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Trains to Nantes

The last major city on the Loire before that river flows into the Atlantic Ocean, Nantes is an industrial city with split allegiances. It looks both north-west towards Brittany (of which it was once a part) and east up the Loire Valley towards Anjou. Nantes is a lively place, its central area boasting elegant boulevards and an especially attractive riverfront, where old schooners recall the days when Nantes was a jumping-off point for trade with the Caribbean. You’ll never go wrong with a night or two in Nantes, but it’s probably not the spot to choose for a week’s holiday.

The main station, simply called the Gare de Nantes, dates from the late 1960s. No marks for charm, but it’s practical and efficient. TGVs for Paris leave every hour. Since July 2017, when a new stretch of high-speed line around Le Mans opened, the fastest trains to the French capital now take under two hours. There are also direct TGV services from Nantes to Le Mans, Lille, Marseille, Strasbourg and Charles de Gaulle Airport near Paris.

For travellers wanting to explore rural France by slower trains, Nantes is a major hub for such services. There are regional or Intercités services from Nantes direct to Bourges, Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Lyon, Tours and Toulouse. You’ll also find plenty of trains leaving Nantes for Brittany with direct services to Rennes, Lorient and Quimper. Nantes itself is 50 kilometres inland from the Atlantic, but it is just a short hop to the coast with regular local trains to Pornic and Saint-Gilles.

Country guide

Train tickets in France

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Child and youth passengers

The definition of "Child" and "Youth" varies by country and operator. This is why we ask for the age of young passengers.

Sometimes children below a certain age can travel without a seat for free. If you want to guarantee a seat for child passengers, enter '6' as the age of the child.

Read more about child and youth passenger ages. See also youth discounts and railcards.