A Traveller's Guide to Quimper, France
Situated at the confluence of the Jet, Odet and Steir rivers, the city of Quimper in north-western France’s Brittany region is the capital of the Finistère department. The city is well-known for its ceramics and Breton lace.
Getting To and Around Quimper
Quimper is well-connected to the nation’s highway network with its location at the intersection of the Route National 165 and highways D785, D765 and D783. The town is approximately 302 miles from Paris.
The TGV high-speed rail line from Paris services Quimper, the journey taking 4 hours and 25 minutes with stops in Le Mans, Rennes and Vannes. The regional train network, the TER Bretagne, also connects Quimper to Brest and Rennes. The Quimper-Cornouaille Airport provides flights to and from Paris and other domestic centers.
Once you arrive in Quimper, everything is easily accessible by walking and much of the town itself, particularly the old town, is pedestrianised.
Things To See and Do in Quimper
Established in Roman times, Quimper eventually became the capital of Brittany’s La Cornouaille region. Its Celtic heritage is still evident in some of the shops and flags around town.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral of Saint-Coretin constructed between the 13thand 16th centuries features a Gothic-style facade, two tall towers topped with spires and exquisite stained glass windows dating back to the 15th century. Other historical churches in town are the Gothic-style St Mathieu church and the Locmaria built in the middle ages. West of the cathedral is the well-preserved old town, Vieux Quimper, with charming cobbled streets and half-timbered houses as well as many creperies and cafes where you can sit, relax and enjoy the town’s rustic atmosphere.
Take a stroll along the River Odet and enjoy the picturesque views of its quaint bridges or take to the quiet promenade along the River Steir surrounded by lush greenery. To the south of Odet is Mont Frugy, a large hill from where you can take in an uninterrupted view of Quimper.
There are also several beautiful public gardens in town that make for a pleasant visit, such as the medieval cloister garden near Locmaria, Garden of the Retreat near the Jesuit Chapel at the northern end of town and the garden behind the Max Jacob Theater near the train station.
Quimper also has three museums which are centrally located: the Earthenware Museum, Museum of Fine Arts and the Departmental Museum of Brittany.
During your visit, ensure that you take the time to enjoy some crepes, the regional specialty. You will notice a profusion of creperies throughout town. The seafood is also excellent in Quimper as are the bakeries.