Destination Guide - Brest.




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Brest’s buzz comes from its status as an international maritime centre, set in a sensational location overlooking the inland sea of the Rade de Brest. It’s very much a split site as the lively commercial port area contrasts with the sober grid-plan of the centre above, softened by green nooks and modern art installations along the new tramway. Modern architecture and resources are to the forefront, as the city had to be almost completely rebuilt after WWII attempts to bomb the German submarine base. The Moulin Blanc pleasure port just to the east of the city is also an important piece of the Brest jigsaw, with one of the most visited attractions in France in Oceanopolis.

Lined with the northern English Channel, with the western Iroise Sea and the southern Atlantic Ocean, the region called Finistère is almost at 360 degree surrounded by the sea. That’s why the air in this same region contains iodine. Go to the Bay of Audierne and enjoy an entertaining weekend by practising sand-yachting. If you have more free time, choose to stay a full week in Finistère and go for a sail on a boat. In fact, here the sea is everywhere…

Dublin to Brest - Flights now available from June 1st 2014. For the summer season.

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Our top five sights


Not only for kids, the famous white domes of Océanopolis contain exhibitions of arctic, tropical and temperate marine life of every imaginable shape and size. You can watch the mesmerising sharks or cute penguins, or find out what wonders flourish in Breton waters. Moulin Blanc, 02 9834 4040

Conservatoire Botanique National

The Conservatoire Botanique National de Brest. A wonderful place to go for a walk and to relax for everyone in the family.More

Musée National de la Marine

The imposing Château de Brest, restored after WWII bombing, dominates the Penfeld River and now houses a maritime museum with some choice exhibits from the Bretons’ unparalleled sea-going past. Stunning views over the Rade de Brest add an extra dimension. Château de Brest, 02 9822 1239

Naval base

The naval base including former German submarine pens can be visited at certain times, but you need a passport for identification and cameras are not allowed. The guided tour usually involves boarding a warship.02 9822 1178

Tour Tanguy

A jaunty restored 14th-century tower overlooking the river contains the town history museum, a quirky and very visual display with models and photos that really do tell a good story. Entry is free. Square Pierre Péron, 02 9800 8793

Our top five activities

Sailing on the Rade de Brest

Azenor offers daily boat trips around the Rade de Brest and Crozon peninsula in the summer months.Moulin Blanc, 02 9841 4623

Visit the Atlantic island

Take a boat further afield to visit the Atlantic islands of Molène (ideal day trip) or remote and mysterious Ouessant. If you’re lucky, there may be dolphins near Pointe Saint-Mathieu. Penn Ar Bed operates from the Port de Commerce.02 9880 8080


The Centre Nautique du Moulin Blanc is the best base for sailing or floating off across the Rade, with tuition and equipment hire, and there are also diving possibilities with Eau Libre (rue de Amiral Trude).02 9802 3673


Two courses (18 and 9 holes) designed by Michael Fenn and renowned for their beautiful setting are available at Golf de Brest Iroise, about 20 minutes from the city in Saint Urbain. Parc de loisirs de Lann Rohou, Saint Urbain, 02 9885 1617

Parachute jump

For the ultimate thrill, what about an accompanied parachute jump over the island of Ouessant? Aéro Tandem Celtic will hold your hand.06 6250 4464

Our top five events

June: Fête des Fraises

Plougastel (9km from Brest) is famous for its succulent strawberries and this annual festival celebrates their bounty with parades in local costume, music and Breton dancing.

July: Fêtes Mediévales de Saint Renan

This lovely Old Town (11km from Brest) re-enacts its medieval past every two years (next 2013) in grand style, with a great market, costumed spectacles and music.

July/August:  Les Jeudis du Port

Free concerts and entertainment on Brest commercial port every Thursday from 25th July to 15th August, 2013.

October: Atlantique Jazz Festival

A week of fine jazz offerings from traditional to experimental, where international artists rub shoulders with local talent at various venues in Brest.

November: Brest European Short Film Festival

Le Quartz arts centre hosts this collection of sharp, serious, ingenious, funny and sometimes downright strange films from all over Europe.


Brest is known for its sophisticated boutiques in and around the central Rue de Siam. There’s everything from traditional hats (48 rue de Siam) to the hip streetwear of Since Street (182 rue Jean-Jaurès, 02 9082 5236). Try the full chocolate experience at Histoire de Chocolat (60 rue de Siam, 02 9844 6609) or the enormous Dialogues nearby for books and music, with coffee while browsing. For Breton products, the best range is at the Roi de Bretagne in the Port de Commerce. There are local markets every day in Brest but the best are foodies’ favourite on Saturday mornings in Saint-Martin and a large collection of mixed stalls on Sunday morning at Saint-Louis.

