Vannes travel guide

About Vannes

Located in Morbihan, on the Southern coast of Brittany, the fascinating city of Vannes is an intriguing mix of antiquity and urbanisation, merging into the incredible Mor-Bihan ('little sea') of the Gulf of Morbihan - 12,000 hectares of sheltered Atlantic sea.

Built on the foundations of a fortified Roman town, Vannes has a long history that's evident in its architecture, especially the beautiful walled town that forms the protected heart of the city. Dominated by the magnificent Cathédrale de St Pierre, this walled town features stunning wood beamed houses from the 15th century. Formerly a busy trade port exporting local wines, Vannes' pretty streets are full of quaint stores and fashion boutiques with musicians and street performers playing as you walk by. Explore the traditional tastes of Brittany with oysters from the Gulf of Morbihan, delicious local cheeses, crêpes and the famous Gâteau Breton. Enjoy your meal with locally brewed cider and beer, or start with a tipple of fine cider brandy such as Lambic or the oakier Le Fine Bretagne.

Vannes is brimming with exciting places to visit such as the Chateau Gaillard, which houses the Musée de Vannes and is filled with medieval exhibits from the town. There are also the Musée de Beaux Arts and an aquarium of fish from the Gulf of Morbihan and the tropics. The glorious Jardin aux Papillons (butterfly garden), housed inside a giant dome, is guaranteed to captivate young audiences. Or, get outside and enjoy the spectacular interior sea of Mor-Bihan by taking an oyster mini-cruise to Ile aux Moines, where you can taste the oysters and learn more about their farming and the fragile ecosystem of this amazing place.

Nearby you can explore the megaliths of the past, or visit the incredible dinosaurs at the Parc de Préhistoire de Bretagne, a forest full of scale models of dinosaurs, ancient mammals and Neolithic man. The inspiring Fortresse de Largoët holds the highest keep in France and a stunning octagonal tower. A short drive from Vannes is the Maison du Cidre where you can discover traditional cider-making practices. If you're looking for fantastic walks, the spectacular 180 acres of gardens of the Chateau de Trédion are well worth a visit or try the woodlands of Argoat, with brilliant hiking trials that offer beautiful views of the Gulf of Morbihan. There is also the Réserve de Naturelle des Marais de Séné - 530 hectares of stunning protected coastline along the Gulf of Morbihan.

Why visit Vannes?

  • The Museums
  • The Architecture
  • Food and Drink
  • Nature Areas 


  • Country: France
  • Region: Brittany
  • Department: Morbihan
  • Population: 53,000
  • Coordinates: 47.660647,-2.760658

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

Places to visit nearby

Carnac in Brittany is a small town on the River Crac'h that is most famous for its wealth of pre-historic megalithic monuments, the Carnac Stones.

Quiberon in Brittany is a pretty fishing port at the tip of the slim Quiberon Peninsula.

Pontivy in Brittany is a charming market town on the River Blavet, and the Nantes to Brest canal, that has medieval roots and became one of Napoleon's 'new towns' in the 19th century.

Nearby attractions

The striking cathedral of Vannes is the focal point of the ancient walled town. Of Gothic style and built in the place of the former Romanesque cathedral, sections of the cathedral have been built across 7 centuries as it was...

A beautiful 15th century mansion where Parliament once sat, this remarkable building is now a museum of archaeology and contains exhibits on the history of the city.

La Cohue was a covered market in medieval times and is now home to the museum of Fine Arts of Vannes. Containing modern and contemporary works from painters such as Jean Bazaine. Alfred Manessier and Genevieve Asse, the museum...