The Port de la Craffe gate in Nancy

Nancy travel guide

About Nancy

Nancy in Alsace Lorraine is a beautiful city set amidst the Alsace countryside with a stunning historic centre.

The capital of the former Duchy of Lorraine, Nancy has a rich Renaissance history that is protected by UNESCO. Its three Renaissance squares, the Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière and the Place d'Alliance are all listed as UNESCO World Heritage monuments.The Place Stanislas is often considered one of the most beautiful squares in Europe and is famous for its gilded wrought-iron gates. Bordered by the City Hall, Opera House and the Fine Arts Museum, it is an important and recognisable symbol of Nancy. The Place de la Carrière was once the home of jousting and tournaments beside of which stands the Palais du Gouvernement. In Place d'Alliance, the smallest of the squares, stands a Baroque fountain at its centre that was built as a symbol of alliance between France and Austro-Hungary in 1756. Nancy's other unmissable architectural achievements are the gates of the former Renaissance fortifications built by Charles III.

The Port de la Craffe is the oldest surviving fortification, dating from the 14th century, with the twin towers added on either side in the 15th century for use as prisons. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Nancy became well known for its École de Nancy who led the Art Nouveau movement is France. Examples of their architecture, art and sculpture can be found throughout the city and its museums. An artistic and creative place, Nancy is today home to over 45,000 students who bring youth and vibrancy to this well-preserved city.

Learn more about Nancy and the region of Lorraine by visiting some of the museums in the city. The Lorraine Museum inside the Ducal Palace houses collections dating from prehistory to the early 20th century with weapons, sculptures, paintings and pottery, and the École de Nancy Museum showcases furniture, ceramics, glassworks and textiles from artists of the movement including Émile Gallé. Also, at the Fine Arts Museum you'll find a collection of over 600 glassworks created by local glassblowers, Daum, during the last 100 years. You can visit the company's workshop and buy some excellent glassware from their factory shop or their showroom on Place Stanislas. Visit all six museums in the city including the Museum Aquarium, Botanical Gardens of Montet and the History of Iron Museum with the Museum Pass from the Tourist Office for just €10. You can also buy a Cultural Pass for the same price for an audio-guided tour, cinema ticket and more. Why not rent a bicycle and cycle your way past monuments such as the Ducal Palace and through the squares? Wander into exquisite parks and gardens such as the 23 hectare Pépinière Park on the site of the historic Dukes' gardens or follow the trails and themed walks. Outside of the historical centre are 160km of trails around 20 different themes including renewable energy and conservation as well as forests that are perfect for all the family to enjoy with fitness trails and recreational areas. 

There are plenty of opportunities to go shopping in Nancy with several markets including the permanent central market and a Sunday market in Haut-de-Lièvre, with over 100 vendors, over 800 shops selling everything from local arts and crafts with art galleries and studios, to big brands and small designer boutiques and lots of food shops including delicatessens and sweet shops. Buy some of Nancy's famous bergamotes, an amber-coloured sweet flavoured with bergamot, or try the original quiche lorraine (which doesn't contain cheese!). Other specialities include duchesse de lorraine, a a sweet of almond and walnut praline wrapped in pistachio coloured icing, pâté lorraine, a dish of wine-soaked pork and veal in flaky pastry, and potée lorraine, a stew of smoked meats, sausage, cabbage and root vegetables. Finish your meal with a tasty macaron de Nancy biscuit or Gateau de Nancy, a melt in the mouth chocolate cake. Enjoy, of course, with some Alsace wine.


  • Country: France

  • Region: Alsace Lorraine

  • Department: Meurthe-et-Moselle

  • Population: 105,000

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