Nancy

Travel Guide Europe France Lorraine Nancy

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Introduction

Nancy

Nancy

© Tom.Calver

Nancy is a moderate-sized city in the Grand-Est region of (eastern) France. Nancy is the capital of the French département of Meurthe-et-Moselle, and is the economical capital of the Lorraine region. It is also a major French university centre, with over 47,000 students and three major universities. Once the industrial and cultural powerhouse of Northeast France, the city boasts a very diverse architectural and cultural heritage. Parts of the historical city centre are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Sights and Activities

  • The Old Town and the New Town connected to each other with baroque Place Stanislas that is one of the World Heritage Sites listed by the UNESCO in 1983. The name of Place Stanislas commemorates Stanisław I Leszczyński, the king of Poland, who was the Duke of Lorraine and the initiator of the construction of this square.
  • Museum of Fine Arts of Nancy.
  • Musée de l'École de Nancy.

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Getting There

By Plane

Metz-Nancy-Lorraine Airport (ETZ) offers flights with Air Algerie to Algiers and Constantine, with Regional to Ajaccio, Bastia, Lyon and Nice]], with Onur Air to Antalya and with Twin Jet to Marseille and Toulouse.

By Train

The main train station is Gare de Nancy-Ville, with direct connections to Paris by TGV (high-speed train), Metz, Lyon, Strasbourg and several regional destinations. The Gare Lorraine-TGV is 20 km north of Nancy. The station is served only by TGV high-speed trains of the TGV Est high-speed line, linking Paris to Strasbourg. Destinations include Bordeaux, Northwest France, Lille, as well as various TGV stations around Paris (such as Charles de Gaulle Airport). Because of local political feuds, the station was built halfway between Nancy and Metz, in the middle of nowhere. Thus, the station can only be accessed by road (A31 motorway). The station includes a taxi station. Additionally, a shuttle operated by the SNCF connects the station to Gare de Nancy Ville.

By Car

The motorway A31 connects Nancy with Metz and Luxembourg.

By Bus

International bus services are operated by Eurolines. Coaches usually stop at the Porte Sainte-Catherine, near the marina.

By Boat

Nancy is crossed by the Canal de la Marne au Rhin, which is open to navigation for small boats and péniches. The Port de Nancy Saint-Georges offers dockage to visiting boats. It is on the eastern edge of the city centre, 500 m away from the place Stanislas.

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Getting Around

By Car

The streets of the city are narrow and not adapted to mass traffic. The local authorities are actively discouraging the use of cars in the historical centre, and have set up many pedestrian-only streets as well a labyrinth of one-way streets. Surface parking is rare and expensive. Avoid driving within the city if you can.

There are several underground car parks in the centre [3], as well as three park and ride car parks on the outskirts of the city. The latter are managed by STAN (see public transportation section for more info).

By Public Transport

The local public transportation system is operated by the Service de transport de l'agglomération Nancéienne, known as STAN. Coverage of the city is decent, but can be found quite wanting compared to other French cities of the same size. It can nonetheless be useful for moving around Greater Nancy, between the city centre and suburbs.

The city has a single tramway route, which is actually some sort of tramway on tyres. This strange system was built in replacement of the city's ageing trolleybus system, but has been plagued by technical problems since its inception. The tram 's ill fortunes have become a running joke among inhabitants. It is best to avoid it during rush hour, as it tends to be completely overcrowded.

Tramways run from 05:00 to 00:00, buses from 06:00 to 21:00. Service is dismal during Sundays and holidays.

On buses, you can buy tickets (€1.30) directly from the driver, but if you take the tram, you'll need to use the vending machines at each stop. Be sure to have change with you, as these machines do not accept bank notes. The only credit cards accepted are European-style ones with a chip.

Tickets are valid for one hour. If you'll be moving around Greater Nancy a lot, you might consider purchasing a "Pass 10" (€8.70) or a "Pass Découverte 24h" (€3.30). The latter one is valid for an unlimited number of trips during 24 hours.

There are two STAN offices in the city, where you can find maps and timetables, purchase tickets or ask information about the network.

By Foot

Walking is one of the easiest and most pleasant ways to get around. The city centre is very compact, so most places of interest can be easily reached by foot. For example, walking from the railway station to the Porte Sainte-Catherine takes about 20 min. Many streets are pedestrian-only.

