visite guidée centre historique

5 must-see visits in Rennes

History, cultural heritage, (street) art and more 5 tours to learn everything there is to know about Rennes!

Taking part in a business event in Rennes is also an opportunity to visit the city, where you can get anywhere by foot or metro. Explore its historic centre, its heritage and its culture over 5 tours and unmissable and unusual sights.

Lots of conference visitors enjoy exploring the host city, but few actually have the time to do so. Rennes makes life easier because you can go everywhere on foot or by metro! Make the most of the city centre with a drink on a terrace, lunch at a restaurant or a shopping trip in one of the Métropole’s many boutiques. But, first and foremost, explore the city by going on one of the many tours offered by the Tourist Office. Browse some of the options on offer here:

Stroll through Rennes’ historic centre

The heart of Rennes is known for its lanes lined with traditional houses and stone private mansions. From the ancient Couvent des Jacobins convent (now Rennes Conference Centre) through the cobbled lanes lined with colourful half-timbered houses, your walk will take you through several centuries. Go through the Portes Mordelaises gate and its small castle with two towers, typical of medieval estates, before reaching the town hall, its place and that of the Parlement of Brittany, which dates back to the era of Gabriel, the architect of King Louis XV.

Visit the Parlement of Brittany

This building is the flagship landmark of Rennes heritage. With intricate coffered ceilings, sculptured and gilded woodwork, the setting is befitting of this iconic building’s prestigious functions. This emblem of Brittany, designed in the 17th century, houses Brittany’s Court of Appeal and the Ille-et-Vilaine criminal court. See the beautiful, painstaking restoration, which took place following the fire of 1994, and admire the paintings and gilding, especially in the Grand Chambre, where you will find the only sculpted ceiling of its kind in Europe.


Stroll in the Parc du Thabor

It is said to be the “Prince of Gardens” and one of the most beautiful “jardin de prestige” gardens in France. Renowned landscape gardener Denis Bühler created this public garden, which was previously an orchard owned by monks. It is remarkable in terms of its layout, architecture and many sculptures, created by the director of the École des Beaux-Arts de Rennes (Rennes School of Fine Arts) and his pupils. Around the French-style and landscape gardens you will cross the so-called field of “hell” (“l’Enfer”) to get to the botanical garden and the famous rose garden.

Thabor garden in Rennes
Thabor garden in Rennes

Explore street art culture throughout the city

In Rennes, art does not belong only in museums and galleries and can also be found on display in the streets. Take a guided tour of Rennes’ street art scene (WAR, Mioshe, Brez, etc.) to see the walls concerned, especially the M.U.R de Rennes, an outdoor living gallery at 34 rue Vasselot. The result of both private and public commissions, graffiti plays with the urban environment. There are also frescos that are proof of the artistic freedom of expression that reigns in the city. It is an abundance of creativity that adds colour to the walls of Rennes.

Photo : Julien Mignot

Learn all about Odorico and the art of mosaics in Brittany

Discover these Italian mosaic artists who arrived at the end of the 19th century and crafted, for almost a century, decorative entrances, facades and shop floors in all of the Grand-Ouest area and more specifically in Rennes. It is a unique and sometimes little-known piece of heritage that can be found pretty much all over Rennes: from the north of the Vilaine river to the Saint-Georges swimming pool and under the arcades of the opera house, not to forget the Odorico house itself.

Une façade Odorico à Rennes
Photo : Julien Mignot

In Rennes, we love a challenge. You can choose from a large range of unique activities to liven up a day or half-day of team building, meetings or company incentives, such as office Olympics, environmentally friendly tours, remote escape rooms (in your company or meeting place), murder mysteries, treasure hunts, cooking challenges and more, so there’s something for everyone! Browse the programme of guided tours adapted to groups, themed tours of the city and quirky, unique and cultural activities.

  • Do you want to make the most of one of these tours? Learn more from the Tourist Office or on the website
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