. Crumbly dumplings made from buckwheat (hence the farz) in a sack/linen bag are left to stew in a broth together with meat (usually fatty belly bacon, the kig) and vegetables, seasoned with bouquet garni.
  • Andouille de Guémené is a pork-based specialty, normally made from pork meat, chitterlings, pepper, onions, wine and seasonings.
  • Moules marinières are giant bowls of succulent mussels steamed open in white wine, shallots and parsley.
  • Assiette de fruits de mer (seafood platter) is usually served as a mountainous heap of langoustines, crabs, oysters, mussels, clams, whelks and cockles. They are usually served fresh and raw.
  • Soupe de poissons (fish soup) is traditionally served with rouille (a type of garlicky mayonnaise), some grated cheese and sprinkles of croutons. Poissonneries in the area also sell freshly made soup in glass jars/cans to be purchased and brought home.
  • Fromage du Curé Nantais is a cows milk cheese developed by a priest near Nantes, best served with Muscadet or Gros Plant (a very dry white wine).

Sweet

  • Crêpe (wheatflour pancake) is usually served as a sweet course (perfect to follow a galette de sarrasin), which can be filled simply with just butter and sugar (beurre et sucre), or with jams or chocolate spread, or even flambéed with orange liqueur to make a crêpe Suzette.
  • Caramel au beurre salé (salted butter caramel), regardless if it's in the liquid caramel form (great as sauce for crêpe) or the more solid candies or as fillings inside ice cream/ chocolate/ macarons, is one of the best treats one can get. Nowadays, they can be purchased all over France but remember, its origin is in the regions of Normandy and Brittany where dairy produce and fine salt are abundant.
  • Far Breton is a prune flan, somewhat like a dense custard tart but without the pastry crust. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the batter use to make the far is quite similar to that use to make the crêpe. The prunes used may be as they come (destoned, of course), or the rum or Armagnac-soaked variety.
  • Kouign Amann makes the perfect treat for lovers of butter and sugar cakes. Make that lots of butter. Or even better, those made using best quality salted butter. Caramelised sugar and butter cakes have never tasted so good. You can worry about the diet after the trip is over.
  • Petit beurre (little butter) are cookies originally made by LU and simple as these butter cookies may be, they're great with a cup of hot beverage. Petit écolier are petit beurre topped with a layer of chocolate.

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Drink

The cidre Breton (Breton cider) is available either as brut (dry), demi-sec (medium) or doux (sweet), and these ciders are naturally a little fizzy. A variation of the cocktail Kir (white wine with crème de cassis) is Kir Breton, where the white wine is substituted with the Breton cider and it is normally served as an apéritif.

Chouchen is a popular alcoholic beverage that was traditionally made of cider and honey but in modern days it is a form of mead, fermented from honey and water. Buckwheat honey is used, imparting its dark colour and distinct flavour to the chouchen. It is usually served cool as an apéritif.

Pommeau is made by mixing unfermented cider to one-year-old Calvados (a type of apple Brandy), and left to age in oak barrels for about 30 months. It is smooth to taste, with notes of vanilla, caramel and butterscotch. Pommeau from Brittany is known as Pommeau de Bretagne.

The Loire Valley regions near Nantes is also renowned for the production of Muscadet (not to be confused with the similar sounding Muscat, usually used to make sweet dessert wine), a white wine produced from Melon de Bourgogne grape variety. Muscadet wines are generally light-bodied and relatively dry, making it quite fresh, particularly when properly chilled. Those that have been left to age sur lie (i.e. wine left to remain in contact with dead yeast left over after fermentation) tend to have fuller body with fruity note. Muscadet is perfect for pairing with oyster, as well as with the other seafood and shellfish that are available in abundance.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Grand Hotel de Nantes2 bis rue santeuil 44 000Hotel84
Hotel Stars Nantes3 rue Petit ChatelierHotel76
Hotel Cholet10 rue Gresset Quartier GraslinHotel89
Hôtel EOLE EUROPE**23 rue du Chemin rougeHostel-
Quality Suites Hotel27 rue du Chemin RougeHotel81
Hotel Première Classe Nantes QuestRue du Moulin de la RousselièreHotel-
CITY RESIDENCE NANTES BEAUJOIRE23/25 Rue Du Chemin RougeHotel-
CERISE Nantes Atlantis12 rue de la Johardière 44800 SAINT-HERBLAINHotel-
CERISE Nantes la Beaujoire50 rue de l'Ouche BuronHotel-

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Work

EU citizens may work in Nantes without visa restriction although most jobs will require some degree of fluency/ language proficiency in French. Maison de l'Emploi has an employment database for searches of positions available in Nantes and the Nantais region.

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Learn

There is a large student population in Nantes (about 47,000 students) and the number of higher learning institution reflects this. It boasts a large university as well as 15 elite schools, of which some are listed below. (Link to the complete list.)

  • Université de Nantes (University of Nantes) was originally established in 1460 but abolished during the French Revolution, it was re-established in 1962 and is currently attended by about 32,000 students. It is a multi-disciplinary university with the following faculties: medicine, law, science, languages, literature and social sciences. It also encompasses the Institut Universitaire Technologique de Nantes (IUT) and the École Polytechnique de l'Université de Nantes.
  • École Centrale de Nantes is one of the leading French Grandes Écoles of engineering.
  • École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Nantes (ENSA Nantes) is an architectural school under the direction of the Ministry of Culture and Communication.
  • École de Design de Nantes Atlantique prepares its students for the role of designers in the world of industry and marketing.
  • École des Mines de Nantes (EMN) is another prestigious school of engineering.
  • École Nationale Vétérinaire de Nantes is one of the four national schools of veterinary medicine in France.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Nantes has a great wi-fi connectivity, thanks to the Nantes-Wireless Project. The name of the network to look for is nantes-wireless.org and this service is free for all to use. This network is provided by individuals, associations and merchants of the city. A registration is therefore required (to qualify for acceptance of their terms of use) and while general use for emails and the web is possible, not all sites may be accessible. Afterall, the owners of the hotspots are indirectly responsible for the connections and they need to protect themselves against fraudulent usage.

