Nantes

Should you rent a car in NantesFrance>Nantes

Do I need a car in Nantes? The French city of Nantes is one of those places where visitors come back pleasantly surprised about how much there is to see and do. There’s no doubt that the city itself is perfectly easy to get around using local trams and buses. You can also get around by hiring a bike. Yet for heading anywhere outside the city, public transport options start to wear thin, and a hire car really is a good idea. This is especially so for heading deep within Brittany, or for looking towards the east.

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  • A car is useful for anywhere around Nantes, as the area is very rural.
  • Public transport outside the city is not that good.
  • Drive across the impressive Pont de Saint Nazaire on the Loire’s Atlantic Coast.
  • Use Nantes as an alternative access point for the Loire valley. A hire car is your best bet for this.
  • If you are planning to stay in La Baule, then a car will certainly make sense – a one hour drive will take at least three by public transport.

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  • The city of Nantes has excellent public transport, including a modern tram network.
  • The city of Nantes is often overlooked – it’s worth spending a bit of time here, and no car is needed.
  • Nantes is very cycle friendly – good by French standards and outstanding by UK or American standards!
  • Fast connections to Tours and then onwards to Paris by TGV take just over 2 hours – with a dedicated fast line east of Tours.
  • Make a day trip to the Loire Valley chateaux by taking the train to Tours first – various options from there (see Tours page).

Nantes v Tours?

There are only a relatively limited number of flight options to nearby Tours. Tours is the main gateway to the châteaux of the Loire Valley. Hiring a car in Nantes also might make sense for heading in this direction. However, with a bit of planning, you can visit some of the most impressive castles using a hire bike from Tours. This is one way to beat the summer queues! You can also join guided Loire Valley coach tripsin Tours. These often tend to serve day trip visitors heading out by train from Paris.

So do you need a car in Nantes? It’s far from essential for a city break, but outside the city, transport options start to deteriorate quite rapidly. A city with good local public transport that’s great for commuters isn’t always the same as somewhere that’s great for tourists.

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Author: Carometer

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