Things to do in Quimper: 3-day itinerary

Quimper is a city in western Brittany, France and is famed for its Breton heritage, its gorgeous old town of cobbled streets and half-timbered houses, an imposing twin-spired Cathedral, and miles of parks and gardens among other attractions.

This 3 day Quimper itinerary details everything you need to know about visiting this fine city from all the top tourist attractions to hidden gems, nearby places of interest, the best eateries and the best places to stay.

The city is just a 20-minute drive from Brittany’s stunning coastline, so if you’re looking to hit the beaches, then Quimper makes a perfect base. Whether you're planning a family break, a romantic weekend, or a cultural experience, Quimper has it all. So let’s dive right in and discover the top things to do in Quimper.

Day 1

Morning: Old Town

Spend the first morning of your 3 day Quimper itinerary exploring the charming old town. Just as with other towns and cities across Brittany, Quimper is famed for its brightly coloured half-timber houses which line the cobbled streets and squares. Nestled in between these beautiful buildings you’ll find cafes and bistros, creperies, artisan shops and more.

Place Terre au Duc

Place Terre au Duc is one of the largest squares in the old city and one of the most beautiful places to stroll and take in the shops, cafes and mediaeval architecture. There is a water fountain in the centre of the cobbled square and streetside cafes all around. The Square lies along the Steir River, a tributary of the larger Odet which also runs through the city.

Pont Medard and Rue Kereon

Head east from the Square and cross the Pont Medard Bridge over the Steir. This is a great spot to grab some photos as you take in the river and old stone walls of the city. The bridge exits onto the picturesque Rue Kereon, one of the main shopping streets of the old city. This cobbled street is lined by historic half-timbered houses painted in bright colours, and is one of the most pleasant streets in the whole city.

Day 1 - Morning Quimper Tour Map

Afternoon: Place Saint Corentin

After lunch, make your way to the end of Rue Kereon which opens up onto Place St Corentin adjacent to the Cathedral of the same name. This pleasant square has a small garden with various sculptures and statues, and magnificent views to the cathedral.

Cathedral Saint Corentin

The twin-spired Quimper Cathedral, also known as Cathedral St Corentin, is a Roman Catholic cathedral built in the Gothic style and dating to the 13th Century. The building was partially destroyed by fire in 1620 but was painstakingly restored to bring it to its former glory.

Look out for the ornate portals which contain statues of angels and demons, the Virgin Mary and Christ holding a globe. St Corentin is open to the public and free to enter, and definitely one of the top things to see in Quimper.

Breton County Museum

To learn about Brittany’s fascinating history head next door to the Breton County Museum (Musee Departmental Breton). Here you’ll find a large selection of exhibitions covering the history of Brittany from prehistoric times to the present day.

Inside you can discover collections ranging from archaeological finds to furniture, local costumes and textiles, photographs, ceramics and paintings among many other interesting exhibits. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm (2:30 pm to 5:30 pm Saturday and Sunday).

Jardin de l’Eveche

It’s just a few steps southeast from the museum to the quaint Jardin l’Eveche which runs adjacent to the Odet River. Take some time out from the bustling city streets and relax in this pleasant garden flanked by the stone, city walls.

Day 1 - Afternoon  Quimper Tour Map

Day 2

Morning: Chapel du Jesuits

Start day two of your 3 day itinerary in Quimper at the former Chapelle des Jesuites on Place Claude le Coz. The building dates back to 1666 and was once a Jesuit college. Admire the impressive stonework and the views of the old city, before moving onto the picturesque Hotel de Boisbilly.

Hotel de Boisbilly

It’s a short walk along the Rue du Lycee to the Hotel de Boisbilly, also known as the Heritage House and the Ville de Quimper. Hotel de Boisbilly is a museum situated in a gorgeous old townhouse in the heart of the city.

Inside you’ll find artworks by local artists as well as other exhibitions based around the history and artistic output of Brittany. The museum is only open on weekdays from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm and closed for lunch between 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm.

Jardin de la Retrait

Cross over Rue Elie Freron Ter to the peaceful Jardin de la Retrait which is a pleasant landscaped garden offering a little slice of sanctuary within the city centre. Take some time out to enjoy the colourful flower displays in summer and take in the wonderful views of the city and cathedral.

Fine Arts Museum

Make your way back onto Rue Elie Freron Ter and head south for 200 metres to reach the Musee des Beaux Arts, or the Fine Arts Museum. Explore the collections on display which include Breton local artists throughout the ages, as well as Spanish and Italian displays, and decorative and contemporary pieces.
There are frequent guest exhibitions, as well as workshops and other events, so be sure to check the website before your visit. The museum and gallery is open from Wednesday to Tuesday (closed Mondays) from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm with a lunch break from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm).

