36 Best Places And Things To Do in Quimper, France

Quimper, located in the Brittany region of France, is a charming and historic city that offers visitors a unique blend of rich cultural heritage, beautiful architecture, and picturesque landscapes. Known for its well-preserved medieval center and traditional Breton atmosphere, Quimper has a lot to offer. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Quimper:

1. Quimper Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Corentin)

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Start your exploration of Quimper with a visit to its magnificent Gothic-style cathedral. Dating back to the 13th century, this stunning cathedral is dedicated to Saint Corentin and features impressive stained glass windows and intricate architectural details.

2. Old Town (Vieux Quimper)

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Take a stroll through the narrow, cobbled streets of the Old Town and immerse yourself in its medieval charm. Admire the well-preserved half-timbered houses, explore artisan workshops, and discover hidden squares filled with cozy cafés and boutiques.

3. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper

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Art enthusiasts should not miss the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper, which houses an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and ceramics. The museum showcases works by renowned artists such as Gauguin, Renoir, Monet, and Rodin.

4. Quartier de Locmaria

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Visit the Locmaria district, located on the banks of the Odet River. This neighborhood is famous for its historic pottery industry. Explore the Quimper Faience Museum, where you can learn about the city’s pottery tradition and see exquisite ceramic pieces.

5. Jardin de la Retraite

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Take a relaxing break in the Jardin de la Retraite, a peaceful public garden in the heart of Quimper. Stroll through the well-maintained paths, admire the floral displays, and find a quiet spot to sit and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.

6. Odet River

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Enjoy a boat ride or a leisurely walk along the banks of the Odet River. This scenic river flows through Quimper and offers beautiful views of the city’s architecture and lush greenery.

7. Les Halles St. François

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For food lovers, a visit to Les Halles St. François is a must. This vibrant indoor market is a food lover’s paradise, offering a wide range of fresh produce, local delicacies, and regional specialties. Grab a bite to eat or pick up some local ingredients to enjoy later.

8. Festivals and Events

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Quimper is known for its lively festivals and events. If you happen to visit during the Festival de Cornouaille, held in July, you’ll experience a celebration of Breton culture through music, dance, and traditional costumes. The Festival des Filets Bleus, held in August, showcases the maritime heritage of the region.

9. Quimper Pottery

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Quimper is renowned for its distinctive hand-painted pottery, known as “Quimper faience.” Take a trip to one of the local pottery workshops or stores to witness the craftsmanship firsthand. You can purchase unique pieces as souvenirs or gifts to bring home.

10. Quimper Cornouaille Football Club

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If you’re a sports enthusiast, catch a football match at the Stade du Moustoir to support the local team, Quimper Cornouaille Football Club. Join the lively atmosphere and cheer alongside passionate fans.

11. Hiking in Montagne Sainte-Geneviève

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Experience the natural beauty of the region by embarking on a hike in Montagne Sainte-Geneviève. This lush green hill offers scenic trails and panoramic views of Quimper and its surrounding countryside.

12. Golf de l’Odet

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Play a round of golf at Golf de l’Odet, a picturesque golf course situated along the Odet River. Enjoy the peaceful ambiance, scenic views, and challenging fairways while practicing your swing.

13. Breton Gastronomy

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Quimper offers a delightful culinary scene, showcasing the flavors of Brittany. Indulge in traditional Breton dishes such as savory crêpes (galettes), fresh seafood, and cider. Explore local restaurants, bistros, and creperies to savor the region’s gastronomic delights.

14. Musée de la Faïence de Quimper

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Delve further into the world of Quimper pottery at the Musée de la Faïence. This museum is dedicated to the art of Quimper faience and provides an in-depth look into the history, techniques, and evolution of this renowned pottery tradition. Admire a vast collection of beautifully decorated ceramics and gain insight into the craftsmanship behind these unique pieces.

15. Les Halles de Quimper

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Pay a visit to Les Halles, the city’s bustling covered market. Here, you’ll find an array of stalls selling fresh produce, local cheeses, meats, and other culinary delights. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, interact with local vendors, and sample some of the region’s finest gastronomic offerings.

16. Maison de la Dentellière

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Step into the world of lace-making at the Maison de la Dentellière (House of the Lacemaker). Learn about the intricate art of lace production and witness skilled artisans practicing their craft. The museum showcases a collection of lacework, tools, and historical artifacts related to this traditional Breton art form.

17. Eglise Saint-Mathieu

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Visit the Eglise Saint-Mathieu, a historic church known for its beautiful stained glass windows and impressive organ. Take a moment to appreciate the architectural details and soak in the peaceful ambiance of this religious site.

18. Les Jardins de L’Evêché

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Explore the enchanting Les Jardins de L’Evêché, a picturesque garden located near the cathedral. Wander through its manicured lawns, vibrant flower beds, and serene pathways. Enjoy the panoramic views of the city and the Odet River from this elevated vantage point.

19. Brittany Coastline

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Quimper’s proximity to the Brittany coastline makes it an ideal starting point for coastal exploration. Take a drive or hop on a boat to discover the rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and charming fishing villages that dot the coast. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit picturesque spots like Pointe du Raz, Pointe de Pen-Hir, and the Glénan Islands.

