For centuries a French naval base, Brest has a colossal natural harbour that couldn’t be better for seafaring had it been designed by man.
Unfortunately, almost nothing in the city remains from before the Second World War, save for a few military fortifications like the city’s Château and Arsenal.
Instead, what enthrals you about Brest is the spirit of adventure, conquest and discovery in one of the leading cities in the world for Ocean research.
Brest has always pointed its telescope westwards at the Atlantic, as you’ll realise on the quays of the port, by exploring Océanopolis, a world-class aquarium, or in the galleries of the Naval Museum in the bowels of the castle.
Lets explore the best things to do in Brest:
We’ve seen that Brest is a city with a strong relationship with the Atlantic: 60% of European research on the ocean is conducted from this harbour.
So Océanopolis is the attraction Brest deserves: A wondrous ocean-oriented science and cultural centre with 50 different aquarium tanks, the largest of which is the shark tank, holding a million litres.
Since a modern upgrade in 2000 the exhibitions have been set in three pavilions: Polar, Temperate and Tropical, with 10,000 kinds of plants and more than a thousand animal species, from harbour seals (there’s a clinic for them here) to bull sharks, stingrays and loggerhead turtles.