City Guide: Rennes

Rennes is one of the biggest cities in the North-West of France and features a couple of interesting sights. In this city guide, we’ll explain why visiting the capital of the Bretagne is enjoyable and why the destination is suitable for more than just a day trip from Paris!

While Rennes is located in the Bretagne, famous for its impressive beaches like in Dinard, forts like in Saint-Malo or just landscapes by the sea, the capital is actually not by the sea. Nevertheless, Rennes has a lot of hitoric charme, which makes the city worth visiting. Another positive note about Rennes: The city isn’t that big, so it’s easily walkable and can be explored in just one day!

Place de la Republique & Palais de Commerce Rennes

When visiting Rennes, you can’t miss the Place de la Republique, the main square of the city.

Place de la Republique Rennes

Here, you’ll also find the Palais de Commerce, maybe the most impressive building in town.

Palais du Commerce Rennes

In this area, you can also find the river crossing Rennes, La Vilaine.

La Vilaine Rennes

Furthermore, there are a couple other noteworthy buildings in the area, including the Ouest France Cinema and the beautiful Eglise Toussaints.

Ouest France Rennes

It’s also worth walking around in the area for a bit as you’ll find a couple of nice old buildings and small streets.

Parlement de Bretagne, Opera & Mairie de Rennes

Not far from here is the actual city center of Rennes, where you can find a couple of important buildings in Rennes. Personally, I liked the Opera de Rennes.

Opera de Rennes

Right opposite on a busy square, you can find the Mairie de Rennes, which isn’t that fascinating.

Mairie de Rennes

Just a few steps from this square, there’s another important governmental building, the Parlement de Bretagne.

Parlement de Bretagne Rennes

If you are walking around in this area, you’ll also pass a couple of historic buildings in cute and tiny streets – very nice.

Historic Building Rennes

In general, this area has a very historic character, which I thought is quite nice.

Parc du Tabor & Notre-Dame-en-Saint-Melaine Rennes

From the city center, I’d recommend walking in the direction of the Parc du Tabor. On the way, you’ll pass a couple of nice buildings, including the Hotel de la Prefecture.

Hotel de la Prefecture Rennes

The Piscine Municipal is on the way to the Parc de Tabor, too.

Piscine Municipal Rennes

The Contour de la Motte is worth checking out as well.

Contour de la Motte Rennes

When you have arrived there, you’ll immediately see the Notre Dame en Saint Melaine.

Notre-Dame-en-Saint-Melaine Rennes

While the location is beautiful, I didn’t really love the design of the church as it’s just not very special.

Notre-Dame-en-Saint-Melaine Rennes

The Parc du Tabor on the other hand is a really beautiful space and big enough to walk around for an hour or two.

You can also find a few nice buildings like the Orangerie du Tabor inside and around the park.

If you like parks, you should definitely not miss visiting the Parc du Tabor Rennes!

Portes Mordelaises & Cathedrale de Rennes

On the opposite side of town, you can find another really interesting area in Rennes. Here, you can catch a glimps of the Cathedral for example.

Cathedrale de Rennes

From a historic perspective, the Porte Mordelaises is worth checking out as this structure is part of the former city wall of Rennes and still in a relatively good condition.

Portes Mordelaises Rennes

Not far from here, you can also find the beautiful Saint Anne area, which comes with a lot of charming buildings in a very historic setting.

Sainte-Anne Rennes

There’s also another church, the Basilique Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle, here.

Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle de Rennes

Personally, I very much enjoyed walking through the smaller streets of Rennes, some of these really famous.

Rue du Chapitre Rennes

For example, there’s the Rue du Chapitre, which has a really charming character.

Rue du Chapitre Rennes

The small Rue de la Psalette is worth walking along as well.

Rue de la Psalette Rennes

In general, Rennes is not all that much about sights in particular, but more about walking through nice little streets.

Overall impressions of Rennes

While the weather was horrible when we visited Rennes, I still think that the city is quite enjoyable. There are dozens of nice little streets with historic buildings, some nice churches and a beautiful park. The various different sights are worth checking out as well, but I’d personally recommend just walking around town as you’ll bump into most sights anyways over time!

Do you have any questions about Rennes? Feel free to ask or share your impressions in the comments!

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