Featured image by Lp alain photography - own work
Shops are open Monday-Saturday from 09.00 or 09.30 to 19.00 in high season and 09.00 or 09.30 to 18.00 at other times. Shops are generally closed on Sundays.
A sea city that can trace its roots back to the 3rd century when Romans first built a stronghold here. Brest has a lively, nautical character and breathes a leisurely air. Located right by the water in the Bay of Brest, the city offers much for the visitor to see. Its most impressive landmark is the Castle of Brest, which was built for the Earls of Leon and later purchased by the Duke of Brittany in the 13th century. It stands proudly where numerous battles have been fought throughout France’s naval history. At one time, there were around 80 warships in its waters. Later, during the First World War, Brest was used as a landing base for American soldiers, but the Second World War left the city in ruins through constant bombing. The city has since been completely rebuilt, with a naval museum inside the castle telling the story of its turbulent past. Living up to the title of European capital of marine science and technology, museums such as the National Maritime Museum and Océanopolis in Brest will grant you insight into the sea and marine life with fascinating displays and interactive activities. With a full calendar of events offering the visitor entertainment year-round, any time is good to come and explore this city of history and nautical beauty.
Brest's longstanding link with the sea is the theme running through most of its visitor attractions. Visit the Brest Fort containing the excellent Navy Museum to learn more about the city's maritime past and present, stop by the famous Océanopolis aquarium to marvel at mysterious underwater creatures, or simply take a boat ride along the coastline to breathe the fresh sea breeze and catch the spirit of this historic city.
For a snack, head for any one of the city’s many crêperies - these seem like the obvious choice when in the province of Brittany. Crêpes come in many delicious varieties - savoury (with cheese, bacon, eggs, mushrooms - and the list goes on) and sweet (with chocolate, cream, fruit, and berries). A good cup of coffee is never too far away in Brest. Do note the working hours - many establishments close for an afternoon break.