5 good reasons to go to Rennes
To see / do
Culture and history
The Saint Pierre cathedral towers over the Rue de la Monnaie. Built in the 16th century and practically rebuilt in the 19th century, this is a stunning example of classical architecture, with marble, gilding, columns and paintings decorating the inside of the nave and choir. Two streets away lies the more understated Saint Salvator basilica.
On the Place de la Mairie
The town centre is home to a breath-taking square: the Place de la Mairie. The square's two main buildings are the clock tower and opera house that flank the town hall, highly originally because of their shape: if you were to stick these 18th-century buildings together, they would slot perfectly into one another, like two jigsaw pieces.
An ode to science, art and history
The Champs Libres cultural centre is astonishingly modern in style. A library, science hub, planetarium, conference rooms and exhibition halls combine to make this a landmark venue on the Rennes scene and skyline. The Champs Libres is also home to the Musée de Bretagne.
A trip to the market
The Place des Lices square is home to two brick and cast iron market halls. These Martenot pavilions are given over to the Saturday morning market. This is France's second biggest market, drawing in hundreds of farmers and craftsmen. Pick up salted butter caramel, kouign amman, cured meat, cheeses, and more for a tasty morning out.
Grab a drink at the Mail François Mitterrand
The Mail François Mitterand was renovated and is now one of the city's most buzzing neighbourhoods. Its bars and restaurants attract locals in their droves come the weekend, and when summer arrives, the avenue is transformed into a huge playing field for games of palets bretons.
Galette-saucisse: snacking like a Breton
"Galette-saucisse, je t’aime": that's how the chant sung by Rennes football supporters starts. Sausage galette (a Breton crepe made with buckwheat flour) is the city's iconic dish. Preferably made with buttermilk and stuffed with a nice thick sausage, you'll find them everywhere you look here, and the delicacy is perfect for eating on the go during events.
Parlementin, Rennes' queen of desserts
Parlementin is a little cake loved by locals of all ages. Made from apple, cider and almonds, the cake was first invented in 1999 by the city's pastry chefs who wanted to create a 100% Rennes-inspired dessert. And it proved to be a hit, with the cake now made and sold in several cake shops around town.
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