La Rochelle also plays host to two major internationally-renowned events: the Francofolies music festival and the Grand Pavois boat show. Un Violin sur la Sable’ is unmissable for classic music fans. Taking place between in July, the festival attracts stars such as Nathalie Dessay and Renaud Capucon.
La Rochelle’s Aquarium is one of Europe’s biggest private aquariums, and has more than 12,000 marine creatures living in 3 million litres of water. La Palmyre Zoo, in Les Mathes, is one of the most renowned zoos in Europe and is home to over 1,600 animals and 140 different species from all over the world.
Rochefort, which during the time of Louis XIV was the French King’s maritime arsenal, is a fascinating and cultural city with, at its centre, a marina that also stretches up along the River Charente. One of its more imposing buildings, measuring more than 350m long, is the Royal Rope Factory, where the ropes and rigging for the king’s ships were made. Over the past fifteen years, work has been in progress to build a unique full-size replica of the Hermione, the frigate on which Lafayette sailed to America in 1780 to fight in the revolution.
In the Old Harbour and through the Old City’s arcade streets you can enjoy nice walking tours on foot or by horse-drawn cart. You will see medieval houses, fine Renaissance homes and 18th-century residences, as well as sober and noble town mansions from ship-owners.
Hotel de Ville (Town Hall) is a Renaissance building protected by a huge Gothic wall. This is one of the symbols of La Rochelle’s history and the architecture is stunning. Inside you can find numerous souvenirs of the town's history.Address: Place de l’Hotel de Ville, La RochellePhone: +33 546 41 14 68
The Three Towers are medieval remains and architectural symbols of La Rochelle as a strong opponent of state power in the past. You can visit the towers for great panoramic views and some sightseeing!Address: Tour Saint-Nicolas, Vieux port rue de l’Armide, La RochellePhone: +33 546 41 74 13Opening hours: Opening hours may vary depending on the season
New World Museum houses nice collections of art and history in La Rochelle. At this unique museum you can see many different objects such as paintings, ancient maps, art object and sculptures.Address: 10 rue Fleuriau, La RochellePhone: +33 546 41 46 50More info: firstname.lastname@example.org
At the Maritime Museum is located in the heart of La Rochelle. Here you will find everything for the ship and fish industry enthusiasts! At the museum you can go on guided tours and talk to former sailors.Address: Place B. Moitessier, La RochellePhone: +33 546 28 03 00Website: www.museemaritimelarochelle.fr
From La Rochelle you can go on a boat that takes you to beautiful Ré, Aix and Oléron islands, viewing famous Fort Boyard on the way. Several agencies and the tourist office offer tours. A wide range of nautical activities such as sailing schools or personalized cruises are also available.
If you don’t feel comfortable on a boat, you may rent a bike and go to the Ré Island on an excursion. Enjoy the empty beaches, sensational Atlantic sunsets and delicious seafood at this beautiful island!Website: www.iledere.com
This is one of the vastest European aquariums featuring some 10,000 creatures from the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Tropics! La Rochelle Aquarium is also a centre for protecting and studying different marine species.Address: Quai Louis Prunier, La RochellePhone: +33 546 34 00 00Website: www.aquarium-larochelle.comOpening hours: Opening hours vary depending on the season
If you are staying in La Rochelle and want to go on a day trip, Fouras is a small coastal town that is located south. Here you can find beautiful beaches, restaurants and piers. You can also reach the famous Fort Boyard with the ferries from here.Address: Fouras, La Rochelle, France
Plage de Chatelaillon is a popular beach resort located south of the city centre. Enjoy your day here walking along the seaside on this long stretch of golden sand. In the evening you can have a nice dinner in one of the cosy restaurants.Address: Châtelaillon-Plage, La Rochelle
This cathedral is a national monument located in Place de Verdun and is definitely worth a visit. Cathedrale St-Louis is truly majestic and inside you can find many masterpieces.Address: Place de Verdun, La Rochelle
In 1941, Le Bunker de La Rochelle was built by the Germans in secrecy. Today the bunker is a museum that traces back to the period of the Second World War in La Rochelle. In the museum you can see photos and much more.Address: 8 rue des Dames, La RochellePhone: +33 546 42 52 89Opening hours: Open every day 10am-7pm. Closed in January
Musee des Beaux-Arts in la Rochelle has a rich collection of art works. The beautiful museum is located in the centre of town and is well worth a visit. Here you can find art works by Eugene Fromentin, William Bouguereau and Camille Corot.Address: 28 rue Gargoulleau, La RochellePhone: +33 546 41 64 65
If you want to spoil yourself you can visit Spa La Rochelle for an escape from everyday life. Enjoy yourself having a massage or treatment in an enchanting atmosphere right in the middle of the city.Address: 1 rue de la Desiree, La RochellePhone: +33 516 07 60 06Website: www.spa-larochelle.fr
If you are feeling adventurous, contact Altitudes. They are located right next to airport and offers both solo and tandem skydiving. If it is you first time skydiving they recommend discovering La Rochelle.Address: 2 Rue du Jura, La RochellePhone: +33 546 29 61 49Website: www.parachutisme.net
Welcome to the second most popular tourist destination in France! www.france-atlantic.com
• Cognac, a PDO brandy • Charron mussels, tender, fleshy, golden orange and flavoursome… • Pineau des Charentes, a fortified wine made from a blend of grape juice and Cognac brandy • Fleur de Sel gourmet sea salt from the Île de Ré • Marennes-Oléron oysters, famous worldwide. Charente-Maritime is home to many excellent products. These contribute to the delicacy and authenticity of its local cuisine, itself a reflection of French gastronomy, which has been declared part of the world’s “intangible cultural heritage” by UNESCO.
