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Coordinates: 48°06′53″N 1°40′46″W / 48.114722°N 1.679444°W / 48.114722; -1.679444

Commune of Rennes

Flag of {{{common_name}}}
Coat of arms of {{{common_name}}}
Historical flag of the province of Rennes City coat of arms
Parlement de Bretagne-2006.jpg
Parlement of Brittany
Rennes is located in France
Country France
Region Bretagne
Department Ille-et-Vilaine
Arrondissement Rennes
Canton Chief town of 11 cantons
Intercommunality Rennes Métropole
Mayor Daniel Delaveau (PS)
Elevation 20–74 m (66–240 ft)
(avg. 30 m/98 ft)
Land area1 50.39 km2 (19.46 sq mi)
Population2 206,229  (1999)
 - Density 4,093 /km2 (10,600 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 35238/ 35000, 35200, 35700
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Rennes (French: Rennes, Gallo: Resnn, Breton: Roazhon, Latin: Condate, Condate Riedonum) is a city in the east of Brittany in north-western France. Rennes is the capital of the region of Brittany, as well as the Ille-et-Vilaine department.



Rennes is divided into 11 cantons:

Since the 2008 cantonal elections, all eleven cantons are held by Socialists or their allies. The right held Rennes-Nord-Ouest until 2008.


The current mayor of Rennes is Daniel Delaveau, a member of the Socialist Party who replaced retiring Socialist incumbent Edmond Hervé, in office since 1977 in 2008.

The mairie (city hall) is right in the centre of Rennes.


The ancient centre of the town is built on a hill, with the north side being more elevated than the south side. It is at the confluence of two rivers: the Ille and the Vilaine.


Population of the city (commune) of Rennes at the 1999 census was 206,229 inhabitants (209,100 inhabitants as of February 2004 estimates). Inhabitants of Rennes are called Rennais. Rennes have the 3rd fastest growing Metropolitan area in France. Population of the metropolitan area at the 1999 census was 521,188 inhabitants, and 588,684 inhabitants as of 2007 estimate.

1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
30,160 25,904 29,225 29,589 27,340 35,552 37,895 39,218 39,505
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
45,664 45,483 48,283 52,044 57,177 60,974 66,139 69,232 69,937
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
74,676 75,640 79,372 82,241 83,418 88,659 98,538 113,781 124,122
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2005 - -
151,948 180,943 198,305 194,656 197,536 206,229 210,500 - -
Starting in 1962: Population with duplicates - Sources : Cassini[1] et INSEE[2]

Main sights

Rennes is classified as a city of art and history.

Historic Centre

Some medieval and Rennaissance houses, such as these at Champ-Jacquet, can still be found in the center of Rennes.
Rue St. Michel, populary called Rue de La Soif
Place des Lices with the roof top of Les Halles Martenot seen in the background.
Marché des Lices, a market on weekly basis for local producers at Place des Lices

The Parlement de Bretagne (Parliament of Brittany, Breujoù Breizh) is arguably the most famous 17th century building in Rennes. It was rebuilt after a terrible fire in 1994 caused by a flare launched by a protester during a demonstration. It houses the Rennes Court of Appeals.

Basilica Saint-Sauveur is also located in the historical center.

Colourful traditional timber framed houses are situated primarily along the roads of Saint-Sauveur, Saint-Georges, de Saint-Malo, Saint-Guillaume, des Dames, du Chapitre, Vasselot, Saint-Michel, de la Psallette and around the plazas of Champ-Jacquet, des Lices, Saint-Anne and Rallier-du-Baty.

There are 16th century polychromatic wooden busts in the façade of 20, Rue du Chapitre.

