Rennes travel guide

Cities and towns

About Rennes

Rennes in Brittany is a vibrant capital city of impressive architecture, excellent shopping and wonderful gastronomic delights.

As much of the medieval town was destroyed during a fire in 1720, Rennes has an eclectic mix of architectures that showcase its long and diverse history - from the surviving 15th century Port de Mordelaise, once the main gate into the town, and the medieval half-timber houses, to the 17th century Perlement de Bretagne building and the futuristic Champs Libres. An artistic, intellectual and historical hub, with 2 universities and a medical school, Rennes' cultural identity is encompassed by the Champs Libres which contains the City Library, Science Centre and a Museum of Brittany all sat side by side in this fascinating complex of structures. Other museums in the city include a Musée des Beaux Arts, an Ecomuseum and a Transmissions Museum.

Take the time to wander around the market at the Place des Lices, one of the best and largest in France or visit the shopping districts full of big names and boutiques. Rennes is also home to some fabulous gastronomy with fantastic restaurantsoffering incredible culinary taste sensations alongside crêperies selling traditional Breton crêpes and bars selling local cider.

In summer, Rennes is famous for its July festival, Les Tombées de la Nuit (Nightfalls), a street festival of art and poetry that encourages creativity and participation from its audiences - whether its a circus, street performance or an impromptu poetry reading. The Jardin du Thabor also hold outdoor events in summer. Les Transmusicales festival in November is well-known throughout France as one of the biggest music festivals in the country. Just outside of the main city is the Forest of Rennes, a beautiful area full of wildlife that can be explored through its nature trails. Even inside the city you can enjoy the great outdoors with an adventure park in the Gayuelles park and a golf course, the Golf de Rennes, in the south west of the city.

Nearby you'll find the pretty walled coastal town of Dinan and the rustic and medieval Fougéres, as well as the magical Châteaugiron Castle, fantastic La Bourbansais Zoo and mythical Brocéliande.

Why visit Rennes?

  • The Architecture
  • Food and Drink
  • The Museums
  • Shopping
  • The Forest of Rennes 

Overview

  • Country: France
  • Region: Brittany
  • Department: Ile-et-Vilaine
  • Population: 206,500
  • Coordinates: 48.1166,-1.677132

Coordinates shown are based on the WGS84 system, please check driving directions before departing.

Nearby attractions

Built in the early 1600s, the Parlement de Bretagne is a magnificent palace which took over half a century to build. Recently restored following a fire in 1994, the building now houses the Court of Appeal.

Place des Lices, once the home of jousting tournaments, is today home to Rennes' famous Saturday morning market, one of the largest in France.

Sitting in the heart of town, the Parc du Thabor stretches across 10 acres and is one of the most beautiful gardens in France. A landscaped garden in what was once the orchard of one of France's oldest abbeys, the Parc has...

This stunning futuristic complex houses the Museum of Brittany (Musée de Bretagne), the City Library (Bibliotheque) and the Science Centre (Espace des Sciences) all on one site.

Places to visit nearby

Fougères in Brittany is a charming town that is home to the Château de Fougères, the largest medieval fortress in Europe.

Dinan in Brittany is a charming riverside town, full of medieval history, with a 13th century castle and ramparts that encircle this well-preserved sanctuary where time has stood still.

Dol-de-Bretagne in Brittany is a quaint medieval town close to the rugged Mont Dol that overlooks the bay of Mont St Michel.

Nearby events

Tout Rennes Court, race

Run, Rennes, run!The Tout Rennes Court foot race will have all of Rennes running throughout this...

Court Métrange Festival

Fantastic and strange.This short film festival is dedicated to the fantastic and the strange. Fans...

Cicé Blossac Golf Grand Prix

On the fairway.Over a hundred golf courses host their Grand Prix events annually in France. Each...