Nantes-Atlantique International Airport located 12 kms from the city centre is connected to more than 60 national and international destinations and particularly to UK and Ireland by low-cost companies. Nantes has a TGV train station connected to the major French cities: Paris (2 hours), Lyon, Lille, Marseille, etc. By TGV and Eurostar, Nantes is connected to London (6 hours).
Ferry routes to UK are available from North-western harbours (Roscoff, Saint-Malo, Caen, Cherbourg, Calais)
As a member of the European Monetary System, the local currency is Euro.
Vehicles drive on the right side of the road. The use of safety belts is compulsory, and children under 10 must ride in the back seats.
France has a large motorway network crossing the whole country in connection with the neighbouring countries (Italy, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and Belgium). Most of them are toll motorways. The Breton freeway network is an exception. The speed limit in urban areas is 50 km/h (excepted for the low speed zone: 30 km/h), on National roads, 90 km/h, on Freeways, 110 km/h and on Motorways, 130km/h.
Valid driving licenses from EU countries, the USA, Canada and other major countries are acceptable for use in France up to 1 year stay.
In France, electric current is 220 volts AC at 50 Hz.
Nantes has a variety of theatres, cinemas, concert halls. Programmes and venues are available on the Office du tourisme website www.nantes-tourisme.com.
Most of the Museums are open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10h00 to 19h00 and closed on Mondays and public holidays. Please check on the Office du tourisme website www.nantes-tourisme.com for further information.
Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, shops and restaurants. Traveller’s cheques and currency can be changed in the main banks - these are open Monday to Friday from 08h30 to 17h00. Banks open on Saturday morning from 08h30 to 12h00 are close on Monday morning. Cash dispensing machines linked to international networks are also widely available.
The official language is French. English is widely spoken.
There are a wide variety of restaurants and cafés in Nantes. Take-away and fast food is also available downtown and in the main shopping centres. Breakfast is normally served between 07.00 and 10.00 hrs, lunch from 12h00 to 14h00, and dinner from 19h00 to 23h00.
Clinics and hospitals provide 24 hours a day emergency service. The national emergency phone number is 112. The other main emergency numbers are: SAMU (15), Police (17) and Firemen (18).
Post and Telecommunications
Automatic direct dial telephone service is available to and from most countries in the world. Public phones accept preferably a pre-paid card to be purchased in newspaper shops and book stores at the airport and at the Railway station. Credit card (VISA, Mastercard) systems are also available in some booths.
Post offices are generally open Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 12h00 and 14h00 to 18h00 and Saturday morning from 09h00 to 12h00.
Nantes has also a wide public transportation network (Local trains, Tramway, Busway, Bus and Navibus). For further information, please check on the local public transport company TAN website for Tramways, Busway, Bus and Navibus and on the regional SNCF website.
Sales tax (VAT) is included in prices quoted. For non E.U. residents, tax free shopping schemes are available in many shops.
Shops are normally open from 09h00 to 12h00 and from 14h00 to 19h00 Monday to Saturday. In many shopping centres, they stay open during lunch hours, and close later at night, including weekend. The main Shopping centre close the Cité des Congrès (Busway n°4 : 3 stops, in direction to Porte de Vertou) is “Centre Beaulieu”.
Smoking is forbidden by law in public transportation, and in public areas.
In France, the service is always included in the bill but a small tip is always welcome.