Day 2 - Morning Quimper Tour Map

Afternoon: Mont Frugy

In the afternoon make your way across the Odet River and hike the Promenade du Mont Frugy up to one of the best viewpoints in the city; Mont Frugy (but don’t worry, as this isn’t a real mountain, at a mere 70 metres (229 feet) above sea level, it’s just a large hill overlooking the city. That being said, it still has absolutely jaw-dropping views of the city and is one of the top places to visit in Quimper.

Jardin du Theatre

As you follow the Promenade east, make your way onto Rue Jean Jaures to the Jardin du Theatre, which is surrounded by lots of different theatres with events for all ages. Here you’ll find the Tres Tot Theatre for kids, Aprem Jazz for music lovers, and the most impressive of all, the Theatre Max Jacob which is one of the most important theatres in the city.

If you fancy taking in a show or concert, check the websites of each theatre to see what events are on during your visit.

Walk Along the Odet

Finish your day off with a walk back along the Odet River to the old city. As you wander along Boulevard Dupleix, you’ll pass three bridges; the Passerelle Marie de Kerstrat, the Passerelle Canet-Mallejacq and the Passerelle Bollore. The Passerelle Canet-Mallejacq is a pedestrian footbridge and the most pleasant of the three.

Day 2 - Afternoon Quimper Tour Map

Day 3

Morning: Explore Locmaria

On the third day of your 3 day Quimper itinerary, spend the morning exploring the historic suburb of Locmaria, famed for its pottery making. Locmaria is about 1.5 kilometres south of the old city, so can be walked in around 20 minutes, or you can jump on the A, 7 or 11 bus from the city centre.

Promenade de Locmaria

Follow the Promenade de Locmaria which runs along the Odet and boasts magnificent views of the city and surrounding countryside. It’s also a great place for cycling and you can hire bicycles at many places around the city.

Le Jardin du Prieure Locmaria (Botanical Garden)

The promenade leads onto the Parc et Jardins du Chateau de Lanniron which is arguably the most beautiful green space in the city. With sublime views of the river and mediaeval old town farther on, this large green space dates back to 1477 when Anne of Brittany had a garden here in the grounds of an old monastery. This botanical garden hosts plants and flowers from around the world and is a haven for birds and other wildlife.

Museum of Quimper Pottery

Quimper is famed for its earthenware and the Museum of Quimper Pottery (Musee de la Faience de Quimper) is the best place to see examples and even shop for a souvenir to take home. The museum houses many exhibits and has regular guest exhibitions, so take a look at the website to see what’s currently going on.

Day 3 - Morning Quimper Tour Map

Afternoon: Parc et Jardins du Chateau de Lanniron

In the afternoon head farther south along the Odet to the Parc et Jardins du Chateau de Lanniron, a large park and gardens along the banks of the river. This is an excellent place to take the whole family as there is always lots going on. There are various playgrounds, a small farm park, mini golf carriage rides, falconry and summer markets hosted here.

Go kayaking or Paddle Boarding on the Odet

Finish your Quimper itinerary by spending some time messing about the river. You can hire a kayak or paddle board and take off along the Odet for a pleasant afternoon’s punt. KAYAKOMAT Quimper - Domaine de Lanniron is located within Parc et Jardins du Chateau de Lanniron and hires boards and safety equipment.

Day 3 - Afternoon Quimper Tour Map

Best Day Trips from Quimper

  • Plage des Maner: Quimper is just a short drive (less than 30 minutes) from some wonderful beaches along the Breton coastline. Plage des Maner is one of the most beautiful and features mile upon mile of soft sand, perfect for sunbathing, swimming and enjoying the beautiful coastal views.

  • Locronan: If you want to experience rural Brittany, then the absolutely stunning village of Locronan is a must. It’s just a 20-minute drive northwest of Quimper along the D39, and well worth the short trip. Marvel at the gorgeous stone cottages, wander along the quaint, cobbled streets and step back in time to a Brittany unbothered by the modern world.

  • Brest: Brest is a bustling port city in eastern Brittany with lots to see and do. Wander around the picturesque harbour, see creatures from the deep in the aquarium, or spend time exploring the gorgeous stretch of coastline around the estuary of the Elorn River. Visit the Brest Botanic Garden (Jardin du Conservatoire Botanique National de Brest) and Océanopolis. Brest is a 50-minute drive from Quimper along the N165 and there are multiple daily trains taking around 90 minutes to make the journey.

  • Morlaix: The charming town of Morlaix is famed for its 19th-century viaduct, its beautiful mediaeval old town, and the picturesque Bay of Morlaix where you can enjoy a day at the beach or hiking along the stunning coastal paths. Morlaix is just over an hour’s drive from Quimper along the N165 and D785.

