Studying in Rennes: get outdoors and active in Brittany
In Rennes, you’ll find a city that never stops moving in a region where you’ll always find outdoor spaces to appreciate sport and nature.
In the wild western region of Brittany, Rennes is a city that is full of green spaces and hidden treasures that are just waiting to be explored. You can make the most of the bars, restaurants and culture of a bustling city, all while being a stone’s throw away from untouched countryside and coastlines.
If you love the water:
Rennes is located on a peninsula in the far west of France, giving easy access to both the north and south coasts. You can access a vast range of wild coastline and charming seaside towns by car or by hopping on the train at Rennes Pontchaillou to get to Saint-Malo in just 55 minutes for a crepe on the beach!
- Les étangs d’Apigné: a local lake accessible by bike or bus from Rennes city centre. In the summer, a special shuttle service leaves every hour from Place de le République from July to August!
- Baud beach: Rennes even has beaches within the city limits, just 10 minutes by bus from République (C4) you can sit and relax by the water in hammocks and deckchairs.
- Kayak, canoe, pedalo and paddleboard rental: rendez-vous at 61 quai Saint-Cyr to rent a range of water toys when the temperatures get hot! More information here.
If you love nature:
Within the city, you’ll find a host of beautiful parks and gardens where you can stroll and recharge your batteries:
- The Thabor park
- The Tanneurs Park
- The Oberthür park
- The Gayeulles park…
If you love getting out into nature, all from the comfort of the city, why not have a look at these 5 outdoor micro-adventures suggested by the Rennes tourism board or try an electric bike tour with a local guide. You could take a tour of historically significant ancient trees, or search for Excalibur in the Broceliande forest, the setting of the legends of King Arthur, Merlin and Lancelot!
If all that walking sounds like a bit too much, the petit bateaux electriques (little electric boats) are available for hire for you to explore the canals from the comfort of your own boat!
Find out more about nature in Rennes
If you love hiking:
Brittany is a region that is known for its wild countryside and dramatic coastal paths. Keen hikers can head off to explore the GR34 coastal path or the lesser-known GR39 long-distance footpath which goes from Saint-Michel to Guérande via Rennes!
If you’re interested in walking around the city, try these sites to visit in Rennes on foot!
If you love sports:
- For runners: in 2021, Rennes was voted as the 2nd best French town and 5th best town in Europe for running, according to a survey by Puma. whether you want to try the 7km, 14km or 21km distance, the Rennes Urban Trail takes place once a year, providing a unique opportunity to run through the city sites and monuments. You’ll even get the chance to run through the Opera house, the town hall and the famous Piscine Saint-Georges!
- For swimmers: you’ll find pools throughout Rennes at a reasonable price. Visit the Piscine de Brequigny to swim in an outdoor heated Olympic pool all year round.
- For cyclists: with over 600 km of cycle paths and the Vélostar bike hire scheme, Rennes has opted for environmentally friendly mobility options, with special discounts for students. All of these initiatives have helped to make Rennes France’s third most bike-friendly city (according to the Geo ranking of cities adapted to cycling in France).
- If you’re looking for something more extreme, try one of these 11 outdoor adventures for thrill-seekers in Brittany!
Find out more about sports in Rennes
So, if you’re ready to get active during your studies, Rennes is the city for you! Enjoy exploring!