Le Mans, France: 10 Places to Visit and 5 to Avoid
Le Mans is a beautiful city located in the northwestern region of France. It is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture. This city is home to some of the country’s best attractions, including the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race track. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing holiday or an adrenaline-filled experience, there’s something for everyone in Le Mans.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 10 of the best places to visit in Le Mans and 5 places to avoid. Each place will be described in detail, so you can make an informed decision about where to go during your stay. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
1. La Cathédrale St-Julien
The first place to visit in Le Mans is La Cathédrale St-Julien. This stunning cathedral dates back to the 12th century and is one of the most impressive religious monuments in the city. The exterior of the building is adorned with ornate sculptures and intricate carvings, while the interior features breathtaking stained glass windows and a magnificent organ. Visitors can also explore the crypt, which is believed to contain the remains of St. Julien, the patron saint of Le Mans.
2. Musée de Tesse
Another great place to visit in Le Mans is the Musée de Tesse. This museum is dedicated to the history of the city and features an array of exhibits showcasing its past. From ancient artifacts to contemporary art, there’s something for everyone here. The museum also offers guided tours, allowing visitors to learn more about the city’s history and culture.
3. Musée Automobile de la Sarthe
For those who are interested in cars, the Musée Automobile de la Sarthe is a must-visit. Located near the 24 Hours of Le Mans race track, this museum showcases some of the most iconic cars in the world. Visitors can view classic vehicles from Ferrari, Porsche, and more, as well as learn about the history of motorsport.
4. Parc du Loisirs de la Garenne
The Parc du Loisirs de la Garenne is a perfect spot for families. This huge park features a variety of activities, including playgrounds, sports fields, and a lake. There’s also a miniature train for kids to ride, as well as plenty of picnic spots for a relaxing lunch.
5. Place des Jacobins
The Place des Jacobins is a beautiful square in the heart of Le Mans. This picturesque spot is surrounded by impressive buildings and is a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants in the area, making it a great spot to grab a bite to eat and people watch.
6. La Gare du Mans
La Gare du Mans is the main railway station in the city. Built in the late 19th century, this stunning building is an example of French Beaux-Arts architecture. Inside, visitors can admire the grand marble staircase and check out the various shops and restaurants.
7. Parc Naturel Régional Normandie-Maine
For nature lovers, the Parc Naturel Régional Normandie-Maine is a must-visit. This sprawling park is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including rare species of birds and mammals. Visitors can also explore the many trails and take in the stunning scenery.
8. Château de la Motte-Tilly
The Château de la Motte-Tilly is an impressive castle located on the outskirts of Le Mans. This former fortress dates back to the 11th century and is now open to the public. Visitors can explore the castle grounds and admire the stunning architecture.
9. Musée de l’Automobile du Mans
The Musée de l’Automobile du Mans is another great spot for car enthusiasts. This museum houses an impressive collection of historic cars, ranging from classic models to modern sports cars. Visitors can also learn about the history of motorsport and check out the various exhibits.
10. La Maison des Artisans et des Métiers d’Art
The La Maison des Artisans et des Métiers d’Art is a great place to visit if you’re looking for handmade goods. This shop features a variety of local crafts, from jewelry to pottery. Visitors can also watch artisans at work and purchase unique souvenirs to take home.
5 Places to Avoid in Le Mans
Now that we’ve looked at some of the best places to visit in Le Mans, let’s take a look at 5 places to avoid.
1. Rue de la Halle aux Vins
Rue de la Halle aux Vins is a street in the city center that is known for its shady characters. This area is filled with bars and nightclubs and is often frequented by pickpockets and other criminals. It is best to avoid this area after dark, as it can be dangerous.
2. La Foire du Mans
The La Foire du Mans is an annual fair that takes place in the city. While it can be fun, it can also be quite crowded and overwhelming. Additionally, pickpockets are known to frequent this area, so it is best to be vigilant when attending the fair.
3. La Réserve Naturelle Nationale des Âmes Mortes
The La Réserve Naturelle Nationale des Âmes Mortes is a nature reserve located outside of the city. While it can be a nice place to visit, it is also known to be a hotspot for drug dealers and other criminal activity. It is best to avoid this area altogether.
4. La Nuit Blanche
La Nuit Blanche is an annual event held in Le Mans. While it can be a fun night out, it is also known for its rowdy crowds and can be quite dangerous. It is best to avoid this event and opt for a quieter night out instead.
5. La Place des Halles
The La Place des Halles is a busy square in the city center. While it can be a nice spot to relax, it is also known for its high crime rate. It is best to avoid this area after dark, as it can be dangerous.
Le Mans is a beautiful city with plenty of attractions to enjoy. From stunning cathedrals to thrilling race tracks, there’s something for everyone here. We hope this article has helped you decide which places to visit and which to avoid during your stay.