What to do in Brest? The 10 essential activities

The castle, rare historical vestige of Brest

Preserve from the bombings in 1944, the castle has overlooked the harbor of Brest since the third century. The fortification designed by Vauban now houses the maritime prefecture and the National Navy Museum. Seventeen centuries of naval history, animations (nocturnes, tales…), paintings and replicas of boats are present.

Observe the boats from the ports

Turned towards the maritime world, the second most populated city in Brittany, which saw the advent of its military port under Richelieu, offers the International Maritime Festival. More than a thousand boats from various eras come together in July, ranging from historic replicas to offshore racing yachts. The rest of the year, sit down at a café terrace on the military, commercial, fishing, stopover ports and more particularly in the first Breton marina.

The Capuchins, a must-see place

Sold in 2011 to the Municipality, this former military zone of 2.5 hectares on the right bank is now an innovative cultural place, a center for dissemination and creation, combining media library and exhibitions. Its panorama over the Atlantic and its energy make Les Capucins an unmissable meeting place for Brest locals.

Take the cable car

From the city center, opt for originality to join the Capuchins! France’s first urban cable car, 420m connects one bank of the Penfeld to the other for a tram/bus ticket. Savor the view of the harbor and the Crozon peninsula.

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Oceanopolis, the sea at your fingertips

Nearly 70 aquariums gathered in a trio of pavilions (polar, tropical and Brittany), make Océanopolis an intelligent park that evokes and preserves underwater fauna. Animations and exhibitions popularize the scientific approach to safeguarding the seabed.

White House : an exceptional neighborhood

The calm close to the center defines the Maison Blanche district. More than sixty fishermen’s huts, built after the war, overlook a pebble beach where the colors change according to the hours. The passages here are streets. Exotic!

Explore the harbor by boat

Boat tours are legion to apprehend Brest from the sea. La Recouvrance, a replica of a military ship (19th century), offers gourmet cruises based on local products. Ex-shellfish, Loch Monna stands out for its rehabilitation for tourist purposes.

Thirty hikes in the metropolis

Thirty hiking trails crisscross the metropolis, offering coastal walks and viewpoints that magnify the city and its surroundings. Head west to reach the Pointe du Petit Minou fort which offers a breathtaking panorama of the Crozon Peninsula.

Encourage Stade Brestois at Francis-Le Blé

Sources differ on its creation but the Stade Brestois, resident of Ligue 2, claims the merger of five patronages in 1950. Whether you like football or not, supporting the Red and Whites standing in the stands in the heart of a stadium worthy of England is a unique experience. Centenary in five years, the Francis-Le Blé stadium has launched internationals such as Ginola and Le Guen.

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Two gardens full of exoticism

The ocean may well be the semaphore on which Brest rests, but the city does not skimp on its attachment to the land. The National Botanical Conservatory Garden, whose 30 hectares are home to tropical greenhouses. Without it, the public would not have access to this multitude of wild plants. The Jardin des Explorateurs bears its name well since it lists a substantial collection of exotic flora that explorers and botanists have brought back from maritime excursions.

Read also: The 5 most beautiful beaches in Brest

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