11 Very Best Things To Do In Brittany, France – Hand Luggage Only

Brittany is one of the most beautiful places in France to visit. From quaint villages, and beautiful countryside to a stunning coastline; Brittany has it something for everyone. Best of all, there are so many of the best things to do in Brittany that are dotted all across the region.

This all makes it one incredible area in the north of France to visit during a road trip. It’s so much fun and we had an absolute blast when driving around. Over the years, we’ve explored all over the country and loved the west of France and Brittany itself.

So, to make it nice and easy for you, we’ve popped our favourite places in Brittany to visit when you arrive. This way, you won’t have to spend hours researching the top places in Brittany and focus on all that enjoyment!

Have the most amazing time exploring France.

1.) Locronan

Locronan Best things to do in Brittany

Just north of Quimper, the gorgeous village of Locronan might be small but it’s well worth visiting for a few hours when in Brittany.

Fondly named, Petite Cité de Caractère, Locronan holds several religious processions that are pretty well known in Brittany. Now, if that sounds like your thing, make sure to stop by Locronan and a remarkable one is the Grande Troménie which is held in July. Though to set expectations, it only happens every six years!

Another place of pilgrimage is the Chapelle Sainte-Anne-la-Palud, just kilometres away from Locronan. It’s one of the best things to do in Brittany if you want to explore the region’s religious heritage.

There is a painted statue of Saint Anne in this chapel, which is also made of granite. As you leave the village, you can enjoy the sunset on Sainte-Anne’s Beach; which is so lovely. It’s very rural, so take lots of sunblock and a picnic, but it’s worth it.

Afterwards, you can drive further down the coast to nearby Douarnenez and Trezmalaouen Beach. We love it for how unspoilt and natural it is.

Read more: Best cities in France to visit

2.) Saint-Malo

saint malo Best things to do in Brittany

Visiting Saint-Malo is easily one of the best things to do in Brittany if you love medieval history. With some of the best-preserved medieval barricades, Saint-Malo is a spot you can easily spend a day exploring.

Malo Best things to do in Brittany

There are a lot of winding roads and cobbled streets that make the city perfect to explore on foot. You’ll be able to take in the likes of; Saint-Malo Castle which is totally iconic to see. There’s a small entry fee, but it’s well worth it.

Afterwards, you Grande Plage du Sillon (a gorgeous beach) or visit the beautiful mansion of Demeure de Corsaire; which you can go inside. It was built in the 1700s and still stands to this day.

Saint Malo Best things to do in Brittany

To make things easier, book this private walking tour with a guide. It’s a great way to learn so much more about Saint-Malo and the centuries of history that are contained within its medieval streets.

Read more: Best cities in France to visit

3.) Josselin Castle

Chateau Josselin castle Best things to do in Brittany

The absolute gem and history of Josselin Castle is one of the most gorgeous places in Brittany to visit. Best of all, you can easily stop at Josselin Castle as you drive between Rennes and Quimper.

With its grand walls and classic towers, the majestic castle is totally beautiful to see. Plus, there are no entry costs to head inside and walk around the staterooms, the gardens and the Doll Museum.

Though, if you want to visit the first floor; make sure to go on the guided tour instead. This can be booked at the castle for a small fee.

If you’re arriving by car, we found this place that’s only a minute’s walk away. It all makes it nice and easy to visit. Just make sure to visit in the warmer months, entry to Josselin Castle is prohibited between the 1st of November and the 8th of April each year.

4.) Nantes

Nantes Best things to do in Brittany,

Nantes is probably one of Brittany’s well-known cities that you may have heard of before. It played a huge role in history and is one of the best things to do in Brittany if you love history. You see, Nantes, during the Middle Ages, was the Duchy of Brittany’s capital and was also the place where Henry IV signed the Edict of Nantes in 1598.

Not only that, being the sixth largest city in France, Nantes is well worth visiting for more than a few hours. We’d suggest an overnight stay to truly enjoy it.

Castle of the Dukes of Brittany in Nantes Best things to do in Brittany

Once here, make sure to stop off at; Château des Ducs de Bretagne which is right next to Nantes South train station. Plus, you’ve got Place Royale, Rue Crébillon, the Bouffay district, and the Cours Cambronne square.

To make things easier, make sure to book this essential Nantes city pass. Not only will it give you access to the main sights like the Nantes Museum of Art, Château de Goulaine and so much more. Plus, you’ll even get public transport and city cruises included.

Finally, for a relaxing stroll, head over to the Botanical Garden of Nantes where you can head on a tour of the Palm Houses that were built back in the 1800s.

Read more: Best cities in France to visit

5.) Dinan

Dinan in Cotes dArmor Best things to do in Brittany

Nestled on the northerly fringes of Brittany, visiting Dinan is one of the best things to do in Brittany whilst driving to the prettiest places in the north of France.

