The Town used to be the capital of the duchy of Brittany. In 2012, it was awarded the “Best town to live in” prize. Let’s see what makes it so attractive, shall we?
Rennes is at the door of Brittany, so it’s very easy to go there. Many roads lead to this beautiful city.
Leaving from Paris, your journey to Brittany will last 3h20 (350 km). First, take the A10/E50 to Rennes/Nantes/Le Mans/Chartres for about 344 km and then take the Exit 14 to Porte de Maurepas/Maison Blanche/Les Gayeulles. Please note that you will stop at two toll booths and thus pay 28,70€*.Once in town, what should you do with your car? If you choose a roadside spot be very careful about the zone you’re in
If you want to catch a train in Paris, go to the Gare Montparnasse and hop in a TGV to Rennes. The journey lasts 2h20 and don’t worry if you miss your train, there is one per hour between Paris and Rennes.
To book tickets, please visit the SNCF website.
You’re flying to Rennes? Welcome to the Aéroport Rennes Bretagne. It is located only 7 km away from the center and many regular flights can take you to the biggest French cities such as Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Nice or Toulouse. For those who want to travel further than the French borders, you can catch flights to England, Spain, Italy, Portugal etc.
Getting around town
Just like in Paris, Metz or Dijon, you can rent bikes in Rennes. There are 900 bikes available 24/7 in 83 stations. If you stay in Rennes for a few days, you will pay 5€ as membership fee and up to 24€ for a 10-hour-use. If you plan to stay just for a couple hours, then take the 24h-Pass for just 1€ and pay 10€ for a 6-hour-use. Want to know more about the fees? Get Le Vélo Star
With only one tube line and more than 60 bus lines, you can easily get around town. If you stay in Rennes for a few hours, choose the 1H-Ticket for just 1,50€. However, if you get the chance to stay longer, we recommend you to take the Pass-Évènement for just 3€. This ticket allows you to travel for 24h on the entire network. Furthermore, please note that tickets can be used either for the bus or the tube. Visit the Star website to get more information about the lines and fees.
- March :
- April :
- July :
- December :
Stop everything you’re doing : THIS is a major event in Rennes. Created in 1979, the Bretons love their music festival. Whether you like alternative rock, electro, rap, tri-pop or hip-hop, you definitely can’t be disappointed with that festival. The Daft Punk, Justice, Stromae, Lenny Kravitz have already stepped on the scene, who’s next?
Located on the Dalle du Colombier, the market is in town from November to December. The 44 stallholders are eager to present you their finest products and crafts. Who knows? You might find the perfect Christmas gifts for your family and friends. Not that far from here, you can have a good time at the funfair on the Esplanade Charles de Gaulle. Laughter and good humour are de rigueur!
You want to keep a golden memory of New Year’s Eve? Rennes has what you need. For this special occasion, the Town Hall shines bright like a diamond. This sound and light show is pure magic.
Traveller information :
Tourist information center : http://www.tourisme-rennes.com/en/home.aspx
Emergency number: dial 112 (European number)
Fire brigade: dial 18
Ambulance / Paramedics: dial 15
Police: dial 17
Missing children: dial 116000
National center for emergency calls for people with hearing problems: dial 114
Train tickets : http://www.tourisme-rennes.com/en/home.aspx
Public transportation: http://www.star.fr/
Museums and touristic sites :
The Parliament of Brittany:
The Town Hall:
La Piscine Saint-Georges:
Le Palais Saint-Georges
Le Portes Mordelaises:
The following prices are indicative. They refer to a one night stay in a standard double bedroom and may be subject to confirmation at the time of booking.
Economical accommodation, between 30 and 50 eruos: : For this budget, you will stay in two or three star hotels located around the city center.
Average price, between 50 and 100 euros : You will stay in comfortable and cosy two or three star hotels around the city center, some of them close to the station.
If your budget goes over 100 euros : get ready for sophisticated hotels, apartments and B&Bs. Thanks to their ideal location (city center), you won’t have to take the public transport.
The following prices are indicative. They refer to the price of one course or a menu for one.
From 1,30 to 10,50 euros : If you want to live like an American, the Roadside is exactly what you need. Once inside, you clearly have the impression of being on Road 66. It takes only one look at the menu to fall in love : big fresh home-made burgers, creamy milkshakes and cookies as big as Texas. Yummy!(Roadside, 13 rue du Maréchal Joffre)
This delicious pastry was created in 1999 by some pastry chefs from Rennes. It is made of almonds, apples and cider. Let’s have a bite!
Also called “galette-saucisse” [galette-sausage], this curious association is an institution. The best ones are sold on the Marché des Lices and around the Route de Lorient Stadium.
The Opéra : The inauguration took place in 1836. At first, people didn’t really like the place. What they didn’t like was its round shape, so much so that it almost led to its destruction. Today, everybody loves the “Theater”, as the townies call it. You can attend lyrical as well as modern performances.
The Parliament of Brittany : The construction started in 1618 and ended in 1655. Almost entirely destructed in 1994 because of a fire, the Palace was entirely refurbished. Since 1804, this Historic Monument is the Court of Appeal of Rennes. The Palace is made of four buildings and numerous galeries. If you wish to visit it, go to the Grand’ Chambre: it’s the best-preserved room.
The Town Hall : After the 1720 fire, the city decided to build a new Town Hall. The construction started in 1734 and ended in 1743. The two main buildings are linked by the bell tower, hence creating one baroque edifice. On New Year’s Eve, the Town Hall shines like a diamond thanks to the sound and light show. Do not miss it!
Palais Saint-Georges : The palace is 90 meters high and many people (even some townies!) think it’s the Brittany Parliament. It was built in 1670 and what’s inside remained a mystery for many years. Once an abbey, the palace is now a fire station, but for how long?
Les portes Mortelaises : Here are monumental remains of the past. Those doors were part of the old city walls. The foundations date back to the 3rd century and the doors were refurbished during the 15th century. Tourists don’t often visit this historical place because it’s a bit far from the center. Howerver, it’s the best place to be if you want to put History and tranquility together.
Le jardin du Thabor : This park and botanical garden is the perfect place for those who want to have a bit of fresh air and enjoy the peaceful scenery.
La piscine Saint-Georges : You want to go for a dip? Do so at the Saint-George swimming-pool. This art-déco temple of Neptune is made of milions of mosaic squares. If the water is too cold, you can stay outside and marvel at the building. It’s definitely worth it!
*This travel guide was published in April 2015, prices may then vary.