Rennes, located in France, is known for its historical heritage and well-preserved architecture. The city features beautiful medieval buildings, charming timber-framed houses, and grand squares such as Place des Lices and Place de la Mairie.
This guide will help you decide where to stay in Rennes, what to do, where to go and where to eat and drink.
With a thriving cultural scene, numerous museums, art galleries, and theaters, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes houses an impressive collection of artwork.
While the Les Champs Libres complex offers exhibitions, libraries, and a planetarium, it additionally hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, including the famous Trans Musicales music festival.
The presence of numerous universities and higher education institutions contributes to a dynamic and youthful vibe. You can explore student-friendly neighborhoods, enjoy affordable dining options, and experience the energetic nightlife in areas like Rue Saint-Michel and Rue de la Soif.
Known for its green spaces and parks, The Parc du Thabor which is located near the city center, is a stunning park featuring beautiful flower gardens, a botanical garden, and picturesque pathways.
Renowned for its culinary delights, particularly its Breton cuisine. You can savor traditional dishes like galettes (savory buckwheat crepes) and seafood specialties.
|❤️ Best Area first timers||Rennes City Centre|
|💸 Best Luxury Hotel||Balthazar Hotel & Spa – MGallery by Sofitel|
|👪 Best Hotel for For Families||Castel Jolly|
|🏨 Best Mid-Range Hotel||Mama Shelter Rennes|
|🛏️ Best Budget Hotel||Appartement une chambre|
|✨ Best Hostel||Auberge de Jeunesse HI Rennes|
Rennes is the capital city of the Brittany region, making it an excellent base for exploring the surrounding area. From Rennes, you can easily access charming towns like Saint-Malo, Dinan, and Fougères, as well as the beautiful coastline and countryside of Brittany, all offering some of the best hotels in Rennes.
Rennes benefits from excellent transportation connections. The city has a well-developed public transportation system, including buses and a metro line, making it easy to navigate and explore. Additionally, Rennes has a TGV train station, providing convenient access to other major cities in France.
Here are 5 neighborhoods below we highly recommend checking out, depending on your travel preferences, each neighborhood has its own unique focal point with various accommodation options and we would love to share as much information as possible to help you make a final decision.
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Rennes City Centre – Where to stay in Rennes for tourists
Rennes City Centre offers a delightful blend of history, culture, cuisine, shopping, and natural beauty, making it the perfect neighborhood to check out as a first time traveler or general tourist.
It will provide a genuine outlook on the city itself, what it is all about and why it makes such a great and popular city.
The centre offers many hotels in Rennes near the train station, adding to its accessibility and making it the perfect place to find good accommodation in Rennes, France.
It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in the charm of a historic city while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere and modern amenities.
Featuring charming cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, and grand buildings, the feeling of stepping back in time is prominent and an amazing experience to have.
Why stay in Rennes City Centre?
Rennes City Centre is steeped in history, featuring a well-preserved medieval and Renaissance architectural heritage. The charming narrow streets, half-timbered houses, and historic buildings transport you back in time.
Places like the Place des Lices, Place de la Mairie, and the historic Portes Mordelaises are worth exploring to admire the city’s architectural beauty.
This beautiful area is a hub of cultural activities, boasting a thriving arts scene. The Les Champs Libres complex houses the Musée de Bretagne, displaying the history and culture of the Brittany region, as well as the contemporary art gallery and libraries.
Additionally, the city hosts various festivals, exhibitions, and live performances throughout the year, showcasing its artistic and creative side.
Place Sainte-Anne is a lively square in the heart of Rennes Historic Centre, surrounded by bars, cafes, and restaurants. The square is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with many popular bars and clubs located in the area.
Rennes is renowned for its food, and the city centre is a great place to indulge in delicious Breton cuisine. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the local markets like the Marché des Lices, one of the largest markets in France.