Now, what makes Dinan so special is its Middle Ages history and influence (which you’ll notice quite a bit in this area of France).

Dinan Best things to do in Brittany

After arriving, make sure to see the Jerzual Gate which is centuries old. Oh, and there’s also the cathedral of Saint-Sauveur that’s close by, too.

You can easily walk between all the sights; so park your car and head around Dinan on foot.

Breton Village Dinan Best things to do in Brittany

You might even want to catch Les Soirées which are events hosted to show the life of the Duke of Brittany, Jean IV, and the servants and knights during their time.

It’s incredible.

6.) Vitre

Vitré Best things to do in Brittany

Referred to as the Ville d’Art et d’Histoire, visiting the magical town of Vitre is one of the best things to do in Brittany when you visit.

With half-timbered houses and narrow lanes throughout the city, there are surely pretty things and streets you can explore in this part of Brittany. Some of the noteworthy spots are the Rue de la Baudrairie and the Eglise Notre Dame.

The Château de Vitré is also a witness to the town’s history, so you should pay a visit to this historic castle. It houses a museum of medieval history, so you might want to consider taking a guided tour to make the most out of your visit.

Some kilometres away, in the southeast part of Vitre, you can also find the Château des Rochers Sévigné. This is open to the public where visitors can see a museum collection honoring Madame de Sévigné and some other important items of the family.

Read more: Best things to do in the north of France

7.) Brocéliande Forest

Broceliande forest Best things to do in Brittany

Said to be the home of King Arthur and Merlin, the wizard, the Brocéliande Forest is a must-see when in Brittany.

After arriving, make sure to follow some of the stunning trails and beautiful areas to see. Not only that, you can see the sights of the Tomb of Merlin and stop by Comper Castle. The latter has heaps of King Arthur history and legends.

Plus, you’ll even be able to see La Fontaine de Barenton. This is the very spot where Merlin the Wizard, after getting stuck and totally lost in the region, meets Vivien.

If you love the legend of King Arthur, then you have to visit this place in Brittany.

8.) The Carnac Stones

Carnac stones Best things to do in Brittany

Another wonderful spot for history buffs is the Carnac Stones. That being said, it’s not just history buffs that will enjoy it here.

Known to have been founded by Britain’s pre-Celtic people, The Carnac Stones is a mysterious structure in France that dates all the way back to 4000 BC.

Pop into the visitor centre at Maison des Mégalithes, explore the wider Carnac Stones and explore the wider area.

Afterwards, drive over to Mane Guen Beach which is a long white stretch of sand. It’s a perfect place in summer for a dip. However, that Atlantic water can be chilly.

9.) Côte de Granit Rose (Pink Granite Coast)

Pink granite coastline Best things to do in Brittany

Stretching the coastline of Côtes d’Armor, this stunning shoreline is epic to see. Not only that, it’s one of the best things to do in Brittany if you want to explore the great outdoors in France.

Don’t forget, one-stop to visit is the seaside resort Perros-Guirec. There is a lot to do in the area, like sports activities, swimming, and many other family-oriented activities if you fancy a little chill time.

Also, you can actually see lots of the pink granite around Ploumanac’h and the coastline by Trégastel. It’s a lovely rural drive along the coast and you’ll find heaps of small towns along the way.

Read more: Best things to do in the north of France

10.) Quimper

Quimper Best things to do in Brittany

If you are still longing for some historic vibe and old town atmosphere, visiting Quimper becomes one of the best things to do in Brittany whilst you drive the region.

While here, you might want to fully admire the finest Gothic building in Brittany, the Cathédrale Saint-Corentin. Here, you’ll find King Gradion’s legendary figure is well worth taking a gander at.

Quimper Best things to do in Brittany

Also, don’t forget to visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Musée Départemental Breton. There are heaps of collections in these museums, from objects, pictures, and costumes to paintings, artworks, and so much more.

Afterwards, head to the botanic gardens of Château de Lanniron. It’s small, and not the biggest, but a lovely place for a stroll in the heat of summer.

11.) Rennes

Rennes Best things to do in Brittany,

Still known as a cultural and economic centre of Brittany, Rennes, in the present, is well worth a visit.

Once here, make sure to explore spots like;  Hôtel de Ville in Place de la Mairie, the Church of Saint-Sauveur, and the Place du Parlement de Bretagne. You can also find the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre in the farther northeast of Rennes to give you a spectacular view of the architectural style that makes Rennes so pretty.

Afterwards, head over to the fort of Portes Mordelaises. It all feels so historic and the streets are just magical. In fact, I’d say the old town of Rennes is one of my favourite areas in the city.

Finally, for a tasty treat, grab a table at Bretone. Their caramel crepes are so good. Oh, and don’t forget a hot chocolate.

Read more: Best things to do in the north of France

10 Best Places In The North Of France To Visit


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