  • Vannes: The beautiful mediaeval city of Vannes is just over an hour’s drive from Quimper along the N165 and there are trains between the two cities every two hours. Explore the impressive ramparts; the mediaeval walls that surround the city, marvel at the gorgeous half-timbered houses of the old town, and explore the islands and beaches of the Gulf of Morbihan, one of the most beautiful parts of Brittany.

  • Pont-Aven is a charming town most famous for its connection with the well-known painters like Gauguin and Bernard. You can reach Pont-Aven in just over 20 minutes' drive from Quimper along the N165. Its colourful houses, charming cafés, picturesque strolling pathways, art galleries and watermills attract thousands of visitors every year.

  • Douarnenez: Pay a visit to the small fishing town of Douarnenez, located on the Atlantic coast in Brittany, France. Just a short 30-minute drive away lies this popular destination for sailing, windsurfing and water sports. Douarnenez also offers a variety of activities on land, such as cycling, hiking, and golfing. Spend an afternoon here to discover the Breton culture and its delicious gastronomy.

  • The Crozon Peninsula is a great place to enjoy the natural beauty of the Breton coast. It offers opportunities for hiking, cycling and water sports with stunning scenery. You might enjoy the Morgat beach or the multicoloured sea caves nearby, such as Grotte de l’Autel. The long distance hiking trail "The GR34 Sentier Küstenweg" will take you along the entire coastline of the peninsula with breathtaking views of the Atlantic ocean. You can visit the Pointe de Pen-Hir, a striking headland featuring a megalithic site and a lighthouse. Visit the picturesque fishing village of Camaret-sur-Mer.

  • Concarneau is well known for its walled old town. Located just a short 25 minute drive from Quimper. Wander through the maze of narrow streets lined with half-timbered houses, visit the ramparts and admire the stunning views of the harbour and the Atlantic ocean.

  • The Château de Trévarez: Situated around 35 minutes by car from Quimper, the Château de Trévarez, also known as Domaine Trévarez, is a stunning late 19th-century castle and garden complex. Trevarez Castle is well-known for its extensive collection of plants, particularly camellias and rhododendrons, as well as its contemporary amenities of the time, such as central heating and electricity. Despite suffering significant damage during World War II, the castle is currently partially accessible to the public for tours and exhibitions.

  • Église Saint-Salomon: Visit the 14th-century church Église Saint-Salomon (The Church of St Salomon), located in La Martyre, France, which is just a 50-minute drive from Quimper.

Other Things to do in Quimper

  • Eglise St Mathieu: The 16th-century Eglise St Mathie is a Catholic church in the heart of Quimper and well worth a look for its incredible architecture. The beautiful stained glass windows feature the coat of arms of the Rosmanec and other local families.

  • Skydiving at Aerosport Bretagne: Thrill-seekers will be pleased to note that Quimper has its own skydiving school where you can have a go at parachuting and skydiving. Booking is mandatory and you can do this via the website.

  • Cycling: One of the best ways to explore Quimper is on two wheels and there are lots of places to hire bikes around the city. Go for a pleasant ride along the Odet, explore neighbourhoods like Locmaria and be sure to stop at a local bistro or creperie to refuel!

Top Things to Do with Kids in Quimper

  • Bonobo Parc Leisure Centre: The Bonobo Parc offers the chance to walk through the treetops across six different raised platforms 15 metres from the ground. This is the perfect place to take the kids for a day out and is located a couple of kilometres south of the city centre next to the Odet River. There’s a zip line, Tarzan jump, monkey bridge and rope swings among many other fun activities.

  • Bowling le Master: A great option if it rains, Bowling le Master is located a few steps from Bonobo Parc and has 12 bowling lanes, billiards and an onsite restaurant and bar. There’s also a games area with air hockey, table football, mini basketball and more. The perfect place for adults and kids alike!

Where to Eat and Drink in Quimper

  • Markets: Les Halles de Quimper is a covered market in the heart of the city and has stalls and shops selling local and artisan foods, drinks, crafts and more. Whether you’re after some fresh bread and fruit for a picnic, or a bottle or two of wine to take home, you’ll be sure to find something of interest in this market that dates back to 1847. Open daily from 8 am.

  • Food Tours: One of the best ways to get a taste of Breton cuisine is to take a food tour. Try local breads, cheeses, wines, and ciders as you eat and drink your way around the mediaeval city.

Local Breton/French Cuisine Restaurants

  • Le Bistrot de Louis: This classic French bistro is just 1.5 km from the city centre and serves up hearty Breton dishes using seasonal and locally sourced produce. The restaurant is set in cosy surroundings with wooden floors and fixtures and offers an excellent value menu and a comprehensive wine list.

  • Le Cosy: This cosy bistro (the name is on point) is a short walk from the cathedral and features classic French and Breton cooking, in beautiful surroundings with open stone walls and wooden furnishings. The menu focuses on homemade French cooking and local ingredients.

