Top French Cities - Nancy at a glance

Press release

For more information, visit the Nancy Tourism Office at

City region: Lorraine / Grand Est

Population & what they are called: 104,321 inhabitants (2014 census), called Nancéiens

Access from Paris:

  • by road: about 4 hours (240 miles) via the A4 autoroute de l'Est

  • by train: about 1 h 30 min by TGV from the Gare de l'Est

Famous native daughters & sons:

  • Emile Gallé, Art Nouveau artist

  • Eric Rohmer, film director

  • Charlélie Couture, musician, painter, photographer

Most distinctive and/or unique fact or trait (or little known fact):

  • Nancy is where Art Nouveau got its start thanks to internationally renowned artists part of the École de Nancy, such as Emile Gallé (famed for his glasswork), Louis Majorelle (a furniture genius) and the celebrated Daum crystal maker.

  • Three large plazas – Stanislas, Alliance and Carrière – form a unique ensemble of 18th-century architecture that was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

Notable sites:

  • Vieille Ville – the old town that was once capital of the Dukes of Lorraine and is now a labyrinth of narrow streets lined with sculpted façades and transom windows

  • Place Stanislas – the 18th-century pedestrian square that is considered one the most beautiful in Europe and the symbol of the city

  • Palais des Ducs de Lorraine – former Renaissance residence of the rulers, now also the Musée Lorrain, which is closing for several years of important renovation

Top annual events:

  • Fête de Saint Nicolas – a traditional saint's-day festival celebrated on the first weekend of December with more pomp and revelry in Nancy than anywhere else (

  • Rendez-Vous Place Stanislas – in summer, an impressionist voyage through original sound and light projected around the square (

  • Nancy Jazz Pulsations – large-scale jazz event with an eclectic program (

Most notable museums:

  • Musée de l'Ecole de Nancy – a museum and garden with a collection demonstrating the diversity of techniques developed by Art Nouveau artists (

  • Musée des Beaux-Arts – fine arts from the 15th to 20th centuries and a collection of Daum crystal displayed in old city fortifications (

  • Muséum-Aquarium de Nancy – an aquarium and natural history museum (

Culinary specialties:

  • bergamote de Nancy – a translucent, gold-colored candy with a flavor of bergamote, a southern Italian citrus fruit

  • macaron de Nancy – an almond-flour cookie whose recipe has been a carefully guarded secret since 1793

  • baba au rhum – a small yeast cake saturated in a syrup-liquor, usually rum, and very often filled with whipped cream

Local wines & spirits:

  • beer – with both a large brewery near town and a growing number of micro-breweries, Nancy's beer culture is thriving (

  • Côtes de Toul AOC wines – produced on hillsides close to the town of Toul, to the west of Nancy, its most important wine is the Vin Gris de Toul


  • Marché Central – the principal market with more than 75 vendors, set in a covered hall on place Charles III

  • Art Nouveau antiques – for the best pieces, stop by Denis Rugat, or for glass and crystal by Daum, the factory outlet is Magasin d’Usine Daum

  • Nancy-style sweets – for traditional macarons, Maison des Sœurs Macarons follows the original recipe; for bergamote and other sweets, Lefèvre Lemoine

Most popular night spots:

  • Vieille Ville and Place Stanislas – the streets of the old town and around Place Stanislas are notable for the high concentration of bars and restaurants

  • Le Ch'timi – where many students start their evening, given the 150 beers to choose from

  • Les Caves du Roy – the most popular dance club in town, set on Place Stanislas

Local population’s favorite activities (or hangouts):

  • gardens – the Jardin de la Citadelle in the old town, Parc de la Pépinière in the center of town and Parc Sainte-Marie are just three of the parks that are an important part of life in Nancy

  • Maison de la Nature – an early 20th-century half-timbered house located in the Parc Sainte-Marie and dedicated to nature and the environment

  • L’Autre Canal – a contemporary music venue in the redeveloped Rives de Meurthe district, which is a lovely place for a stroll or a bike ride (

Local industries:

  • Nancy-Brabois – one of France’s first and most important technopoles, home to more than 300 businesses

  • medicine – about 30 laboratories and 800 researchers make up an outstanding center of university study and research, and the biggest hospital in eastern France

In Pop Culture:

  • I’ve Loved You So Long (Il y a longtemps que je t’aime) – a 2008 drama film about a woman struggling to reintegrate society after 15 years in prison

  • A French Woman (Une femme française) – a 1995 movie starring Emmanuelle Béart and Daniel Auteuil about troubled love during wartime

  • “Nancy” – a ballad by C. Jérôme, a notable French singer from the 1970s to 90s

About Top French Cities -

Top French Cities is an association of 29 cities, from regional capitals like Bordeaux to important towns like Avignon and Versailles. They are perfect for young travelers, families and anyone else looking for fun and authentic French experiences that will fit their budget. Most of these cities are university towns with a youthful atmosphere, but all of them reflect the heritage and distinctive flavors of the regions to which they belong. Many are forward-looking too, with historic buildings repurposed to house contemporary art and activity centers like Les Docks in Marseille. Many have created or integrated new, modern museums to contrast with their classical, architectural heritage, like in Nimes, where the cutting-edge Museum of Roman Civilization (Musée de la Romanité) is located across from the historic Roman amphitheater, or in Nantes, where whimsical mechanical creatures are being created, or in the UNESCO World Heritage Site concrete city of Le Havre.


Marion Fourestier
Atout France-The France Tourism Development Agency