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Located in the Pays de la Loire region, Le Mans is a large city in the Sarthe department. World famous for its rillettes and the 24 Hours of Le Mans motor race, the city has an impressive cultural and historical wealth.
At the gateway to the Loire castles and two hours from Paris, Le Mans is the ideal destination to recharge your batteries for a weekend.
Here are the top 10 must-see places to visit in Le Mans!
The 24 Hours of Le Mans
One of the most famous car races takes place in the city of Le Mans. Every year in June, the 24 Hours of Le Mans welcomes thousands of fans from all over the world.
Outside the 24 Hours of Le Mans competition, the circuit can be visited freely the rest of the year. Audio guides are available in English and French to accompany you on your tour.
Located next to the circuit, the 24 Hours of Le Mans museum traces the history of the race. There are 140 classic cars on display, as well as temporary exhibitions.
The Plantagenet City
The Cité Plantagenet is the historic centre of the city of Le Mans. It is impossible to visit Le Mans without discovering the old town. Old cobbled streets, walls and historic houses take you back to the Middle Ages. A real step back in time!
Located at the gates of the Plantagenet City, the Saint-Julien Cathedral is not to be missed! Visiting Le Mans also means discovering historical treasures that cannot be ignored. This cathedral of Le Mans is one of the largest Gothic-Romanesque buildings in France. It is one of the most visited monuments in the Pays de la Loire.
The Nature Arch
The Arche de la Nature is a 500-hectare natural area located 10 minutes from the centre of Le Mans. Visitors can discover a variety of flora and fauna as well as a wide variety of landscapes: river, forest, hedgerow, orchards, lakes, etc.
Vegetable garden, observatory, playground, picnic tables, everything is done to spend pleasant moments! Admission is free.
Restaurants where to taste Le Mans rillettes
It is impossible to visit Le Mans without tasting the incredible rillettes du Mans! Rillettes du Mans is a culinary preparation of pork slowly cooked in fat. They are then spread on bread for a tasty snack.
Many restaurants offer rillettes du Mans on their menu, such as the Baraque à Bœuf or La Fabrique, located in the Cité Plantagenet. This preparation is sometimes declined in original recipes like the rillettes with foie gras of the restaurant L’Auberge des 7 plats in the Vieux Mans.
Built at the end of the 3rd century, this Gallo-Roman enclosure located in Vieux Mans is very well preserved over 500 metres. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage candidate since 2018.
A must-see in Le Mans!
The Roman baths of Le Mans
In summer, it is possible to visit the Roman baths of Le Mans. These thermal baths were in operation between the years 50 and 275 AD.
A real historical gem not to be missed during your weekend in Le Mans!
The AOK7 bunker in Le Mans
If you’re interested in the Second World War, then this bunker in Le Mans should appeal to you!
This former German bunker, which served as a headquarters for the German army, can be visited on a few Saturdays during the year. It is one of the best preserved bunkers in the world. It is necessary to reserve a place, as visits are rare.
The Tessé Museum
Opened in 1799, this is one of the oldest museums in France and the first museum in Le Mans. It offers paintings and sculptures from the 14th to the 20th century as well as a very beautiful Egyptian gallery. This gallery includes reconstructions of Egyptian tombs. A must-see!
The Jean-Claude Boulard Museum – Carré Plantagenêt
During your visit to Le Mans, don’t miss this museum which traces local history from prehistory to the Middle Ages. This museum of archaeology and history features relics from the period and teaches how our ancestors lived in this region.
Visiting Le Mans for a weekend is a total wonder! Between history, gastronomy, architecture and events, it is impossible to get bored in Le Mans!
Thank you for reading my article! I hope now you want to visit Le Mans!
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