In the old harbour, decorated in a nautical theme, André is best known for its large fish and seafood platters at reasonable prices, including the wine. Here you can try oysters, sea bass with “beurre blanc charentais”, turbot with artichokes or crabs. What you are having is all up to you!Address: 5 rue St Jean du Pérot, La RochellePhone: +33 546 41 28 24 Website: www.barandre.comOpening hours: Open daily from 8am-12am. Closed on the 25th of December
Located near the town’s best-known fish shop, Chez Fred is also an excellent venue for seafood. This restaurant is very popular and booking a table here is essential. It is recommended to try the succulent roast “rascasse”!Address: 30/34 rue St Nicolas, La RochellePhone: +33 546 41 65 76
Richard Coutanceau is one of La Rochelle’s finest restaurants with several fine specialities like the tartar of prawns in oyster jelly or the curried turbot with coriander. This is the right venue for demanding gourmets!Address: Plage de la Concurrence, La RochellePhone: +33 546 41 48 19Website: www.coutanceaularochelle.com
Located at the foot of the Three Towers, Les Flots is a gastronomic venue (owned by Coutanceau), which features a varied and fine menu. Changes in the menu are made according to the “catch” of the day.Address: 1 rue de la Chaîne, La RochellePhone: +33 546 41 32 51Website: www.coutanceau.comOpening hours: Open every day for lunch and dinner
La Marine is a Brasserie that features seafood platters, oysters and a variety of fish dishes. The fish stew and the fermented cabbage are particularly good. There are also several grilled meat dishes available. You can sit and have dinner at this restaurant having an excellent view of the old harbour and the Three Towers.Address: 30 quai Duperré, La RochellePhone: +33 546 41 08 68Website: www.brasserie-lamarine.com
With so many great seafood restaurants in la Rochelle, why not try this restaurant that offers a great regional cuisine with an extensive variety of wines. The duck breast in honey lime at Les 4 Sergents is claimed to be just perfect!Address: 49 rue St Jean du Pérot, La RochellePhone: +33 546 41 35 80Website: www.les4sergents.com
At this restaurant you can enjoy an innovative dinner in a warm atmosphere. Le Thiers Temps is popular among its guest and on the menu you will find courses such as fois gras, cod and the Nutella crème brulée.Address: 26 Rue Thiers, La RochellePhone: +33 546 34 31 81Website: www.le-thiers-temps.comOpening hours: Open Tue-Sat 12pm-2pm and 7.30pm-9.30pm
This restaurant is located in Port des Minimes and has a wide range of food on its menu. At L'Appetit Paradis you can try both pancakes and crepes in a welcoming and warm atmosphere.Address: 25 Bis av Minimes, La RochellePhone: +33 546 44 92 78Website: www.paradis.3y.fr
Le Cabanon des Pecheurs is the perfect restaurant if you love seafood. At this restaurant you can try various traditional dishes with daily fresh ingredients. There is certainly something for everyone on the menu here.Address: 16 rue Thiers, La RochellePhone: +33 546 45 37 35Website: www.restaurant-lecabanondespecheurs.frOpening hours: Open Tue-Sat 12pm-2pm and 7.15pm- 9.30pm. Open until 22pm on the weekends in July and August
This inviting restaurant has a cosy and warm atmosphere and is popular among its guests because of the great service and excellent dishes. Baitona is passionate about great products so expect the dishes to be beautifully presented.Address: 30 rue St Jean du Pérot, La RochellePhone: +33 546 50 07 01Website: www.baitona.fr
This is a popular restaurant located outside the city centre. Enjoy your dinner outdoors and watch the sun setting over the sea. Choose between dishes like stuffed clams, salmon tartare and cod.Address: 28 rue du Port, Houmeau, La RochellePhone: +33 546 45 32 52Website: www.coquillagesetcrustaces.com
This restaurant is a great choice if you are looking for something different. Les Perot-Quais is truly popular among its customers and serves lovely dishes with thrilling combinations of food and flavours.Address: 15 rue Saint Jean du Pérot, La RochellePhone: +33 546 41 43 68Opening hours: Open Tue-Fri 7.30pm-11.30pm. Sat 7pm-12am
Claimed by its customers to be brilliant, Au Gout du Jour is a hidden gem in La Rochelle. Sit outside and eat by the small tables or dine indoors, whatever you choose you can expect a great dinner with great service.Address: 10 Rue Saint-Nicolas, La RochellePhone: +33 546 41 86 69
This family friendly restaurant specialises in seafood in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. L'Ecluse is recommended by its customers and is truly another hidden gem in La Rochelle.Address: 22 rue de la Monnaie, La RochellePhone: +33 546 41 78 46
