France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Rennes, Brittany, France
The regional capital of Brittany has a long history and is today a vibrant center of commerce, education, and tourism.




Rennes has been an important city since Roman times. Although a fire in 1720 destroyed much of the city, there is still a charming old town, replete with half-timbered houses. The post-fire architecture, largely of stone, is also impressive.

Rennes lies at a crossroads—Mont St-Michel is only about an hour to the north, Dinan and St-Malo about the same distance north and a bit west. Quimper is due west, near the coast, and Carnac, Vannes, and Josselin are all less than two hours west.

Rennes itself has much to offer. Roam the old city and enjoy the architecture and narrow streets. Rennes has many elegant churches, from the large 19th century Cathédrale St-Pierre to the somewhat older Basilique St-Sauveur, to the Gothic St-Germain.

  Clock tower, Hotel de Ville, Rennes, France

Clock Tower,
Hôtel de Ville, Rennes.

As a center of government, Rennes is home to the Palace of the Parliament of Brittany, on the Place of the same name (in Breton, Plasen Breujoù Breizh). Although badly damaged in a fire in 1999, it has since been restored and can be visited.

The beautiful Hôtel de Ville and the Opéra/Theater are just down the street from the Plasen. The clock tower of the Hôtel de Ville is an impressive landmark.

As a city of over 200,000 inhabitants, Rennes boasts many hotels and restaurants. The lively Place Ste-Anne, surrounded by beautiful half-timbered houses, is a great place for a meal or a coffee. The rue St-Georges, just off the Plasen, also is home to many restaurants.

A bit off the beaten path to the northeast of the city center is the beautiful Parc du Thabor. Site of a former abbey, the gorgeous gardens and foundations provide a lovely place to stroll or sit.

Parc du Thabor, Rennes, France

The beautiful Thabor Gardens, Rennes.

With its central location and many services, Rennes is a great place to base a visit to Brittany.

Rennes Hotels

Rennes Restaurants

Rennes Transport

Tourist Information








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Leperdit Statue, Rennes, France

Above, Statue of Mayor Leperdit,
Place Ste-Anne, Rennes.

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