Rennes is a relatively small city in west of France, in an area called Bretagne. Rennes itself is a capital of Bretagne. Around one year ago, when I got accepted in IAE-IGR Rennes 1, I was looking at Rennes information in wikipedia. The most famous spot in Rennes is Republique, which has a huge building looks like the city symbol. And also old houses from medieval era.
When I just arrived, that’s the first thing I ran onto. Yeah, Republique! Finally I can see it with my bare eyes. Apparently Republique is the city center area of Rennes and people can walk on pretty old medieval cobble stone walk and enjoy chic store boutiques to Saint-Anne area. Since the city is tres petite, in Saturday the city center can be very crowded and you will often meet any of your friends there because the whole city are there, LOL.
Almost all the branded stores Rennes has locating in Saint-Anne to Republique area, include Zara, galeri Lafayette, Andre, H&M, pull & bear, and so on. Unfortunately there’s no Louis Vuitton in Rennes although they have Hermes and Longchamp.
Transportation in Rennes
There are 2 kind of local transportation in Rennes, metro (subway) and bus. Both operated by the same company, which is Star. You can find any information in their websites, include when they are not operating due to strike or public holiday. Both of those often happened in France. Even in May, there are 3 public holidays which cause all the buses operated in Sunday schedule (means each bus will only come 1-2 times in an hour) and store open only half day!
Ikea – It’s very important to spend bus ticket to go to Ikea when you just moved to Rennes because they have tons of equipments. I bought 3 cooking pans for 7.9 EUR only, after almost faint when seeing a pan in the supermarket cost more than 10 EUR. Pillow, duvet, duvet case, cooking utensils, plates, glasses, spoons, forks, and so on.. I think they have the cheapest porcelain plates in town, which cost less than 1 EUR each (of course the cuter the design, the more expensive they will be).
- How to get there:
Wherever you live, you can easily take metro to Villejean metro stop. If you have korrigo card, your life will be easier. But if you don’t, you can buy a carnet in the metro machine (or bus driver, if you take bus to metro) which costs 1.4 EUR each and valid for 1 hour journey. You need to composte or validate the carnet to the composter machine on the bus or metro, otherwise when the checker officer come, they will fine you around 45-60 EUR.
After arriving in Villejean metro, go out and find a bus stop for no 65 and 77. Both pass Ikea, but their frequency is not very frequent. You can always check bus schedule at Star website.
There are 5 big supermarkets in Rennes:
Carrefour -Okay, everybody knows that Carrefour is French company and it’s huge. But according to my teacher, the biggest supermarket in France is not Carrefour, but Leclerc. In Rennes, there are 3 kinds of Carrefour depends on their location. There are Carrefour, which only located in Alma -a peripheral of Rennes. You can take bus no 3 to go there and it’s the last stop of the bus but it’ll take around 40 minutes to go there from city center. That’s why a lot of people bought a shopping trolley which costs around 15-35 EUR so they can buy a lot of things in one go, because the further the supermarket is, the cheaper they are. The second cheapest Carrefour called Carrefour Market, located in Charles de Gaulle Area (bus no 1 and 9, or metro) and Place des lices (bus no 2). The most expensive one is Carrefour City, because the format is convenience store and located in the city center. I have one nearby my campus, in Guehenno area.
As a price comparison, a private brand orange juice (Carrefour brand) costs around 99 c in carrefour city, 91 c in Carrefour market, and less than that in Carrefour Alma.
Leclerc -This is the cheapest supermarket in town, but you need to go to their biggest store in Cleunay (Bus no 9, last stop). Actually, for me there are some things that are cheaper in Lidl, but their range of products is not complete. Such as you can buy a pasta for 40 cents, but you will find difficulties to find pasta sauce. Therefore if I want to buy a lot of things, include toiletries, I always take my time to go to Leclerc.
- They also have other Leclerc in St. Gregoire (Bus no 8 or 2).
Super U -This supermarket is a bretagne local supermarket. They are famous of their well made private brand, from all ranges of foods to toiletries. I doubt private brands before, but after trying their soap, I feel like having a bath in a flower tub. I also adore their yoghurt, I personally think it’s better than Danone and it’s cheaper! Their lasagna is also very good. They have 3 different levels of private brand: Saveur U (the most expensive and well-made), U (medium level, but I always buy this one), and Bien Vu (lower quality).
- Super U also have 2 different types of stores: Super U supermarket located in Painleve and Rue du Gros Chêne. They also have Super U express, located very conveniently in Place Hoche (near Saint-Anne) but it’s sooo expensive.
Lidl -This one is a German supermarket and they can be ridiculously cheap but mostly their brands are unknown, most likely imported from out of France. You can go here to buy meats and some vegetables, but it’s pretty far..
- How to get there: it’s located besides Belasie (bus no 31, 2 or 8), Asian supermarket which I’m gonna explain in further section 😉
Intermarche -this supermarket is also pretty regional, but they are located very near to my beaulieu so I often go there. In fact they are my savior because I bought my first equipments here, 1 day after arrived in Rennes! They are not cheap, obviously.. but not ridiculously expensive either..
- How to get there: They are located in long champs area (bus no 1)