Rennes Centre offers a delightful shopping experience with its wide range of boutiques, designer stores, and charming shops. Rue de la Monnaie and Rue Le Bastard are popular streets for shopping and the Les Halles Centrales is a bustling indoor market with a variety of food vendors and specialty shops.
The Parc du Thabor, located near the city centre, is a stunning park with beautiful flower gardens, fountains, and a picturesque landscape. It’s an ideal place for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or simply unwinding amidst the tranquility of nature.
Rennes City Centre is compact and easily navigable, making it convenient for exploring on foot. The city is pedestrian-friendly, allowing you to wander through the streets, explore hidden alleys, and stumble upon charming squares and historic sites.
Additionally, the city has an efficient public transportation system, including buses and a metro line, which can take you to different parts of the city and its outskirts. Staying here is a great option, especially since this neighborhood offers some of the best hotels in Rennes.
Things to do in Rennes City Centre?
- The Rennes Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Pierre):
Admire the stunning Gothic architecture of the Rennes Cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century.
- The Parliament of Brittany (Parlement de Bretagne):
Take a walk to the Parliament of Brittany, an impressive building with a striking façade.
- Historic Streets:
Stroll through the charming historic streets of Rennes City Centre. Explore Rue Saint-Michel, Rue Saint-Guillaume, and Rue du Chapitre, where you’ll find picturesque half-timbered houses, boutique shops, and cafes.
- The Place des Lices:
Visit the lively Place des Lices, a large square that hosts the Marché des Lices, one of the largest outdoor markets in France. The market takes place every Saturday morning, offering a wide variety of fresh produce, local delicacies, and artisanal goods.
- Jardin du Thabor:
Take a break from the bustling city center and relax in the Jardin du Thabor. This beautiful public park features meticulously maintained flower gardens, fountains, a rose garden, and even a small zoo.
- The Les Champs Libres:
Explore the Les Champs Libres cultural complex, which houses the Musée de Bretagne (Brittany Museum), the Espace des Sciences (Science Museum), and the Bibliothèque de Rennes Métropole (Metropolitan Library). Discover exhibitions on regional history, science, and culture, or simply enjoy the contemporary architecture of the building.
- The Food:
Rennes City Centre offers a wide range of culinary experiences. Explore the local restaurants, creperies, and cafes to sample Breton cuisine, including galettes, seafood, cider, and traditional desserts like kouign-amann. Don’t forget to try the local specialty, “galette-saucisse.”
Best places to stay in Rennes City Centre
Budget accommodation in Rennes City Centre
Mid range accommodation in Rennes City Centre
Family Friendly accommodation in Rennes City Centre
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Rennes City Centre
Thabor – Saint Hélier – Where to stay in Rennes with family
You plan to travel with the family and require a specific spot that can house various activities for not only the adults, but also for youngsters of all ages.
There is no surprise that traveling with children can become a struggle and keeping their attention activated is important to keep the peace and the whole trip peaceful. This is why we suggest this particular neighborhood for that exact reason. Here’s why;
Visiting Thabor and Saint-Hélier with your family offers a perfect blend of nature, relaxation, and opportunities for outdoor activities. It’s a great way to spend quality time together while enjoying the beauty of the park and the charming neighborhood.
Thanks to this area being so park orientated, there are multiple activities and places to visit with your family, making this the perfect spot for your holiday.
Why stay in Thabor – Saint Hélier?
Thabor is a large public park that offers a tranquil and scenic setting for families to enjoy. The park features meticulously maintained gardens, including flower beds, rose gardens, and lush green spaces.
Children will especially love the playgrounds, which offer various play structures and areas to run around. Thabor provides ample space for families to have a picnic and relax. You can bring a blanket, some snacks, and enjoy a leisurely afternoon surrounded by nature.
Thabor is home to a small zoo, the Jardin Zoologique du Thabor, which showcases a variety of animals, including birds, goats, ducks, and peacocks. The Thabor park is located in the Saint-Hélier neighborhood, which is worth exploring in itself.
