They say about Brittany that it is French Galicia, but I promise you that it is even more beautiful... I am not just saying this because I am from there, but it is the second destination most chosen by the French to spend your vacation. Today I'm taking you to Rennes, or Roazhon in Breton. Although it is the capital of Brittany, Rennes can be visited in one day since its historic center is very concentrated. If I had to compare it with any Spanish city, I would say that it is built more or less like Malaga, so everything essential can be done on foot. Will you accompany me?
In the morning
We started the day with breakfast on the terrace of La Kitchenette, located on Rue Jules Simon, right next to the central market of Rennes. The place is cozy and warm, as are the two managers. All products are made by local companies, among which you can try toast with salted butter and homemade jam or delicious cakes with artisanal juice.
Go up the street and pass under the arches of the Palacio del Comercio and you will arrive at the Plaza de la República. If you continue going up, you will find yourself in the central square of Rennes: the Town Hall. On the left, you can admire the Municipal Chamber, built after the great fire of 1720, and to the right is the Rennes Opera. The opera building is part of an ambitious real estate project, it includes accommodation and shopping galleries, protected by glass. Its other peculiarity is that it adapts to the shape of the Municipal Chamber: the projection of this building responds to the opening of the town hall. A little further up you will find yourself on Rue Le Bastard, a pedestrian and commercial street.
After this, we will go to Place Sainte-Anne, surely the most famous square in the city, since it is the meeting place for all the rennais. It has lost a bit of its charm since it is under construction due to the construction of the second metro line. It surely catches your attention to see so many punks with mohawks surrounded by dogs! These are part of the landscape rennais. You can go visit the Saint-Aubin Church which is in the square, or if it is Saturday, take a walk to the Marché des Lices, the third market in France that has existed since 1622.
It's time to eat! In France, meal time is around 12:30 or 1:00 p.m. On Rue de Penhoët is one of the best crêperies in Rennes, La Rozell. I recommend trying the L'Armorique galette, with scallops and mushrooms, without forgetting to order a bowl of Breton cider. And finish with a banana crêpe with melted chocolate and coconut shavings!
In the afternoon
In the mood for a nap? There is no better place than Thabor Park, one of the most beautiful gardens in France that covers 10 hectares in the heart of the city. You can take a walk through its French and English gardens, its rose gardens, its statues, its aviary, its kiosk... You will love it!
After digestion with the walk through the park, you have the possibility of visiting the Parliament of Brittany. It is an impressive monument drawn by the architect of the Luxembourg Palace and marked by the most important times in the region: the sealed paper revolt or the fight against royal absolutism. The Great Chamber is the jewel of Parliament.
If you fancy a beer (Breton, of course!), you can choose one of the terraces on the Place du Champ Jacquet. If you look at the houses that surround the square, you will discover the most typical characteristics of the architecture of this city.
To end the afternoon, you can take a walk around the old town, without forgetting to pass through the Rue du Chapitre, the Portes Mordelaises with its drawbridge, rue Vasselot, the Cathédrale St-Pierre, etc..
For dinner, I recommend the mussels from L'Abri du Marché above the Place des Lices, but if you prefer to eat something quickly, head to Rue Saint-Michel, the street of bars, renamed “thirst street” by the rennais, and ask for a galette-saucisse at Alex's Taverne bar, the city's specialty.
You are now in the heart of the party! Keep in mind that here the bars close a little earlier than in Spain (around one in the morning), but then you can go to “night bars”, which close around three or spend the night at a club. The most picturesque is, without a doubt, le Delicatessen, the building was a former prison from the 15th century!
It's time to return to your hotel. And when you get up the next day, take the train to Saint-Malo to spend your hangover on the beach in the city of corsairs!