  • La Creperie du Quartier: Breton is the home of the humble crepe, so tucking into a delicious sweet or savoury pancake while in Quimper is a must. There are lots of options around the city, but Le Creperie du Quartier is one of the best. The creperie is located in the heart of the old town a short walk from the cathedral, and is an excellent option for breakfast, a light lunch, or a snack while exploring the old town.

  • Cote Bistrot: Homely Cote Bistro is located to the south of the Odet, but still within walking distance of the old town. Expect a warm welcome, an excellent menu of regional dishes, and a fantastic wine list. If the weather is nice, you can dine al-fresco on the front terrace and watch the world go by with a hearty meal and glass of wine.

Fine Dining Restaurants

  • Restaurant Ti Coz: The Ti Cz is located inside a beautiful stone building and fuses classic French cuisine with a modern twist. The restaurant boasts a Bib Gourmand from Michelin thanks to its exceptional cooking and good value. You can choose from the set menu or a la carte, and sample signature dishes such as braised sweetbreads with arabica jus among many other mouthwatering dishes.

  • Allium: Upmarket Allium is the winner of a coveted Michelin Star thanks to its menu featuring unique ingredients from fresh herbs and flowers to locally sourced meat and fish (the seafood is a speciality). Allium focuses on what nature provides, and will leave you awe-struck at the incredible presentation and flavour combinations. Booking in advance is advised.

Quimper Golf Courses

  • Golf De Quimper - L'orangerie De Lanniron: This 9-hole course is located in idyllic surroundings next to the Odet River less than 3 kilometres from the city centre. The course stretches over 38 hectares and has a training bunker, putting green, pro shop, bar and restaurant among other facilities. There is an onsite rental shop, so you don’t need to worry about bringing any equipment with you.

Where to Stay in Quimper

  • Gradlon: The 3-star Gradlon is located with a former coaching in a few hundred metres from the Cathedral and with easy access to all the shops, restaurants and cafes of the old town. The elegant rooms come with an en-suite bathroom, complimentary toiletries and there is a pleasant patio for guests to enjoy.

  • Hotel de la Gare: This pleasant 3-star hotel is conveniently located a ten-minute walk from Quimper’s main railway station and has an onsite bar and patio to unwind in after a day’s sightseeing. The tastefully decorated rooms come with an en-suite bathroom, coffee machine and guests can enjoy a continental breakfast in the dining room.

  • Hotel Ginkgo: The 4-star Hotel Ginkgo is located in the pleasant suburb of Locmaria a short walk from the city centre. The rooms are decorated in a contemporary style and some feature views of the Odet River. The hotel has a spa and wellness centre, with a jacuzzi, hammam and sensory shower, perfect for unwinding after seeing the sights.

  • Best Western Plus: The Best Western Plus is a 4-star hotel located in the heart of the old city and has an onsite fitness centre, as well as a bar for guests to enjoy (in the summer be sure to try the ice cream sorbet). Rooms are bright, airy and spacious and come with everything you need for a relaxing stay.

  • Manoir des Indes: If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary, then the gorgeous 4-star Manoir des Indes is the place for you. Rooms are decorated in the style of the East Indies bringing you a slice of tropical paradise to Brittany. The hotel features a spa and wellness centre with an indoor swimming pool, as well as a bar and restaurant.

Best Time to Visit Quimper

Quimper is a fantastic destination to visit year-round as there is so much to do inside and out. However, the best time to visit is in the warmer months from May to September as you can dine al-fresco at the many wonderful cafes and restaurants, swim at nearby beaches, and get festive at one of the many festivals and street parties happening.

If you plan on travelling during the school summer holidays, accommodation will be more expensive and you’ll need to book well in advance. The shoulder seasons of spring and fall can be a great time to visit with temperatures warm enough to enjoy outdoor activities, but fewer tourists and cheaper prices.

Quimper Festivals

  • Festival de Cornouaille: The Festival Cornwall Quimper is one of the most important celebrations in the city and is an important event highlighting Breton culture. You can watch costumed performances of song and dance, see local street artists or catch a jazz concert among many other things. The festival runs each July and sees up to 250,000 people descend on the city, so be sure to book your accommodation in advance.

  • Quimper Semaines Musicales: For the first three weeks of each August, Quimper comes alive with the sound of music as the Musical Weeks festival takes place across the city. With everything from Classical, Baroque and Medieval to more contemporary sounds, this is an excellent time to visit the city and get involved in the festivities.

  • The Theatre at All Ages: This performing arts festival is held each December in Quimper and aims to bring the joys of the stage to young and old alike. Watch performances, take part in workshops and learn about acting from a range of actors and actresses from stage and screen.

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