Straddling the Loire River and only 50 kilometres from the Atlantic coast is the city of Nantes. Located in the Pays de la Loire region, in the north west of the country, it is also the capital of the region. It is the sixth largest city in France, and the extended metropolitan area is home to around 900,000 people.
The city enjoys an oceanic climate that is typical for Western Europe. It experiences consistent rainfall all through the year. The autumn and winter seasons are traditionally wet and rainy, with temperatures hitting below zero, and experiencing some snowfalls during the coldest parts of the year. Spring and summer range from cloudy to sunny for the most part, whilst there can be occasional spikes in the temperature during the month of July.
The Nantes Atlantique Airport services Nantes and the neighbouring areas. It is the largest airport in the west of France, with air services to the rest of France and Europe, as well as some northern cities in Africa and Canada.
Unlike a lot of French cities that actually shut down their tramways, Nantes has continued on with the use of trams, and now has one of the largest and busiest tram services in all of the country, making the city and local areas extremely accessible. There is also very good bus and rail services available. The city was also awarded in 2013 by the European Commission, the title of European Green Capital.
As with pretty much all of France, Nantes is rich in culture and heritage. There are a stack of wonderful and interesting things to see in and around the city such as the Bouffay district, the Place du Commerce, the Palais de la Bourse, the Place Royale, the Place Graslin, Theatre Graslin, La Cigale, the Place General Mellinet, the Place Marechal Foch, Crebillon and Orleans streets, Ile Feydeau, Marche de Talensac, Quai de la Fosse, the Machines of the Isle of Nantes, the Quartier de la creation, Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne, the History Museum of the City of Nantes, the Theatre Graslin, Porte Saint-Pierre, Passage Pommeraye, Maison des Apothicaires, Couvent de la Visitation, Tour LU, Cours Cambronne, Palais de la Bourse, the Sainte-Croix belfry and Tour Bretagne.
There are also a terrific range of museums to satisfy the historians out there, such as the Musee d'histoire de Nantes, Musee d'Art de Nantes, Musee Thomas Dobree, Museum d'histoire naturelle de Nantes, Musee Jules Verne, the Planetarium of Nantes, the Memorial de l'abolition de l'esclavage, Musee naval Maille-Brézé, Musee des compagnons du devoir, the Pays de la Loire regional contemporary art collection, Musee de l'imprimerie, Musee de la Machine a coudre, Musee des sapeurs-pompiers and Musee de la poste.
The city is also littered with numerous art-house cinemas, multiplex cinemas and concert halls.