Are you going to discover Lorraine? Here is our selection of fun things to do and see to visit Nancy!
In the department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, Nancy has the image of a dynamic city. The former capital of the Duchy of Lorraine has an outstanding architectural heritage. Thanks to its fantastic Past. It can be legitimately considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. This is all the more true since, for a long time, Nancy was the European capital of Art Nouveau.
Nancy is an obligatory crossing point to travel to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg or Germany. In addition, the city has taken advantage of this geography to become an important economic regional, and academic center.
The city of Nancy does not lack beautiful landscapes. There are centuries-old baroque historical monuments, charming alleys, and greenery awaiting you.
Whether for a weekend or a more extended holiday, you will not lack things to see and do in Nancy and its surroundings.
Is your suitcase ready? To help you organize your stay, here are the 15 best fun things to do in Nancy.
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The 15 Fun and Best Things to do in Nancy, France
1. Stanislas Square
What if you started by visiting Nancy with one of its symbols? Connecting the old town district and the new town of Nancy, Place Stanislas, built-in 1752, impresses all those who cross it.
Place Stanislas impresses all those who cross the old town and new town of Nancy as it connects the two towns. Stanislas was built in 1752.
With its fountains, its cobblestones, and its Héré arch, it forms a great ensemble. Place Stanislas is a UNESCO World Heritage Site like its two neighbors. (Place d’Alliance and place de la Carrière.)
2. The Nursery Park
The Nursery Park is nicknamed the Pep by the inhabitants of Nancy. The Parc de la Pépinière is the ideal place to relax after a day of sightseeing. Nancy’s green beauty hosts public events and other concerts organized by the city. So take the time to stroll through the trees and flower alleys. Surprising fact: you will be able to meet peacocks and even monkeys!
3. The old town of Nancy
The ancient city of Nancy is full of history and remains. You must visit Nancy to see authentic cobblestones and medieval architecture.
Porte de la Craffe is a medieval fortification erected in the 14th century. Go there and immerse yourself in the time of the Duchy of Lorraine while admiring the ducal palace.
Remember that the Porte de la Craffe is a fortification built before the Vauban era. This gate was used to protect the city, but not only! It was also through this that, until 1610, the Dukes of Lorraine entered the town.
4. The Museum of Fine Arts
Visiting Nancy without taking a trip to the Museum of Fine Arts is impossible. It is located on Place Stanislas. The museum presents various European works from the end of the 14th century to the present day. Created in 1793, the museum also regularly honors Lorraine artists.
5. Villa Majorelle
Henri Sauvage designed the Villa Majorelle at the beginning of the 20 century.
It was the first house built entirely in art nouveau in Nancy. The architecture was opened to the public in 1997.
6. The marina
Here is a relaxing idea of a walk to do in Nancy in the marina. It’s located on the Moselle.
Every year, it welcomes 1500 boats in a flowery, lively, quiet, and relaxing environment.
Stroll along the quays or enjoy the entertainment of summer. And if you like to pedal, know that you can rent bikes at the port.
7. The central market
Here is the perfect place to dive into the heart of local life. The central market is open five days a week. It brings together nearly sixty traders in a magnificent U-shaped building.
You can do your shopping, buy flowers or books. Once your shopping is over, discover the local gastronomy in the small restaurants. Enjoy local specialties in a joyful and friendly atmosphere.
8. The Museum of the School of Nancy
Opened in 1964, this museum is the home of Eugène Corbin, a great lover of Art Nouveau. His visit is essential for Nancy to understand better this art that has marked the city.
Take the time to admire the architecture of this house. Also, stroll through the pretty gardens that surround it.
9. The Palace of the Dukes of Lorraine
Do not miss the discovery of the Palace of the Dukes of Lorraine! This former house of the local aristocracy was erected in the 16th century. It also offers an impressive exterior. In 1848, the palace became the Lorraine Museum, dedicated to the region’s history. Unfortunately, it is currently closed due to renovation. See you in 2023 for its reopening!
10. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Annunciation
This church was built between 1703 and 1742, on the Place Monseigneur-Ruch, during the reign of Leopold 1st of Lorraine. The façade, like the interior, is in Corinthian style. It was not until 1777 that the church became the cathedral of Notre-dame-de-l’Annonciation.
