The first site I suggest you place on your itinerary is the Musee de Bretagne (Museum of Brittany). It has been opened in new facilities: the structure was designed by the very famous architect Christian de Portzamparc.
The museum is now housed in a large structure that is also home to Rennes local library and Espaces des Sciences.
The renowned architect’s design is a nice compliment to the museum’s artifacts that takes the visitor from the area’s prehistoric era all the way through the present day.
One portion of Musee de Bretagne provides information as to a historical case known as the “Dreyfus Affair.” This significant piece of historical drama pertains to an army captain known by the name of Alfred Dreyfus. He was unjustly accused of being a participant in espionage. He was thus retired in Rennes at the very end of the nineteenth century. He was aided during the second trial by Emile Zola.
The museum which chronicles the life of Bretons throughout history is located at: 10 cours des Allies. They are open Tuesday noon to 9:00 p.m.; Wednesday through Friday – noon to 7:00 p.m. and weekends 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The second site you won’t want to miss is Musee des Beaux Arts, also known as Fine Arts Museum located at 20 quai Emile-Zola. The museum includes highly significant works by (world famous) artists such as Paul Gauguin and Jean-Baptiste Chardin.
The Musee des Beaux Arts provides its visitors special emphasis with regard to French drawings and paintings of the 1800s. Besides the early collection the museum shows a nice offering of modern works by various other French artists. Hours of operation are: Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to Noon; and 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
After visiting the second site you may wish to “pop” into the au Fourneau located at 6 rue du Capitaine-Alfred-Dreyfus. The tearoom is located in close proximity to the Fine Arts Museum.
This dining venue (I believe) is the perfect compliment after paying a visit to the Musee Beaux Arts. The tea room is quite comfortable and filled to the brim with antiquities.
They serve delightfully rich pastries; confections cakes and salads. Hours of operation are: 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The fourth site worth the visit is a 1700s structure of classic(al) design. The Cathedrale St-Pierre took fifty-seven years to build. It towers well-above the Rue de la Monnaie and it is located within the west section of Old Town also known as Vielle Vile. The Rance River borders it on one side.
Once you enter this magnificent ecclesiastical construction you will immediately be “awed” by the sumptuous interior and 1500s Flemish altarpiece.
The precise location is Pl. St-Pierre and they are open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 to noon; and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday 8:30 to noon.
Once you have visited the Cathedrale St-Pierre it is advisable to take a walk through Parc Du Thabor. The setting is located east of Palais de Musees: this is a beautiful formal-style French garden. There are rows of trees, and flowers all flowing in perfect succession.
There is a view from the garden of Notre-Dame-en-St-Melaine. The precise location of the garden is Pl. St-Pierre.
The next area to address is: Where will you stay?
There are one place of which you may wish to make note: le Coq-Gadby is located at 156 Rue d’ Antrain and is a mansion that dates back to the 1800s; it is beautifully appointed with massive fireplaces and period antiques.
The rooms provide guests with four-poster style beds and “flowery” covers.
There is a restaurant on premises with excellent French cuisine; and facilities to accommodate optimum health and relaxation such as a jacuzzi and steam room.
Needless to say, Rennes is a place for the traveler with exquisite tastes as to site-seeing opportunities and venues to eat and stay.