Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Nancy in North East France (Lorraine region)

Visit Nancy (Lorraine, France)

Nancy is an important town located in north-east France to the east of Strasbourg and south of Metz and Luxembourg, hence close to the French border with Germany.

Although not always considered part of the established tourist routes in France, Nancy has some very interesting places to visit with many interesting historical buildings and important museums - and attracts millions of visitors each year.

Explore Nancy

A visit to Nancy can begin in the large square dedicated to Duke Stanislaus - Place Stanislas - which falls between the Old Town (Vielle Ville) and the newer neighbourhoods of the city, and is surrounded by impressive buildings and feature wrought iron decorations. It was created in the late eighteenth century by Jean Lamour (1698-1771) and Emmanuel Héré (1705-1763).

Interior of Saint Sebastien church in Nancy

Here you will find the old Town Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts, the 'Neptune Fountain' and the Triumphal Arch, an eighteenth century addition which pays tribute to King Louis XV and is decorated with trophies, gold bars and floral motives.

The Place Stanislaus, together with other parts of central Nancy, are now listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Selected places of interest in Nancy

Before enjoying all these cultural museums visit the Park of Péoinière, with its garden and the Nancy Basilica of Saint Epvre in flamboyant Gothic style. The basilica has beautiful stained glass windows (over 70 in total) and the Tour de la Commanderie dating from the twelfth century.

Other squares in Nancy to visit include the Place de la Carrière, a square once dedicated to races and with imposing gates in the Rococo style, and the Place d'Alliance with a Baroque Fountain by Louis Cyfflé (1724-1806).

In particular look at the Art Nouveau style visible in the stained glass and floral motives of the palaces which you can admire in the district of Saint Leon and Saurupt, and various buildings by Lucien Weissenburger (1860-1929).

Among the many other historical monuments in Nancy, the Porte de la Craffe is a substantial 14th century gateway that once gave access to the historic city, and the Church of the Cordeliers and the imposing Duke's Palace are also here in medieval Nancy. The Duke's palace holds an important museum, the Musée Lorrain, with statues, potteries, carvings and a section devoted to folklore.

decorations in Place Stanislas, Nancy, France

Museum of Fine Arts

Certainly, one of the most important places to visit in Nancy is the Musée de Beaux Arts where there are works by Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) ('La Bataille de Nancy'), Edouard Manet (1832-1883), with the allegory of the 'Automne' and the 'Soleil couchant à Etretat', which is perhaps one of his most successful landscape paintings.

In addition there is a hall dedicated to the Pointillism technique, with themes related to everyday life illuminated by bright colours (George Seurat, 1859-1891). Other halls are dedicated to the Fauves and the Futurists, who painted the modern world in terms of movement, industrial cities and speed. Also very interesting is a room devoted to the Impressionists.

Museum of the Nancy School of Art

Another museum of great artistic interest in Nancy is the Musée de l'Ecole de Nancy, which, as well as precious glass windows, potteries and carved furniture, holds outstanding Art Nouveau works by Emile Gallé (1846-1904), Victor Prouvé (1858-1943) and others. Some of the many works by E. Gallé here include the magnificent Assiette Japonaise, a decorative vase, and the famous Bed, Dawn and the Dusk.

Nancy, France - restaurants and cuisine

Finally worthy of mention is the Rue des Maréchaux, the street of restaurants and a remarkable spectacle of art and restaurants.

Here you can find an international cuisine, but there are some restaurants with local dishes as the Alsatian choucroute (made with sauerkrauts and pork), or oysters and seafood, grilled langoustines and foie gras pate. You can also enjoy Quiche Lorraine, a wide choice of cheeses and, finally, some liquor, such as the local 'Bergamot from Nancy', are particularly noteworthy.

See related feature - history of Nancy.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Lorraine guide.

See also:

Map of Nancy and places nearby

Tourist classifications for Nancy

Nancy has received the following tourist classifications: historical protected town centre' (secteur sauvegardé); village in bloom (ville fleurie) 4*;

Address: Nancy, Lorraine, 54000, France || GPS: latitude 48.6936, longitude 6.1846

Plan your visit to Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Place Stanislas, Nancy: heritage site
  • Muséum-aquarium de Nancy: aquarium
  • Jardin Alexandre-Godron: remarkable garden
  • Parc Sainte-Marie: remarkable garden
  • Jardin botanique du Montet: remarkable garden (4 km)
  • Parc du château de Fléville-devant-Nancy: remarkable garden (8 km)
  • Toul: recommended detour (22 km)
  • Lorraine: regional natural parc (24 km)
  • Gelaucourt: ville fleurie 4* (30 km)
  • Parc romantique et Art Nouveau du château: remarkable garden (33 km)
  • Château de Moyen: site of natural beauty (37 km)

Market days in Nancy, France

Regular market(s) are held in Nancy each Wednesday all day & Tuesday all day & Thursday all day & Sunday & Friday all day. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Nancy (Francais)