11. The Basilica of Saint-Epvre
Come and admire the tallest religious building in Nancy. It’s eighty-seven meters in height. This magnificent basilica was built in the second half of the 19th century by Proper Morey. The monument is made in a neo-Gothic style in the heart of the old town of Nancy.
Many well-known people contributed to constructing the Basilica of Saint-Epvre.
- Pope Pius 9
- Napoleon 3
- the Emperor of Austria-Hungary, Franz Joseph
- Louis 2 of Bavaria
- Queen Victoria
12. The Jean-Marie Pelt Botanical Garden
The city’s first botanical garden opened in 1758 on Sainte-Catherine Street. Jean-Marie Pelt’swase was created in 1976 near the city center. Today, this park contains nearly twelve thousand plant species. A visit to Nancy!
13. Sainte-Marie Park
Looking for a place to relax in Nancy? Parc Sainte-Marie is the ideal destination.
It is a few steps away from the museum of the school of Nancy. Sainte-Marie Park is on more than seven hectares of land. It offers its visitors a magnificent landscaped garden planted with splendid trees.
First belonging to the Jesuits, the park became private property in 1808. Before being bought by the city of Nancy in 1904, it became a public garden, very popular with Nancéiens.
14. The Héré Triumphal Arch
Louis 14 built the Here Triumphal Arch on the former Royal Gate. It has been classified as a historical monument since 1923. Also, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
Inspired by ancient traditions, it is distinguished by the originality of its décor.
15. Local gastronomy
Visiting Nancy is also and, above all, to taste its local gastronomy!
Quiches, rum babas, pates Lorrain, bites a la Reine, macaroons, etc., are the food to taste.
And if you want to bring a bit of sweet delight in your luggage, think of the Bergamot of Nancy. It is one of the great specialties of the city.
Things to do also in Nancy and its surroundings
Here are some more ideas for visiting Nancy and its surroundings if you have some time left.
● Take a cruise on the Moselle
● Visit the Iron History Museum
● Discover the Abbey of Prémontrés in Pont-à-Mousson
● Visit the castle of Luneville
● Relax at Lac de la Madine
How do I get to Nancy?
If you want to go to Nancy by plane, land at Metz-Nancy airport. It’s thirty-three kilometers from the city center. You will find some direct flights from Nice, Marseille, Bastia, or Lyon. To find the best prices, use the Ulysses flight comparator. Don’t forget to book your flight in advance to get cheap rates.
Once there, you can rent a car directly at the airport to reach Nancy. Otherwise, be aware that several shuttles make the connection with the center Nancy. The schedules can be found on the official website of the city’s tourist office.
The city of Nancy has a good motorway network.
● It takes a four-hour drive from Paris, taking the A4 motorway.
● From the north of France, you must join the A4 at Reims.
● And if you’re coming from the South of France, take the A6 motorway to Dijon, then take the A31 towards Nancy.
The city of Nancy is very well served by train and TGV.
● From Paris, ten daily TGV connections are provided from Gare de l’Est, for a journey of about one hour and thirty minutes.
● If you come from Lille, you can take one of the three TGVs that provide the daily connection in just over two hours.
● Three TGVs are also planned each day from Bordeaux. It takes five hours and ten minutes to get there.
Please note: the Lorraine TGV station is located outside the city. However, a shuttle allows you to reach the center of Nancy quickly.
Nancy is not a seaside resort, yet you will be able to reach the city by boat! For this two options: the Canal de la Marne au Rhin, or the Canal de l’Est. An original way to visit Nancy!
Where to stay in Nancy?
Finding a hotel room or renting a small apartment in Nancy is pretty easy. Consider using a hotel comparator to enjoy the best rates. No matter what your selection criteria. The city center is ideal for enjoying the city and its atmosphere. For a more rural and peaceful atmosphere, opt for accommodation outside Nancy. You now have the essentials in hand to visit Nancy. And you, what were your must-sees?
We hope our article “The 15 Fun and Best Things to do in Nancy, France” was helpful to you.