Getting around Le Mans!

Le Mans is in the department of the Sarthe no 72 in the region of Pays de la Loire. It is an important historical town of  my belle France and a beautiful fortified city center. It does not get the popularity it deserves maybe just for the car aficionados like me and its famous 24 hours. However , it is worth the detour as can be seen by my various post on it in my blog.

As usual , there needs to be a way to get there to show you it is easy. I have come here by car and train. Let me tell you a bit on getting around Le Mans.

Le Mans is in the heart of a highway/motorway star network as the A11 : Paris, Angers and Nantes ;A28 : Alençon, Caen, Rouen ; A28 and A85 : A fast expressway the D323 makes the grand circle of Le Mans and joins up with the A28 coming from Tours (exit d’Auvours), and the A11  direction Nantes  (exit d’Allonnes-Le Mans ZI Sud). Tours and Lyon , A28 and A10 : Tours and Bordeaux et A81 : Rennes. Aprox distances by road from Le Mans to Tours : 100 Km, Rennes : 155 Km, Nantes : 185 Km ; Paris : 200 Km ,and Rouen : 205 Km

I come by car, and it was about 3 hrs from my Morbihan breton avoiding tolls which do not like if can avoided, why paid more taxes ::) We took off on the N24 towards Rennes and there connected with the N157 passing Vitré, then at Laval, gettting around the D900, briefly on the N162, and then the D57 towards Le Mans that becomes the D357 and into the city by the place du pré and the free parking next to Church Notre Dame du Pré.   From Versailles/Paris you can take the A13 autoroute de Normandie direction Rouen and get off at the A12 direction Dreux/Rambouillet to get on the N12 direction Dreux by Alençon take the exit/sortie 18 to get to the A28 direction Le Mans ,before reaching the city get off on your right on the D338 which is sort of a beltway of Le Mans known locally as the route d’Alençon and same road becomes the D304 cross the Sarthe river and follow signs for centre ville/Jacobins/Cathédrale Wonderful ride folks.

There is plenty of parking in Le Mans even on street parking and even if regulated, however, for sightseeing the best are the underground parking. There are 12 parkings in total available above and under ground.  Upon entering panels tells you the available spaces remaining. The parkings are République,774 places, Jacobins, 388 places, Quinconces, 610 underground and 350 above ground ,   Filles-Dieu,165 places,   Médiathèque, 240 places,   Rabelais, 92 places,   Halles, 240 places,   Gare-Sud,  269 places,   Novaxis, 42 places,   Palais-des-congrès,  380 places, and Gare-Nord, 88 places.

le mans

The management company for all these parkings is cenoviapark and you can reserve in advance too; link here in French: cenoviapark for parkings in Le Mans

There is a public transport all over the city and territory , however, better stop at an underground parking and walk, the best way anyway, and the streets are very narrow and city center largely pedestrian , so park underground by the Place de la République or Jacobins as we do or place du pré above ground and free.

In Le Mans, travel is facilitated by two tramway lines, a dedicated bus line and a bus network, not to mention the facilities for cyclists. In addition, there is a set of underground car parks and paid on-street parking. Le Mans Métropole has entrusted its urban transport network to Setram

The Le Mans tramway lines are  Line T 1 between Antarès-MMarena and University, with 24 stations, and line T 2 between Bellevue-Hauts de Coulaines and Espal-Arche de la nature, with 18 stations. Also, a total of 27 bus lines with main bus terminal at boulevard Robert Jarry serving the 19 towns of Le Mans Métropole, every day of the year, including Sundays and holidays. To reach the city center by tram or bus, you can leave your vehicle in one of the two parking lots at the entrances to the city. At Antarès, and at Université-Bartholdi. These are the parc relays.

For itineraries and schedules on Setram, here in French: Setram tramwaya and bus schedules of Le Mans

Here you can print the maps for the section you will most likely be in by the train station or gare du Mans and the city center or centre villeSetram for maps printable on tram and bus of Le Mans

The regional bus line 26 connects daily Le Mans to Saumur via La Flèche. The line serves the train station the trade center of Le Mans and offers direct and fast connections to the network SETRAM Mans (bus and tram) and the SNCF network (TGV and TER).  Bus/coaches are in correspondence with the trains from and to Paris. The itinerary and schedule of line 26 in French here: Sarthe pays de la loire bus line 26

There is a service run by the SNCF call Ouibus and is an alternative to the train. The OuiBus travel between Le Mans, Lyon, Nantes, Paris and  Rennes  very cheaply in Le Mans stops at 5 boulevard Louis Le prince Ringuet. More in French here: OuiBus from Le Mans

To move about the city of Le Mans is becoming more and more bike friendly as is most of France. The Bike Space for rentals, info etc is at 49 avenue du Général de Gaulle; open Monday to Friday from 8h30 to 19h, Saturday from 10h to 12h and from 14h to 19h.
The Bike Space is closed on Sundays and public holidays. To answer your questions,there is a dedicated telephone number as well for customer service on +33 (0)2 43 24 76 76.

For me the other experience coming here and on business trips has been the train. There is a nice  big train station in Le Mans. I have also used it as a correspondence stop. The first train station was done here in 1852 connecting  Paris, and later Rennes, Angers, and Nantes. The current train station is at Place du 8 Mai 1945.

Le Mans

For local TER trains info in French here: TER Pays de la Loire trains at Le Mans

For the TGV/TER trains the SNCF info is here in French for itineraries: SNCF TGV ter trains schedules and itineraries from Le Mans

The bus lines that passes by the train station are Nord access on Boulevard Robert Jarry for the lines  5, 6, T3 and 17 and on Boulevard Alexandre Oyon for line 30. Outside Taxi stand for Radio Taxi.  There are nice waiting halls at the Nord and Sud terminals in the train station of Le Mans. Full service even a business center. There is a Carrefour Express supermarket , a press Relay store on both nord and sud halls and restaurant the Factory and Co, Costa Coffee, and Paul bakery.

le mans

Counters are  open Monday to Friday: 9h to 19h, Saturday: 10h to 18h, Sunday: 12h to 19h. The train station is open Monday to Friday: 03h to 24h. Saturday: 5h45 to 22h45. Sunday: 6h45 24h. The train station is a bit on the outskirts of Le Mans and will need public transport to get to the main sights . For example, to the Cathedral St Julien is it less than 2 km and will take according to google 26 minutes as I never time it.  The distance is ok for us to walk here but for visitors might be a different habit::)

le mans

There is a small airport just to cover all as never use it. It is the Le Mans-Arnage and is located just outside of the 24 hrs circuit at Route d’Angers  just 7 km south of Le Mans. It is mostly a business airport for folks coming to the races, info in English here: Le Mans Sarthe Airport

More from the city of Le Mans in French on transports: City of Le Mans transports

And there you go a nice historical town to visit , great architecture not to forget great car racing town, and lovely medieval streets to walk. Le Mans is it, hope you enjoy the post and info.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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3 Comments to “Getting around Le Mans!”

  1. Driven through it but would like to see MotoGP here.

    Liked by 1 person

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