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21 day trip base in Rennes, France

Train distances/number of hours to Normandy, Brittany coast from Rennes--can a rail trip to one of those be done in one day with return to Rennes that night? High speed train to Paris from Rennes--what to see there? Would like to avoid use of a car. First time visitors!


Posted by
3769 posts

which cities/towns are you wishing to visit in Normandy and Brittany?
Paris trip is 2 hrs 15 min each way and would cost 50 euro.

Posted by
6487 posts

Rennes is well served by train and bus and you can get to lots of towns in Brittany and Normandy for day trips. A lot depends on which cities/towns you want to visit and what your 'outside' travel time each way is for a day trip. I usually limit day trips to places that take < 3 hours by train or bus each way, and even that can be stretching it and not leaving enough time to see everything I might want to see.

Rennes to St Malo about an hour, Dinan about 2 hr, Nantes about an 1-1/2 hr, Saint-Brieuc < 1hr, Fougeres - 2-1/2 hrs. To Bayeux in Normandy about 2 hrs 45 min, Caen 3 hours, Avranches a little over an hour, Mont St Michel about 2 hrs.

So, yes there are lots of good places to visit using Rennes as a base.

Posted by
16883 posts

Three weeks at one home base sounds like a lot to me. Is some of that time allocated to sleeping in Paris? Reserve ahead for Rennes-Paris TGV trains, either to get an advance discount or to secure one of the limited pass holder seat reservations.

Posted by
10344 posts

I'm with Laura: 21 days in Rennes as a home base is, to say the least unusual, certainly the most days we've probably ever had on this forum for a home base in Rennes.

Posted by
6487 posts

Since the OP did not ask for critiques on their choice of place to stay (or for how long), I don't see the point of criticizing that choice. Maybe they're doing a home exchange, or maybe they're staying with friends, doesn't matter; they want info on day trips by public transportation. I've stayed in one place for 3 weeks before and done day trips from there, it can be very relaxing to stay in one place that long. Suggesting an overnight in Paris does make sense however since there is so much to see there.

Posted by
2246 posts

While I, like most, tend to see as much as is sensible in a given time, it does sound wonderful to simply plant oneself in a town/city/village for an extended time.

Posted by
16 posts

I lived in Rennes for 5 months and had a great time there.

Nancy already hit on a lot of the great spots that are within a 3 hour train or bus ride. The Mont St Michel is a must. St-Malo, Dinan, Cancale, and Le Mont St Michel are all clustered together and it would be easy to include two in one day trip. Mix and match as you like. Nancy already mentioned the best spots for Normandy day trips so I won't repeat.

Since you have three weeks, I'll recommend a few places further afield (still within 3 hours). You could do a day trip (though it may make sense to stay a night...that's what I did) to Tours so that you can see the great castles in the Loire Valley (Chenonceau, Villandry, Azay le Rideau, etc). I had a great day trip to Concarneau where there is a castle built in the harbor. You could combine Concarneau with seeing nearby Quimper which has a cool half-timber town center with a grand cathedral. Well, it's far from the greatest cathedral in France, but it's probably the best one of all the destinations recommended here except for maybe Caen. If you can get yourself out to the Pointe du Raz, that's a great place to walk around on the peninsula when the weather cooperates. Windy days just make it more dramatic.

Have a great time!