Serving as the capital of Brittany, Rennes is a vibrant university city in north-west France. Its medieval streets are home to beautiful parks, engaging museums and impressive architectural landmarks, ranging from half-timbered residences to the monumental Rennes Cathedral.
Things to do in Rennes
As you wander through the streets of Rennes, take note of the charming half-timbered houses and marvel at the impressive Parlement de Bretagne dating back to 1655. One of the city’s architectural icons is the Cathédrale St-Pierre, a masterpiece of Neoclassical design featuring a beautifully decorated ceiling and a magnificent organ. Also of note is the 15th-century Duchesne Tower, which is named after its first inhabitant, the gatekeeper Jehan du Chesne.
Visit the north-east corner of Rennes to see the picturesque 18th-century Parc du Thabor on the site of a Benedictine abbey orchard. You can stroll between the park’s beautifully landscaped French and English gardens and enjoy the fragrance of the rose garden or coincide your visit with one of the summer concerts in the historic bandstand.
Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the Musée des Beaux-Arts, where paintings by Rubens, Paul Gauguin and Pablo Picasso are on display. Within the Champs Libres cultural centre, you’ll find the Museum of Brittany and the Espace des Sciences, which offers a hands-on look at the worlds of science and technology.
Getting around Rennes
Rennes–Saint-Jacques Airport is a 15-minute drive from the city centre and has flights to destinations across Europe. Regular trains connect from Paris to the Rennes railway station while buses and the metro are the main means of getting around the city. Rennes is also a bicycle-friendly destination, with plenty of designated cycling lanes.