This residential area features charming streets, beautiful houses, and a calm atmosphere. It provides a pleasant backdrop for a leisurely walk with your family.
Thabor and Saint-Hélier are conveniently located near Rennes City Centre. After spending time in the park, you can easily explore the city center and its attractions, such as the Rennes Cathedral, the Parliament of Brittany, and the historic streets. It allows for a well-rounded experience, combining nature and urban exploration.
Things to do in Thabor – Saint Hélier?
- Thabor Gardens:
The Thabor Gardens are the main attraction in this area. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and take in the sights and scents of the various plants and flowers.
- The Jardin Zoologique du Thabor:
Within the Thabor Gardens, you’ll find a small zoo known as the Jardin Zoologique du Thabor. It’s a great place to visit with family, especially children, as they can observe a variety of animals, including birds, goats, ducks, and peacocks.
- Enjoy a Picnic:
Thabor offers plenty of space for picnicking. Pack a picnic basket with your favorite snacks and find a scenic spot to relax and enjoy a meal surrounded by nature.
- Rent a Boat:
During the summer months, you can rent paddle boats at the small pond in Thabor. It’s a fun activity for the whole family, allowing you to navigate the water and enjoy a unique perspective of the park. Kids will particularly enjoy this experience.
Thabor has playgrounds for children to enjoy. Let your kids burn off some energy by exploring the play structures, climbing frames, and swings.
Best places to stay in Thabor – Saint Hélier
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Thabor – Saint Hélier
Budget accommodation in Thabor – Saint Hélier
- Le Thabor – Studio confortable
- Odorico – rénové – 1 chambre – proche gareT
- errasse des Loges
Mid range accommodation in Thabor – Saint Hélier
- LIK APPARTS Thabor
- L’Eden – Appartement familial au pied du Thabor
- ARNEM – cosy T3
- L’escapade – Centre Ville – Parking – Balcon
Family Friendly accommodation in Thabor – Saint Hélier
Quartier Saint-Martin – Where to stay in Rennes on a budget
Like many tourists, traveling becomes expensive and it’s important to do your research thoroughly before embarking on your next adventure.
Certain spots are more expensive than others, whilst there are areas in the city we would highly recommend that conform more to your traveling style.
By visiting Quartier Saint-Martin, you can experience the local atmosphere, enjoy affordable dining options, and explore the neighborhood’s artistic and cultural offerings without breaking the bank.
It’s an opportunity to discover a vibrant part of Rennes while keeping your travel expenses in check.
The neighborhood offers a mix of cultural, culinary, and outdoor experiences that allow you to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere of Rennes.
Take your time to explore the area, discover hidden gems, and enjoy the unique character of Quartier Saint-Martin.
Why stay in Quartier Saint-Martin?
Quartier Saint-Martin offers a range of budget-friendly accommodation options, including hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels.
Staying in this area can be more cost-effective compared to other central neighborhoods, allowing you to save money on your accommodation expenses. It’s known for its local markets and small shops, which often offer affordable prices.
Visit the Marché des Lices, one of the largest outdoor markets in France, to find fresh produce, regional specialties, and budget-friendly food items.
Quartier Saint-Martin is characterized by its vibrant street art scene. It’s a free and visually stimulating activity that allows you to appreciate art without spending money.
Parc Oberthur is a peaceful park offering a green oasis where you can relax, have a picnic, or enjoy a leisurely walk.
Quartier Saint-Martin has a variety of affordable dining options, such as small cafes, bakeries, and casual restaurants.
You can enjoy a delicious meal without breaking the bank by trying local specialties, street food, or opting for affordable set menus. Quartier Saint-Martin is compact and easily walkable.
Consider taking self-guided walking tours to discover the neighborhood’s hidden gems, architectural highlights, and cultural landmarks.
Many travel websites and apps provide free or low-cost self-guided tour itineraries, enabling you to explore the area at your own pace.
Things to do in Quartier Saint-Martin?
