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Tourism in La Rochelle

If you are staying in a 4-star hotel on the Ile de Ré, be sure to discover the exceptional heritage of La Rochelle, a city historically turned towards the ocean only 20km from the Ile de Ré.

What to do in La Rochelle?

Families as well as couples and groups of friends can enjoy their stay in La Rochelle. A stay in La Rochelle tourism is a great opportunity to discover various historical monuments in the centre of La Rochelle such as the Saint-Louis cathedral, the Quai Valin lighthouse, the Chaine tower, the Bout du Monde lighthouse or the Lantern tower.

People also come to La Rochelle to discover its natural sites. Among the must-sees are the Pointe Saint-Marc, the Pointe de la Queille, the Pointe des Minimes and the Pointe de Chef de Baie.

Holidaymakers can also choose from a number of leisure facilities in La Rochelle. The La Rochelle Museum of Fine Arts and the La Rochelle Aquarium are among the must-sees. The same applies to the Casino de La Rochelle, the Musée du Nouveau Monde and the Plage des Minimes.
Many other activities are available to holidaymakers, such as walking or fishing in the sea, water sports such as kitesurfing, stand-up paddle or sand yachting, cycling or go-karting.

It is recommended to take part in at least one guided tour, so as not to miss the main historical monuments and natural sites of La Rochelle and the surrounding area; it also allows you to learn more about the history, the art of living and the gastronomy of the region.

You can also walk around the old town, the historic centre of the city of La Rochelle in the department of Charente Maritime in Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

What to do in La Rochelle when it rains?

There is never a dull moment in La Rochelle, even when the weather is bad. Here are some ideas for activities to do on a grey day:

Visit monuments or museums

There are several sites and monuments worth visiting in the city. Among the places you could visit, especially with children, are

  • The towers of La Rochelle, open all seasons
  • The Aquarium of La Rochelle and its 12,000 marine animals
  • The Bunker of La Rochelle, a 3,000 m2 blockhouse dating from 1941

The city also has several interesting museums:

Indoor activities

Indoor swimming pool, gym, board games… there is no shortage of ideas for indoor activities. You can also treat yourself to a thalassotherapy or balneotherapy session.

Shopping in the shelter of the arcades

Under the arcades of La Rochelle, you will find several shops selling clothes and decoration.

Going to a theatre or cinema

This is one of the ideas that will prevent children from sulking when it rains. In any case, you can choose from three cinemas in La Rochelle:

  • The CGR Dragon cinema, in the Old Port of La Rochelle
  • The CGR Olympia cinema, in Place de Verdun
  • The Méga CGR cinema, in the Minimes district

Restaurants La Rochelle

In La Rochelle you can choose from several restaurants offering the best of local and French gastronomy:

Iséo
The establishment is known for its refined flavours.

  • Menus : 21.50 à 32.50 €
  • Children’s menu : 12 €
  • Adress: 4 Pl. de la chaîne

L’Hysope
L’Hysope is one of the best gourmet restaurants in Charente-Maritime.

  • Menus : 56 à 145 €
  • Adress: 25, rue de l’Aurore.

La Grand’Rive
The restaurant is one of the best restaurants serving fish and seafood.

  • Seafood platter : 44.50 €.
  • Card: around €25
  • Adress: 24, quai Duperré.

Papy Mougeot
Papy Mougeot serves good French cuisine.

  • Single menu : 28 €.
  • Adress: 21 Rue Bletterie.

Restaurant Hangar 27
The restaurant also offers French cuisine.

  • Price: 16 € with starter buffet.
  • Adress: 31, boulevard du Maréchal-Lyautey.

Culture and heritage of La Rochelle

The Middle Ages and the Renaissance left their mark on La Rochelle and the surrounding area; certain pages of the city’s history were also written from the 17th to the 20th century, and even into the contemporary era. Visiting the different buildings of the city allows you to take a formidable leap into a past that is sometimes eventful, but also rich, dense and changing…

The three towers of La Rochelle are among the city’s must-see attractions. Completed in 1376, the Saint-Nicolas tower is 38 m high; built between 1382 and 1390, the Chaîne tower was visited by King Louis XIV in 1472; and the Lantern tower was built at the end of the 12th century and is 55 m high.

Several other emblematic places are worth a visit in La Rochelle. For example, the Maison Henri II, the Old Port, the La Rochelle train station, the 19th century market, the Saint-Louis cathedral, the Saint-Barthélemy bell tower and the Palace of Justice are all monuments that make La Rochelle a real open-air museum.

Calendar of events in La Rochelle

A stay in La Rochelle is also an opportunity to soak up the festive atmosphere of the city during a cultural event.

Among the events that punctuate the city each year are

  • La Rochelle Cinema Festival
  • Francofolies de La Rochelle
  • The International Film Festival
  • The TV Fiction Festival
  • The Great Boat Races
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