  • Place des Lices and surrounding area
    • Les Halles Martenot of the 19th century, built between 1868 and 1871 by Jean-Baptiste Martenot, host the market on Saturday mornings (the third largest market in France).
    • The Mordelaises Gate (Portes Mordelaises), chatelet with two towers and a drawbridge
    • The remaining fortifications of the 3rd century
    • The Jehan Duchesne tower of the 15th century, on rue Nantaise
    • The fifteenth century ramparts east of the Gallo-Roman fortifications, in place Rallier-du-Baty.
  • The former St. Yves chapel, now the tourism office and a museum about historical Rennes development.
  • Place Saint-Anne (Plasenn Santez-Anna)
    • Saint-Aubin Church
    • Location of a former 14th century hospital
    • Jacobite convent
  • La rue Saint-Michel nicknamed Rue de La Soif (Road of Thirst) because there are bars all along this street.
  • Area from Saint-Melaine to Place Saint-Melaine
    • Notre-Dame-en-Saint-Melaine basilica,
      • tower and transept from the eleventh century Benedictine abbey of Saint-Melaine
      • 14th century Gothic arcades
      • 17th century columnar façade
      • bell tower topped with a gilded Virgin Mary (19th century)
      • 17th century cloister
    • Magnificent park, The Parc Thabor, (formal French garden, orangerie, rose garden, aviary), on 10 hectares of land, built between 1860 and 1867. Contains the Jardin botanique du Thabor, a botanical garden.
    • The seventeenth century promenade "la Motte à Madame", and a monumental stair overlooking the rue de Paris entrance to the Thabor.
  • Rue Saint-Georges and rue Gambetta
    • 1920s Saint George Municipal Pool, with mosaics
    • Saint George Palace, and its garden
  • Place de la Mairie (City Hall Plaza, Plasenn Ti Kêr)
    • City Hall
    • Opera
  • Place du Vau-Saint-Germain
    • Saint-Germain Church
    • Saint-Germain footbridge, 20th century wood and metal construction to link the plaza with Émile Zola Quay, across the Vilaine River.
  • Place du Champ-Jacquet

South of the Vilaine

The Ouest-France building

The Fine Arts Museum is situated on Quai Émile Zola (Émile Zola Quay), by the Vilaine River.

Les Champs Libres is a building on Esplanade Charles de Gaulle designed by the architect Christian de Portzamparc that houses the Brittany Museum (Musée de Bretagne), regional library Bibliothèque de Rennes Métropole on six levels and a Espace des Sciences science centre with a planetarium.

At Place Honoré Commeurec is Les Halles Centrales, a covered market of 1922, with a part converted into contemporary art gallery.

Mercure Hotel is located in a restored building on rue du Pré-Botté, which was the prior location of Ouest-Éclair, and then of Ouest-France, a premier daily regional newspaper.

There are large mills at Rue Duhamel, constructed on each side of the south branch of the Vilaine in 1895 and 1902.

Other sights

To the North-west of Rennes, near rue de Saint-Malo are the locks of the canal d'Ille-et-Rance of 1843.

There are two halls of the printer, Oberthür, built by Marthenot between 1870 and 1895 on Rue de Paris in the eastern part of the city. Oberthür Park is the second biggest garden in the city.

The 17th century manor of Haute-Chalais, a granite chateau, is situated to the south of the city in Blosne Quarter (Bréquigny).


Rennes is the capital of the région of Brittany, in France, the seat of the 'préfecture de région' and of the 'conseil régional'. It has a long history due to its location at the confluence of two rivers.

The eastern Armorican people of Redones founded Condate— an ancient Celtic word meaning confluent— at the confluence of the Ille and Vilaine rivers and made it the capital of a territory that extended to the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel. The name of the city of Redon also reflects that of the Redones. Early in the 1st century BCE, they adopted the Greek and Roman practice of issuing coinage,[3] adapting the widely-imitated gold staters of Philip II of Macedon, in the characteristic Celtic coin metal alloy called billion. Without inscriptions, as the Celtic practice was, the Redones coinage features a charioteer whose pony has a human head. Large hoards of their coins were unearthed in the "treasure of Amanlis" found in June 1835 and that of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande, discovered in February 1941. The Museum at Rennes contains a large representative collection.

They joined the Gaulish coalition against Rome in 57 BC, which was suppressed by Crassus. The following year, Roman emissaries were held hostage by the Redones, which obliged Julius Caesar to intervene in Armorica and suppress the rebels, and the following year to cross the Channel to discourage further support of the Redones by the Britons. In 52 the Redones responded to the call of Vercingetorix to furnish a large contingent of warriors[4]

Roman era

Remains of the Gallo-Roman City wall

In the Roman era, Condate became Condate Riedonum, capital of Civitas Riedonum.

The oldest known rennais is Titus Flavius Postuminus, known to us from his steles found in Rennes in 1969. As indicated by his name, he would have been born under the Flavian dynasty, under the reign of Titus, i.e. between 79 and 81 AD. One of the steles tell us, in Latin, that he took charge over all the public affairs in the Civitas Riedonum. He was twice duumvir and flamen for life for Mars Mullo.

During the Roman era, the strategic position of the town contributed to its importance. To the west the principal Roman route, via Osismii stretched from Condate to Vorgium (modern Carhaix).

