Brive, known locally as Brive-la-Gaillarde, is a small city in the Limousin region of France. Its central location makes it a useful place to stay if exploring the west of the country, particularly cities such as Toulouse, but it has plenty to offer for history buffs, as proved by the impressive city walls which once stood here. Brive has a town square at its heart, with much of the older buildings lying within the city walls. It also has a reputation for being a big sporting city, with rugby union proving very popular among the locals, while Brive is also surrounded by rolling hills which provide quite an atmospheric backdrop for visitors not knowing what to expect from the town.
Some of the roads in Brive are quite narrow and tightly-packed. A smaller car would be the safest possible option for squeezing into tight spaces, especially for street parking.
Driving in Brive
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Many people use public transport in Brive, particularly to go to other cities, meaning traffic might not be as heavy as in other parts of France.
The A20 is the main route going into and out of Brive. It can be a traffic blackspot, although this is normal during rush hours.
The city’s medieval centre is mainly pedestrianized. However, there is parking available nearby so you can explore it by foot.
Highlights & Hotspots
Brive’s main museum is the Musée Labenche. The museum contains artefacts hinting at the city’s history, but also doubles as an art gallery featuring works from local artists, as well as a few pieces from more famous painters.
CA Brive is the city’s main rugby union team. They play in the Top 14 competition, the highest level of club rugby in France and have a number of international players in their team. Their home is the 15,000-capacity Stade Amedée-Domenech.
The nearby town of Tulle has plenty of festivals taking place during the summer months. The Photographic Art Festival and Festival Du Bleu en Hiver, a live rock, jazz and blues music event are the highlights here.
The city centre is a good place to see medieval architecture up close. Today, it is home to a number of traditional cafes and retailers offering everything from clothes and jewellery to electronics and soft furnishings, while there are a few isolated market stalls here.
Brive-Souillac Airport is seven miles south of Brive city centre. Built in 2010, the airport has flights to and from other parts of France, as well as some of the airports serving London. It has one main terminal for passengers.
The airport is connected to a link road leading to the D920, which goes north onto the A20. Take the A20 northbound until reaching a junction with the Avenue Jean Charles Rivet. Keep going on that road eastbound and you‚Äôre in Brive.