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Escape to Brittany: 5 romantic and unusual excursions in Rennes

26 February 2020

Rennes: love at first sight

Fall under the spell of Brittany's capital

Travelers all over the world have long flocked to the Breton coast. Today, they're rediscovering the magic of the region's capital. With its unique architecture, lively culture and relaxed way of life, the compact city of Rennes is attracting more visitors than ever before as a destination in its own right. Planning your next romantic weekend? Here are some ideas sure to tempt you.

Cruise along Rennes' rivers

A picturesque tour of the city aboard a private boat

For a getaway on the water and at your own speed, Les P’tits Bateaux has available electric boats that require neither a license nor a captain. The Ille and the Vilaine both flow through Rennes. Your destination depends on which river you choose.

Go through the locks and travel along the canals during a cruise that blends the beauty of both town and country. The historic city center and lush riverbanks pass by gently, their reflection rippling gently in the water.

Ready to discover Rennes from this fresh perspective? Simply go online to reserve your private boat. The tourist office's website is full of practical advice and provides details on several possible itineraries according to your preferred travel time, from one hour to one day.

NUXE Spa, a wellness break that's a world apart

Relax and revive in the sumptuous sanctuary of NUXE, a French brand celebrated for its natural products

Luxury, serenity and pampering in the heart of Rennes. Completely insulated from the outside world, this spa enchants with its intimate atmosphere and décor.

Subtle scents and lighting add to the overall feeling of relaxation and reverie. Let the indoor pool's jets soothe your senses. A starry sky adorns the hammam, its changing colors tinting the swirling steam. For singles and couples, the sensory shower invites you to experience different ambiances, from a tropical rainforest to an Atlantic storm.

To preserve the spa's tranquility, the number of clients per time slot is strictly limited – all the more reason to reserve your sensory experience for two. NUXE Spa, located at 19 Rue Maréchal Joffre, is open Monday–Saturday from 10am to 9pm, and Sunday from 10am to 8pm.

Nocturnal getaway in a "clandestine" hideaway

To earn yourself a top-notch cocktail from Speakeasy Bar, don't forget the password!

Want to spice up your couple's weekend? Inspired by illicit lounges popular during Prohibition, Speakeasy Bar will quench your thirst for the forbidden. At the doorway is a rotary phone. Pick up the handset and give the secret password, which shouldn't be too hard to remember: "Speakeasy".

Don't worry, your romantic night out won't be cut short by a police raid. Located in the basement of La Californie district, at 32 Rue Jean-Marie Duhamel, the bar has a retro vibe – complete with naked light bulbs, clubby armchairs and a bar counter covered with quotes engraved on brass plaques.

The only thing defying the pervading speakeasy spirit is the menu, known for its top quality cocktails. Visit an old classic, or drink a toast to your stay in Rennes with the bartender's original creation. Speakeasy Bar welcomes revelers Thursday–Saturday from 7pm to 1am. Cheers! Or as locals would say in Breton, Yecʼhed mat!

A secret garden sheltered from the city's bustle

Take a five-star break on the design patio of Balthazar Hotel & Spa

There's a hideaway in each MGallery hotel. At Balthazar, that secret place is a leafy haven ideal for a respite between sightseeing trips in the city center. Locals and visitors alike adore this cozy courtyard and its lush green wall. Wide windows form the other walls, and a well of light shines on this welcoming inner terrace. This is the ideal spot for savoring a cup of freshly prepared coffee or the bar's signature cocktail, The Balthazar. Open daily from 8am to midnight

Themed escape games at Compte à Rebours

An epic hour in the heart of Rennes

If you're wandering around Old Rennes and in the mood for some fun, make a short detour and head to Compte à Rebours (Countdown). Located at 8 Rue Victor Hugo, this escape game offers several themed rooms where you and your other half must use cunning and ingenuity to get out in an hour.

In the Excalibur room, the fate of Brittany is in your hands. Together, find the castle of Camelot and retrieve the legendary sword, without which King Arthur will not be able to defeat the army of Mordred that threatens the city.

A fun way to immerse yourselves in the magic of Celtic legends. Get caught up in the game!

There's so much to see and do, and we haven't even mentioned the peaceful parks or half-timbered homes in the historic center. You'll soon realize that Rennes is indeed a city for lovers.