A stunning town in France that is often overlooked when it comes to French tourism is Nancy. The town is a beautiful amalgamation of Art Nouveau, Renaissance, and Art Deco Styles with friendly locals, cute cafes and lovely parks.

The magnificence of this small, beautiful town can be ascertained by the fact that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The unique elegance of Nancy makes it a must-visit destination on your trip to France.

Having studied in Nancy for 3 months, Campbell was able to experience exactly what it is like to live in this French town and we have been back time and time again to enjoy the local culture and visit friends.

If you are looking for a weekend getaway in France, Nancy should be on your list of places to go. There are plenty of interesting sites boasting the rich history, heritage, and culture of Nancy.

With that being said, let’s explore a list of amazing things to do and cover on your Nancy itinerary.

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The Best Nancy Itinerary
Amazing Things to Do in Nancy

Table of Contents

Where to Stay in Nancy

Explore Nancy’s charming stays and choose your ideal hotel with the map below for an unforgettable adventure.


Best Time to Visit Nancy

The town of Nancy witnesses a continental climate where temperature and climates vary throughout the year. As far as tourism in France is concerned, Nancy is a year-round destination, with summer being the best time to plan and cover all the best things to do in Nancy.

The summer season begins in the month of June and lasts until August. This is the time when the average temperature is usually 18°C, where July is said to be the hottest month.

Winter in Nancy begins in the month of December and lasts until February. The average temperature records 1°C during this time. These are the months when the town of Nancy witnesses the coldest climate conditions.

Whereas the season of Spring is from March to May, and the average temperature lingers around 13°C. Autumn begins in September and lasts until November. During these months, the average temperature is around 10°C.

Discover the Place Stanislas

Place Stanislas is a popular public square that was established as an 18th-century urban planning project. It was built by Pole, Stanislas Leszczyński, the last Duke of Lorraine.

It is located in the heart of Nancy’s Ville Neuve and is a popular UNESCO-listed place that is flocked by oodles of tourists every day. Being a pedestrian-only square, it is the heart of the town. It houses five beautiful palaces that boast a perfect French style of architecture.

However, the key highlight of the place is the beautiful imposing effigy of Stanislas, which is 4 metres in height. This is also a hub that hosts many events throughout the year. So, you can either be a part of one of those events or can even a pleasant stroll around the square.

Visit Palais des Ducs de Lorraine

Only a few metres away from Stanislas, there is the beautiful site of Palais des Ducs de Lorraine. It is a magnificent palace that dates back to the 15th century from the times of stunning Late Gothic and early Renaissance.

Boasting a beautiful flamboyant style of architecture, the palace includes ornate balconies and a doorway. However, apart from its appealing architecture, the palace is also home to Musée Lorrain, which is a Lorraine Museum.

The museum beautifully showcases the art and antiquities along with the historical artefacts from the Lorraine region. Adjacent to it, there is a former Franciscan Church (Eglise des Cordeliers) which also houses several exhibits.

Explore Place de la Carriere and Place d’ Alliance

Place de la Carriere and Place d’ Alliance are the two most iconic attractions and designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nancy. They are public squares and are located along with Place Stanislas.

The way to Place de la Carriere goes through the beautiful Arc de Triomphe (triumphal arch), which honours King Louis XV. Place de la Carriere is enclosed at the one end by the Government Palace, known as Palais du Gouvernement. This beautiful square dates back to the 16th century and was once known to host equestrian games and tournaments.

The Place d’Alliance, on the other hand, is comparatively a small square but equally appealing. It is located a few metres distance from the Place de la Carriere. It is known to house a beautiful manicured central garden

Together both places take you on a journey of tranquility and calmness, and that too in the heart of Nancy.

Admire the Art at Musee des Beaux-Arts de Nancy

One of the best Nancy attractions for all art admirers is Musee des Beaux-Arts de Nancy. The place is known to house a superb collection of European paintings from the 14th to the 21st centuries.

The museum was established in the year 1793 during the French Revolution. It was once a church property that was confiscated during the revolution, and hence, the early collections are the artworks that were seized from France’s churches.

Here, you can find an exceptional collection of European paintings and a few masterpieces by renowned artists – Delacroix, Fragonard, Rubens, Perugin, and Caravaggio.