With its fusion cuisine, Le Comptoir des Voyages serves different types of dishes along with an astonishing wine list. This restaurant lets you discover flavors from a new country every two months. For example you can try the ‘Counter Delights menu”.Address: 22 rue Saint-Jean-du-Pérot, La RochellePhone: +33 546 50 62 60Website: www.lecomptoirdesvoyages.comOpening hours: Open every day
This café has a lovely atmosphere and an elegant decor. Café de la Paix is one of the favourite old town cafés where you can enjoy a delicious Cognac made locally in the Poitou-Charentes region.Address: 54 Rue Chaudrier, La RochellePhone: +33 546 41 39 79
At Café De La Corniche you can sit with a good cup of coffee in your hand and enjoy the nice view of La Rochelle bay!Address: 2 boulevard Winston Churchill, La RochellePhone: +33 546 43 77 77Website: www.la-corniche.com
La Grand’rive is a cult venue and claimed to be one of the best cafés in town. With its terrace on the Old Port, it is an ideal place for an “apéro” (as the French call this aperitif) of the local Pineau (the sweet fortified local wine).Address: 24 quai Duperre, La RochellePhone: +33 546 41 44 53Opening hours: Open Mon-Sun: 8.30am-10.30pm
If you are hungry for tea time you can try Ernest le Glacier. Here you can find the town’s most splendid artistic ice cream! You will certainly have many beautiful and tasty options to choose from at Ernest Le Glacier.Address: 15/18 rue du Port, La RochellePhone: +33 546 50 55 60Website: www.ernest-le-glacier.com
Bistrot Des Pêcheurs is an ordinary French café and crêperie, yet popular for its typical fishermen breakfast: six oysters and a glass of wine! You will get plenty of energy to start your day with, the local way.Address: 2 rue de la Chaîne, La RochellePhone: +33 546 41 25 16
With a melting pot of people, there is always something going on at the Corrigan’s. You can enjoy yourself in with a relaxed atmosphere at this typical Irish pub with a good beer and a huge jukebox.Address: 20 rue des Cloutiers, La RochellePhone: +33 546 28 91 39Website: www.corrigans.fr
Opposite the old harbour, there is another great Irish pub where all the visiting yachts’ crews gather, both British and French. You are guaranteed a good time here, especially during quiz nights!Address: 14 rue Quai Duperre, La RochellePhone: +33 546 07 77 37Website: www.fitzpatricks-irish-pub.com
La Rochelle is not a big city, yet it is the home to many Irish pubs. The General Humbert’s is another great Irish pub, with all the perfect ingredients and the legendary Guinness pints! Come here to have fun with friends, listen to music and have a good time.Address: 14 rue St Nicolas, La RochellePhone: +33 546 37 01 08Website: www.generalhumbert.com
This is one of the most popular venues among the youth for its regular rock concerts that certainly keep everyone entertained. Le Piano Pub has a nice English wood and leather décor.Address: 12 Cour du Temple, La RochellePhone: +33 546 41 09 52
Next to the Piano Pub you can find Le Mayflower, also a very popular and busy venue. You can come here for many different occasions to have fun with friends in a loud and happy atmosphere.Address: 14 bis Cours du Temple, la RochellePhone: +33 546 50 51 39Website: www.le-mayflower.comOpening hours: Open Mon-Sun
Oxford is situated on the beach with an exotic décor. This is one of the most popular nightclubs in La Rochelle among the student community. Look at their website for upcoming events.Address: Promenade de la Concurrence, La RochellePhone: +33 546 41 51 81Website: www.club-oxford.com
It doesn’t take long for visitors to fall under the spell of the city’s charm, with its three old-port towers standing guard over the sea. There are plenty of things to see and do in La Rochelle, which boasts the most visited aquarium in France, historic districts full of lively restaurants and designer stores, a wide range of luxury hotels, a world-famous marina and dockyards buzzing with activity. La Rochelle pioneered the introduction of the self-service urban cycle hire system, back in 1974!
The international airport, Aéroport La Rochelle-Ile de Ré, is located only 5 kilometres from the city centre. The cheapest and fastest way to get into town is by bus. Buses are available Mon-Sat, running from the airport to the centre of La Rochelle, and vice-versa, about every 30 minutes. On Sundays there are 9 buses. The journey takes about 15 minutes and costs €1.30. There are many taxis available at the airport. It is advisable to book a taxi in advance. Abeille Taxi +33 546 41 55 55 email@example.com www.taxi-la-rochelle.com Mélitourisme +33 648 22 87 32 firstname.lastname@example.org www.melitourisme.fr For rental cars you can contact one of the car rental companies situated at the airport. Available companies at the airport are: Sixt, Europcar, Avis, Hertz and Enterprise.Address: Aéroport La Rochelle-Ile de Ré, La RochellePhone: +33 546 42 30 26Website: www.larochelle.aeroport.frMore info: Prices updated July 2013