With its lively student scene, range of family attractions, and historic sights, Nantes is always a fun city to visit and traveling there by train makes perfect sense. Trains run to Nantes from Paris and its international airports, allowing visitors from abroad to reach the city with ease. And with its central location, the station could hardly be better situated to launch an exploration of this wonderful destination.
Whether they start at Paris's Gare Montparnasse, Bordeaux St-Jean, or cities like Le Mans, trains to Nantes will always arrive at the Gare de Nantes (Nantes Station). The station can be found on the Boulevard de Stalingrad, just north of the Ile de Nantes, and east of Centre-Ville (Nantes city center). Expect a 10-15 minute walk to most central locations.
Rail services to Nantes are mainly provided by SNCF, France's national carrier. SNCF offers standard fares and slightly faster Intercités tariffs. However, InOui offers an alternative, running slightly slower but reliable trains to the Gare de Nantes from regional cities.
Traveling by train to Nantes is often the most comfortable and convenient way to make the trip. There are excellent connections between the Gare de Nantes and Paris CDG airport, which is the main entry point for American visitors. Upon arrival, travelers can be in Nantes within three hours, and the station has a very central location, so reaching accommodation won't be difficult. Trains leave Paris every hour or so, and take advantage of France's high-speed network. Compared to buses, or even regional flights, trains are always a quick way to reach eastern France.
Most of the major attractions in Nantes are clustered around the Ile de Nantes and Centre-Ville, the city's historic core so there often isn't much need to rent cars or rely on public transport. Visitors can easily walk from the outlandish models at Machines of the Isle, the cathedral of Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul, and the Jardin des Plantes, but it pays to get out of town, too. Short-term car rentals can put natural gems like the island of Noirmoutier or the chateaux of the Loire Valley within easy reach.