20. Breton Music and Dance

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Immerse yourself in the lively and rhythmic Breton music and dance scene. Look out for local festivals, concerts, and traditional gatherings where you can witness traditional Breton musicians playing bagpipes, bombardes, and other traditional instruments while dancers perform traditional dances such as the “hanter-dro” and “ridées.”

21. Pont-Aven

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Take a short trip to the nearby town of Pont-Aven, which has long been an inspiration for artists. Explore the picturesque streets, visit art galleries showcasing the works of the Pont-Aven School painters, and enjoy the scenic beauty of the Aven River that winds through the town.

22. Locronan

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Just a short drive from Quimper, you’ll find the charming village of Locronan. Known for its well-preserved medieval architecture, Locronan transports you back in time with its cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, and picturesque squares. Take a leisurely walk through the village, visit the Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle Church, and soak in the atmosphere of this enchanting place.

23. Haliotika – La Cité de la Pêche

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If you’re interested in learning about the local fishing industry, head to Haliotika in Guilvinec. This interactive museum offers an immersive experience where you can discover the world of fishing, explore fishing boats, and even participate in workshops where you can learn to prepare and cook seafood.

24. Pointe de la Torche

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Nature enthusiasts and surfers should not miss the opportunity to visit Pointe de la Torche. This scenic headland boasts stunning coastal views, golden sandy beaches, and is known as one of the best surfing spots in Brittany. Take a walk along the coastal path, enjoy the fresh sea breeze, and witness the impressive waves crashing against the shore.

25. Les Enclos Paroissiaux

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Explore the fascinating religious heritage of the region by visiting the Les Enclos Paroissiaux. These are a series of impressive parish closes, consisting of churches, calvaries, and enclosures, adorned with intricate stone carvings and sculptures. These architectural masterpieces provide insight into the religious devotion and artistic craftsmanship of the past.

26. Château de Keriolet

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Step into the world of French nobility with a visit to the Château de Keriolet. This elegant castle, located just outside Quimper, was once the residence of the Duchesse de Rohan. Take a guided tour of the castle and its beautifully landscaped gardens to discover the opulent lifestyle of the aristocracy.

27. Les Glénan Sailing School

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If you’ve ever dreamt of sailing on the open seas, head to the Les Glénan Sailing School. Located on the Glénan Islands, this renowned sailing school offers courses and activities for all levels of experience. Learn the ropes, navigate the waters, and experience the thrill of sailing in the stunning coastal surroundings.

28. Théâtre de Cornouaille

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Enjoy a night of cultural entertainment at the Théâtre de Cornouaille. This renowned performing arts venue hosts a variety of shows, including theater productions, music concerts, dance performances, and more. Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene of Quimper and witness talented artists showcasing their craft.

29. Cycling along the Odet River

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Rent a bicycle and embark on a scenic cycling adventure along the Odet River. Follow the well-maintained cycling paths that wind alongside the river, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Take in the fresh air, enjoy the tranquil ambiance, and discover hidden gems along the way.

30. Château de Quimper

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Visit the Château de Quimper, a beautiful castle that serves as the administrative center of the Finistère department. Although it is not open to the public, you can admire its grandeur from the outside and appreciate the architectural significance of this historic landmark.

31. Les Balades du Père Nicolas

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Embark on a guided walking tour with Les Balades du Père Nicolas. These informative and entertaining tours take you through the streets of Quimper, providing historical insights, fascinating anecdotes, and a deeper understanding of the city’s cultural heritage. Choose from themed tours such as the medieval tour, the pottery tour, or the legends and mysteries tour.

32. Musée Bigouden

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Explore the Musée Bigouden, located in Pont-l’Abbé, a short distance from Quimper. This museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the traditional Breton costume, known as the “Bigoudène.” Admire the intricate designs, learn about the significance of these costumes in Breton culture, and gain a deeper appreciation for the region’s traditions.

33. Attend a Breton Language Lesson

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Quimper is located in the heart of Brittany, where the Breton language has a strong presence. Take the opportunity to attend a Breton language lesson or workshop to learn some basic phrases and gain an appreciation for this ancient Celtic language. It’s a unique way to connect with the local culture and heritage.

34. Quimper by Night

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Experience the enchanting atmosphere of Quimper by night. Take a leisurely stroll through the illuminated streets, marvel at the beautifully lit buildings and monuments, and soak in the magical ambiance of the city after dark. Quimper’s charm is amplified in the evening, offering a unique perspective on its beauty and character.

35. Plage de Bénodet

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Located just a short drive from Quimper, Bénodet Beach is a popular seaside destination. This long, sandy beach offers a range of facilities, including lifeguard services, beach clubs, and water sports rentals. Take a dip in the refreshing Atlantic waters, build sandcastles on the shore, or simply relax and soak up the sun.

36. Plage de Trévignon

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A bit further away from Quimper, Trévignon Beach near Névez is worth the visit. This unspoiled beach boasts natural beauty and a peaceful atmosphere. It features golden sand, rugged cliffs, and breathtaking coastal scenery. Take a stroll along the shoreline, explore the rock pools, or enjoy a picnic with a view.