When is the best time to fly to Nantes?
Summers in Nantes, June through September, are warm with temperatures reaching the mid-20s (Celsius) making it peak season for travellers to book flights to Nantes. Winters are mild, and temperatures range from about zero to 10 degrees. Spring through autumn are the most popular times to visit to avoid the summer crowds and when there is higher availability of cheap flights to Nantes. If you find yourself in Nantes during April, be sure to attend the city’s exciting Carnival which welcomes a week of fun, pleasure, parades, music, dancers and cultural awareness throughout the beautiful historic city centre. The hallmark of the event is the night carnival which kicks off on the last day and is a sea of colour, lights and marks into the early hours.
Another great time to book flights to Nantes is during the Christmas period when travellers can experience the largest Christmas Market in western France. It provides the perfect opportunity to get into the festive swing amongst the hundreds of wooden cottages, decorations, crafts, jewellery, candles and children’s activities on offer.
Nantes is France’s sixth-largest city and Brittany’s largest town. It’s known as a university haven, so many travellers on flights to Nantes are students. In fact, it was the town’s students who aptly named the busiest street in Nantes Rue de la Soif (street of thirst). The students in Nantes keep the city young and vibrant and add to the culture and energy of the city.
Nantes is built on the largest island in the Loire Valley's château country. The town welcomes travellers by boat, train and plane and it is one of France’s major seaport capitals. Visitors booking flights to Nantes enter a town oozing with knowledge thanks to its thousands of eager students and high-tech industries that provide economic stability for Nantes.
Getting around Nantes
To travel smartly within Nantes, buy yourself a “Pass Nantes,” which works on all public transport, including buses and trams. If you’re there for longer than a week, it’s probably worth buying a monthly tram pass. Validate your passes on the bus to avoid a fine.
You can also rent a bike from Velocampus, a local rental company, which includes a tyre pump, maps for trails, and tickets to place on illegally parked cars. And if that isn’t enough, there are also river ferries and taxis to help you get around.
Getting from the Airport to the City
When you land on your flight to Nantes the Nantes Atlantique Airport (NTE) is located 5 miles (8 km) southwest of the city and you’ll find a multitude of transport options. The city has a TGV station and the longest tram network in the country. An airport shuttle timed to accommodate incoming flights will drop you off at Gare SNCF Sud, the largest train station in the city and the best place to hop aboard a train. It’s only a two hour ride to Paris and four hours to Lyon.
Nantes insider information
- The town has ten parks. The Jardin des Plantes has 11,000 varieties in its botanic collections, and the Grand-Blottereau has agronomy greenhouses.
- The castle of the dukes of Brittany is where Anne de Bretagne was born in 1477 and where Henri IV signed the Edict of Nantes in 1598, which granted Protestants rights to their religion. The Gothic cathedral has the magnificent black-and-white marble tomb of Anne de Bretagne’s parents.
- Bouffay, the medieval quarter, is charming and beautiful. Some of its buildings date back to the 15th century.
- Nantes has several museums including one dedicated to Jules Verne, the science fiction author of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in 80 Days, who was born in Nantes. There is also the Natural History Museum, Dobree museum, Fine Arts Museum and Museum of printing.
- Rue Crebillon is Nantes’ fanciest shopping street. Pommeraye is the 19th-century shopping arcade. It houses elegant boutiques. For bargain-hunting, go to the Flea Market – place Viarme – on Saturday mornings. The Marche de Talensac is the town's biggest market.
- The Lieu Unique is the old LU biscuit factory. It is an arts and community centre, bar and restaurant.
- Close to Nantes are the Loire estuary and Atlantic Coast, the Nantes vineyard trail and Chateaux of the Loire.