In the year 275, the threat of barbarians led to the erection of a robust brick wall around Rennes. Rennes became known as the "red town".

Threatened by the danger of peasant marauders called bagaudae at the end of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, the Armorican peninsula, including Brittany and therefore Rennes, made up the last of the stronghold of the western Roman Empire. The invincible Armorican Romans held their ground against Clovis I, who occupied most of Alamans, then the Visigoths. Melaine, the bishop of Rennes, played an important role in the peace treaty between the Franks and the Armoricans in the year 497. He famously declared "Il faut faire la paix entre chrétiens" ("Peace must be made between Christians").

Middle Ages

The Mordelaises Ports, built in 1440, served as the principal entries to the town during the Middle Ages

Starting in the fifth century, Bretons occupied the western part of the Armorican peninsula, which started to be called little Britain, and then Brittany, while the Franks took the rest of Armorica. To contain the expansion and avoid Breton incursions, the Carolingians instituted a Breton march, composed of the counties of Rennes, Nantes, and Vannes.

These marches were entirely absorbed by the Breton Kingdom in the ninth century, and Rennes became Breton in 851. Rennes would later become the capital of Ducal Brittany.

During the Breton War of Succession, in 1356 and 1357, the city was laid siege to by Henry of Grosmont, the Duke of Lancaster, cousin of the English king, but Bertrand du Guesclin slipped into the city and took over the resistance, which would ultimately be victorious. After nearly a year, Lancaster renounced the English siege in 1357.

In 1491, it was the French army of Charles VIII, led by his general, La Trémoïlle, that unsuccessfully attacked Rennes. Brittany having already capitulated elsewhere, Rennes alone still resisted. The defenders of Rennes were determined to resist to the death, but the Duchess Anne of Brittany chose instead to negotiate. By her marriage to Charles VIII, she made Brittany a part of France. Anne jealously guarded Brittany's autonomy, but the duchy was eventually fully merged with the French crown by her daughter Claude of France.

Modern era

Entry to the fish market at Les Halles Centrales, south of La Vilaine, from 1922
The Republic Square with the Commerce Palace from 1922

In 1857 the Rennes train station was built, which gradually led to the southward sprawl of the town. In 1899 Alfred Dreyfus' trial in Rennes caused a national commotion.

During World War II Rennes suffered heavy damage from just three German airplanes which hit an ammunition train parked alongside French and English troop trains and near a refugee train on the yard: 1,000 died. The next day, 18 June 1940, German troops entered the city. Later, Rennes endured heavy bombings from the US and British Air Forces in March and May 1943, and again in June 1944, causing thousands of deaths. Patton's army freed the capital of Brittany on August 4, as retreating German troops blew the bridges behind them, adding further damage. About 50,000 German prisoners were kept in four camps, in a city of only about 100,000 inhabitants at the time.

From 1954 onwards the city developed extensive building plans to accommodate upwards of 220,000 inhabitants[5], helping it become the third fastest-growing city in France, after Toulouse and Montpellier (1999 census).


Local industries include car manufacturing and telecommunications. PSA Peugeot Citroën, currently the largest employer of the population of Rennes, opened a manufacturing plant at Rennes La Janais in 1961. Thomson employs over 1,000, and France Telecom R&D over 1,200.

In few years, Rennes became one of the main centers in high tech industry.[citation needed] Rennes is one of first Technopoles in France that were established in an effort to stimulate the economies of regions other than Paris during the Aménagement du territoire.

Rennes is one of biggest concentration of ITC firms in France (with well-known companies like Orange France Telecom, thomson R&D, Canon, Mitsubishi, Alcatel-Lucent, Thales or Logica), and the 3rd innovation potential in agrofood french industry.


The Bandshell in the Thabor Parc
The Fine Arts Museum, Musée des Beaux Arts

Rennes invests heavily in arts and culture and a number of its festivals (such as the music festival Les Transmusicales, les Tombées de la Nuit and Travelling (a cinematic festival)) are well known throughout France. Rennes was one of the first towns in France to have its own television channel 'TV Rennes', created in 1987. In Rennes is the only Institut Franco-Américain in France. There are 4 museums in Rennes:

  • Musée des Beaux Arts (Fine Arts Museum).
  • Musée de Bretagne (Museum of Brittany) at the Champs Libres, together with le 'espace of sciences' and a planetarium.
  • Museum of Farming and Rennes Countryside at la Bintinais, south of Rennes.
  • Musée des Transmissions (Museum of Broadcasting) at Cesson-Sévigné, west of Rennes center.