Not only this, there is also a collection of beautiful paintings by Lorraine artists, including Etienne Courault, Victor Pouve, Emile Friant, Claude le Lorrain, and Jules Bastien Lepage.

Above all that, the museum also houses the Daum collection of Art Deco Glassworks which are beautiful crystal pieces having aesthetic and historical significance. The museum also houses temporary exhibits throughout the year.

Visit Majorelle

In case you don’t know, Art Nouveau is a big part of Nancy. This art has been prevailing in the town since the late 19th century. The city was once a French outpost when the neighbouring cities – Lorraine and Alsace, were annexed in the 1870s by Prussia.

Villa Majorelle, also known as the Musee de I’Ecole de Nancy, is another popular museum in Nancy. It was built in the early 1900s for Louis Majorelle and is also renowned as a historical monument that boasts a stunning Art Nouveau style of architecture.

The museum is dedicated to the group of artists who were the main pillars behind the movement of Art Nouveau in Lorraine back in the early 20th century. It has a rich collection of Art Nouveau, including furniture, ceramics, glass, textiles, and jewelry.

Along with that, the building also houses a lush garden with beautiful plants, flowing fountains, and vibrant flowerbeds. For a fact, the landscape of the garden was also professionally designed during the Art Nouveau period by local horticulturalists.

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Explore Ville Vieille (Old Town)

The quaint, little old town is one of the most beautiful parts of Nancy. The old town is located in the northern part of Nancy and is bordered by three traffic arteries – Rue Saint Georges, Rue Saint-Dizier, and Rue Saint-Jean.

Explore this part of the town and admire the true beauty of Nancy. One of the key highlights is Cathedrale Notre-Dame-de-I’Annonciation which is located on the Rue Saint-Georges part. The cathedral is known for its unique Baroque interior and includes beautiful fresco on the dome’s cupola.

There is another popular tourist site, Porte Saint-Georges, which is known as a prominent historical city gate. It was built in the 17th century during the Renaissance era. Apart from that, the other significant attractions are Eglise des Cordeliers and Marche de la Ville Vieille.

Visit La Porte de la Craffe

Located at a distance of just a few metre from Palais des Ducs de Lorraine, La Porte de la Craffe is another historical attraction in Nancy. Dating back to the 14th century, it is a fortified gate that also has a pair of imposing round towers. Porte de la Craffe was once a place that used to hold prisoners until the French Revolution.

It was used as a sophisticated defense having 3m thick walls that allowed defenders to defend and attack. On the southern end of the tower, there is a carving of Rene II. Whereas, on the right-hand side is the Cross of Lorraine.

Enjoy the Sound and Light Show “La belle Saison”

If you are planning a Nancy tour in the summer months, then one of the must-see sights in Nancy is the sound and light show – La belle Saison. The show is hosted in Place Stanislas and is definitely one of the experiences that you cannot afford to miss out.

Just like any other light show, this one is also a night activity. As the sun falls asleep, the buildings at the square lit up with project images and special effects. This spectacular display is accompanied by a great sound system.

The experience is more like watching a show at a giant theatre for half an hour. Besides, the best thing about this activity, it is free of charge.

Admire the Serenity at Pepiniere Park

If you are looking for something tranquil and serene on your trip to Nancy, you need to visit Pepiniere Park. We loved visiting during the autumn months as the colours were changing

Located at a distance of just a few metres from Place Stanislas, the park sprawls over a huge 21 acres of land. The park is also referred to as “the lungs of the city”, and hence, offers a whole range of things to do in Pepiniere Park.

There is a little farm within the park that serves as home to a number of wild creatures, such as peacocks, donkeys, goats, and more. Besides, there is also a Rose Garden which was created in 1927 and is known to exhibit over 190 different floral varieties along with 2000 rose bushes.

Pepiniere Park is also a famous spot for kids as it also features a range of rides for children. Not only this, there is even a waffle shop, Lorraine Waffle, that serves a range of delicious waffles.

In winter, Pepiniere Park turns into an altogether different attraction as it gets covered with a blanket of snow, making it a sight to behold.

Parc de Pepiniere

Visit Basilica Saint-Epvre

Another popular tourist site in Nancy is Basilica Saint-Epvre, located in Ville Vielle. It is a beautiful Gothic revival church that was built in the 19th century. The riches of the church were endowed by some famous personalities like Napoleon III, Emperor Franz-Joseph of Austria, Pope Pius, and King Ludwig II of Bavaria.