By Bike

There are about 130 km of safe bike routes in the Greater Nancy area [2]. Cycling can be an excellent way to get around during spring and summer (much less in winter). The city has a bike rental system called VélOstan, offering both short- and long-term bike rental. The short-term service is called VélOstan'lib and is quite similar to those found in other French cities. Users can to pick up, and drop cycles to and from over 25 points around the city. You need a credit card (Visa/MC/French CB) to make use of the service. It is very cheap:

  • 1-day ticket: €1, then free for the first 30 min of each ride, €1 for 30 to 60 min, then €2 every 30 min.
  • 7-day ticket: €2, then same fares as the 1-day ticket.

30 min is generally more than enough if you stay close to the city centre.

As of 2012, there are very few stations outside the city centre. Be careful not to go too far, as you may not find any station to return your bike to and then be overcharged. There are, however, plans to cover the whole Greater Nancy area in the coming years.

The long-term rental service is called VélOstan'boutic. Users can rent bikes and accessories for up to one year. Price range from €2 for half a day, to €80 for a whole year. Reduction may apply in certain cases. There are 5 shops around the city, including one in the main railway station (exit Place Thiers).

If you stay long enough to need your own bike, you can find cheap used bikes at the Atelier Dynamo, a small collective workshop. Membership can be as low as €15/year (for students), usable bikes can be found for €25 or more.

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Eat

The most obvious place to get a bite is the rue des Marechaux, also named rue Gourmande by locals. This little street is lined with restaurants of all kinds. You'll find various French (surprise!), Chinese, Cuban and late-night snacks of varying quality.

Small bakeries and delis can be found throughout the city. Kebab shops and oriental restaurants are numerous around Saint Nicolas street.

At the covered market on Rue St. Dizier you can find fresh fruits and vegetables, a couple of butchers, a triperie, and one stand that sells fresh fish (and a pretty nice selection; you can even get octopus!), plus a couple of small restaurants.

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Drink

Nancy has its fair share of Irish pubs, wine bars, cafes, and other drinking establishments. The night life is quite active, due to the presence of many students. However, things tend to be more subdued during the summer holidays. Major nightlife spots are in the Ville vieille and near place Stanislas.

In case you need more than just drinks and are looking for a seedier kind of nightlife, you can find it around the rue Mouilleron (west of the railway station), near the Chat Noir night club.

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Sleep

Château de Rémicourt Hostel (Nancy's only IYHF hostel), 149 Rue de Vandoeuvre, 54600 Villers les Nancy (tram 1 or bus 122, 126, 134, 135), ☏ +33 383 277 367, fax: +33 383414135, ✉ aubergeremicourt@mairie-nancy.fr. €14.70, breakfast included.
Camping de Nancy-Brabois, Camping Le Brabois (From motorway A33 exit 2B follow the signs ; from Nancy centre follow the signs pointing to Technopôle de Brabois), ☏ +33 383 271 828.
Hotel Akena, ☏ +33 383 28 12 03. cheap, clean, don't expect any charm
F1 hotel Nancy Sud, ZAC Houdemont Heillecourt, 4 allée de la genelière, ✉ H2243@accor.com. Cheap, clean rooms (including bed, TV, sink), shared bathrooms are much less appealing.
Le Stanislas, 22, Rue Sainte Catherine (just east of Place Stanislas), ☏ +33 383372388. Hotel very near the main city attractions, small but quiet room. Don't expect "charm". €50-55 double room (2008). edit
Hotel de Guise, 18, rue de Guise. A 3-star hotel, in the old town, close to major attractions. Used to be an old mansion. Great rooms, filled with antique furniture, paintings and rugs.
Hôtel Des Prélats, 56, pl. Mgr-Ruch (Almost part of the cathedral south east of Place Stanislas), ☏ +33 383 302 020. Very nice looking mid-upper range 3-star hotel in the center of town. Around €120 a double (2014).
L'Hôtel de la Reine, place Stanislas, ☏ +33 383 35 03 01. A 4-star hotel, in the old town, close to major attractions.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

France is one of the best connected countries in the world, with data speed for upload/download ranked among the top 5 in the world. Most hotels and hostels would have in-house facilities to provide free internet access. Many major cities also have initiatives put in place to provide free wi-fi connection in public spaces. Alternatively there are internet cafés available in most cities/towns at a reasonable rate. Some private businesses, such as local cafés (or even the Starbuck's chain), may also provide wi-fi connectivity - keep an eye out for the signs by the shop windows/doors. Also look for the @ symbol prominently displayed, which indicates internet availability. However, with most homes now wired for the internet, cyber cafés are increasingly hard to find, especially outside the major cities.

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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Accommodation in Nancy

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This is version 9. Last edited at 9:59 on Nov 27, 19 by Utrecht. 8 articles link to this page.

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