The Parc du Thabor contains a compact but significant botanical garden, the Jardin botanique du Thabor. The University of Rennes 1, with a campus in the city's eastern section, also contains a botanical garden and collections (the Jardin botanique de l'Université de Rennes).


The University of Rennes 1, the faculty of Economics near the Hoche square
Breton bilingual classes in a French school in the city centre.

The Rennes agglomeration has a large student population (around 60,000). The Breton language is taught in one Diwan school, some bilingual public and catholic schools, in evening courses, and in university.[6]

The city has two main universities; Université de Rennes 1 (site), which offers courses in science, technology, medicine, philosophy, law, management and economics and Université Rennes 2 (site), which has courses in the arts, literature, languages, communication, human and social sciences, sport.

There are a few École Supérieures in Rennes. The École Normale Supérieure de Cachan has a branch on the Ker Lann campus, just outside Rennes. An École Supérieure for political science, Institut d'études politiques de Rennes (site), is also based in Rennes.

There is also a branch of École Supérieure d'Électricité - Supélec in the east of the city (Cesson-Sévigné), Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Rennes and the grande école Institut National des Sciences Appliquées, which is next to the "École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes".

The computer science and applied mathematics research institute, IRISA, is located on the campus of the Université des Sciences, nearby Cesson-Sévigné. The Délégation Générale pour l'Armement (defense procurement agency) operates the CELAR research center, dedicated to electronics and computing, in Bruz, a neighboring town.

Breton language

The municipality launched a linguistic plan through Ya d'ar brezhoneg on January the 24th of 2008.

In 2007, there was 2.8% of the children attended the bilingual schools in primary education.[7]

Football club

Rennes is home to Stade Rennais FC, who play at Route de Lorient stadium (capacity of 31,000 seats) in the French Division One.


Inside of Gare de Rennes.
The Metro station J.F. Kennedy

Rennes has well developed national road, rail and air links and is two hours by TGV from Paris. Local transport is based primarily on an extensive bus network (38 different lines) and a metro line that was inaugurated in March 2002 and cost €500 millions to build. The driverless Rennes Metro (VAL) is 9.4 km (5.8 mi) in length and has 15 stations, including one designed by architect Norman Foster (La Poterie station).

A second metro line is being planned, it should be operational by 2018, and the construction will begin in 2013.[8]

The Gare de Rennes opened in 1857 is now two hour far from Paris.

Rennes is also served by an airport, Rennes-St. Jacques Airport, located 4.5 miles (7.2 km) from the center to the south-west in the commune Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande.

Notable people

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Twinned towns inscribed on the bridge over the central canal.

Rennes is twinned with:

(These twinned towns are inscribed on the bridge over the central canal of Rennes)

Within France

Pacts of cooperation


Broadcasting facilities

Image Gallery



External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Rennes is the capital city of Brittany, France.

Place de la République in Rennes
Place de la République in Rennes


Rennes is not often mentioned on tourist guides but this medium size town is well worth a visit. It has a bit more than 200,000 inhabitants, of which about 60,000 are students. This gives the town a vibrant night life. Some streets, such as the Rue Saint Michel, have only one type of shop on both sides: Bars! (The locals actually call "Rue Saint Michel" "la rue de la soif", which means the "Street of Thirst"). A stroll down Rue Saint Michel on a Friday or Saturday evening is a very interesting experience indeed. However, if you're really in the mood to "faire la fête", celebrate or just have fun in other words, the most exciting night on "Rue de la Soif" would be the "Jeudi Soir", Thursday nights, during the school year. Jeudi Soir is the night when bars are most often packed to the brim with students. The sights on Thursday nights out on the town are very memorable and interesting.

Rennes is particularly nice in early July, during the "Festival des Tombées de la Nuit". Its streets are then full of people enjoying the free street entertainment and eating or drinking at the terraces of the restaurants and cafés.

Rennes used to be virtually empty after the 15th of July, as most of its inhabitants were migrating to the coast until the 15th August. In recent years, this trend seems to have stopped and Rennes's terraces and cafes are now bustling throughout the year.

Get in

By plane

Rennes airport[1] has budget flights to and from Southampton and Belfast thanks to Flybe[2], or Dublin and Cork with Aerlingus[3]which has good offers. The airport is less than 5km away from the city center, and bus No 57 links it with the city.

Dinard/Pleurtuit/Saint-Malo AirportOne hour away, Dinard's airport offers other cheap options, with for example a connection to London with Ryanair[4].

