Free Shuttle service to the town center, the maritime museum and Océanopolis sea world. 1.5 km from town. Brest is a rather hilly town.
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Gateway to the hilly terrain of Brittany's charming Argoat area, Brest lies on the most northerly of Brittany's three Finistere peninsulas. It boasts one of Europe's finest natural harbors designated by Cardinal Richelieu as France's major naval base as long ago as 1631.
Heavily bombed in the last war, Brest is today a clean modern city, but one cherishing ancient maritime traditions - witness its 15th-century chateau and medieval Tour Tanguy.
The Musée de la Tour Tanguy houses a collection of dioramas that depict the city of Brest on the eve of World War II. The Musée de la Marine de Brest contains exhibits which outline Brest's maritime tradition. There is also an aquarium, the Océanopolis marine center.
The area surrounding Brest offers dramatic and windswept cliffs and beaches.
Restaurants in Brest have a wide variety of seafood. Fresh fish is featured on practically every menu and you can even find a few fish-only restaurants. Local markets and supermarkets also offer lots of seafood. Brittany's most famous local delicacy, the Breton crêpe, is another culinary feature. There are many crêpe restaurants (called crêperies) and Breton cider may also be drunk. Traditional biscuits include Traou Mad which is a full fat butter biscuit, somewhat similar to Scottish shortbreads.
Local emergency number: 112
Most shops, businesses, information services, museums and banks in France stay open all day. The exceptions are the smaller shops and enterprises, which may close for lunch sometime between 12.30pm and 2pm. Basic hours of business are from 8 or 9am to 6.30 or 7.30pm Monday to Saturday for the big shops and Tuesday to Saturday for smaller shops (some of the smaller shops may open on Monday afternoon). You can always find boulangeries and food shops that do stay open, however, on days when others close – on Sunday normally until noon.
National holiday dates:
January 1 New Year's Day
Ascension Day (forty days after Easter)
Pentecost or Whitsun (seventh Sunday after Easter, plus the Monday)
May 1 May Day/Labour Day
May 8 Victory in Europe Day
July 14 Bastille Day
August 15 Assumption of the Virgin Mary
November 1 All Saints' Day
November 11 1918 Armistice Day
December 25 Christmas Day
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