- The Marché des Lices:
Is one of the largest outdoor markets in France and a must-visit attraction in Quartier Saint-Martin. Explore the market on Saturday mornings to experience the bustling atmosphere, browse through stalls selling fresh produce, local delicacies, flowers, and more.
- Discover Street Art:
Quartier Saint-Martin is known for its vibrant street art scene. Take a walk through the neighborhood and admire the colorful and creative murals adorning the walls. Rue Saint-Martin, Rue des Fossés, and Rue de l’Alma are particularly known for their street art displays. Keep your eyes open and enjoy the urban artwork as you explore the area.
- Explore Saint-Martin Church:
Located in Quartier Saint-Martin, is a historical and architectural gem worth visiting. Marvel at the beautiful stained glass windows, intricate sculptures, and the serene atmosphere of this Gothic-style church.
- Parc Oberthur:
Is a charming park located in Quartier Saint-Martin. It offers a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle, with its lush green spaces, trees, and flowerbeds. Take a leisurely stroll, find a bench to sit and relax, or bring a picnic to enjoy in this tranquil oasis.
- Sainte-Thérèse Church:
This Church is another notable religious site in Quartier Saint-Martin. Admire the architectural beauty of this neo-Gothic church and explore its interior, featuring stunning stained glass windows and ornate decorations. It’s a peaceful place to reflect and appreciate the religious heritage of the neighborhood.
- Local Cuisine:
Quartier Saint-Martin offers a range of dining options where you can savor local flavors. Explore the neighborhood’s cafes, bakeries, and restaurants to try regional specialties, including galettes (savory buckwheat pancakes), seafood dishes, and Breton pastries. You can enjoy a delicious meal while immersing yourself in the local gastronomy.
- The Rue de Saint-Malo:
Rue de Saint-Malo is a picturesque street in Quartier Saint-Martin that’s worth exploring. Admire the charming architecture, colorful facades, and small shops along the way. It’s a great spot for a leisurely stroll, window shopping, and soaking up the neighborhood’s ambiance.
Best places to stay in Quartier Saint-Martin
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Quartier Saint-Martin
Budget accommodation in Quartier Saint-Martin
- Résidence Odalys Rennes Sainte Anne
- studio, métro anatole france, proche gare, CHU
- Appartement une chambre
- L’Essentiel, studio cosy, quartier Anatole France, CHU
Mid range accommodation in Quartier Saint-Martin
Family Friendly accommodation in Quartier Saint-Martin
Quartier Bréquigny – Where to stay in Rennes like a local
If you want to experience living like a local in Rennes, understanding their customs, learning their language or dialect, eating their daily diet and making local friends, then staying in Quartier Bréquigny can offer an authentic and immersive experience.
That will help you with just that. With everything it has to offer, you won’t go wrong with this cultural area and you will be walking away feeling like you’re a part of the community.
By staying in this neighborhood, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the daily life, culture, and community spirit of Rennes.
Whether it’s exploring local markets, enjoying neighborhood parks, or dining at local establishments, you can truly live like a local and immerse yourself in the authentic atmosphere of Quartier Bréquigny.
Why stay in Quartier Bréquigny?
Quartier Bréquigny is primarily a residential area, offering a glimpse into the daily lives of local residents. By staying in this neighborhood, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local community, observe their routines, and get a sense of the authentic Rennes lifestyle.
It has a vibrant local market scene, where you can find fresh produce, regional products, and everyday essentials. Exploring these markets, such as the Marché de Bréquigny, allows you to interact with local vendors, discover local flavors, and shop like a local resident.
Quartier Bréquigny is home to several parks and green spaces, offering opportunities for relaxation and outdoor activities. Parc de Bréquigny is a popular park in the neighborhood, providing walking paths, sports facilities, and picnic areas.
This particular area offers hotels in Rennes with parking and extra benefits, also offering a range of local restaurants and cafés that cater to the needs and tastes of the neighborhood’s residents.
