Elva Moller

Elva Moller

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023

Source: Sortiesanantes.com

Nantes, the vibrant city located in western France, is a treasure trove of history, culture, and enchanting attractions. Whether you are a history buff, an art lover, or a food enthusiast, Nantes has something to offer for everyone. As the sixth-largest city in France, it stands proudly on the banks of the Loire River, embracing its rich heritage while also embracing modernity.

In this article, we will delve into 36 fascinating facts about Nantes that will make you fall in love with this captivating city. From its historical significance as the birthplace of famous author Jules Verne to its innovative urban development projects, Nantes is a city that constantly surprises and delights its visitors. So, buckle up and get ready to uncover the hidden gems and little-known facts that make Nantes a truly unique and appealing destination.

Table of Contents

The birthplace of famous author Jules Verne

Nantes is proud to be the birthplace of the renowned French author Jules Verne, who is known for his adventure and science fiction novels.

A vibrant cultural hub

Nantes is a city bustling with cultural activities, including art exhibitions, music festivals, and theatrical performances.

Home to the historic Château des Ducs de Bretagne

The Château des Ducs de Bretagne is a magnificent castle that showcases the rich history of Nantes and offers stunning views of the city.

The birthplace of the French naval hero, Admiral Anne Hilarion de Tourville

Nantes takes pride in being the birthplace of Admiral Anne Hilarion de Tourville, a celebrated French naval officer who played a significant role in maritime history.

The famous Nantes Cathedral

The Nantes Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, is a stunning example of Gothic architecture that leaves visitors in awe.

A city of stunning architectural diversity

Nantes boasts an extraordinary blend of architectural styles, ranging from medieval buildings to contemporary masterpieces like the unique “Le Nid” at the top of the Tour Bretagne.

The birthplace of the French abolitionist movement

Nantes played a significant role in the French abolitionist movement, with the city being one of the main ports implicated in the slave trade during the 18th century.

The beautiful Jardin des Plantes

Jardin des Plantes is a picturesque botanical garden in Nantes, providing a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The famous Les Machines de l’Île

Les Machines de l’Île is a unique artistic project featuring incredible mechanical creations, including the famous Great Elephant, that captivate visitors of all ages.

Known for its delicious local cuisine

Nantes is a culinary delight, offering mouthwatering specialties such as the famous Nantes-style buckwheat pancakes, called “galettes,” and exquisite seafood dishes.

A city with a rich maritime heritage

As a historic port city, Nantes boasts a rich maritime heritage that can be explored through its various museums and maritime-themed attractions.

The birthplace of French physicist and mathematician, André-Marie Ampère

André-Marie Ampère, a renowned physicist and mathematician who made significant contributions to the field of electromagnetism, was born in Nantes.

Hosting the famous music festival, Les Rendez-vous de l’Erdre

Les Rendez-vous de l’Erdre is a popular jazz and boating festival held annually in Nantes, attracting both music enthusiasts and boat lovers from around the world.

The charming neighborhood of Trentemoult

Trentemoult is a quaint and colorful neighborhood along the Loire River that offers picturesque views and a unique atmosphere.

Known for its thriving digital and technology industry

Nantes has gained recognition as a leading city in France for its thriving digital and technology industry, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.

The birthplace of the famous French stage and film actress, Sarah Bernhardt

Sarah Bernhardt, one of the most renowned actresses of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, was born in Nantes.

Home to the Nantes Atlantique Airport

Nantes Atlantique Airport serves as an important transportation hub, connecting Nantes to various national and international destinations.

The vibrant cultural event, Voyage à Nantes

Voyage à Nantes is an annual cultural event that showcases artistic installations, exhibitions, and performances throughout the city, attracting visitors from near and far.

The birthplace of the French engraver Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, a prominent landscape painter and engraver of the 19th century, was born in Nantes.

Known for its lively nightlife scene

Nantes offers a vibrant nightlife scene with a wide range of bars, clubs, and entertainment venues, ensuring there is something for everyone.

The historical passage known as the Passage Pommeraye

Passage Pommeraye is a beautifully preserved shopping arcade that transports visitors back in time with its elegant architecture and unique shops.

The birthplace of influential French composer Maurice Ravel

Maurice Ravel, a renowned composer known for his masterpiece “Boléro,” was born in Nantes and left an indelible mark on the world of classical music.

Home to the unique Bouffay district

Bouffay is a charming neighborhood in Nantes that showcases medieval architecture and is known for its lively atmosphere and bustling streets.

