Our Hotels in Rennes
Ranging from city-centre luxury hotels with a spa to stylish business accommodation and affordable options offering bed and breakfast for your family weekend in Rennes, the wide variety of our hotels in Rennes guarantees you'll find the best place to stay on your getaway in the Breton capital.
What to do in Rennes
A stroll through the cobbled streets of Rennes city centre is the best way to immerse yourself in local history. The city is renowned for its charming and colourful half-timbered houses, many of them dating from the Middle Ages and often tilting at seemingly gravity-defying angles. The buildings are true survivors, withstanding the great fire of 1720 that devastated much of the city. The reconstruction after the fire spawned the impressive squares dotted throughout the centre – many lined with inviting pub or cafe terrasses ideal for a people-watching sightseeing break over coffee and Breton crêpes.
The city's nucleus and most iconic square is Place de la Mairie, home to the Opéra Rennes, with its opulent interior and convex neoclassical façade complementing the concave face of the 18th-century Hôtel de Ville directly opposite. From there it's just a few steps to the imposing Bretagne Parlement, where you can join a guided tour of lavish chambers in the former palace of the Duchy of Brittany. The dukes and duchesses once passed through the Portes Mordelaises gates, a remnant of the medieval fortifications, on the way to their coronation in Saint-Pierre Cathedrale Rennes. Based on a Roman basilica, the church has been architecturally transformed numerous times since the 12th century and is home to an intricate, gilded 1520s Flemish altarpiece.
Like to learn more about the region? The Museum of Brittany illuminates the province's fascinating history and culture with a collection including tools, costumes and decorative arts – it's part of the buzzing, cutting-edge Champs Libres cultural centre, where you can also visit a library and planetarium. Fancy taking in some theatre in Rennes? The wave-shaped, contemporary Théâtre National de Bretagne presents dance, music and cinema as well as drama. Among the major museums presenting art exhibitions in Rennes, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes, on the banks of the Vilaine, features works by Da Vinci, Botticelli and Rembrandt, while contemporary art is the focus at the striking, angular FRAC Bretagne.
Time for a break in the fresh air? Beautiful Thabor Park has an orangerie as well as English- and French-style gardens – why not grab some Breton cheese and ham from La Criée central market, and enjoy a picnic on the lawns? You'll also find plenty of trails in Rennes for cycling, rollerblading or strolling amid the meadows, lakes and forests of expansive Gayeulles Park.
Your accommodation in Rennes makes an ideal starting point for exploring more of Brittany, giving you easy access to the craggy Emerald Coast and the charming town of Saint-Malo (less than hour by train or car), with its medieval walls overlooking the English Channel. Take a detour to quaint Fougères village (40 minutes by car) to explore its vast, thousand-year-old granite fortress and wander among half-timbered houses, or venture to the woodland, moors and lakes that gave birth to the legend of King Arthur, Sir Lancelot and Merlin the Wizard in la Forêt de Brocéliande(around 45 minutes' drive).
What and Where to Eat in Rennes
Naturally, there are more things to do in Rennes than explore its remarkable backstory, culture and green spaces. Food and drink are a fundamental element of Breton identity, and the Rennes restaurant scene is packed with choice. You'll find Michelin-starred eateries, where chefs add an inventive twist to regional traditions, next to convivial brasseries offering creative takes on classic French food and drink. When the weather's warm, the dining and nightlife scene moves outdoors, with a host of restaurants, cafes and bars hosting terraces on majestic squares or hidden in leafy courtyards. If you'd like to pick up some ingredients for a homemade Breton feast, the stalls at the La Criée central market are piled high with produce from the fertile hinterland and the Brittany coast. Every Saturday morning, the Place des Lices market draws thousands of gourmands to producers' stalls stacked high with regional seafood, cheeses, charcuterie, fruit and vegetables.
The sea isn't far from Rennes, so oysters, mussels and king scallops fresh from the Breton coast are local delicacies. An ideal sweet accompaniment to coffee, kouign-amann is a decadent pastry made of layers of viennoiserie dough baked with caramelised sugar and lots of butter. However, Brittany's most renowned culinary staple is the crêpe, a wafer-thin pancake topped with honey and lemon or drenched in salted caramel. A savoury version – the galette – is a meal in itself, made from buckwheat flour, filled with cheese and ham and then topped with a fried egg; the galette-saucisse – featuring a buckwheat crêpe wrapped around a griled pork sausage – is a Rennes street-food favourite.
And to wash down these delectable delights? Unlike much of France, Brittany isn't a wine-growing region, but it's all the more famous for its ciders, made to centuries-old recipes from a few of the province's hundreds of apple varieties. They range from sweet to dry – the ideal accompaniment to your galette!
The Best Hotels in Rennes
Our portfolio offers you the best deals on hotels in Rennes, France, whether you fancy a romantic 5-star stay – complete with a spa and gourmet restaurant – right around the corner from the Bretagne Parlement, or you're planning a lovely weekend in Rennes and need a little more room to spread out. Staying longer and looking for a fully furnished apartment complete with coworking space in Rennes? Making a quick stopover in a hotel near the train station? Our hotels in Rennes city centre have got you covered there too.
How to Get to Rennes
Rennes is easy to reach by train from most French cities – since the opening of the high-speed line in 2017, a journey on the TGV from Paris Montparnasse takes just 90 minutes. TER regional services from Gare de Rennes in the city centre take you to nearby destinations including picturesque coastal Saint-Malo. Flying in? Buses from Rennes Bretagne Airport take you into the city centre in just 20 minutes.
While strolling its cobbled streets is the best way to soak up both the richness of Rennes history and its effervescent present, the métro and bus services will get you wherever you want to go quickly.
The Best Time to Visit Rennes
A mild Atlantic climate means rain is possible at any time of year, and even at the height of summer you're less likely to experience the intense heat that's common in the south of France. A huge draw on the Rennes events calendar is Les Tombées de la Nuit festival each July, when street performers take over the city, presenting everything from poetry readings to circus entertainment – and you're encouraged to participate! A great motivation for a winter Rennes city trip with friends is the Trans Musicales festival each December, when name and up-and-coming musicians showcase genres from rock and rap to jazz and world music.