Dining in these establishments allows you to savor authentic local cuisine, engage with the locals, and experience the neighborhood’s culinary scene beyond the tourist areas.
Home to cultural centers and event venues that host various activities and events throughout the year. These include concerts, theater performances, exhibitions, and community gatherings. Attending these events provides an opportunity to experience local arts, culture, and community engagement.
By staying in this neighborhood, you can easily navigate and utilize these services, giving you a genuine experience of living like a local resident.
Offering convenient access to local amenities such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and neighborhood shops. In addition, Quartier Bréquigny is well-connected to the rest of Rennes via public transportation, including bus and metro lines.
This allows you to easily explore other parts of the city while enjoying the comfort and convenience of a local neighborhood as your home base.
Things to do in Quartier Bréquigny?
- The Parc de Bréquigny:
This is a spacious park that provides ample green space for relaxation and outdoor activities. The park also features a lake, playgrounds, and sports facilities, making it an ideal place for families and outdoor enthusiasts.
- Marché de Bréquigny:
The Marché de Bréquigny is a local market that takes place on Saturdays. Stroll through the market stalls and discover fresh produce, regional products, artisanal goods, and more. It’s a great opportunity to experience the local flavors, interact with vendors, and pick up some ingredients for a picnic or a home-cooked meal.
- Local Cuisine:
Quartier Bréquigny offers a range of local restaurants, cafes, and bakeries where you can sample authentic French and Breton cuisine. Explore the neighborhood’s dining scene and savor dishes like galettes (savoury buckwheat pancakes), seafood specialties, and traditional pastries. Be sure to try a local cider or Breton beer to complement your meal.
- The Maison Bleue:
Is a historic house located in Quartier Bréquigny, known for its distinct blue façade. It is a cultural center that hosts exhibitions, concerts, theater performances, and other events.
- Cultural Events:
Quartier Bréquigny is known for its community spirit and vibrant cultural scene. Keep an eye out for local events, festivals, and performances happening in the neighborhood. These could include concerts, art exhibitions, theater productions, or community gatherings. Check local listings or ask at the Maison Bleue for upcoming events.
Best places to stay in Quartier Bréquigny
Budget accommodation in Quartier Bréquigny
- Ker Karantez
- Chez Jade – Spa, Gare et centre ville
- Rennes Appartement design 50’s
- Bulle Zen Rennes Homey Home’s
Mid range accommodation in Quartier Bréquigny
- KastellRen – Maison d’hôtes
- Best Western Plus Hôtel Isidore
- Hotel l’Ortega Rennes Aeroport
- LES ASTURIES – Appartement rénové – Cosymoderne
Family Friendly accommodation in Quartier Bréquigny
- Novotel Rennes Alma
- Campanile Rennes Sud – Saint Jacques
- L’olympique – Centre ville & Complexe sportif
- Très Belle Maison Rennes
Airport Rennes Bretagne – Where to stay in Rennes near the airport
It’s worth considering that staying near the airport may mean being farther away from the city center and some tourist attractions. However, staying near Rennes Bretagne Airport can be a practical choice for your visit to Rennes if you are there due to business or you’re in the process of a long layover.
Even though this place doesn’t quite fit its picturesque counterparts in the surrounding area, it still offers things to do and places to see, with great transportation connections and nature activities. It also gives you the space to relax before your next departure ad figure out your next move.
Why stay in Airport Rennes Bretagne?
The airport area is well-developed with modern infrastructure, including well-maintained roads, parking facilities, and transportation connections. The building itself has undergone renovations and expansions to provide a comfortable experience for travelers.
Often attracting business-related establishments and facilities, including office spaces, conference centers, and exhibition halls. It caters to business travelers attending meetings, conferences, or trade shows in the vicinity.
The airport is typically well-connected to major roads, highways, and public transportation networks, making it easy to access both the airport and other parts of the city or surrounding areas.
