33 Best Places And Things To Do in Vannes, France

Vannes is a charming city located in the Brittany region of France. Known for its well-preserved medieval city walls, cobblestone streets, and historic architecture, Vannes offers a delightful mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Vannes:

1. Vannes Old Town (Intra-Muros)

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Begin your exploration of Vannes by strolling through the enchanting Old Town. Marvel at the well-preserved half-timbered houses, wander through narrow streets lined with boutiques and cafes, and visit the majestic Cathédrale Saint-Pierre. Don’t miss the picturesque Place des Lices, where a weekly market takes place.

2. Vannes City Walls and Ramparts

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Take a walk along the city walls to enjoy panoramic views of Vannes and the Gulf of Morbihan. The ramparts offer a pleasant promenade and provide insight into the city’s medieval past.

3. Château de l’Hermine

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This beautiful castle, located near the Old Town, was once the residence of the Dukes of Brittany. Today, it serves as a museum and hosts various cultural events and exhibitions. Explore the castle’s historical rooms and gardens while learning about the region’s rich history.

4. Gulf of Morbihan

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Vannes is the gateway to the stunning Gulf of Morbihan, a picturesque inland sea dotted with islands. Take a boat tour to explore the islands, such as Île-aux-Moines and Île d’Arz, known for their beautiful beaches, charming villages, and scenic walking trails.

5. Jardin des Remparts

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This lovely garden is located outside the city walls and offers a peaceful retreat. Admire the well-manicured flowerbeds, relax on a bench, and enjoy the view of the moat and towers of the city walls.

6. Museum of Fine Arts

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Art enthusiasts should visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Vannes, which houses an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. The museum features works from various periods, including Renaissance, Baroque, and contemporary art.

7. Saint-Patern District

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Take a leisurely walk through the Saint-Patern neighborhood, known for its half-timbered houses and artisanal workshops. This area is also home to numerous cafes and restaurants, making it an ideal spot to savor traditional Breton cuisine.

8. Boat Tours and Water Activities

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Explore the Gulf of Morbihan further by participating in boat tours, kayaking, or paddleboarding. These activities allow you to appreciate the stunning coastal landscapes, observe wildlife, and experience the region’s maritime heritage.

9. Vannes Aquarium

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Ideal for families, the Vannes Aquarium showcases a variety of marine life found in the Gulf of Morbihan. Explore the underwater world through interactive exhibits, learn about local ecosystems, and even touch some of the sea creatures.

10. Port de Plaisance

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Take a stroll along the marina, known as the Port de Plaisance, and admire the beautiful yachts and sailboats. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and waterfront views while sipping a coffee or enjoying a meal at one of the waterfront restaurants.

11. Les Halles de Vannes

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Visit the bustling indoor market, Les Halles de Vannes, located near the Old Town. Explore the stalls filled with fresh produce, regional specialties, seafood, and local delicacies. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the flavors and culinary traditions of Brittany.

12. Vannes Cathedral

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Pay a visit to the impressive Vannes Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Vannes) located in the heart of the Old Town. Admire the stunning Gothic architecture, intricate stained glass windows, and the peaceful ambiance of this historical religious site.

13. Maison de la Garenne

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Discover the history and heritage of Vannes at the Maison de la Garenne, a museum dedicated to the city’s past. Learn about the evolution of Vannes through archaeological artifacts, models, and interactive displays.

14. Parc du Golfe

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Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and head to Parc du Golfe, a large park located near the Gulf of Morbihan. Enjoy a leisurely walk or a bike ride along the scenic paths, have a picnic by the water, or simply relax and soak up the peaceful surroundings.

15. Festival Interceltique de Lorient

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If you happen to visit Vannes in August, don’t miss the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, one of the largest Celtic festivals in the world. Join in the vibrant celebrations featuring music, dance, traditional costumes, and cultural events that showcase the Celtic heritage of the region.

16. Vannes Bike Ride

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Rent a bike and explore the city and its surroundings on two wheels. Vannes offers a network of cycling paths that allow you to discover the beautiful landscapes, charming villages, and hidden gems of the region at your own pace.