By train

Gare de Rennes The easiest way to get to Rennes from Paris is through Gare Montparnasse. There are TGVs almost every 30 minutes and the ride is 2hrs and 3 min. Tickets are available on the SNCF website, and between 25 and 65 Euros for one way. If you're under 26 years old, and planning to travel in France by train, get the "carte 12-25" (49 €) which will offers you 50% off most of the time.

The Rennes Train Station also provides train service to Nantes, Brest, Quimper, St. Brieuc, and other cites in Brittany.

By shared ride

The cheapest way will be covoiturage or car-sharing. A lot of websites offer information about people wishing to share their car and budget. or Allostop will help you out. Since 1968, traveling by car on motorways within Brittany is free thanks to a deal made between René Pleven and Georges Pompidou.

By bus

Rennes has also an international and local bus station, right next to the rail station. This is where you can get information about Illenoo (see below) and where buses such as Eurolines/

Get around

By bus and metro

Rennes has a very good public transport system, called Star([5]). If you're planning to buy a pass (weekly or longer), you'll need to go to one of the two agencies Place de la Republique and Place de la Mairie) to get a "Korrigo" card. Don't forget a picture which they will scan. It is a free electronic card on which your pass will be saved. Once you have it, just reload it anywhere tickets are sold. Daily tickets can be bought for €3 a day, and are valid on both the bus and metro. Star claims that its network has the cheapest prices in France, with a single ticket (valid for an hour after validation for unlimited connections) costing €1.20.

Rennes offers more than 50 different bus routes and a metro, with 1 bus every 5 minutes for the metro and main bus lines at the peak hours. The hub of the network is at Republique, which feeds most of the 50 different routes. This bus and metro network connects all parts of Rennes, and so you're never far from a bus stop. All the bus stops conveniently have a map (une carte) of Rennes with all the lines on, and a timetable for the routes it provides, so there isn't much chance of getting lost.

The metro, called the VAL, has only one line with 15 stops and measures 8.57km. It runs from one edge to the other in 16 minutes. It connects the main train station to the centre-ville, Villejean university, the hospital, the town hall and more. It runs from 0525 to 0030, as do the five main bus lines.

By bike

Rennes offers very good options for cyclists. With plenty of cycle lanes, the town has plenty of cyclists. For residents of the town, bikes known as the veloStar, can be borrowed free of charge from the mayor's office. These bikes aren't particularly good, but they work and have gears, so its worth checking them out. If you're after a pleasant cycling trip, check out the canal route. This is flat, and therefore not very hazardous.

By car

Traffic in city center is heavy. Large areas are reserved for pedestrians and buses. Parking in the center is not free. You'll have to find an horodateur, never far away. Price will depend on the zone where you parked. 0,75 €/h and 2h40 maximum for green zone and 1,33 €/h with 1h33 maximum for red ones. Since 2002, the best way to discover Rennes is by metro and its parcs-relais. These are car-parks located in metro stations on the outskirts such as Kennedy, Villejean in the north and Henri Freville, Triangle and La Poterie in the south. They're free if you use the metro.

By bus (illenoo)

Illenoo[6] is a public service of the Conseil général d'Ille & Vilaine (Département level). It allows people to travel within the département (and a little bit outside) on 18 lines for a good price. For example, Rennes - St Malo €4.80 return for students under 26.

  • One highlight of Rennes, if you're after natural beauty and tranquility, is the Thabor. This park has a stunning collection of plantlife, including a large bed of hundreds of species of roses, tropical, African and European trees, other beautiful and rare plants, and offers the traveller a chance to see some budgies. There are cages with a dozen of different sorts of small colourful birds. To get to Parc Thabor from Republique station, take bus number 3 (direction St. Laurent) and get off at the Thabor stop. Or you can simply walk northestwards, it's 10 minutes away.
  • Le Parlement
  • Maison à colombages
  • Mont Saint-Michel is a granite island located north-eastward of Rennes in the region of Basse-Normandie. It's the 3rd most visited monument in France, which will be under restoration until 2012. The main part of the island is the abbey of Mt St Michel.

If you're going there from Rennes, the easiest and more expensive way is to use keolis emeraude[7] bus company. They'll charge you €10.80 each way. But a cheaper option is to use the Illenoo public transport (see Get In), which costs €3 each way, but stops in Pontorson (9 km south of Mt St Michel). From there, you can even hitch hike or use the Maneo bus link, which costs €2. Just make sure that the schedules line up so you're not stuck in Pontorson for 2+ hours...cute town but not much to do.

