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How To Reach Nantes
Situated along the banks of the river Loire in the Pays de la Loire region of north-western France, Nantes is a significantly historic city that had been chosen by the Dukes of Brittany as their capital. The redrawn boundaries after World War II caused Nantes to lose its status as the capital of the Duchy, but its intimate relationship with Brittany can still be witnessed in the city’s innate identity. The course of rivers Loire, Erdre and Sévre through and around the city has earned it the nickname of La Venise de l’Ouest or ‘Venice of the West’. This is as spiritual as it is innovative and its various attractions are a testament to its rich heritage and modern ‘joie de vivre’. Undeniably, Nantes is best explored in person and to help you do that, here is a list of some of the most convenient ways to reach Nantes.
The Aéroport Nantes Atlantique, previously known as Aeroport Chateau Bougon, located in the south of Nantes is the international airport of the city with regular connections to the entire European continent. With no direct flights between Nantes and India, travellers from the latter can choose connecting flights with stopovers in Munich, Paris, Amsterdam etc. to reach Nantes. The airport is located just about 30 minutes away from the city centre and airport shuttle services are available to transport passengers to various stops like Neustria, SNCF train station or Downtown. Airport shuttle services are free up till certain points and if you get down at Neustria, you can continue your journey to the city centre via the tramway using Ticket Tram (part of the Nantes City Pass, which is available at the airport). A lot of travellers choose to fly to Charles de Gaulle in Paris from their point of origin and take a direct train to Nantes, which is easily available from the airport itself.
Train journeys are a cheaper and more interesting way to travel when in France. Regular trains connect Nantes to all major European destinations through the high-speed TGV rail network and the SNCF network. There are dozens of TGV trains from Paris especially running to and from Nantes daily, which is located just around 2 hours away. Other neighbouring cities like Lyon and Marseille are situated roughly 4 and 6 hours away respectively.
Driving through the scenic French countryside is an experience in itself. You can make this experience a part of your memories by hiring a car from one of the numerous car rental services available in various European cities and drive to Nantes by yourself. If driving is too much of a hassle for you, take the option of bus services available from numerous cities nearby with direct connections to Nantes. Companies like Eurolines, Ouibus and Flixbus offer bus services to Nantes from several cities and can be booked online.
Nantes has an extensive public transportation system that is provided by TAN (Transports de l’Agglomeration Nantaise). It consists of tram lines, bus lines and Navibus lines (meant for public boats). Taxis can also be used to get around the city, which can be availed from the designated taxi-waiting spots like the train station or Place du Commerce etc.
Another fun way to explore the city is through bicycles. Being a bike-friendly city, there are bicycle lanes alongside most roads and also through many streets and markets. Bikes can be rented from Nantes Metropole or through the self-service bike network Bicloo.