Beautiful ,gorgeous Quimper!!!

This is what I mean of having so much around you to see and travel , sometimes we tend to think as a  family what to do ,and instead of going to new places we just settled down to go back to the previously seen beauties and close to home. This is the case of this city. I am updating from 2017 and hope you enjoy the beautiful, gorgeous Quimper!

The city of Quimper, in the Finistére dept 29 of Bretagne in my belle France.  We decided this Monday Ascension day off from work to go back to it just driving on the expressway N165 to it easy 1h27 from our home.  Of course, we come by car and park at our special parking Tour d’Auvergne . Right where a monument to the fallen was erected in 1908!  This monument was melted down by the nazis during the occupation of 1942; after the liberation, France gave the city a new monument that was put in place in 1958, the one now there.

We always come by car, but Quimper has an excellent public transport network, with a great gare or train station with TGV connection to Paris-Montparnasse and soon from July even faster. TER regional trains all over the area, as well as a great bus terminal or gare routiére next door with buses to nearby towns and far away like Paris! on Flexbus and Ouibus who have stops here. The local bus network is QUB. The closest airports are in Lorient or Brest. And do not forget the Celtic’Train or little train taken in front of the Cathedral. A good way to see the city in a hurry.


We did a walk over to all the shops , resto and hotels we like. Of course, the hotels have not stayed but these are the ones we would if coming to the city for their charm and location. Plenty of posts on individual mentions below in my blog.

As an introduction let me tell you a bit of history I like

From writings dating from 1235 ,the life of Saint Corentin gives credit to the foundation of the city to a Gradlon around the 5 to 6C. king of the city of d’Ys, Gradlon would have it donated his castle in the confluents of the Odet river to the hermit Corentin to have built his Cathedral. This story or legend appeared again in the second book of the life of Saint Guénolé written by 880. Gradlon is the central personage in the legend of the city of d’Ys,sort of an Atlantis Breton, whereby its origins are lost in the oral celtique tradition. During the centuries that followed many writers have taken this myths to enrich the many variants of the story. A statue in horse of Gradlon is at the local museum of Breton arts or Musée Départemental Breton.

The city is cut thru by a Odet river,  and it has its history too; L’Odet (Oded in breton) is a river on the Breton coast of 62 km long that takes its source in the black mountains or Montagnes Noires at Saint-Goazec, in the area known as Yeun-ar-Vouster, and ends on the Atlantic ocean between Sainte-Marine and Bénodet (in breton Ben” = «river mouth » and therefore « river mouth of the Odet » (see post on Bénodet). It is wonderful to walk its quais along the river bank a local tradition.

Some of the wonderful things to see and enjoy here are

The Quimper covered market a wonderful building and good choices inside even if today was a holiday and not full, usually it is. It is known as the Les Halles  Saint François opened in 1847. The wonderful fish canning and food store of the Belle-île-en-Mer call the La Belle Iloise is here same square front of Cathedral. For wonderful breads and sweets not to missed anytime come to the chain and locally owned La Mie Caline, several stores in the city.  The store near the Odet river and the Halles Saint François is our favorite. 


Our favorite store for souvenirs and local Breton food and drinks is La Trinitaine, here too in Quimper. Not far from covered market Saint-François. For overall wonderful gifts souvenirs and just useful Breton stuff come to the parvis of the Cathedral for the store L’Art de Cornouaille. Simply a bazaar of wonderful gadgets for the house and gift giving. The Paris famous and all over small dept Store for groceries, clothings, house items etc, you won’t go wrong shopping in Monoprix. By the river Odet not far from Cathedral and just across the river the tourist office of Quimper.


For the ladies especially , my dear late wife Martine favorite flower shop in town, and great creations in a wooden house quaint building is Rosa Rosae 19, Rue Saint Mathieu near Church Saint Mathieu. For eating, we have tried some but the best for us is the Taverne des Halles, (which we came first under the name of taverne de maitre kanter!) once inside there are windows that let you see the covered market Saint François from above, nice, quaint, and good eating at reasonable prices. Lunch is good Dinner is romantic. Webpage:


The night action here is centered around the theaters and cinemas very nice indeed; other of course than the nightclubs. For us the best ones in order are: The Théatre Max-Jacob; it opened in 1904. Totally renovated and showing all kinds of arts events. It is gorgeous over the Odet river and the bridge leading to it the pont du Théatre. Right over in front of the Church Saint Mathieu, you will see the more modern Théatre de Cornouaille.  This is THE theater of the city, with full activities in a wonderful location, next to parking tour d’Auvergne (our spot) and at the entrance to rue St mathieu to inner city center. The theater front door is at Esplanade François Mitterrand. More on the creative artistic side of theaters. You can see wonderful movies facing the Odet river and our favorite the Cinema Les Arcades.  Now it is part of the Cinéville group. The other one is just past the above one tucked in a bit from the Odet river. Quai Duplex 5 cinemas  however they have closed too and now is an events showing there sort of, here just for the memories. There is an excellent Congress expo for all events including many tourism oriented right after the Church Saint Mathieu and across from the Théatre de Cornouaille.




It has a nice Hôtel de ville/Mairie building and a wonderful castle like regional government building or préfécture. Nice square Place Terre au Duc with fountain, great wooden houses all over, gorgeous bridges and passarelles over the Odet river and a nice Tourist office. Some museums mentioned before in previous posts are the Musée departamental Breton with a trace of the local history and a must to see ,just gorgeous.  And ,of course, the fine arts or Musée des Beaux-Arts next to the Hôtel de Ville.




The city of Quimper what to do and see in English:

The Quimper tourist office in English:

The Bretagne tourist board on Quimper in English:

Hope you enjoy this wonderful Breton city of Quimper, a beautiful and gorgeous city of the Finistére, in my lovely Bretagne and in my belle France. See you around…when possible.

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

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