|Brittany is a large and diverse region that’s probably too large for many tourists to cover successfully in the space of a week or two. Touring around the region is a great idea but it’s best to focus your attention on just a few of Brittany’s towns and cities rather than trying to see all of them as you’ll never do them justice. With so much to see and do it’s difficult to decide where to start and what to see, but here’s a guide to some of the most popular destinations within Brittany.
Nantes is one of the largest cities in Brittany and offers a coastal setting with many beautiful landmarks including the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, the Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne, and several churches. There are also museums here, and the beautiful Jardin des Plantes de Nantes.
Rennes is a smaller city though still large, and it’s the capital of the region of Brittany. The historic centre of Rennes has a good selection of old buildings, some from the medieval and Renaissance periods that are timber-framed are attractive if you enjoy historic architecture.
Saint-Malo is quite substantially smaller than the first two cities in Brittany, but this walled port city is definitely worth the visit. Saint-Malo is actually the most visited destination in Brittany and the walled city the most popular attraction here. The historic architecture here fills visitors with thoughts of times gone by while the town’s museum inside the chateau, gives more information.
Brest also allows visitors to experience some of Brittany’s history and culture in its architecture. The Tanguy Tower is one of the main landmarks here and it dates from medieval times. Today there’s a museum here that provides insight into the town’s history. The castle, Chateau de Brest, is the oldest monument in town and has a maritime museum inside. A far more modern attraction in Brest is the aquarium, Oceanopolis, where you can see the largest penguin exhibit in Europe.
Right in the far west of Brittany is the town of Quimper. This is a beautiful little town that is also well worth visiting and has a very Breton character, especially within the old town. The town is also famous for its winter festival.