This beautiful coastal city, in the South, is the Charente-Maritime department. Known as La Ville Blanche (the White City), La Rochelle famous for it’s luminous limestone facades glow in the bright coastal sunlight.
What to See and Do
Old Port of La Rochelle
Located at the end of a narrow bay, the old fishing portis guarded by two medieval towers, the Chaîne Tower and St Nicolas Tower. The old port has beenentirely converted into a marina. Its docks and wharfs are only accessible bypedestrians and bicyclists. This beautiful and historic location has a varietyof restaurants and cafes that offer a great view of the Old Port. Enjoy anevening dinner, while watching the sun set over the horizon.
La Rochelle Aquarium
Facing the Old Harbour, inthe city centre, sits one of the greatest European private aquariums. TheAquarium offers a brand-new immersion into the underwater world. Visit theheart of the Ocean, meet over 12 000 marine animals, and be amazed by thebiodiversity of the Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea and Tropics. Take a trip hereand experience a unique journey to dream and understand the Sea.
Henri II House (La Maison Henri II)
If you enjoy exploring theworld of Architecture when you’re travelling, you will enjoy a visit to HenriII House in La Rochelle. Built during the French Renaissance for HuguesPontard, a prosecutor of the King in Saintonge. Although this may look likewhat used to be a home, it is actually a monumental décor, a stimulation. Builtby an Architect that is yet unknown, this Monument has beautiful carvings linedaround the outside of the building, decorated with medallions and Bucrania, witha gallery full of intricately detailed ceilings and gardens that arebeautifully kept. There isn’t much to do, however The Courtyard is a lovelyspot to have some lunch while enjoying the historic sights of La Rochelle.
You can get to La Rochelle for as little as £10. Looking for cheap flights can be difficult if you’re not sure where to look, however Skyscanner makes it so much easier to view flight prices, and which days of the month may be more expensive than others.
There are beautiful homes around La Rochelle that are available to stay in during your time in La Rochelle. Whether you’d like a smaller, modern apartment or a large, luxury house, there will be something that can cater to your needs. I find that Airbnb provides the best accommodation, each home is fully decorated and equipped, making you feel right at home. In La Rochelle, you can stay in a Studio House for only £28 per night, peace and quiet, privacy, and the chance to cook your own meals.
Looking for price-worthy hotels that include everything you need can be a difficult task, especially when you’re on a budget. When looking for hotels, focus on the most important things first. Such as; location, check in/out times, facilities etc. After your search results have come through, you can browse through the different hotels, at different prices and see which places appeal to you more than others. You can stay in La Rochelle central for as little as £20 per night.
Want to visit some more of France before heading home? Take the road less traveled and visit Limoges is a city in southwest-central France. It’s known for its decorated porcelain, much of which is on display at the Musée National Adrien Dubouché. Parc Zoo Reynou in Le Vigen holds an impressive 100 hectares dedicated to 600 animals.
There are many restaurants around La Rochelle, with a range of cuisines such as French, Seafood, International, European and more. From small breakfast cafes to fancy Evening restaurants, there’s something for everyone. The streets are lined with bistros, brasseries and bars.
When travelling around small cities such as La Rochelle, my partner and I prefer to travel by foot. You can see what you want, on your own time schedule. However, public transport is there to help you around, the city provides a large transport network to help get around. The bus system includes 29 lines of service that travel around La Rochelle’s city centre and the surrounding communities. They also stop at a variety of train stations in the region. You can purchase a 24hr bus pass for as little as 4.50€, or a 7-day pass for only 12.50€.
La Rochelle also has a boat system that allows you to travel from one side of the city centre to the other in less than 5 minutes, by crossing the channel of La Rochelle. I would highly recommend using this mode of transport if you get the chance. Not only do you get the opportunity to take a boat ride right through the beautiful city, ticket prices are ridiculously cheap, at only 1€ per person. You can also get a group ticket for 0.85€ per person, working out at only 8.50€ for a group of 10 people.
There are many other modes of transport in La Rochelle, such as; bike, train, car hire, taxi and more. Learn more about transport and ticket prices. Click here.
If you decide to stay in accommodation where you’ll need to cook for yourself, it’s a great idea to shop at local markets. They always sell good quality products, at a great quantity, for a little price.
You can find La Rochelle’s Central Market in the Vieux Port, located in a 19th Century Market Hall. There is a daily food market, which is perfect for buying fresh and traditional ingredients, a large number of stalls sell a range of fruit and vegetables, fresh fish and seafood, as well as bread, cheese and more. I think that this is one of the best ways to explore food from different countries, and it can be a lot of fun experimenting with a variety of traditional ingredients.
There are a range of things in La Rochelle that you can do on a budget. These include visiting parks, cathedrals, and monuments, which you will find that majority of which are free to visit. For example, St-Louis Cathedral of La Rochelle is also located in The Old Town, the interior is a must see, with its paintings and magnificent stained-glass windows. Places like this are great because you can still learn a lot about the history of the city and explore new things without having to spend a silly amount of money. Parks are also a lovely place to spend the day, where you can relax surrounded by nature and enjoy a picnic.