17. Guided Tours

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Consider joining a guided tour of Vannes to gain deeper insights into the city’s history and culture. Local guides can provide fascinating stories, historical anecdotes, and take you to hidden corners of Vannes that you might otherwise miss.

18. Galettes and Crêpes

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Indulge in the culinary delights of Brittany by trying traditional galettes (buckwheat crepes) and sweet crêpes. Numerous crêperies in Vannes offer a wide variety of fillings and toppings, allowing you to savor these delicious treats in a cozy and authentic setting.

19. Le Jardin de la Garenne

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Explore the serene Le Jardin de la Garenne, a beautifully landscaped garden located near the city walls. This peaceful oasis is perfect for a relaxing stroll amidst lush greenery, colorful flowers, and tranquil ponds.

20. Vannes Lighthouse

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Head to the Vannes Lighthouse, also known as the Le Môle de Séné, located just outside the city. Climb to the top for panoramic views of the Gulf of Morbihan, the city, and the surrounding coastline.

21. Les Balades du Golfe

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Embark on a boat excursion with Les Balades du Golfe to discover the natural beauty of the Gulf of Morbihan. Cruise through the crystalline waters, admire the diverse birdlife, and explore hidden coves and islands.

22. La Rabine Promenade

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Enjoy a leisurely walk or bike ride along the La Rabine Promenade, a picturesque path that follows the banks of the Vannes River. Take in the scenic views, watch the boats go by, and relish the peaceful ambiance.

23. Les Toqués de Cuisine

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If you’re a food enthusiast, consider joining a cooking class at Les Toqués de Cuisine. Learn the secrets of Breton cuisine, including how to prepare traditional dishes like seafood specialties, Kouign-Amann (a buttery pastry), and cider-based recipes.

24. Musée d’Histoire et d’Archéologie

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Immerse yourself in the history of Vannes and its surrounding region at the Musée d’Histoire et d’Archéologie. Explore archaeological artifacts, historical exhibits, and multimedia presentations that provide insight into the area’s rich heritage.

25. Place Valencia

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Visit Place Valencia, a charming square lined with cafes and restaurants. Take a seat at one of the outdoor terraces and indulge in some people-watching while savoring a cup of coffee or a delicious meal.

26. Maison de la Nature

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Explore the Maison de la Nature, a nature center located in the nearby Séné Marshes. Learn about the rich biodiversity of the region, go on guided nature walks, and discover the unique ecosystems and wildlife that thrive in this protected area.

27. Les Halles des Lices

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Visit Les Halles des Lices, a covered market in the heart of Vannes. This lively market offers a wide array of fresh produce, local cheeses, meats, and artisanal products. It’s a great place to sample regional delicacies and gather ingredients for a picnic or a meal.

28. Chapelle Saint-Yves

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Pay a visit to the Chapelle Saint-Yves, a charming chapel located just outside the city walls. Admire its beautiful stained glass windows and serene atmosphere, and enjoy the panoramic view of Vannes from the chapel’s terrace.

29. Vannes Jazz Festival

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If you’re a fan of jazz music, consider timing your visit to coincide with the Vannes Jazz Festival. This annual event showcases talented jazz musicians from around the world and offers a vibrant program of concerts, workshops, and jam sessions.

30. Shopping in Vannes

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Take some time to explore the shops and boutiques in Vannes. The city offers a mix of well-known brands, local artisans, and specialty stores. From fashion and home decor to gourmet food products and Breton souvenirs, you’re sure to find something unique to take home.

31. Les Ateliers des Capucins


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Engage in a creative experience at Les Ateliers des Capucins. Participate in art workshops, pottery classes, or jewelry making sessions led by local artists and craftsmen. It’s a great way to learn new skills and create your own unique souvenir.

32. Les Rives du Vincin

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Enjoy a leisurely walk or bike ride along the banks of the Vincin River. The Les Rives du Vincin trail offers scenic views of the river, lush green landscapes, and charming wooden bridges. It’s a peaceful and idyllic spot for outdoor enthusiasts.

33. Les Fêtes Historiques de Vannes

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If you’re interested in history and pageantry, don’t miss Les Fêtes Historiques de Vannes. This historical festival, held every two years, brings the streets of Vannes to life with costumed parades, reenactments, medieval games, and period performances.