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La Rochelle invites you to explore

Published 27/05/2020 - Updated 05/08/2020
Jeunes femmes assises sur le quai du Vieux Port
Les Conteurs
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One city: a thousand and one ways to appreciate it. Whether you love it for its history, its heritage, its open-minded attitude to the world and to art, or for its exceptional shopping, there's no escaping how sweet life is in this Atlantic city.

Take a stroll through the history of La Rochelle

For lovers of history and old buildings, a walk through the centre of La Rochelle is like stepping back in time.

Walk the alleys under Richelieu, return to the golden age of fishing and follow in the footsteps of the conquest of New France... With the Visite-Patrimoine* application in your pocket, look up and admire architectural wonders that bear witness to the history of the Millennial City.

*Available free from the Apple Store and Play Store.

La Rochelle, a thousand-year-old city

Balade dans la vieille ville
© Les Conteurs

 

Local shopping under the arcades

The walk continues under the city's historic arcades. Most of them built in the 14th and 15th centuries, these have become the iconic homes of 'Made in La Rochelle' shopping. Enjoy a spot of people watching under these cultural treasures along Rue du Palais, Rue des Merciers or Rue Dupaty.

Shopping under the arcades

Shopping sous les arcades
© Kamel Lahmadi

 

Embark on a pursuit of art along the cobbled streets

La Rochelle is a veritable open-air museum for those who know how to open their eyes and take in everything the city has to offer.

Le Gabut, a stone's throw from the Old Port and the towers, is the home of street art. This wasteland, taken over by artists and graffitists, offers the curious and fans of the art an ever-changing picture. The alleys of the city centre, the Saint-Nicolas district and the area around the train station refuse to be outdone, however, with the entire city seemingly infused with this popular culture.

So keep your eyes peeled for hearts on doors, collages paying tribute to French artists, and original works by local artists.

Graf dans les rue de La Rochelle
© Les Conteurs

 

Departing from La Rochelle, embark on an adventure over 100 km away with our museums

The collections of the La Rochelle Museums invite you to travel.

Head for Easter Island at the Natural History Museum, embark for New France and the West Indies at the New World Museum, then round the day off with a world tour of the oceans with the Climate-Ocean exhibition at the Maritime Museum.

The Museum's botanic garden welcomes you for an exotic stroll through a collection made up of plants brought back from all over the world.

Museums and tourist attractions in La Rochelle

Musée La Rochelle
© Les Conteurs

 

Clear your horizons: the best viewpoints

Looking for freedom: a horizon as far as the eye can see? La Rochelle offers several panoramas for an unlimited view.

Climb to the top of the La Lanterne, Saint-Nicolas and La Chaîne towers for a 360° view of the Atlantic and the city. The Parc d'Orbigny and its promenade along the channel reveal an unobstructed view of the Richelieu and Bout du Monde Lighthouses. Continuing your walk along the Plage de la Concurrence, the Fort des Dames is the perfect cliff to sit yourself down on and watch the boats go by. On the other side, from the Passerelle Mandela, take in the city, all its towers, and the ocean – with Fort Boyard and the Ile de Ré just off the coast.

Point de vue La Rochelle
© Les Conteurs

 

Leave the car in the car park and breathe the seaside air

Just like Venice or Amsterdam, La Rochelle can be enjoyed without a car.

Leave it in the car park and take the electro-solar ferry to travel from one bank to the other and from port to port, savouring the sweetness of life. Take the time to stroll through the alleys and the Old Port on foot, then hop on a Yélo – the self-service bike rental – for a ride along the coast to the stunning sandy beach of Châtelaillon-Plage.

La Rochelle without a car ... It couldn't be easier!

Passeur et bus de mer à La Rochelle
© Kamel Lahmadi