If you’re looking for a weekend getaway from the frenzied atmosphere of Paris, look no further than the fascinating city of Rennes, only a 2-hour train ride away. Rennes captivates visitors by catering to people of all interests. For the foodies, indulge in the diverse selection of Rennes specialties from seafoods to buttery pastries. For art lovers and history buffs, simply roam the streets where contemporary artworks are interspersed between historic architectures, giving an intriguing display of old and new. I spent 2 weeks here this summer and absolutely loved it. Here are my recommendations on a perfect day in Rennes.
10 a.m Find Your Muse
Discover the history of Brittany through one of the most famous museums in France, Musée des beaux-arts de Rennes. Currently, most of the pieces displayed were seized from the home of Christophe-Paul de Robien, the former President of Parlement de Bretagne. Though the museum does offer a wide range of artworks- including a pretty good replica of the Mona Lisa– it’s most acclaimed piece is The Newborn Child by George de La Tour.
12 p.m March to the Marché
Every Saturday morning, Rennes hosts the second biggest market in France, which attracts approximately 10,000 visitors every week. The Marché des Lices offers 300 stalls of vegetables, meat, and flowers from local producers across Brittany. If you happen to stop by this bustling and charming market, be sure to grab a galette de saucisse, a Rennes specialty.
4 p.m Easy Shopping
It is easy to walk from place to place in Rennes and the view is always pleasant. Start at Rue de la République and enjoy shopping in wide, car-restricted streets located in the city center. Remember to stop by the conveniently located locally-owned patisseries or pastry stands along the street for some of the most memorable desserts you’ll ever have!
7 p.m Take the Scenic Route
If it is a nice day, the people of Rennes will gather at Parc du Thabor. This beautiful French style garden covers over 10 acres and is complete with a waterfall making it the perfect spot to enjoy the sunshine and live music with friends, or just a nice evening stroll. I like to set up a mini apéritif which often includes baguette, pâté, cheese, saucisson and cider.
8:30 p.m Galettes, Mussels, and Fries. Oh My!
Food lovers go to Sainte-Anne for dinner as the atmosphere is perfect to relax and enjoy a nice outdoor meal. My go-to is Creperie Sainte-Anne which features an extensive menu for every craving. I can’t get enough of the seafood galette (crêpe made with buckwheat flour) while my sister remains loyal to the mussels and fries. Be sure to leave room for desserts as they’re known for making excellent golden-brown crêpes. Try it and thank me later!
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Julia was born in Vietnam and has been in San Francisco for 12 years. She developed a love for different foods through her travels and enjoys sharing her knowledge of the best local and global eateries. In her free time, she likes to unwind at home with a book and some music.