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 Portes de Mordelaise, once the main gate into the town, and the medieval half-timber houses, to the 17th century Parlement 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 restaurants offering 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 it's a circus, street performance or an impromptu poetry reading. The Jardin du Thabor also holds 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 Parc des Gayuelles and a golf course, the Golf de Rennes, in the south west of the city.
Nearby you'll find the pretty walled town of Dinan and the rustic and medieval Fougères, as well as the magical Châteaugiron Castle, fantastic La Bourbansais Zoo and mythical Brocéliande.
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