An historic district. An emblematic district. A tourist-friendly district. A district filled with shops, bars and restaurants. A lively district. Both day and night.
Despite imposing shadow and rich histories — making both of them essential stops on any trip to Nantes — the Cathédrale and the Château are merely the neighbourhood’s flagship sights. “Le Bouffay”, as the locals call it, is also the web of labyrinthine streets making up medieval Nantes — a part of the city that has survived the centuries, where you’ll love getting lost and discovering the unexpected. Indeed, traces of the Middle Ages remain visible on its timber-framed façades — including the one hiding La Maison de la Poésie in Place du Change — or on its stone buildings. As you pass through the gate known as Porte Saint-Pierre, you’ll catch a glimpse of the old fortified city. Not far from this unique doorway is Place Maréchal-Foch, aka “Place Louis-XVI”, since the column presiding in the centre dates back to 1790 and bears one of the rare statues of Louis XVI still visible in France.
Today, “Le Bouffay” is alive and kicking. By day, with its shops and boutiques. By night, with its restaurants and bars.Here, you can stroll around, dance, eat, meet up with friends… And you can even hide. Want proof? Look no further than the garden of La Psalette. Lying in the shade of the cathedral, this square built around a former 15th century mansion is one of Nantes’ best-kept secrets.