Also known as La Ville Blanche (the white city) owing to the bright white limestone cliffs which glow in the sunlight, the city of La Rochelle is located in western France on the Bay of Biscay. This intriguing city is home to a beautiful marina. The centre itself is home to some magnificent architecture as well as many other historical sites. La Rochelle is first and foremost a seaside town, where visitors will discover a range of gorgeous beaches that stretch all along the coastline. Plush, green spaces are in abundance here two, for those who wish to take a pleasant stroll or enjoy a picnic. For those who like to indulge in rich French cuisine, La Rochelle doesn’t disappoint, as the city is home to a whole host of incredible restaurants.
A smaller family car would be perfect if you like the idea of zipping around the city streets. Also, a hatchback would be easy to park on streets and in most car parks.
Driving in La Rochelle
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
The city centre is a maze of one way streets. To avoid getting lost or losing time trying to find your way around, plan your route beforehand and invest in a good map of the city.
Parking in the city centre shouldn’t be a problem as there are a number of metered car parks and free car parking facilities around the city.
If you’d rather avoid negotiating La Rochelle’s one way streets, there are also park and ride facilities outside the city centre at the Jean Moulin car park.
Highlights & Hotspots
Families should take a day to visit the fantastic Toy Museums, which kids of all ages will love. The museums are split into two buildings, The Musée des Automates showcases an impressive exhibition of 300 dolls spanning the last two centuries. The Musée de Modèles Réduits is a scale model museum which exhibits a range of miniature cars and model railways.
Aquarium La Rochelle is another great choice for families, as well as for those with an interest in sea life. This stunning aquarium educates visitors as well as making it a fun experience for grown-ups and children.
For those seeking a great cultural experience, a trip to The Hôtel de Ville will take your breath away. Admire the 17th century Renaissance style courtyard and gothic wall as well as the building’s impressive architecture. Elsewhere, the Fine Art Museum is home to an impressive collection of major French, Italian and Flemish artists.
A visit to Charruyer Park is a great way to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet. Located between the sea and the old town, this plush green space is popular with locals and tourists who want to enjoy an afternoon of tranquillity.
La Rochelle √éle de R√© Airport is located less than a couple of miles from the centre of La Rochelle and is accessible via the N237 motoway.