Anyhow, you get a 20% rebate in both cases if you're under 26 years old.

  • Saint-Malo
  • Etangs d'Apigné
  • Dinan
  • Cobac Parc
  • Fougères
  • Vilaine
  • Canal d'Ille & Rance
  • Foret de Rennes
  • Vitré
  • Every Saturday morning, from 6am to 1:30PM, there is a large food market in the centre of town, where you can buy low price fruit and veg, a vast array of fish, crêpes, galettes, fresh meat and other French delicacies such as wine, snails and cheeses. Le marché des Lices is always bustling with people trying to buy low-price groceries and meat. The market is based in the Place des Lices, an 8 minutes walk from the main bus station, Republique.
  • Other markets take place every day in different neighborhoods

Le Blosne - Place de Zagreb - 7am / 1pm
Cleunay - Rue Jules Lallemand - 7am / 12.30pm
Maurepas- Place d'Erlangen - 7am / 12.30pm
Jeanne d'Arc - Bd Alexis Carrel - 7am / 12.45pm
Bour L'Eveque - Square Simone Morand - 7am / 12.30pm
Bréquigny - Place Albert Bayet - 7am / 12.30pm
Le Blosne - Place de Zagreb - 7am / 1pm
Les Lices - Place des Lices - 7am / 1.30pm

  • FUN CLUB 35, [8]. Need exercice after the afternoon spent in the center? Don't need to go far away. Get down Place Ste Anne on Rue d'Echange, make a left on rue de Dinan and make on right on rue Pierre Gourdel right after the Westport Inn. You'll find a tiny place to play squash (from 4 to 8€ per person for an hour) or dance Rock 'n Roll or salsa. The owner might speak a little bit too fast, but you'll find great prices and some nice people in there.
  • Le Blizz, [9]. An ice rink which isn't too expensive. To get there, it's the number 3 bus, with Patinoire the required stop.
  • Rennes football club, [10]. A team in the top French football league, and has its stadium in Rennes, with tickets for matches start from €8.
  • Pools


Les Champs Libres is a brand new building in which you'll find le musee de Bretagne, l'espace des Sciences and the bibliotheque municipale. It's a wonderful place where you can learn a lot about Rennes, about Brittany, and about sciences and history. There are a lot of exhibitions (temporary and permanent), forums, and debates. There's also an outside cafe overhanging Place Charles de Gaulle where you can meet people and talk about whatever you feel like. If you feel like reading newspapers, head to the room in front of you when you enter that building, choose your favourite one and sit with other peers. But if you want to have a nice look at the city centre, head to last floor of the public library and enjoy. Don't forget to be quiet or they'll remind you! If you don't feel like going to the movies, you can climb up to the planetarium (around 7€ for exposition and planetarium) and enjoy 1h30 of live "show" about space, stars, legends,... Check the schedule on their website for your favourite theme.


Fest-noz is not a french word, it is Breton. Fest means party and Noz; night. A translation could be Festival of the night. It is a traditional ball where all generations meet and listen traditional music, drink beer or chouchen, and dance on breton music. Most of them happen on Saturdays, but still, you can find some on Thursdays or fridays. You can find them by looking at the posters in the streets, in the universities,... but is a website that gather most of fest-noz in all Bretagne. Price's usually between 5 and 8€, but bigger events as Yaouank (a huge fest-noz in Rennes, usually in October or November) are little bit more expensive. This is definitely something to do!


As students represent a quarter of Rennes' population, you will most likely always find some people walking (or staggering!) in the city centre. This is especially true on Thursdays which is traditionally students day, as many of them go back home on Friday for the week end. But for a few years, city centre residents have been complaining about heavy drinking and disturbances of the peace at night; so Bernadette Malgorn (former prefete of Ille et Vilaine) enforced the law and decided to close bars at 1am and night bars at 3am. The result was that it drained all the people out at the same time, and created problems with the police for a few months. This is where associations, organizations and city hall intervened. At first ill thought-out, the idea of opening concert halls, public places,.. to occupy these young people by making play and games available wasn't welcomed but the organizers worked it out, and created La nuit des 4 jeudis. The concept, running during school time, is to propose 4 different free activities every Thursday during school time.