Food & Drink

Brest’s restaurants mostly specialise in seafood, from Michelin-starred L’Armen (21 rue de Lyon, 02 9846 2834) to the famous Crabe Marteau (8 quai de la Douaine, 02 9833 3857) whose name says it all – you get a crab and mallet (with sauces and potatoes alongside). L’Imaginaire (23 rue Fautras, 02 9843 3013) offers stylish dining with an emphasis on quality local products, like fashionable Le M (22 rue Commandant Drogou, 02 9847 9000), an off-centre venue popular with locals. For a real marine experience and absolutely delicious seafood, visit Aux Vieux Gréements (145 quai Eric Tabarly, 02 9843 2048). Just out of town in a verdant valley near Moulin Blanc is the Crêperie du Stang Alar for a simple meal of traditional tasty Breton pancakes.


The liveliest night scene in Brest is to be found around the Port de Commerce where bars and restaurants line the quays. On Thursday evenings in summer, huge music stages are erected here with headline bands from around the world. Make for Le Living Room (9 rue Amiral Nielly, 02 9844 2595) or Le Square up in the town (14 rue Kéréon, 02 9843 4363) for dancing to current sounds. The Carène (30 rue Jean-Marie le Bris, 02 9846 6600) is the hotspot for contemporary music, and jazz/electro-jazz lovers will want to check out the Cabaret Vauban (17 avenue Georges Clemenceau, 02 9846 0688). Quality theatre, dance and classical concerts are to be found at the arts centre Le Quartz (Place de la Liberté, 02 9833 9500).

Accommodation in Brest

Brest has a good range of hotels from the vibrant art deco luxury of Le Continental (Square de la Tour d’Auvergne, 02 9880 5040) to a well-situated budget option like the Agena (10 rue Frégate la Belle Poule, 02 9833 9600) above the commercial port. Local icon the Hotel Vauban (17 avenue Georges Clemenceau, 02 9846 0688) near the tourist office is moderately priced, and so is Les Gens de Mer (44 quai de la Douane, 02 9846 0740) if you want to be in the thick of the quayside nightlife. Apartments are another possibility but they tend to be situated a little way from the centre - Appart’City (02 9846 3606) has two offerings in Brest. 

Our Favourites

Hotel le continental Brest

Hotel Le Continental - Square de la Tour d'Auvergne,29200 Brest, France
Tel: +33(0)2 98 80 50 40, Website:

Behind this large building located in the heart of Brest’s town center, discover a non-smoking hotel full of character that has made a name for itself in Brest.
The hotel’s art deco style, its large, peaceful foyer and its warm welcome will charm you and give you a pleasant, quality stay in Brest’s region. You’ll appreciate its ideal location in the center of Brest near the Chateau and the new Port de Plaisance marina, and 50 metres from the famous Siam street.

Oceania hotel****

Hotel Oceania Brest - 82 rue de Siam 29200 Brest, France
Tel: +33 (0)2 98 80 66 66, Website:

Completely renovated in 2007, the Hotel Oceania**** Brest Centre is a real institution in Brest. The hotel, which is completely non-smoking, is located in the heart of Brest's town centre on the famous Rue de Siam, near the train station, the Palais des Congrès (Le Quartz) and the Chateau.

Hotel Saint Louis Brest

Saint Louis Hotel - 6, rue Algésiras, 29200 Brest, France
tel: +33 02 98 44 23 91, Email:, Website:

The Saint Louis Hotel welcomes you in a pleasant and friendly atmosphere.
You can find all the connections for transportation and main local attractions within walking distance: Railway station, Bus station, the congress the "Quartz", office of tourism, schools, cinemas, stage of departure for the islands, government, hospitals
And you will discover the charm of Saint Louis area with its halls, its market, shops, restaurants, creperies.

Several times a day, the shuttle connects the Brest Bretagne airport with the tramway station at Porte de Guipavas (10 minutes).

All the main sights are within walking distance except the pleasure port of Moulin Blanc and Océanopolis 3km east of Brest, with a regular bus service (Line 3). There’s a central taxi rank by the cinema complex in the Place de le Liberté. Parts of the famous Breton coastline are also accessible by bus or a short taxi ride.

Brest tourist office - Click here
Finistère tourist offices - Click here

Brest Airport Information

Brest Brittany Airport (BES)


General information:
Tel: + 33 2 98 32 86 00


Check in
Brest Brittany Airport now has a brand new terminal much bigger than the original (nearly five times more surface area), getting around therefore will take a little longer. Passengers are advised to arrive a few minutes earlier than the suggested time frame. Check-in generally closes 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time.

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Car Rental
For exclusive discounts of up to 15%, rent from our exclusive car rental partner Hertz at Brest Airport.

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Hertz Car Hire

Car parking
Brest Brittany Airport has 3 different car parks with nearly 2,500 spaces (including 430 under cover on 2 levels, directly connected to the airport terminal).

Shuttle service
A shuttle service links Brest city centre and Brest Bretagne airport several times a day. It stops at the tourist office, Place Albert 1er, Saint Luc and the railway station. Tickets can be purchased on the bus.

Drop off zone
There is a drop off zone situated in front of the forecourt of the new terminal (on the third traffic and parking lane). The duration of the drop off is limited to the time it takes to either pick up or drop off passengers.

CityJet offer flights to Brest from London City. 

Flights from Dublin to Brest availabe from 01 June 2014 for the summer season.

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