History and beauty abound in this French village; if you’re looking for the French picturesque, look here. Historic castles and monuments, museums, blooming gardens - and let’s not forget the French wine. Learn more about the best things to do in Angers!
1. Visit a castle!
It’s almost as if this town collects castles, so I’m only going to mention two. The first is the Château D’Angers; as a castle, it obviously has a lot of history behind it, where visitors can take in a Neolithic tomb and other archaeological remains, the medieval Apocalypse Tapestry, a “royal fortress,” gardens, and more.
The Château de Brissac is another awesome castle, is gorgeous outside and in, and is called “The Giant of the Loire Valley” - and for good reason; it has 204 rooms on 7 floors, which makes it the highest castle in France. It has a landscaped garden, and every room inside is decorated luxuriously, lavishly, and in the regency style. If Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy had a summer home in France, this would be it. There’s even a theater and a pool room, and as a bonus (or two, or three), they make their own wine (complete with a vineyard and wine cellar), have a tea room for guests, AND, you can stay in one of the castle’s rooms overnight!
Address: 2, Promenade du Bout du Monde, Angers
Website: Château D’Angers
Château de Brissac
Address: Rue Louis Moron, 49320, Brissac-Quincé
Website: Château de Brissac
2. Explore other historical landmarks
Aside from the collection of castles, there’s also historic sites like the Saint Martin Collegiate Church. This church has been around since antiquity, so it’s seen its share of historical events; their website has lots of details about its history and information for visitors - including an archaeological crypt. The Maison d'Adam (The House of Adam, a.k.a. The House of Adam and Eve), another significant historical site, was built in the 15th-century, and still stands as a pinnacle of medieval architecture. Today it’s an art boutique that sells everything from sculptures and jewelry, to tapestries and glassware.
Saint Martin Collegiate Church
Address: 23 Rue Saint Martin, Angers
Website: Saint Martin Collegiate Church
Address: 1, Place Sainte Croix, 49100, Angers
Website: Maison d'Adam
3. Take a walk in a garden
There are many beautiful parks and gardens in Angers, among them the Garden of Plants and the Jardin du Mail. The Garden of Plants has been around since the late 18th-century, and today is designed like an English garden; there’s a pond, walking paths, a children’s area, and trees that are over a hundred years old, including the Siberian Elm, which is 125 years old! The Jardin du Mail has been around even longer - since the 17th-century - and was designed in part by André Leroy. There are over 40,000 plants, a fountain built in 1855, statues, and reading boxes!
Garden of Plants
Address: Place Mendès France, 49100, Angers
Website: Jardin des Plantes
Jardin du Mail
Address: 1 bd Resistance de la Deportation, 49100, Angers
Website: Jardin du Mail
4. Visit a museum
Pincé Museum, Museum of Natural Sciences, and the Museum-Castle of Villevêque are among some of the museums in Angers. Most notable are the Museum of Fine Arts, whose paintings, sculptures, and more are from before the Renaissance to the 21st-century, and the Jean-Lurçat and Contemporary Tapestry Museum, which is housed in the Saint Jean Hospital and displays tapestries from throughout the centuries. Its grounds also include vegetable, flower, and medicinal herb gardens.
Museum of Fine Arts
Address: 14 Rue du Musee, 49100, Angers
Website: Musée des Beaux-Arts (in French)
Address: 4 Boulevard Arago, 49100, Angers
Website: Jean-Lurçat Museum (in French)
5. Spend the day at the Terra Botanica theme park
This place is more than a botanical garden (though it boasts some epic gardens, like the dino-themed Origins of Life exhibit, or the Strange and Unusual plants garden, Butterfly Greenhouse, and botanical odyssey, among others). Each exhibit/garden is interactive and informative; there’s plenty of activities for adults and kids, including a Smart Garden, kids areas, a museum area, a 4D theater, a hot air balloon, and so much more. Spend the day walking the paths, having fun, and learning about all kinds of plants, botany, and paleontology and paleobotany.
Address: Route d’Epinard, BP 80609, 49106, Angers
Website: Terra Botanica
6. Do the ropes course at Parc Anjou Adventure
On the ground or up in the trees, if you like ropes courses, you’ll like this adventure park. Rope bridges, nets and walls, ziplining - there’s something for all ages (don’t worry, you’re always attached to a harness), and you have the option of climbing around and pausing to enjoy the surrounding nature as much as you choose. Plus, you can go during the day, or at night. The only way it can get better is if you have friends or family to go with!
Parc Anjou Adventure
Address: Les Sablières, Écouflant, Pays De La Loire
Website: Parc Anjou Adventure (in French)
7. Do a wine tasting at Maison des Vins
The Maison des Vins (House of Wines) is a popular spot for sampling different wines. They have an extensive and varied collection, and often schedule wine tastings, though the focus is on the wines of Anjou-Saumur. Friendly staff will be more than happy to tell you about each wine, and you’ll likely end up buying a bottle or two.
Maison des Vins
Address: 5 bis, Place Kennedy, 49100, Angers
Website: Maison des Vins
8. Stop by the Galerie David d'Angers
The Galerie David d'Angers is actually inside an abbey - the Abbey of Toussaint (or All Saints Abbey) - and displays all the sculpture pieces done by Pierre-Jean David, who came to be known as David d'Angers. His other works include some busts, medallions, and sketches. The abbey itself has undergone some restorations, and is now a bright open space.
Galerie David d'Angers
Address: 33 bis, Rue Toussaint, 49100, Angers
Website: Galerie David d'Angers (in French)
9. Hang out at the Place du Ralliement
As the city center of Angers, you’ll likely find yourself at the Place du Ralliement, or “Rally Square.” Flanked by shops, restaurants, and cafés, this gorgeous stone square has seen its share of history, and is now a pedestrian hangout. It was once a guillotine site during the French Revolution, complete with a tree of liberty (or tree of freedom). Today a tram runs through, and there’s even a fountain.
Place du Ralliement
Address: Place du Ralliement, 49100 Angers
A French escape
There’s a lot more to this town than I’ve mentioned; it’d be pretty easy to escape here. Spend the night in a castle, wander beautiful gardens, enjoy French wine, admire wonderful statues, art, and history. It’s all possible in Angers.
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