  • Dazibao organized by the CRIJ Bretagne opened from 10pm to 3am, is a meeting place. Discover new people, new music, multimedia, fait trade products, information,...
  • Bulles d'Art is the time to discover local bands in concert halls or in the café-spectacle. Full ticket is 5€ for under 25 and can be bought at the CRIJ.
  • The Nuit découvertes (from 10pm to 2am) is: create, taste, exchange, play, move, try,... Games, improvisation, visual art, music,...
  • The Nuit du Sport (from 10pm to 3am) opportunity to try innovative or new sports (kin ball, peteca, ultimate, speedminton, etc).


(annual stock sale) St Martin, autres, etonnante braderie de rennes

  • February

Travelling and Travelling Junior. It's Rennes Métropole movie festival. Traveling explores a culture focusing on a city every year. 20089 edition will focus on Jerusalem and will take place from January 31st to the February 10th. The date changed from year to year so be sure to cheque.

  • April

Mythos. It's the festival of the arts of word. Tales, stories, french song,.. Next edition (2008) will take place from April 6th to the 12th.

  • May

Rock'n Solex. The oldest student festival of France. In 2007, it celebrated it's 40th birthday. This festival is a mix of music and solexs' race.

  • July

Les Tombées de la Nuit. It's an art festival where many spectacles take places in public places. Alternative, classic or traditional music, animations, expositions is the concept of that festival. It always take place the first week of july.

Quartiers d'été. An outdoor festival organized by volunteer youngsters. Concerts, cinema, animations, games,... During the 3rd week of july.

  • November

Yaouank. 3rd weekend of November

  • December

Les Transmusicales

Festivals in Bretagne

  • May

Art Rock -

  • July

Festival du bout du monde -

Bobital -

Au pont du Rock - Last week end, in Malestroit (Morbihan).

Les vieilles charrues -

  • August

Festival interceltique de Lorient

La Route du Rock -

  • Half-salty butter
  • galettes saucisses
  • Kouing Amann
  • Galettes et palets bretons
  • Quatre quart
  • Caramels au beurre salé
  • Chouchen or Hydromel
  • Cidre
  • Beers
  • Far Breton
  • kig-ha-farz
  • Breizh Cola
  • Beuk Cola
  • There is a large shopping mall at Place du Colombier about 300m north west of the train station. The Metro stops there (Charles de Gaulle). C & A and Habitat are two of the stores that are in the mall.
  • La Visitation is a new shopping mall located in the center close to Place Sainte Anne. You'll find two main stores; H&M and Saturn and some others. This little shopping mall links the Place Ste Anne to Place Hoche where is the law university.
  • If you're looking for high budget shopping mall, les Galleries Lafayette located in the center on the quais (docks), almost Place de la Republique, are made for you. You'll find food, clothes, games, make-up, furniture, perfume, ...
  • On the edge of the city you'll find other shopping malls where most of people buy food in big supermarkets. If this is what you're looking for, ask for centre Alma, centre commercial de Cleunay, Grand quartier, or centre commercial de Cesson-Sevigne.
  • Rue d'Orléans and Rue le Bastard are two streets linking Place de la Republique to Place Ste Anne through Place de la Mairie. There are stores everywhere for everything!
  • If you're looking for traveling books or maps, La librairie du voyage[11] will be happy to help you. It's one of the few places you can find relevant information and qualified people.
  • Rue St Georges has innumerable creperies. This street has a certain olde world charm.
  • Rue de St Malo is the equivalent of Rue St Michel but for restaurants. You'll find some nice "around the world" restaurants. Try the Kebabs there. They are a Turkish food that, at only five Euro, are a cheap filling lunch if you happen to find one
  • nabuco


  • Crêperie Sainte-Anne, 5 place Sainte Anne - 35000 Rennes (France) (Métro Sainte Anne), 02 99 79 22 72, [12]. A very nice crêperie at Place Sainte Anne  edit
  • Crêperie de la Place, 6, Place Sainte Anne 35000 Rennes (Métro Sainte Anne), 02 99 79 01 43. One of the best crêperie in Rennes. Very well located, just next "Crêperie Sainte-Anne", you can eat delicious galettes and crêpes at a cheap price.  edit


  • Boulangerie Hoche, 17 Rue Hoche, 35000 Rennes, France, +33 (0)2 99 63 61 01. This is one of the best bakeries in Rennes. It is a bit pricey though, so keep this in mind. But, if you are up for treating yourself, they have a great raspberry tart!  edit


Keep in mind that you won't be able to stay in most bars after 1am, though some "night" bars close at 3am tops. It's the law, they have to close. So if you're inside one of them, and that you're really thirsty, think about ordering your drinks around 00.30 because it happens that they don't sell anymore arond that time. It happens that they ring a bell to tell you that it's time to buy your last drinks, if you want to.

