When the sun goes down, the town turns into one big party. On place du Bouffay, place du Pilori, and the pedestrian streets in between, you’ll find lots of cafes and pubs, many with live music and fun people. A younger crowd rules rue Scribe.
Live music fans can catch blues, jazz, or rock concerts at L’Univers Café, 16 rue Jean-Jacques-Rousseau (tel. 02-40-73-49-55) while oenophiles won’t be disappointed with the wine lists at the modern Comédie des Vins, 4 Rue Suffren (www.facebook.com/lacomediedesvins; tel. 02-40-73-11-68) or the rustic Café de Provence, 2 rue Vauban (www.baravinslaprovencenantes.com; tel. 02-40-48-78-71). On warm summer nights, amble along the Ile de Nantes to the Le Hangar des Bananes (www.hangarabananes.com). These former storage buildings for exotic fruit from the colonies have been converted into a line of bars and restaurants with large terraces.
The hippest location in Nantes, and the town’s leading cultural center, is Le Lieu Unique, 2 rue de la Biscuiterie (www.lelieuunique.com; tel. 02-51-82-15-00). Converted from a 19th-century biscuit factory, the venue offers presentations ranging from plays (in French) to art exhibitions. Admission is free to the dimly lit, concrete-floored bar at ground level, which is frequented by students and artists who pack the dance floor. The restaurant here also has the same vibe. The bar is open Monday 11am to 8pm, Tuesday and Wednesday 11am to 1am, Thursday 11am to 2am, Friday and Saturday 11am to 3am, and Sunday 3 to 8pm.
For dancing, head to the stylish Le Royal Club Privé, 7 rue des Salorges (www.leroyal.fr; tel. 02-40-69-11-10). Be sure to dress up, avoid jeans and sneakers, and be prepared to pay 15€ to 20€.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.