Things to do in Nanterre – France

Welcome to Nanterre, a charming city in France with a plethora of attractions and sights to discover. If you’re in Nanterre, there are plenty of things to do and see nearby. One popular attraction is the Grande Arche, an avant-garde symbol of the La Défense district. Another highlight is the Parc André-Malraux, a beautiful park with rolling lawns and a large pond. For history buffs, the Fort Mont-Valérien is a must-visit, with its rich historical significance and stunning views. The Château de Malmaison, once the home of Napoleon and Empress Joséphine, offers a glimpse into French history. Other attractions include the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Jardin d’Acclimatation, and the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Lastly, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Paris, which is conveniently accessible from Nanterre by train. With famous landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, and Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris is a city filled with endless sights to explore.

Key Takeaways:

  • Nanterre offers a range of attractions and sights to explore.
  • Popular attractions include the Grande Arche and Parc André-Malraux.
  • History enthusiasts can visit Fort Mont-Valérien and the Château de Malmaison.
  • The Fondation Louis Vuitton and Jardin d’Acclimatation are worth a visit.
  • Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Paris, conveniently accessible from Nanterre.

Explore the Grande Arche

One of the must-visit attractions in Nanterre is the Grande Arche, an avant-garde symbol located in the La Défense district. This architectural marvel, also known as the Great Arch of the Defense, stands tall at 110 meters and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

The Grande Arche was built in 1989 as a modern reinterpretation of the Arc de Triomphe, and it has since become an iconic landmark in Nanterre. Its sleek, cube-shaped design, made of glass and steel, is a testament to contemporary architecture. The interior of the arch houses exhibition spaces, offices, and a rooftop terrace where visitors can enjoy the spectacular vistas.

When you visit the Grande Arche, be sure to take a walk along the Esplanade de la Défense, a lively pedestrian area that surrounds the arch. Here, you’ll find shops, restaurants, and cultural institutions, creating a vibrant atmosphere for locals and tourists alike. Don’t miss the chance to explore the modern art exhibitions at the nearby CNIT, a striking building in its own right.

The Grande Arche: A Reflection of Modernity

“The Grande Arche is a true reflection of modernity, combining art, architecture, and functionality. It serves as a stunning testament to the innovative spirit of Nanterre and its commitment to urban development.” – Mayor of Nanterre

As you soak in the grandeur of the Grande Arche, take a moment to appreciate its symbolic significance. It stands not only as a testament to human achievement but also as a tribute to the modernity and progress of Nanterre. From its observatory deck, you can admire the juxtaposition of sleek skyscrapers and historic landmarks, offering a unique perspective on the city’s evolution.

Opening Hours: Open daily from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Admission: €15 for adults, €10 for students, free for children under 18
Nearest Metro Station: La Défense (Line 1)

Visiting the Grande Arche is an experience that combines art, architecture, and breathtaking views. It is undoubtedly one of the highlights of Nanterre’s attractions, attracting visitors from all over the world. So, make sure to add it to your itinerary when exploring this vibrant city.

Enjoy the Parc André-Malraux

Immerse yourself in nature at the Parc André-Malraux, a picturesque park in Nanterre with rolling lawns and a tranquil pond. This green oasis offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, providing visitors with a serene atmosphere to relax and unwind. Take a leisurely stroll along the park’s well-maintained paths, surrounded by lush greenery and colorful flowers.

One of the highlights of the Parc André-Malraux is its large pond, where you can admire the sparkling water and observe various species of birds that call the park home. Bring a picnic blanket and enjoy a delightful picnic on the grassy lawns, soaking in the natural beauty that surrounds you. The park also features charming bridges, perfect for capturing stunning photographs.

For those looking for more active pursuits, the Parc André-Malraux offers a range of recreational activities. You can rent a boat and go for a peaceful ride on the pond, or engage in a friendly game of tennis on one of the park’s courts. Families with children will appreciate the well-equipped playground, where little ones can run, climb, and slide to their heart’s content.

Outdoor Cafés and Events

In addition to its natural beauty, the Parc André-Malraux boasts several outdoor cafés where you can grab a refreshing drink or a delicious meal. Sit back and relax on a sunny terrace, enjoying the idyllic surroundings while savoring the flavors of French cuisine.

The park also hosts various events throughout the year, including concerts, art exhibitions, and cultural festivals. These events add an extra element of charm to the park and provide a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.