You won’t struggle finding accommodation in Rennes if the main reason is for business or passing through to your next destination.
In close proximity to the airport, you can find commercial and retail facilities to meet travelers’ needs. These can include shopping centers, convenience stores, and restaurants. They provide a range of options for dining, shopping, and purchasing travel essentials.
There are numerous hotels and accommodations available nearby and these hotels cater to different budgets and offer convenient lodging options for travelers who need to be close to the airport.
While the immediate vicinity of the airport may be more commercial or industrial in nature, there are often residential areas nearby as well. These residential neighborhoods can provide a quieter and more residential ambiance, away from the airport’s busier areas.
Things to do in Airport Rennes Bretagne?
- Aviation Enthusiasts:
If you have a passion for aviation, spending some time at the airport can be interesting. You can observe the planes taking off and landing, visit the observation deck if available, and explore any aviation-related exhibitions or displays in the terminal.
- Nearby Parks:
There are several parks and green spaces located within a short distance from the airport. For example, Parc des Gayeulles is a large park with walking trails, sports facilities, and picnic areas. It’s a nice place to relax, enjoy nature, or engage in outdoor activities.
- Local Cuisine:
While there may not be many dining options directly at the airport, you can venture into nearby neighborhoods to sample local cuisine. Look for restaurants or cafes that offer traditional Breton dishes or regional specialties.
- Nearby Towns and Attractions:
Rennes Bretagne Airport provides easy access to nearby towns and attractions in Brittany. If you have some extra time, consider taking a day trip to places like Rennes city center, Saint-Malo, Mont Saint-Michel, or the Brocéliande Forest. These destinations offer historical sites, stunning landscapes, and cultural experiences.
If you enjoy shopping, there may be retail centers or outlets near the airport where you can find a variety of stores and brands. Check for shopping malls or commercial areas within a short distance from the airport to satisfy your shopping desires.
- Relax and Recharge:
Airports can be busy and hectic places, so take some time to relax and recharge. Find a quiet corner, enjoy a cup of coffee or a snack, read a book, or catch up on some work using the airport’s Wi-Fi. However, it’s crucial to bear in mind to activate a VPN when utilizing public networks to enhance your security. This reduces the risk of being hacked or having your personal information stolen.
Top 3 favorites accommodation options for Rennes Bretagne Airport
- Budget: B&B HOTEL Rennes Parc Expo Aéroport
- Mid- Range: Brit Hotel Ker Lann Aeroport
- Family: Appartement avec terrasse proche de Rennes
Best places to stay in Rennes Bretagne Airport
Budget accommodation in Rennes Bretagne Airport
Mid range accommodation in Rennes Bretagne Airport
Family Friendly accommodation in Rennes Bretagne Airport
- Appartement avec terrasse proche de Rennes
- La Terrasse du Sud/ Rennes / Parc expo / Aéroport /6 pers.
Added Extra: Areas to Avoid in Rennes
Rennes is generally a safe city, and violent crime rates are relatively low. However, as with any city, there may be certain areas or situations that require extra caution.
The southern neighborhoods of Rennes, such as Villejean and Le Blosne, have had a reputation for higher crime rates in the past. While efforts have been made to improve safety and social conditions in these areas, it is still advisable to exercise caution, especially at night, and avoid walking alone in poorly lit or isolated areas.
The area around the Rennes train station (Gare de Rennes) can be busy and attract a mix of people, along with the area around Pont Saint-Martin, especially at night, can be known for attracting a rowdier crowd. It is advisable to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings if you find yourself in this area, particularly during late hours.
During major events or festivals, such as the Trans Musicales or the Fête de la Musique, large crowds gather in the city center. While these events are generally safe, it’s important to keep an eye on your belongings and be mindful of pickpockets in crowded areas.
With appropriate awareness and taking common-sense precautions, you can still enjoy exploring different parts of Rennes without major concerns. It’s always a good idea to stay updated on current safety information and follow any local advice or guidelines during your visit.
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