Rennes

Rennes

In the heart of the land of King Arthur and the knights of the round table, Rennes has a long and fascinating history. As well as its historic city centre with traditional, colourful timber-framed houses, Rennes is a vibrant university city. With around 60,000 students, Rennes is particularly well-known for its nightlife.

As capital of Brittany, which was separate from the rest of France until 1534, the city saw the coronation of the Dukes of Brittany, at the Saint-Pierre Cathedral in Rennes. The palace of the Parliament of Brittany, built in the 17th century you can take a look around inside, where you'll find a collection of paintings.

Traditional fairs and markets abound: savour the sounds and smells at the market in the Place des Lices, where you can wander amongst over 300 stalls of local and regional produce. You're in the kingdom of the crepe, so don't miss the chance to taste a "galette" (buckwheat crepe) with butter, or with a million different savoury fillings. Also try the local speciality frigousse, a chicken dish cooked with chestnuts, apples and Breton cider.

The best of museums in Rennes could well be Les Champs Libres - Museum of Brittany, in a futurist building which also houses the Science Spaces and a unique Planetarium.

If you're with friends in Rennes, follow the student crowd down the legendary rue Saint-Michel, nicknamed the "rue de la Soif" or "road of thirst", for it is here you will the biggest concentration of bars and clubs in Rennes. Whet your whistle with the local tipple: chouchen is traditionally made from buckwheat honey, and is drunk as an aperitif.

In December Rennes hosts the Trans Musicales Festival, which brings together talented musicians from all over the world with a top notch pop/electro programme. For traditional style Breton festivities, get involved at a fest noz with traditional music and dancing. Rennes hosts Yaouank, in November, which is the biggest fest noz in Brittany.

If you plan to travel to Rennes, why not plan a few day trips, such as to picturesque Mont Saint Michel, an hour away, or Saint-Malo - a charming seaside resort. Just half an hour from Rennes you'll find the Forest of Brocéliande, which is full of celtic myths and legends. Children and adults alike will enjoy discovering the legends of the Druids, of Merlin, King Arthur and his knights.

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