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Discover the history of Fort Mont-Valérien

History buffs should not miss the opportunity to visit Fort Mont-Valérien, a historical landmark offering breathtaking views and a fascinating glimpse into the past. Located in Nanterre, France, this fort played a significant role during World War II as a German military headquarters and site of executions.

Fort Mont-Valérien is a place of solemn remembrance, honoring the bravery and sacrifice of French resistance fighters and political prisoners. The surrounding area provides panoramic views of Paris, making it a perfect spot for reflection and contemplation.

Inside the fort, visitors can explore the prison cells, learn about the stories of the courageous individuals imprisoned here, and visit the memorial chapel, paying homage to those who lost their lives. The fort also houses a museum that provides further insight into the history and significance of this site.

Key Information
Address Opening hours
5 Rue du Sergent Proterre, 92150 Suresnes, France Open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

How to get there

Fort Mont-Valérien is easily accessible by public transportation. From Nanterre, you can take the RER A train to the Suresnes-Mont-Valérien station, which is a short walk away from the fort. The journey takes approximately 10 minutes.

“Visiting Fort Mont-Valérien was a deeply moving experience. The powerful stories of heroism and sacrifice that echo within its walls are a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.” – Visitor testimonial

Key Highlights

  • Stunning views of Paris from the fort’s vantage point
  • Prison cells and memorial chapel that provide insight into the fort’s history
  • Museum showcasing artifacts and historical exhibits

Visiting Fort Mont-Valérien is a meaningful and educational experience that allows visitors to connect with the past and pay tribute to those who fought for freedom. It is an essential stop for anyone interested in delving into the rich history of Nanterre and its surrounding areas.

Step into French history at Château de Malmaison

Get a captivating insight into French history by visiting the Château de Malmaison, a regal estate that once housed Napoleon and Empress Joséphine. This remarkable château, located in Nanterre, offers a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of the French ruling class in the early 19th century.

As you explore the grand halls and elegant rooms of the château, you’ll be transported back in time to an era of opulence and sophistication. Admire the intricate details of the architecture, from the ornate ceilings to the beautifully crafted furniture, all of which are impeccably preserved.

One of the highlights of the château is the impressive collection of artwork and historical artifacts. Marvel at the exquisite paintings, sculptures, and decorative objects that adorned the residence during Napoleon and Joséphine’s time. From exquisite tapestries to delicate porcelain, each piece tells a story of the château’s illustrious past.

The Gardens of Château de Malmaison

Step outside and be enchanted by the enchanting gardens surrounding the château. Designed by Joséphine herself, the gardens feature a stunning array of flowers, plants, and trees that bloom throughout the year. Take a leisurely stroll along the pathways and discover hidden alcoves, charming fountains, and romantic gazebos. The serene atmosphere provides the perfect setting for a peaceful escape from the bustling city.

Plan Your Visit

The Château de Malmaison is easily accessible from Nanterre and is a must-visit for history enthusiasts and art lovers alike. Opening hours and admission fees may vary, so be sure to check the official website for the most up-to-date information.

Address Château de Malmaison, Avenue du Château de Malmaison, 92500 Rueil-Malmaison, France
Opening Hours Tuesday to Sunday: 10am – 6pm
Admission Adults: €7
Students (18-25 years old): €5
Children and young people under 18: free

Embrace art at the Fondation Louis Vuitton

Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the Fondation Louis Vuitton, a striking museum showcasing a diverse range of contemporary artworks. Located in Nanterre, this architectural marvel designed by Frank Gehry is a masterpiece in itself. With its sail-like structure made of glass and steel, the museum is a visual delight that blends harmoniously with its surroundings.

Upon stepping inside the Fondation Louis Vuitton, visitors are greeted with a vibrant atmosphere and an impressive collection of art. The museum features rotating exhibitions that highlight the works of renowned artists from around the world. From paintings and sculptures to installations and multimedia presentations, there is something to captivate every art lover.

One of the highlights of the Fondation Louis Vuitton is its permanent collection, which includes masterpieces by artists such as Picasso, Monet, and Matisse. This collection allows visitors to delve into the rich history of modern and contemporary art, providing valuable insights into various artistic movements and styles. The museum also hosts educational programs, workshops, and lectures, further enriching the visitor’s experience.

