Arriving -- The TGV train from Paris’s Gare Montparnasse takes about 2 to 2 1/4 hours to get to Nantes and costs range from 29€ to 77€. For information, visit www.oui.sncf or call tel. 36-35 (.40€/min.). Nantes’s Gare SNCF, 27 bd. de Stalingrad, is a 5-minute walk from the town center. If you’re driving, take A11 for 385km (239 miles) west of Paris. The trip takes about 4 hours. Aéroport Nantes-Atlantique (tel. 02-40-84-80-00) is 12km (7 1/2 miles) southeast of town. Air France (www.airfrance.fr; [tel] 36-54 within France only) offers daily flights from Paris. A shuttle bus between the airport and the Nantes train station takes 25 minutes and costs 9€. A taxi from the airport costs 30€ to 35€ and takes about 20 minutes.
Visitor Information -- The Office de Tourisme is at 9 rue des Etats (www.nantes-tourisme.com; tel. 08-92-46-40-44).
Pass Nantes -- Available at the airport, tourist office, and certain hotels, the pass allows you to enter museums and ride any of the city’s public conveyances, including buses, trams, and some of the boats that cruise through town along Erdre River. The pass costs 25€ for 1 day, 35€ for 2 days, and 45€ for 3 days; passes for families of 4 are a good value.
On Foot -- The downtown, cathedral, castle, and the island are accessible on foot and the central train station helps for visitors without wheels.
By Bicycle -- Nantes has a Paris-style bike-sharing program called Bicloo (www.bicloo.nantesmetropole.fr; tel. 09-69-39-36-67). With over 103 stations it’s a great way to get around. You can register online at machines at most stations or at the tourist office. Fees are 1€ for a day pass or 5€ for a weekly pass.
By Car -- As the downtown core is highly pedestrianized, it’s best to park your car; around the station there are ideal official lots. Otherwise, there is another at the cathedral. You can rent a car near the train station through Europcar, 325 rue Marcel Paul (www.europcar-atlantique.fr; tel. 02-40-47-19-38) or Hertz, rue Cornulier (www.hertz.fr; tel. 02-40-35-78-00).
By Taxi -- For an English-speaking service call Taxis Nantes or reserve online (www.taxisnantes.fr; [tel] 06-88-28-16-29).
By Public Transport -- Nantes has an extensive transit system of trams, buses, and ferries run by the TAN (www.tan.fr; tel. 02-40-44-44-44). A one-way ticket costs 1.60€ and can be purchased from a machine at tram stations or 2€ from the bus driver or an unlimited day pass is 5.40€.
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.