In the summer, an event takes place in Nantes that neither residents nor visitors can miss. Voyage à Nantes is a new experience each year. For two months, art comes out into the city’s streets and refashions the Nantes cityscape, making this a city with a crazy, ebullient culture.
Voyage à Nantes is a unique experience in France and worldwide. The city centre is painted with a green line covering several kilometres. It shows the route to follow to discover Nantes through its conventional classics, but also and especially, via installations, exhibitions and slightly crazy sites. The whole city ends up being a cultural attraction and a real playground. The route is put back each year for the summer (July and August) but there is also a permanent route for those visiting Nantes outside this period.
Key sites in Nantes
Voyage à Nantes takes us on a trip of discovery around the key sites in Nantes, including LU Tower, the Dukes of Brittany Chateau, Nantes Art Museum (which reopened in 2017), the Machines of the Isle and all other landmarks and cultural sites you must visit if you are coming to Nantes for the first time. What’s great is that you don’t even need a tourist guide as all you need do is follow the green line on the ground.
In summer, even the locals rediscover special Nantes sites as exhibitions, frescoes and events are put on which encourage us to explore.
Crazy Voyage à Nantes installations
Modern installations are set up along the route and are often huge and impressive. Each year there are new ones and some are made permanent while others are only there for a summer. During Voyage à Nantes, the number of unusual things to see in the city increases. As I write, there are more than 50 things to see and do.
Here are my favourites:
- Shop Signs. City centre shop signs have been played around with. This really encourages you to lift your eyes when wandering through the streets.
- Sliding Landscape. A 12-metre slide attached to the chateau on which you can slide from the ramparts down to the moat of this historic monument. Only open in summer.
- The Nest. A bar installed on the 32nd floor of Brittany Tower, the highest in Nantes. Ideal for a drink with a breath-taking view.
- Let’s Walk on the Moon. Trampolines are installed in lunar craters. In summer, the Earth is suspended above our heads to make it feel like we are in space.
- The Hosts/Guests. Group barbecues installed at Shipyards Park. Everyone can come and cook their own meal and enjoy each other’s company. Only open in summer.
- Ephemeral, dreamlike artistic performances by Pick Up Production who create immersive shows with giant frescoes in abandoned buildings.
I hope this overview of Voyage à Nantes will have made you want to come and (re)discover the city. Lovers of contemporary and urban art, children and those with a childlike spirit should come to Nantes!