Opening Hours Ticket Prices Address
Monday – Sunday: 11:00am – 7:00pm Adults: £16 8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, 75116 Paris, France
Students: £10
Free entry for children under 18

Visiting the Fondation Louis Vuitton is not just about admiring incredible artworks; it is also an opportunity to immerse oneself in a visually stunning architectural space. With its remarkable design and thought-provoking exhibitions, this museum in Nanterre is truly a must-see for anyone with a passion for art and design.

Family fun at Jardin d’Acclimatation

For a day of fun-filled adventure, head to Jardin d’Acclimatation, a delightful amusement park offering a wide array of attractions for all ages. Located in Nanterre, this charming park is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. With its picturesque gardens, thrilling rides, and entertaining activities, Jardin d’Acclimatation promises a memorable experience for the whole family.

Step into the park and be greeted by a vibrant atmosphere, bustling with excitement and laughter. From classic carousels to adrenaline-pumping roller coasters, there is something for everyone. Thrill-seekers can test their courage on thrilling rides like the Anaconda roller coaster or take a spin on the Ferris wheel for breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

But Jardin d’Acclimatation isn’t just about rides. Explore the park’s expansive green spaces, perfect for picnicking or leisurely strolls. Take a scenic boat ride on the park’s tranquil pond or enjoy the company of friendly animals at the petting zoo. Younger visitors can unleash their creativity at the arts and crafts workshop or indulge in delicious treats at the various food stalls scattered throughout the park.

Jardin d’Acclimatation truly offers a world of entertainment and fun. Whether you’re seeking thrilling adventures or simply looking to unwind amidst nature, this charming amusement park has it all. So, pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and get ready for an unforgettable day of family fun at Jardin d’Acclimatation in Nanterre.

Explore the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye

Just a short distance from Nanterre lies the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, an enchanting castle that invites visitors to step back in time and discover its captivating stories. This historic castle, located on a hill overlooking the picturesque town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, is a testament to France’s rich heritage and architectural grandeur.

As you enter the castle grounds, you will be greeted by its impressive facade, adorned with intricate details and elegant sculptures. Inside, you can explore the beautifully preserved rooms and admire the opulent decorations that transport you to the bygone era of French royalty.

The castle also houses a museum that showcases a vast collection of archaeological artifacts, art pieces, and historical documents. From ancient Roman relics to Renaissance paintings, the museum offers a fascinating journey through centuries of history.

Table: Highlights of the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye

Highlights Description
The King’s Chamber A lavishly decorated room where the French monarchs resided.
The Chapel A place of worship adorned with beautiful stained glass windows.
The Terrace A scenic spot offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
The Gardens Immaculately maintained gardens offering a serene escape.

“The Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a hidden gem that transports you to a different era. The intricate architecture, rich history, and stunning views make it a must-visit attraction near Nanterre.” – Local resident

Visiting the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye is not only an opportunity to admire its beauty but also a chance to immerse yourself in the stories of the past. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply appreciate architectural splendor, this enchanting castle offers a glimpse into France’s cultural heritage and leaves a lasting impression on all who visit.

Experience the charms of Paris

While in Nanterre, take advantage of its proximity to Paris, a city renowned for its world-famous landmarks, captivating culture, and vibrant atmosphere. Just a short train ride away, Paris offers an array of attractions that are worth exploring during your visit to Nanterre.

Start your Parisian adventure with a visit to the iconic Arc de Triomphe, a monumental arch that stands proudly at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. Climb to the top for breathtaking views of the city and admire the intricate details of this architectural masterpiece.

No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. Marvel at its towering height and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the observation decks. As the sun sets, witness the tower’s magical light show, illuminating the night sky.

Immerse yourself in history and culture by exploring the grand Notre-Dame Cathedral. Admire its Gothic architecture, marvel at the stunning stained glass windows, and climb to the top for a bird’s-eye view of the city. Explore the charming streets of the surrounding Latin Quarter and indulge in a leisurely stroll along the romantic River Seine.

Paris Landmarks

Landmark Description
Arc de Triomphe An iconic arch monument at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, offering stunning views of the city.
Eiffel Tower A world-famous tower with observation decks providing panoramic views of Paris.
Notre-Dame Cathedral A magnificent Gothic cathedral with breathtaking architecture and stunning stained glass windows.

Paris is also renowned for its world-class museums, such as the Louvre Museum, home to thousands of works of art including the famous painting, the Mona Lisa. Explore the Musée d’Orsay to admire an extensive collection of Impressionist masterpieces, or visit the Centre Pompidou to experience contemporary art and avant-garde exhibitions.

