This is one of those French cities that many British travellers have yet to discover. By train it is within easy reach of Strasbourg, Paris & Luxembourg, to name a few. We decided to visit following a river cruise that finished in Strasbourg. We are also art nouveau fans! The train journey was only 1.5 hours. Opt for a regional train as opposed to a TGV. It is usually more relaxing. We purchased our tickets beforehand via www.loco2.com which was easy as was collecting the tickets at the bilingual machines in France. Nancy station is a short distance from the city centre.
We found the city easy to walk around using the friendly and comfortable Mecure Nancy Central as our base. Place Stanislas (1755) is the World Heritage Site centre of the city and it is outstanding. This is the place to people watch, relax in a café or restaurant, admire the sculptures, gates and buildings and visit the must-see Musee des Beaux-Arts. The glass collection is breathtaking; think Daum and Galle.
If you love art nouveau you will love this city. Our first evening we dined at the Brasserie Excelsior, in between the hotel and station. Surrounded by an art nouveau feast, we loved the food and service. It is quite expensive but we felt it was an unique introduction to Nancy.
A little further out of the centre, we soaked up more art nouveau at the Musee de L’Ecole de Nancy. The rooms settings were stunning and we enjoyed a well earned rest in the small garden afterwards. We spent nearly three hours in the house and garden, often retracing our steps to see in more detail the furniture, light fittings and art works.
There are several public parks in Nancy where you can take a break and relax. We particularly enjoyed the Parc Sainte-Marie with its outdoor Brasserie du Parc.
Sadly when we visited, the Villa Majorelle was covered in scaffolding. There are a limited number of guided tours at weekend during the long renovation work and you have to book in advance. Check the Nancy tourism website, www.nancy-tourisme.fr for updates and bookings.
Finally we strolled around the suburb of Saurupt Park. About a 40 minute walk from the centre, it has a garden city/art nouveau style about it with fine examples of houses from that period.
This is only a taster of what is on offer in Nancy. We a relaxed visit and would go back tomorrow to enjoy this art nouveau gem.