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A Bustling Port and Seaside Town brimming with History!

Rich in maritime heritage and French flair, it’s well worth staying a while in this stylish city. Mooch around old castles and architectural gems, walkways filled with shops and food outlets, and the pretty moored boats. Known as the ‘White City’, La Rochelle is actually full of green patches of parks and open spaces. It has even played a starring role in a few films!

Sightseeing

Sight Seeing in La Rochelle

You’ll discover many magnificent sights in La Rochelle, from the historical to the modern. This bustling but beautiful port is filled with little cafés, bars, one-off shops and plenty of French eateries. Vieux Port is the ideal spot for a wander, and a meal in a sumptuous seafood restaurant. It’s even been the filming location for a few classic movies – the U-boat scenes in the Raiders of the Lost Ark were shot here.

Have a look round the old town where you’ll see the interesting architecture of the Gothic-style City Hall. The Towers along the port are also pretty popular for fantastic views across the harbour. Hop on a boat to reach the must-see monument, Fort Boyard, an island fortress situated on the Charente-Maritime coast between the Île-d'Aix and Île d'Oléron. You could even head out into the countryside for a scenic picnic lunch.

Activities

Fun Seekers in La Rochelle

Plage des Minimes is popular with younger crowds both during the day for sunbathing and in the evenings to party. Sightseeing and lazing on the beach are enough to fill your time in La Rochelle, but there are also a range of shops, cafés, and restaurants to eat out for lunch and dinner. There’s a whole load to sink your teeth into.

Bars, pubs and clubs also come alive when the sun goes down. A decent night out is always on the cards at Le Piano Pub. Popular with the locals, this is a busy spot, so if you’re searching for somewhere for a few cold ones in a buzzing atmosphere, with regular live music, this is the place. You’ll find a big choice of clubs as well, so La Rochelle isn’t just an idyllic city with a go-slow pace.

Families

Family Fun in La Rochelle

La Rochelle is great for a family trip, with lots of historical monuments to visit. Check out the towers and the fortress, which you can only reach by boat. One of the most popular attractions for children is the Aquarium de La Rochelle. It stretches over two floors and houses over 10,000 species of marine life complete with a jellyfish tunnel and Mediterranean Cave with octopi. Mini Golf du Mail is also a big hit with kids. Not only does it include a mini golf course, there are also bumper cars, bouncy castles and a small tour train, plus a delicious crêpe restaurant and snack bar.

Besides hiring bikes and cycling around the city and nearby areas, you could head out on a boat trip and make the most of the coastline. There’s even a zoo, where the youngsters can wave hello to otters, tortoise, big cats and more. It’ll be smiles all holiday long.

Couples

Romantic Breaks in La Rochelle

La Rochelle is one of the most attractive and unspoilt seaside towns in France, so it oozes romance. Spend your days exploring the pretty harbour and old town, and discover what’s down every avenue while you’re visiting.

Grab a sun lounger on one of the vast beaches and spend the day soaking up some rays with a book in one hand, and a cocktail in the other. If sand between your toes isn’t your thing, La Rochelle also has surrounding areas of charming countryside that just beg for a dreamy amble together.

Enjoy a relaxing candlelit dinner with a glass of fine wine in one of the upmarket restaurants alongside the harbour. As a port town, seafood is a local delicacy, but French cuisine is served in the majority of places, too.

Tips

Top Tips for La Rochelle

KEY PHRASES
Yes - Oui
No - Non
Hello - Bonjour
Goodbye - Au revoir
Please - S'il vous plaît
Thank you - Merci
My name is ... - Je m'appelle ...
How are you? - Comment ça va?
I'm very well - Ça va bien
I feel ill - Je ne me sens pas bien
How much does it cost? - Combien est-ce que ça coûte?
Do you speak English? - Est-ce que vous parlez anglais?
I don't understand - Je ne comprends pas
Where is ...? - Où est ...?
Entrance - Entrée
Exit - Sortie
Danger - Danger
Open - Ouvert
Closed - Fermé
Toilets - Toilettes
Doctor - Médecin
Hotel - Hôtel
Restaurant - Restaurant
Beer - Bière
Wine - Vin