Discover the Hidden Treasures of Rennes: A Guide to Little-Known Places to Visit in France


A city of rich history, picturesque architecture, and vibrant culture. Discover the off-the-beaten-path sights and attractions that make Rennes a hidden gem of France.

Rennes, France is a city located in the northwest of the country, known for its rich history, picturesque architecture, and vibrant culture. As the capital of the Brittany region, Rennes boasts a unique blend of traditional and modern influences, making it an ideal destination for travelers seeking a mix of old-world charm and contemporary excitement. Whether you are a history buff, a foodie, or simply looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure, Rennes has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll explore the top sights and little-known places in Rennes, France, and why you should add this city to your travel bucket list.

Sights in Rennes

Rennes is steeped in history and culture, with many stunning sights to explore. Here are just a few of the must-visit attractions in Rennes:

  1. Place des Lices

Place des Lices is one of the most famous and vibrant places in Rennes. It is located in the historic center of the city and is home to a bustling market that takes place every Saturday. Here, you can find fresh produce, local handicrafts, and delicious street food. It’s the perfect place to soak up the lively atmosphere and enjoy some authentic French cuisine.

  1. Parc du Thabor

Parc du Thabor is a lush green oasis in the heart of the city. This sprawling park is home to a wide variety of trees and flowers, as well as a small zoo and a stunning botanical garden. It’s the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll or have a picnic on a sunny day.

  1. Rennes Cathedral

The Rennes Cathedral is a stunning example of Gothic architecture and is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. This majestic cathedral dates back to the 11th century and boasts intricate stone carvings, stained-glass windows, and soaring arches. It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in history, architecture, or religious art.

  1. Château de Rennes

The Château de Rennes is a stunning castle that dates back to the 17th century. It was once the home of the Dukes of Brittany and now serves as the city hall. The castle boasts beautiful gardens, a grand staircase, and ornate decorations that are sure to impress.

Little Known Places in Rennes

While the above-mentioned sights are certainly worth a visit, there are also many hidden gems in Rennes that are often overlooked by tourists. Here are some of the little-known places in Rennes that you should add to your itinerary:

  1. Musée des Beaux-Arts

The Musée des Beaux-Arts is a must-visit for art lovers. This small museum houses a collection of French and European art from the 14th to the 20th century, including works by Monet, Rodin, and Courbet. The museum is located in a beautiful 18th-century mansion and is often overlooked by tourists, making it a quiet and peaceful place to explore.

  1. Les Champs Libres

Les Champs Libres is a cultural center that houses a library, museum, and planetarium. The building itself is an architectural marvel, with a striking glass facade that reflects the surrounding cityscape. Inside, you can explore exhibits on everything from art to science to technology.

  1. La Criée

La Criée is a contemporary art center that showcases cutting-edge art from around the world. The center hosts exhibitions, performances, and events throughout the year, and is a must-visit for anyone interested in contemporary art and culture.

  1. Les Tombées de la Nuit

Les Tombées de la Nuit is an annual festival that takes place in Rennes every summer. The festival showcases a wide range of music, theater, dance, and performance art, with events taking place in venues throughout the city. It’s a great way to experience the vibrant arts and culture scene in Rennes and to discover new and exciting artists.

  1. Les Halles Martenot

Les Halles Martenot is a covered market that dates back to the 19th century. Here, you can find a wide range of local produce, including fresh seafood, cheese, and vegetables. It’s a great place to sample some of the delicious regional cuisine and to pick up some souvenirs to take home.

Why You Should Visit Rennes

Rennes is a city that has something for everyone, from history buffs to foodies to art lovers. With its rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and vibrant arts scene, Rennes is a destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Here are just a few reasons why you should visit Rennes:

  1. Rich History and Culture

Rennes has a rich history that dates back to the Roman era, and the city is filled with stunning examples of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. From the majestic Rennes Cathedral to the grand Château de Rennes, there are countless sights to explore for anyone interested in history and culture.

  1. Vibrant Arts and Culture Scene

Rennes has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with a wide range of museums, galleries, and performance spaces. Whether you’re interested in contemporary art, theater, or music, there is something for everyone in Rennes.

  1. Delicious Cuisine

Brittany is known for its delicious cuisine, and Rennes is no exception. From fresh seafood to traditional crepes, there are plenty of local specialties to sample in Rennes. The city also has a lively street food scene, with plenty of vendors selling everything from falafel to Vietnamese banh mi.

  1. Natural Beauty

Rennes is surrounded by lush green countryside, with plenty of parks, gardens, and forests to explore. The Parc du Thabor is a stunning oasis in the heart of the city, while the nearby Brocéliande Forest is said to be the home of Merlin the Wizard.

  1. Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventure

While Paris and the French Riviera may be the most popular destinations in France, Rennes offers a more off-the-beaten-path adventure. With fewer crowds and a more laid-back atmosphere, Rennes is the perfect destination for travelers looking to get off the tourist trail and discover something new.


In conclusion, Rennes, France is a hidden gem that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. From its rich history and culture to its vibrant arts and culture scene, there is something for everyone in Rennes. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s stunning architecture, sampling its delicious cuisine, or discovering its hidden gems, Rennes is a destination that is sure to delight and surprise. So why not add Rennes to your travel itinerary and discover all that this unique and fascinating city has to offer?