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About this place

La Rochelle is a fortified city and the medieval towers of the old port that guard the entry to the city have made it famous throughout the world. The majestic entryway of the La Rochelle is made up of three emblematic towers - the Tour Saint-Nicolas, the Tour de la Chaîne and the Tour de la Lanterne. In the Gabut district, the aquarium of La Rochelle displays nearly 10,000 animals. It is one of the largest aquariums in Europe. Every year in July, La Rochelle hosts the Les Francofolies music festival. La Rochelle is connected to the île de Re island by the longest bridge in France - 3 kilometres, 42 metres above the sea at its highest point.

La Rochelle City Guide

La Rochelle City Guide
written by France Hotel Guide

Other towns in this departement

Tourist Information


In short

  • La Rochelle used to be a Gallo-Roman city, then a fishing village. Most importantly, it is a maritime town; its harbour, the Port de la Pallice, is listed as a Greater Maritime Port.
  • During the 12th century, the Pilgrims, who had settled in La Rochelle, made it the greatest Atlantic Ocean harbour.
  • During the second half of the 14th century, the town was under British domination, for a short period of time. Then, La Rochelle underwent a major boom, by selling wines, and Aunis and Saintonge brandies.
  • In the 16th century, the ideas of Protestant John Calvin started affecting the inhabitants of La Rochelle. It later became a major spot in the Protestant Reformation, during the Huguenot Wars.
  • La Rochelle has been facing an important increase in population growth since the post-war period. Thus, it is also a student city: La Rochelle University was created in 1993 and now welcomes almost 8000 students.


This is an Aquitaine ocean temperate climate. Winters are mild and wet, and summers are dry and sunny, but fortunately, the sea wind makes the temperatures decrease. Average temperatures are 5.9°C in January, and 19.8°C in July. Sunlight is at its peak during summer.

Our best tips

  • For the most curious, the Fine Arts museum is located on the bishop's palace second floor, in the heart of the city. The New World Museum ("Musée du Nouveau Monde") will take you straight into the history of the conquest of America from La Rochelle, since the 16th century.
  • Why don't you come and discover the Chaîne and the Lanterne towers, along with Saint-Nicolas tower, on the old port?!
  • Music and cinema lovers might want to know that the International Film festival and the Francofolies take place in July, and jazz music is glorified in October, at the festivals Jazz à la Rochelle and Jazz Around!

Average prices for hotels

  • Low budget: 80€ per night in high season, and 85€ in low season.
  • Mid-range: 102€ per night in high season, and 73€ in low season.
  • Luxury: 135€ per night in high season, 108€ in low season.

Recommended areas for your hotel

  • The middle of the city is just a stone's throw from the seashore. There are many hotels, ranking from the cheapest to the highest.
  • Further to the south, the Minimes borough is still quite touristic, in spite of its location, and close to the sea. There, you will find La Rochelle's aquarium and the university.

Need more information about this place?

We wrote un mini guide for our readers that we hope is coming as handy as possible (also available in PDF format to download, useful while traveling without an internet connexion) :

La Rochelle : Handy Mini Travel Guide

Fort Boyard
Fort Boyard


Tower of la RochelleTower of la Rochelle

Vieux port

Cathedral Saint Louis
Cathedral Saint Louis

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