Alternatively, Nantes Métropole also provide wi-fi connections under the Nantes WiFi Cité initiative. Certain practical sites linked by Nantes Métropole will be available free of charge, but other usage requires payment as follow: €3 per hour, €5 per 24 hours, €10 per week or €16 per month.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

To dial an international number from France, the IDD is 00, followed by the country code that you wish to dial, the area code and the phone number.
To call France from abroad, start with the international direct dialing (IDD) code from the country you're in, followed by French country code 33, the area code (drop the first zero in front of the area code), and the phone number. French telephone numbers are rarely given without the area code. The telephone number, including the area code, is made up of 10 digits. They are written in a set of 5 pairs of digits (i.e. 01 xx xx xx xx xx).
In France, the area code designations are: 01 - Paris Area ("Région Ile-de-France"), 02 - northwest, 03 - northeast, 04 - southeast, 05 - southwest, 06 - mobile phone providers. From 2010 onwards, 07 will also be assigned to mobile phone providers in order to cater for the surging demands for mobile phones.

Emergency numbers are 15 (medical aid), 17 (police station) and 18 (fire/rescue). You can also use the European emergency number 112 (perhaps a better choice if you don't speak French). These calls are free and accessible from virtually any phone, including locked cellphones.

France uses the GSM standard of cellular phones (900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands) used in most of the world outside of the U.S. There are several companies (Orange, SFR, Free, Bouygues Télécom and some others MVNOs like Virgin Mobile) offering wireless service. The country is almost totally covered but you may have difficulties using your mobile phone in rural or mountainous areas. If you stay for some time, it may be advisable to buy a pre-paid cell phone card that you can use in any phone that supports the GSM standard on the 900/1800 MHz bands. Then incoming calls and SMSes are free.

Post

La Poste in France is also referred to as the PTT (short for postes, télégraphes et téléphones). The mailboxes are painted bright yellow and often there is a slot for local city mail and another slot for "outside mail". Normally there is a queue in the post office, but most of the post offices have the self service machine installed which is quite easy to operate. Nowadays many of the tabac and even some of the souvenir shops also sell postage stamps. Normally an overseas postcard costs almost as much as sending a letter. Mails sent in France also have a zip code. The first two numbers represent the administrative department (e.g. in Paris' case that would be 75).

Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 7:00pm Monday through Friday, and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays. Apart from the basic job of mailing letters, most of the post offices do some banking activities also and some even have photocopy machines and cyber cafes for internet access.

For international package services, you might also check options with companies like DHL, UPS or TNT, which have competitive services and prices and might be faster in most cases.

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Safety

Nantes is a very safe and clean city, evident from the titles it was awarded in recent years, including "France Greenest City 2003" as voted by L'Express, "Best Place to Live" for both 2003 and 2004 voted by Le Point, and in 2004 Time Magazine designated it as "Europe's Most Liveable City". Nonetheless, caution should be exercised after dark and isolated areas should be avoided.

In Case of Emergency: Phone Numbers

  • SAMU (medical emergency): 15
  • Police service urgent: 17
  • Fire service: 18
  • Emergency - European call: 112
  • SOS doctors: 02 40 50 30 30
  • Anti-poison centre: 02 41 48 21 21 (Angers), 02 99 59 22 22 (Rennes)

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Get Out: Daytrip Options

Horseriding at La Baule

Horseriding at La Baule

© All Rights Reserved lil_lil

  • The island of Belle-Île-en-Mer brings a touch of the exotic with its dramatic coves of jagged cliffs and lovely sandy beaches. Two smaller islands, Houat and Hoëdic, lie nearby. All three islands are accessible all year by boat fromQuiberon.
  • Carnac is Brittany's best-known prehistoric site and the alignments of thousands of standing stones form the most extraordinary group of menhirs in the world.
  • Clisson and its ruins of Château de Clisson is surrounded by buildings with Italian (Tuscan) style architecture, after a trend set by the Cacault brothers in the 19th century.
  • Golfe du Morbihan is a magnificent natural harbour peppered with Megalithic sites, among which Cairn de Gavrinis is the longest dolmen in France.
  • Guérande is a town surrounded by a nearly intact medieval wall, and it is famous for its production of very fine salt called fleur de sel.
  • La Baule boasts a long sandy beach that stretches about 8 kilometres in length and it is a seaside resort popular among the French.
  • Le Croisic is a small fishing town that lies on a peninsula reaching 5 kilometres into the Atlantic.
  • Parc Naturel Régional de la Grand Brière consists of a landscape of reed beds crossed by canals, and is best explored by boat, accompanied by local guides.
  • Vannes has a medieval centre with a honeycomb of narrow streets lined with picture-perfect timber-framed houses.

Quick Facts

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Population
281,500 (2008)
Land area
65.19 km²
Urban Population
580,000 (2008)
Urban area
523.6 km²
Coordinates
  • Latitude: 47°13′05″N
  • Longitude: 1°33′10″W

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This is version 16. Last edited at 6:34 on Sep 20, 13 by Utrecht. 36 articles link to this page.

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