There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Nantes each year. The main ones are listed below.January 1 : New Year's Day (national holiday) May 1 : Labour Day (national holiday)
On the first of May, it is customary to offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley to close ones. Many vendors occupy the pavement on that occasion!May 8: Victory Day (national holiday)
Commemorates the Allied victory in Europe that ended World War II on this day in 1945. Various ceremonies are held around town.June 21 : Fête de la Musique (celebrated nationwide)
Also celebrated internationally as World Music Day, for this festival many free concerts featuring all types of music are held in the streets and at various venues across Nantes.July 14 : Bastille Day (national holiday)
This holiday celebrates both the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, the key event marking the beginning of the French Revolution, and the end of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy and the aristocracy. In Nantes, a huge fireworks display is set off from the island in the centre of the city and is best viewed from the Quai de la Fosse or the Pont Anne de Bretagne. There are also many dance parties open to everyone held at various venues throughout the city.August 15 : Assumption Day (national holiday)
This celebration, still very popular in Nantes, is marked by the faithful with religious processions and ceremonies through the streets.Third weekend in September : European Heritage Days (celebrated nationwide)
The aim of the European Heritage Days is to open up numerous sites and monuments, many of which are normally closed to the public. A great opportunity for a lovely stroll through the city to admire architectural treasures!November 11: Remembrance Day (national holiday)
On this day, French citizens gather at war memorials to commemorate the signing of the 1918 Armistice officially bringing an end to the First World War.December 25 : Christmas (national holiday) December 31: New Year's Eve (national event)
On the night of December 31st, the atmosphere is particularly festive on the streets of Nantes, with families and friends celebrating the new year.
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||3/37||9/48||86/3.4||Not the best period to go|
|February||3/37||10/50||70/2.8||Not the best period to go|
|March||5/41||13/55||70/2.8||Not the best period to go|
|April||6/43||15/59||50/2.0||Not the best period to go|
|May||10/50||20/68||64/2.5||Not the best period to go|
|June||13/55||23/73||45/1.8||Good period to go|
|July||14/57||25/77||46/1.8||Good period to go|
|August||14/57||25/77||45/1.8||Good period to go|
|September||12/54||22/72||62/2.4||Good period to go|
|October||10/50||18/64||79/3.1||Not the best period to go|
|November||6/43||12/54||87/3.4||Not the best period to go|
|December||3/37||9/48||84/3.3||Not the best period to go|
The Nantes-Atlantique Airport is located just outside the city's ring road, at the Porte de Grand Lieu, 10 minutes from the city centre.
Nantes is a city very well served by its public transport system. Furthermore, in the interest of improving quality of life for its residents, a number of routes reserved for pedestrians and cyclists are available. Although the historic centre of Nantes can still be accessed by car, traffic is limited to residents and deliveries.
Nantes' trams are certainly an ideal way to get around the city. There are three lines (1, 2 and 3) with 83 stations. In all, the network operates over 44 kilometres (27 miles) of track. A single ticket costs EUR 1.70.
Some 60 bus lines run throughout Nantes and its greater metropolitan area.
A single ticket costs EUR 1.70 (EUR 2 when you buy it from the driver) and is valid for 1 hour on the entire network. A 1-day ticket is also available, for EUR 5.60.
Useful tip: A 1-day group ticket is also offered, allowing unlimited travel for up to four people over the entire network for 24 hours (or on a consecutive Saturday and Sunday) for EUR 9.50!
It is relatively easy to get around the city by car, with the exception of the historic centre, where many of the thoroughfares are restricted to pedestrian traffic or bicycles. It is also difficult to find parking in the immediate vicinity of the historic centre.
Useful tip : Nantes has a public car-sharing system, called Marguerite. In all, about 60 cars are available 24/7 at 43 stations. The vehicles are rented by the hour and parking is free. Prices: EUR 10 per hour, plus EUR 0.50 per kilometre.
Nearly 180 taxicabs serve Nantes, its metropolitan area and the airport.
Exploring the city by bicycle is a genuine pleasure. Nantes offers more than 470 kilometres (292 miles) of cycling paths, covering the entire metropolitan area.
Useful tip: Bicloo, Nantes' public bike-sharing system, has 120 stations in the city centre (about one every 300 metres), with more than 1,230 bicycles. EUR 1 for the first hour, EUR 2 each extra half hour.
Walking is also an excellent way to get around Nantes. Many public spaces in the city centre, such as the Île Feydeau and the Cours des 50 Otages, have been redesigned to make them pedestrian-friendly.
Upon your arrival in Nantes, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.Nantes Tourism Office
Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).
The official website maintained by Atout France, the French tourism development agency, provides a wealth of information on Nantes and its region.
See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Nantes counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.Vaccinations
There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to France. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:
There are no specific food safety risks. French government authorities promote good hygiene practices and put in place strengthened control procedures for sites especially frequented by tourists during the summer months.Water
Tap water is safe to drink in Nantes.
As a general rule, a visa is required to enter France. Foreign nationals in the two categories listed below are not required to carry a visa for stays of 90 days or less:
Travellers from all other countries must be in possession of a visa, regardless of the length of their stay. Visa applications must be submitted to the nearest French Embassy or French Consulate in the country of permanent residence well in advance of departure. For further information, visit the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/getting-a-visa/
Contact information for the embassies and consulates of your country is accessible in the directory of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/le-ministere-et-son-reseau/annuaires-des-ambassades-et-consulats-etrangers-en-france
To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Nantes, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.
Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Nantes a little easier:
Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour (morning)
Good evening: Bonsoir
Goodbye: Au revoir
No, thank you: Non, merci
Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup
Please: S'il vous plaît
I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas
Could you repeat ?: Pouvez-vous répéter ?
What time is it ?: Quelle heure est-il ?
Excuse me: Excusez-moi
Train station: Gare
I'm (…): Je suis (…)
I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…)
How much is (…)?: Quel est le prix de (…) ?
Do you have (…)?: Avez-vous (…) ?
Where can I find (…)?: Où puis-je trouver (…) ?
Where can I buy (…)?: Où puis-je acheter (…) ?
I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…)
In Nantes like elsewhere in France, a service charge is always included in the bill. If you are particularly pleased with the service, you may certainly leave a few extra euros on the table. But this additional tip is neither expected nor necessary.