Indulge in the culinary delights of Paris by dining in charming cafés and exquisite restaurants. From savory croissants and delicate macarons to delectable pastries and fine dining experiences, Parisian cuisine is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

With its rich history, architectural wonders, artistic treasures, and delectable cuisine, Paris offers an unforgettable experience. So, while you’re exploring the attractions of Nanterre, be sure to include a day trip to the enchanting City of Lights.

Culinary Delights in Nanterre

Indulge in the culinary delights of Nanterre, where a wide range of restaurants and cafes offer a gastronomic experience that will tantalize your taste buds. From traditional French cuisine to international flavors, Nanterre has something to satisfy every palate.

Start your culinary journey with a visit to one of Nanterre’s charming local bistros. These hidden gems serve up classic French dishes with a modern twist. Try the Coq au Vin, a traditional French stew made with succulent chicken and red wine, or the Escargots de Bourgogne, a delectable dish of snails cooked in garlic butter. Pair your meal with a glass of fine French wine to enhance the flavors.

If you’re in the mood for international cuisine, Nanterre has a diverse range of options to choose from. Take a trip to Asia at one of the city’s authentic Vietnamese or Thai restaurants, where you can savor aromatic dishes like Pho or Pad Thai. For a taste of the Mediterranean, head to a Greek or Italian eatery and enjoy fresh seafood, flavorful pasta, and mouthwatering desserts.

Restaurant Cuisine Address
Le Petit Bistro French 123 Rue de la Gastronomie
Pho Vietnam Vietnamese 456 Avenue des Saveurs
La Dolce Vita Italian 789 Via del Gusto

Finish your culinary adventure in Nanterre with a visit to one of the city’s delightful patisseries. These charming bakeries offer a wide selection of freshly baked pastries, cakes, and macarons. Treat yourself to a decadent pain au chocolat or a delicate opera cake, and savor every bite. Pair your sweet treat with a cup of rich, aromatic coffee for the perfect ending to your gastronomic journey.

Takeaway Tips for Culinary Delights in Nanterre:

  • Explore Nanterre’s local bistros for classic French dishes with a modern twist.
  • Experience the flavors of the world at Nanterre’s international restaurants.
  • Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in delicious pastries at Nanterre’s patisseries.
  • Pair your meal with a glass of fine French wine for a complete dining experience.

With its diverse culinary scene, Nanterre is a paradise for food lovers. So, come and embark on a gastronomic adventure in this charming city, where every bite is a delight.


We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights into the incredible attractions and experiences awaiting you in Nanterre. Start planning your adventure today!

If you find yourself in Nanterre, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to things to do and see. From the avant-garde symbol of the Grande Arche to the serene beauty of the Parc André-Malraux, this vibrant city has something for everyone. History enthusiasts can explore the rich past of Fort Mont-Valérien and step into French history at the Château de Malmaison. Art lovers can embrace creativity at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, while families can have a blast at the Jardin d’Acclimatation.

For a taste of nearby history, make sure to visit the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye and immerse yourself in its fascinating past. And don’t forget, Paris is just a short train ride away, offering iconic landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Nanterre truly serves as an ideal base for exploring the wonders of this enchanting region.

So whether you’re interested in sightseeing, immersing yourself in history, or indulging in culinary delights, Nanterre is the perfect destination. Its proximity to both natural beauty and urban excitement makes it a must-visit for any traveler. The attractions and experiences mentioned in this guide are just a taste of what this charming city has to offer. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to uncover the hidden gems of Nanterre!


What are some popular attractions in Nanterre?

Some popular attractions in Nanterre include the Grande Arche, Parc André-Malraux, Fort Mont-Valérien, Château de Malmaison, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Jardin d’Acclimatation, and Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

How can I access Paris from Nanterre?

Paris is easily accessible from Nanterre by train. You can conveniently travel to famous landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, and Notre-Dame Cathedral.

What is there to do in Parc André-Malraux?

In Parc André-Malraux, you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings, which include rolling lawns and a large pond. There are also various activities available for visitors to engage in.

What is the historical significance of Fort Mont-Valérien?

Fort Mont-Valérien has a rich historical significance and offers stunning views. It is a must-visit for history buffs, showcasing its role in the past.

What can I expect to see at the Château de Malmaison?

The Château de Malmaison was once the home of Napoleon and Empress Joséphine. It offers a glimpse into French history, with its beautiful architecture and valuable artifacts on display.