Brest is Brittany’s second largest administrative centres and really does have a lot to offer. In 1944 Brest was heavily bombed however it was not this that was the towns most interesting feature. It has been rebuilt around a vision of the future, with incredible constructions like the Pont de l’Iroise bridge which crosses the River Elorn, an amazing piece of architecture, this stunning cable-stayed bridge was opened in 1994. You can admire it from the Albert Louppe bridge which is solely for pedestrians and cyclists only. It is an amazing place to take a walk and to enjoy the wonderful view of the famous Brest harbour, The Rade de Brest, a sheltered area of the sea large enough for great ships to lie at anchor.
The commercial port in Brest is another key feature of the area. If you want to get a proper feel for the towns character is to stroll along the docks at the Quai Commandant-Malbert. You will be able to see the shipyards building wooden boats, the hundred of coloured buoys put in place by Finistere’s Lighthouses and Beacons department and the legendary schooner La Recouvrance and the Abeille-Flandres, one of the most powerful tugboats in the world.
One of Brest’s innovative and is exemplary projects the ‘Plateau des Capucins’ which obtained in 2009 the Ecodistrict Label. This site is placed on one of the two banks of the Penfield a 16km long coastal river, which offers an admirable 360-degree view over the city. At the same time the city mixes monumental construction sites intended for the shipbuilding and places of art like the Mediatheque or the Fourneau.
Brest is very accessible especially as it is connected by the 1st urban cable car (telepherique) of France to the other bank of the river. This urban cable car offers another stunning view of Brest, however this time seen from above.
Continue your way along the commercial fort’s breakwater and you will come to the foot of the castle and maritime museum. In this exceptional setting of the castle of Brest, the national marine museum houses a unique heritage testifying to the great naval adventure Arsenal Brest and the French Navy. In the recovery renovated rooms, you can discover the masterpieces of naval decoration, the expedition Louperouse, life convicts or iconic ships of contemporary Navy. The tour combines exterior and interior to assess the richness of the collections, the views of the city and harbour and architecture of the castle. The Gallo-Roman foundations to the Vauban fortifications through the curtains and Bastion walkway, it is a wonderful journey through centuries of history.
One place you must visit in Brest would have to be the Oceanopolis, the only ocean discovery of its kind in Europe. The centre can wow you with its enormous aquariums and even has a seal clinic. You have the opportunity as visitors to touch some of the marine creatures living there.