Top 10 Things to do in La Rochelle
La Rochelle is a city in western France that operates as a seaport on the Bay of Biscay. The city is linked to the Île de Ré by a 2.9-kilometre overpass. Its waterfront opens into a protected strait, the Pertuis d’Antioche. The city is also the capital of the Charente-Maritime department. Visit museums in the Old Quarter that will tell you about the merchants and explorers who embarked on expeditions from the port and view galleries that are replete with artefacts they brought back. La Rochelle is heaving with must-see places you can visit and activities you can do. This article will help you narrow down your search and focus on where to go, what to see and when you can see it. Regardless of the duration of your time in La Rochelle, it is possible to enjoy your tour locations. These are the top 10 things to do in La Rochelle.
1. Tour the Saint Nicolas Tower
For 5 centuries Saint-Nicolas has stood defending the opening to the Old harbour. Named after the supporter saint of sailors and fishermen, the structure stands large at 42 meters tall.
The tower has an intricate maze of connecting spiral stairways that played an important role when attackers came.
Explore little niches, passageways and chambers and enlighten your historical curiosity.
2. Visit the Natural History Museum of La Rochelle
The Natural History Museum of La Rochelle is a French natural history museum located in Charente-Maritime in La Rochelle. The building is installed in the former palace of the governor of Aunis and is listed as a historic monument.
The museum offers 2300m 2 of exhibition spread over two areas, natural history and ethnography. These two are very well represented in the collections of major importance because of the antiquity of the collections, some of which come from marine of the 19th century and explorers from the region.
3. Tour the Lantern Tower
The Lantern Tower is one of three medieval momentous towers in La Rochelle, France which guards the port at Aunis. The Lantern tower served as a Lighthouse and prison throughout its history. Other names that may refer to this very place include; Garrot tower, Priest tower, and Four Sergeant tower. It was declared a historical monument in 1789 by the French government.
4. Tour the Chain Tower
The Chain Tower was built in 1384. Along with the Lantern Tower and the Saint Nicolas Tower, it is one of the three medieval towers guarding the port of La Rochelle in France. It is called the Chain tower because an actual chain was stretched across the port entrance from this building. It was classified as a historical monument In 1879 by the French government.
5. Take a walk along the La Rochelle Harbor
The old harbour in La Rochelle’s is the first thing you spot on arriving in La Rochelle. Not only is it beautiful, but it represents the relationship the city has always had with the ocean.
Take a stroll along Quai Duperré as you take in the iconic view of the Tour Saint-Nicolas and Tour de la Chaîne from a distance.
Later, grab a seat under the canopy of one of the dockside eateries and enjoy a delectable seafood lunch. Watch as the sailboats move back and forth along the water and enjoy the calming ambience.
This activity is even more exciting by night as you can people watch and soak in the culture and beauty of the harbour’s lights against the ocean.
6. Take a boat ride to Fort Boyard
Fort Boyard is located between the Île-d’Aix and the Île d’Oléron in the Pertuis d’Antioche straits, on the west coast of France. This also happens to be the filming location of the hit television show ‘Fort Boyard’ among other famous films. Work began on a Boyard bank was not started until the late 1800s under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte.
7. Visit the Grosse-Horloge of La Rochelle
The Grosse-Horloge of La Rochelle also known to the locals as ‘Porte de la Grosse-Horloge’, is an old city gate. The gate became useless with the enlargement of the city, it houses a bell and a clock and in 1478 became the belfry of the city replacing the door of Mallevault. The door of the Grosse-Horloge is classified as a historic monument by the verdict of December 13, 1978.
8. Visit the Museum of Automata/ the Museum of Reduced Models
Automata are moving mechanical devices made in imitation of a human being. The Museum of Automata in La Rochelle is the first museum of its kind in France. It presents prominent pieces made by the greatest masters in the field.
The figurines represented there come from Europe and required almost 30 years of research. They were retrieved from auction rooms, antique dealers, Paris, London and Berlin, making for an interesting collection.
Pay the museum a visit for an unforgettable experience.
9. Experience the home of royalty
Maison Henri II is an exquisite courtyard along Rue des Augustins. It is a renaissance house built-in 1555. It houses a gallery and a terrace. The interior has exhibitions about the archaeology and history of the Aunis province, to which La Rochelle once belonged. Explore this beautiful location for more niceties.
10. Taste what Rochelle has to offer
La Rochelle has so much to offer when it comes to delicious cuisine. Here you will find lobsters, mussels, prawns and oysters at a bargain.
Try the moules Charentaises (a mussels dish), visit the Marché Central, where nearby bars have an accord with the stallholders. Sit and once you receive a tray, fill it with seafood and have it prepared for you.
Great food paired with wine and possibilities to mingle, makes for an enjoyable trip.
These have been the top 10 things to do in La Rochelle, France. I hope you enjoyed the article. Have fun exploring.