The famous Nantes Jazz Festival

The Nantes Jazz Festival is a highly anticipated annual event that attracts jazz aficionados from all over the world and showcases an impressive lineup of talent.

The birthplace of writer and philosopher Anne-Louise-Germaine de Staël

Anne-Louise-Germaine de Staël, a prominent figure in French literature and European intellectual circles during the 18th century, was born in Nantes.

The stunning Island of Versailles

The Island of Versailles is a tranquil oasis in the heart of Nantes, offering beautifully landscaped gardens and charming Japanese-inspired bridges.

The birthplace of influential French historian Augustin Thierry

Augustin Thierry, a pioneering historian who focused on the study of the Middle Ages, was born in Nantes and made significant contributions to his field.

Home to the prestigious Audencia Business School

Audencia Business School, located in Nantes, is one of the top-ranked business schools in France and attracts students from around the world.

The vibrant Nantes Carnival

The Nantes Carnival is a colorful and lively event that brings the city to life with parades, costumes, and music, creating a joyful and festive atmosphere.

The birthplace of the famous French actress Emmanuelle Béart

Emmanuelle Béart, a well-known actress recognized for her roles in films such as “Manon des Sources” and “Mission: Impossible,” was born in Nantes.

The beautiful Erdre River

The Erdre River flows through Nantes, offering picturesque views, peaceful boat rides, and charming riverside promenades.

The birthplace of influential French writer and philosopher François-René de Chateaubriand

François-René de Chateaubriand, a significant figure in French literature and politics during the 19th century, was born in Nantes.

The unique Naval Museum of Nantes

The Naval Museum of Nantes is a must-visit for history enthusiasts, showcasing impressive ship models, artifacts, and exhibits related to maritime history.

The birthplace of renowned French photographer Pierre Dubreuil

Pierre Dubreuil, a talented photographer known for his artistic approach and experimental techniques, was born in Nantes.

The vibrant neighborhood of Graslin

Graslin is a lively neighborhood in Nantes known for its stunning opéra house, bustling squares, and trendy shops and restaurants.

The famous All Saints’ Day fair, La Foire de la Toussaint

La Foire de la Toussaint is an annual fair held in Nantes that brings together vendors, food stalls, and carnival rides, creating a lively and festive atmosphere.


In conclusion, Nantes is a city that holds a rich history, vibrant culture, and remarkable attractions. From its impressive architecture to its picturesque scenery, Nantes offers something for every type of traveler. Whether you’re exploring the Château des Ducs de Bretagne, strolling through the Jardin des Plantes, or experiencing the vibrant nightlife in the Bouffay district, Nantes will captivate you with its charm.With its ideal location on the Loire River, Nantes is also a gateway to the beautiful surrounding region of Pays de la Loire. From the stunning vineyards of the Muscadet wine region to the beautiful beaches along the Atlantic coast, there is no shortage of natural beauty and outdoor activities to enjoy.With its innovative approach to urban planning, Nantes has become a thriving hub of creativity, attracting artists, designers, and entrepreneurs from around the world. The city’s commitment to sustainability and innovation is evident in its unique attractions like the Machines de l’île and its dedication to promoting green spaces and eco-friendly initiatives.Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a culture vulture, or an outdoor adventurer, Nantes is a city that will leave a lasting impression. Its blend of history, culture, and natural beauty make it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a truly remarkable experience.


1. What is the best time to visit Nantes?

The best time to visit Nantes is during the spring (April to June) and the fall (September to November) when the weather is pleasant, and the city is less crowded.

2. How do I get to Nantes?

Nantes is easily accessible by air, train, or car. Nantes Atlantique Airport serves both domestic and international flights, and the city is well-connected by train to major French cities.

3. Are there any unique festivals or events in Nantes?

Yes, Nantes hosts several unique festivals and events throughout the year. The highlight is the Voyage à Nantes, a summer event that transforms the streets and public spaces into art installations and cultural experiences.

4. What are the must-visit attractions in Nantes?

Some of the must-visit attractions in Nantes include the Château des Ducs de Bretagne, the Machines de l’île, the Jardin des Plantes, and the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul.

5. Is Nantes a family-friendly destination?

Absolutely! Nantes has plenty of family-friendly attractions, such as the Jardin des Plantes, the Parc de la Beaujoire, and the Nantes History Museum, making it an excellent destination for families with children.

6. Is it easy to get around in Nantes?

Yes, Nantes has an efficient public transportation system, including trams and buses, making it easy to navigate the city and explore its different neighborhoods.