“Le Mans” means racing: The venerated 24 Hour of Le Mans is still going strong almost a century after the first race.
Motorsport lovers can pay homage at the track, and even drive parts of it as the course uses public roads.
Then see the veritable treasury of racing heritage at the circuit’s museum.
Yet Le Mans is so much more than just a race track, and deserves your time even if you’re not interested in cars.
Kings were born in Le Mans, Richard the Lionheart’s wife Berengaria of Navarre lived and died here, and the Cité Plantagenêt is an entire district of real medieval houses unaffected by time.
On summer evenings the Nuit des Chimères light show illuminates old Le Mans with whimsical projections, telling the city’s story in a way that will enchant both kids and grown-ups.
Lets explore the best things to do in Le Mans:
1. Cité Plantagenêt
Le Mans is proud of its link to the House of Plantagenêt, which ruled England for more than 300 years, and in 2003 adopted the name for its old quarter.
Roughly following the outline of the Gallo-Roman walls, the Cité Plantagenêt has many streets of romantic old houses with timber frames, and renaissance palaces with elegantly carved walls.
Get a guide from the tourist office and take as long as you can to make sure you don’t miss any surprises.
Also try to time your trip to Le Mans for one of the city’s heritage days when many of these privately-owned mansions open their doors to the public for a free peek around.