There are vibrant stained-glass windows that add up to the interior of the church. Throughout the years, the church has witness the important contributions of several artists from Europe.

One of the key highlights of the church is the tower which is 87 metres high and comfortably stands on one of the iconic squares in Nancy, the Place Saint-Epvre. Not only this, one must also admire the beauty of the stunning statue of Duke Rene II.

Admire the Beauty of Nancy Cathedral

Nancy Cathedral is another popular religious site in the town of Nancy. The cathedral beautifully depicts the rich architectural history of the country. Dating back to the 18th century, Nancy Cathedral boasts a magnificent Baroque style of architecture.

The church was designed by Giovanni Betto and is inspired by the Sant’ Andrea della Valle in Rome. The interior is simple yet elegant, making it a treat to the eyes. The dome is another highlight is the beautifully decorated dome in the transept painted with a mural. It is dedicated to Gloire Celeste and is created by the famous painter, Claude Jacquart in the 1720s.

The church also features a statue of the Virgin and Child that dates back to the 17th century. Along with that, it also houses a treasury with liturgical items, which includes a chalice and ring of Saint Gauzelin from the 10th century.

Before You Leave for Nancy

Before you set off on your way to Nancy, there are several things you will need to get organised to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. These include what to pack, where to stay and what is the best insurance for your trip to France. All of this is discussed in detail below.

How to Get to Nancy

Nancy is located in northeastern France and getting there is relatively easy. The city is well-connected by various means of transportation. If you prefer flying, the closest airport is Metz-Nancy-Lorraine Airport, which offers domestic and international flights. From the airport, you can easily reach the city center by taking a taxi or using public transportation. Alternatively, if you prefer traveling by train, Nancy has a well-connected train station with regular services from major French cities like Paris, Strasbourg, and Lyon. It’s also worth noting that Nancy is easily accessible by road, with well-maintained highways connecting it to neighboring cities and countries. Whatever mode of transportation you choose, getting to Nancy is the first step towards immersing yourself in its rich culture, stunning architecture, and vibrant atmosphere.

Where to Stay in Nancy

Explore Nancy’s charming stays and choose your ideal hotel with the map below for an unforgettable adventure.

Nancy Place Stanislas

What to Pack for Your Trip to Nancy

When preparing for your trip to Nancy, it’s important to pack the essentials while also considering the local culture and weather. Firstly, make sure to pack comfortable walking shoes as you’ll likely be exploring the charming streets, historical sites, and beautiful parks. Additionally, pack versatile clothing suitable for both casual and dressy occasions. Don’t forget to bring a lightweight jacket or sweater, as the weather in France can be unpredictable, even during the summer months. Lastly, bring along a universal adapter to charge your electronic devices, as the plugs in France may be different from what you’re accustomed to. 

For our full list of items that we pack no matter where we go in the world, check out our full packing guides over here.

Given the beautiful sights and scenery that you are no doubt going to see around France, we highly recommend packing a good camera for your trip. If you want to read more about the cameras we use and why we love them, check out the link below.

You can read what else we keep in our camera bag over here.

What is the Best Travel Insurance for France

I know travel insurance is the least enjoyable thing to purchase and look at when you’re planning a trip, however, you wouldn’t want to be without it in the event that something happened. Accidents can happen anywhere and the extortionate medical bills will ruin your trip if you are not covered.

To ensure you have a stress-free trip with no worries about potential medical bills, make sure you cover yourself when you travel. We can recommend using SafetyWing, a backpacker-friendly and cheap insurance company that provides good coverage and support. It is also nomad-friendly, unlike most other insurance companies, meaning you do not need to worry about being out of your home country for too long.

Get a quote for your travel insurance right here and get covered!

So there you have it, your Nancy Itinerary. If you are visiting this incredible city and have any other questions on what to expect, leave us a comment down below. We love to chat about this stuff! If you have already been, Let us know in the comments below!

Also, remember to share this with your friends and family that you are going to share this amazing experience with. Sharing is caring and we want to ensure that everyone is fully prepared to maximise their experience in this trip.

If you are planning a France trip soon then check out our other France content right here. Come and find us on social media to see where we are currently exploring. Tag us in your photos from your stay and we will share them with the rest of our community of explorers and backpackers.

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