Keeping your city green, neat and pollution-free is the civic responsibility of any government body. This holds true for Nantes, who held the title of European Green Capital in 2013 which was awarded by the European Commission. Nature lovers would consider the sixth largest city in France, housed on the picturesque Loire River, to truly be a paradise.
Nantes has always had a powerful historical connection with the adjoining region of Brittany. Be sure to visit the beautiful Castle of the Dukes of Brittany - a huge castle housed in the city of Nantes. It used to the residence of the Dukes of Brittany between the 13th and 16th centuries, and then eventually becoming the Breton home of the French Monarchy. Today, the castle is home to the Nantes History Museum. Some of the other museums worth visiting are: The Fine Arts Museum of Nantes, Jules Verne Museum and Natural History Museum of Nantes.
When it comes to religious shrines, be sure to spend some time at the Nantes Cathedral. This Gothic Roman Catholic Cathedral took around 457 years to finish. It was completed in 1891. Don't forget to head over to Basilica of St. Donatian and St. Rogatian It is Roman Catholic minor basilica in Nantes. The church was erected in the late 19th century and is devoted to saints Donatian and Rogatian.
One can stop over at the Brittany Tower which is a 37-story skyscraper, housed in down-town Nantes. Standing tall at a height of 144 meters, it is prominently displayed in the skyline of the city of Nantes and is renowned to be the third-tallest building in France outside of Paris. Head over to the terrace for it offers a complete 360-degree view on the metropolis and its surroundings. The stade de la Beaujoire is a stadium in Nantes, France. Football fanatics would love to be a spectator in this stadium and watch Nantes football club showcase their magic, their home ground.
Nature lovers would love to explore the Versailles island in Erdre for it is home to a Japanese-inspired tea garden. Kids would love spending some time at the Machines of the Isle of Nantes for it is an artistic, touristic and cultural project. This quirky attraction aspires to promote the city's image as a creative outlet of dream and fantasy. One instance is to sit on 45-tonne mechanical elephant and behave like a Maharajah or journey through dangerous oceans where one is attacked by a massive squid and giant prawns.
As for shopping, head over to Rue Jean Jaures, a district laden with antiques, knick-knacks and art. One will often find craftsmen displaying their wares as they walk around shops seeking treasures at bargain prices. For urban shopping, there are shopping complexes that are home to designer labels and international brands. Nantes is famous for being the birthplace of crepes. For a more savoury variant, sample the galettes de sarrasin (buckwheat crepes).
The stay options in Nantes are abundant. The richie-rich craves to be put up at the best luxury hotels and swanky apartments. At the same time, budget travellers and those who are light on the pocket can opt for cheap accommodations.
Nantes experiences oceanic climate. The best time to visit would be during September and October when the temperatures cool down and exhibits a pleasant weather.