Brest is Brittany’s second largest administrative centre, and undeniably has a great deal on offer. Both the young and the old will be captivated by this picturesque naval port situated within one of France’s best natural harbors. Come unravel what this gem of a city has to offer. Below are 7 things you can do in Brest to keep yourself busy as well as yearning for more.
1. 360° views of Brest
If you are yearning for a beautiful panoramic view of the beautiful city of Brest, then pay a visit to one of the most innovative projects in the city. Known as the “Plateau des Capucins,“ this site is best known for offering 360° views of the city and has even obtained the Ecodistrict Label in 2009. This site is situated on one of the two banks of the Penfeld, a coastal river. Getting from one side of the bank to the other has been made even more accessible through the use of cable cars which operate between the banks. This is one site where photography enthusiasts will be able to capture stunning photographs which will leave them with everlasting memories of their visit to Brest.
Plateau des Capucins
Address: 25 Rue de Pontaniou, 29200 Brest, France
Website: Plateau des Capucins (in French)
2. Walk along the quayside
It is worthwhile to take a walk along the beautiful harbor of Brest. Given that Brest has one of the best natural harbors in the city, beauty awaits you. The commerical port is busy with activity and is home to hundreds of colorful buoys. Capture the town’s ambience by taking a leisurely stroll along Quai Commandant-Malbert to see these buoys put in place by Finistere’s Lighthouses and Beacons department. Also, have a glimpse of the shipyards busy with their work, building wooden boats.
Website: Brest Quay
3. Day out at Oceanopolis
Have a day of fun with your young ones by taking them to Oceanopolis in Brest. Let your kids get enchanted with the beauty of the varied marine life on the seabed and also learn more about the ocean. A high quality attraction in Brest, the Oceanopolis is home to almost 1,000 species of marine creatures. With a large range of interactive and animated displays, your trip to Oceanopolis will be a dream come true for visitors of all ages. Discover the seals, penguins, sharks, otters, turtles and many more as the sea unfolds in front of your eyes. With shops and restaurants within the premises, the Oceanopolis is a good summer attraction to get some respite from the heat.
Address: Port de Plaisance du Moulin Blanc, 29200 Brest, France
Website: Oceanopolis (in French)
4. Go through history at the Musée de la Marine
Yearning for a slice of history in Brest? Then head down to the Musee National de la Marine, one of Brest’s best museums. Since Brest is known for having a rich maritime history, with the port having been a military base, it is little wonder that the town is home to a maritime museum. Located in the historical centre of the town, the museum housed in a castle recounts 17 centuries of shipbuilding practices. The museum gives visitors a deep insight into the longstanding relationship between Brest and its maritime culture. Take the opportunity to discover this historical site either through a self-guided tour or hire a guide.
Musee de la Marine
Address: Château de Brest, Boulevard de la Marine, 29200 Brest, France
Website: Musee de la Marine
5. The best of French cuisine
A trip to Brest is never complete without savoring the delicious French cuisine. There is a wide variety of restaurants in the city which are of top quality and will not disappoint. It is possible to eat out on different budgets too. Much of the cuisine in Brest, as with the rest of Brittany, revolves around the sea. Seafood is fresh in the city and varied. For instance, you would be able to easily find mussels or other types of fish and crustaceans on the menus of most restaurants. Brest is vegetarian-friendly too with many types of vegetables being grown in the region. Go ahead and savor the taste of the sea while holidaying in Brest.
La Maison de l’Océan
Address: 2 Quai de la Douane, 29200 Brest, France
Website: La Maison de l’Océan (in French)
6. Enjoy the coast
The entire town of Brittany revolves mostly around the sea. In fact, it probably owes its existence to the sea. As such, coastal trips should be done as part of your trip to Brest. Simple tours like boat trips from the the coast of Brest can be undertaken. Sit on the rooftop of the boat and enjoy the sea breeze while admiring Brest from the water. You might also get lucky by spotting some dolphins having a jolly good time in the water.
You could also hire boats out from various boating companies operating between various routes. For instance, you can take boat trips that will cross the south of Brittany. If boat trips are not your thing, you can try out some coastal driving routes. One picturesque route is the Crozon Peninsula drive, which can be done as a day trip between Brest and Quimper.
The Crozon Peninsula
Website: The Crozon Peninsula
7. Château de Brest
Chateau de Brest is a castle in Brest which is the oldest monument in the town. It is also known to be the strongest monument, having withstood the Second World War. With an eventful history of 17 centuries, this castle guards over the beautiful city of Brest. About 40 years ago, the castle underwent refurbishment in order to house the maritime museum, which is definitely worth a visit as well. Since 1955, the Chateau de Brest houses the collections from the museum and has made itself a prominent monument in Brest.
Château de Brest
Address: Boulevard de la Marine, 29200 Brest, France
Website: Château de Brest (in French)
Experience what Brest has to offer
A city with more than a thousand years of history, Brest is one quaint French town that is worth exploring. Savor the best cuisine in the town and spend a couple of days out with your entire family. There is something for all ages; the young and the old. Hesitate no more and take a tour to discover for yourself what stunning landscape and coastal towns are in store for you.
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