Feel like visiting a « small big city »? Let’s head for La Rochelle. It is a human size city, it has the advantages of a big one, in addition to being by sea!
When you arrive you will be greeted by the famous 3 towers of La Rochelle, remains of medieval fortifications on the sea side. The tour Saint-Nicolas, tour de la Chaîne and tour de la Lanterne board the Vieux-Port (the old port) and are emblematic locations of La Rochelle.
Take the time to see them, and why not? Visit them and have a walk along the rampart walk!
Then, enter the heart of the town via the Porte de la Grosse horloge, one of the remains of the medieval fortifications on the land side. Walk along the cobblestone streets, boarded with arcades or facades adorned with coats of arms or gargoyles. Admire the nicely presented shop-windows and stop along the way to drink or eat a bite in one of the many bistrots and restaurants. The rue Saint-Jean du Pérot will lead you to gourmet bliss: restaurants with varied and tempting menus can be found there.
Fancy a bit of nature and culture? Make a stop at the Museum of Natural History, visit the collections and stroll in its lovely park. And just behind it, you will find another park for the children.
La Rochelle also has a small free zoo, very pleasant to discover. You will get there after a nice walk along the « mail », this walk has a perfect view of the ocean, but also of the Pavillon Fleuriau, another architectural « folie » of this audacious XIXth century.
Another cultural La Rochelle cultural hotspot: la Coursive . With a rich and varied programme, you are bound to found a show made for you. Think about booking!
Now let’s head for the market square for a stroll along the colourful stands. Push the door of the market hall to stock upon fresh produce and sea food. In this neighbourhood you will find a lot of shops and restaurants to satisfy all your cravings.
Not far from there don’t miss the La Rochelle train station, the last monument train station that was built in France. Remarkable monument, its façades, roofs, its hall and its mozaïc have this refined charm of the the end of the XIXth century.
The city hall, is splendid too, it is being renovated, following the violent 2013 fire: it will regain its lustre for autumn 2019.
Impossible to talk about La Rochelle without mentioning its sumptuous aquarium , France’s most visited! Contemplate the jellyfish ball, the enchanting colours of the tropical fish, the smile of the sea lions, the majesty of the sharks, the surprising turtles and meet more than 600 aquatic species! It’s a journey to the bottom of the big blue: the main oceans of the planet are represented there!