10 Best Things to Do in Nantes for Fantasy Worlds and Loire River Adventures


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Nantes, a city where history and imagination blend like colors on a canvas, invites you on an adventure that’s as enchanting as a fairy tale. Nestled by the Loire River, this city is a playground for those who love to dive into fantasy worlds and bask in the beauty of nature. It’s where mechanical elephants walk the streets and castles whisper the secrets of the past. Whether you’re paddling through serene rivers or exploring vibrant islands of art and culture, Nantes promises memories that stick with you, like pages from a storybook you wish you could step into.

Journey Aboard the Mechanical Elephant

Imagine riding a giant mechanical elephant through the streets of Nantes. This unique experience at Les Machines de l’île lets you see the city from a new perspective. The elephant, towering at 12 meters high, offers a whimsical ride, spraying water from its trunk and amusing onlookers. It’s a testament to Nantes’ innovative spirit and a must-do for anyone who loves a bit of fantasy in their travels.

Explore the Château des Ducs de Bretagne

The Château des Ducs de Bretagne stands as a majestic reminder of Nantes’ rich history. Walking through its robust walls and elegant courtyards takes you back to the times of dukes and battles. The castle now houses a museum dedicated to the city’s past, offering insights into its evolution. It’s a place where history comes alive, right in the heart of Nantes.

Wander Through the Jardin des Plantes

The Jardin des Plantes in Nantes is not just a garden; it’s a living gallery of floral artistry. Spanning over seven hectares, this botanical garden is home to thousands of plant species. Each corner tells a different story, from exotic greenhouses to enchanting landscape designs. It’s a peaceful retreat where nature and creativity flourish.


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Discover the Secrets of Les Machines de l’île

Les Machines de l’île is where the worlds of Leonardo da Vinci and Jules Verne collide. This artistic and cultural project brings to life incredible mechanical creatures that amaze and delight. From the giant elephant to the magical carousel, each piece is an engineering marvel that ignites the imagination. It’s a place where dreams are built with gears and imagination.

Paddle Along the Loire River

The Loire River offers a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Paddling down this majestic river, you’re treated to stunning landscapes and a peaceful ambience. It’s an opportunity to see Nantes from the water, discovering hidden gems along the banks. Whether you’re an experienced kayaker or trying it for the first time, it’s an adventure worth taking.

Step Into the Worlds of Jules Verne

Nantes is the birthplace of Jules Verne, and the city pays homage to its visionary writer. The Jules Verne Museum, perched on the Loire’s banks, takes you on a journey through his life and works. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a man whose imagination knew no bounds, inspiring you to dream beyond the horizon.

Visit the Unique Île de Versailles

The Île de Versailles, with its Japanese garden, is a slice of tranquility in Nantes. Once a shipyard, this island has been transformed into a peaceful haven. The carefully curated landscapes, water features, and traditional structures offer a moment of zen in the urban environment. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely walk or a quiet moment to yourself.

Marvel at the LU Tower

The LU Tower, once part of the Lefèvre-Utile biscuit factory, is now an iconic landmark in Nantes. This artistic beacon lights up the city’s skyline, offering stunning views and a glimpse into its industrial past. The tower and its surrounding complex host exhibitions and cultural events, making it a vibrant center of creativity and heritage.

Enjoy the Vibrancy of the Bouffay District

The Bouffay District is the heart and soul of Nantes’ social life. Its medieval streets are lined with eclectic shops, cozy cafes, and lively bars. The area’s historical charm mixed with its vibrant nightlife makes it a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike. It’s where you go to feel the pulse of the city, day or night.

Relive History at the Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery

The Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery in Nantes confronts a darker chapter of the city’s history. This powerful site along the Loire River honors the memory of those who suffered from the slave trade, in which Nantes played a significant role. Walking through the memorial is a moving experience, reminding us of the importance of remembering the past to build a better future.


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