  • Barantic, 4, Rue St Michel, +33 2 99 79 29 24. Let's just say that if you're a beer lover, that should be the place where to go. It has 18 draught beers with local and Belgian beers. You can also discover some saucisson (dried sausage). The best moment is during the afternoon, under the sun, in the middle of crowded terrasses, with your favorite beer and your saucisson. Enjoy the moment.  edit
  • Couleur Café, 27, Rue Legraverend (North of Place Sainte-Anne), +33 2 23 40 07 13. Specialized in cocktails (in the World Guinness Book of records with above 2,000 types) and rhum.  edit
  • Funky Munky, 37, rue St. Melaine. A cool vodka/cocktail bar located near an entrance for the Thabor park. Drinks are relatively cheap - the more you buy, the cheaper it gets. The bar serves 30 flavors of vodka, numerous cocktails (including a Long Island Iced Tea, Cosmos, Sex on the Beach, and a delicious drink called a Purple Turtle), and a few beers on tap or in bottles. The bar hosts a poetry slam every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month, and a quiz night every Monday from about 8pm on. The bartender (and owner!) speaks both French AND English, so don't worry about having to speak perfect French.  edit
  • Haricot Rouge, 10, Rue Baudrairie, +33 2 99 79 36 23. On a street north of the Place de la République, with a smoother feeling, serving hot chocolate and having board games.  edit
  • Jardin moderne, 11 Rue du Manoir de Servigné - ZI Route de Lorient, +33 2 99 14 04 68, [13]. Mostly a music hall, not a bar  edit
  • Le Sablier, 70, Rue Jean Guéhenno (At the crossing of rue Jean Guéhenno and Bld Duchesse-Anne and therefore a bit outside of the town center), +33 2 99 36 32 38, [14]. A bar famous for the concerts there at a time, it is also an excellent place to have lunch.  edit
  • O'Connell's Irish Pub, 7, Place du Parlement, +33 2 99 79 38 76, [15]. Very popular Irish pub. Ask anyone and I'm sure someone will point you in the right direction. St. Patrick's Day at this place is insane - the pub becomes packed to capacity. Same rules apply for any big sporting events. Monday nights from 7pm-11pm and Thursday nights from 7pm-close are happy hour. A pint of beer/stout/ale is 4 Euros (and in some cases, less) during happy hour - just check the little posters up on the walls at the bar (or ask the bartenders, they're all very friendly and most, if not all, of them are anglophones). Not only do the anglophones love this place, but the French do too.  edit
  • Westport Inn, 36, rue de Dinan, +33 2 99 35 05 43. Another Irish pub. It's smaller, but it's got an authentic feel to it, and the drinks are slightly cheaper than at O'Connell's. It's just down the street from Place des Lices. But, according to the sign on the window, you're not allowed to bring in nuclear weapons, so if you're packing, go elsewhere :)  edit
  • L'artiste assoife
  • Le Bateau Ivre
  • Mondo Bizarro is the punkrock place to be :)

Night bars

Those are bars that have an extended closing time of 3am. There are bouncers for some of them.

  • La Contrescarpe
  • La Place
  • Le Cactus
  • *
  • Délicatessen
  • Le Pym's
  • L'Espace
  • Le Platinium
  • Le Stanley
  • Youth Hostel, 10, Canal St Martin, [16]. This is found in a pleasant area by the canal . Prices for a night start from €12.60.
  • The campsite at Rennes is rather large. To get there, take the number 3 bus, and get off at the Piscine/Gayeulles stop. The neighbouring park has much to offer, including an ice rink, a pool and sports facilities.
  • Many hotels can be found Place de la gare, and on the avenue Jean Janvier going northward from the north exit of the train station.
  • It is fairly easy to travel in France, therefore it would be clever to take advantage of the beautiful cities and coastal scenery in Bretagne (Fougères, Dinan, Vannes, Carnac, Lorient, Guidel, Finistère, Vitré,...).
  • Saint-Malo, a wonderful coastal town on the English Channel, is only 45 minutes by the TGV and usually costs less than €10. Buses are also available for cheaper but take a bit longer.


Rennes is a good place to find rides. See here

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also rennes




Proper noun




  1. A city in Brittany, France




Proper noun


  1. Rennes

See also

Simple English

Rennes is the capital city of Brittany, France. Its name in the Breton language is Roazhon. It has about 210,000 inhabitants.


They are 2 universities in the city:

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