That’s decided, for your next holiday you’re going to visit Nancy in one day. Naturally, you want to discover in 1 day all the must-sees of Nancy and all its most beautiful places. So, you might be interested in my walking tour which allows to make a loop on foot in one day to see the most beautiful sites of Nancy (see map of the itinerary below).
Nancy in 1 day – My selection of must-see places to visit
In the heart of Lorraine in the North East of France, Nancy is not a tourist city like Paris, Bordeaux or Annecy. Perhaps because few tourists know that it is a city with many architectural, cultural and artistic treasures.
And even if Nancy is a small town, it is still very difficult to select among all the beautiful places, the sites that are the most interesting to visit in 1 day! And difficult to organize them to make a nice walking tour to enjoy the visits without being fast… To reach this result, I had to eliminate among others all the visits of museums and some churches.
Thus, the majority of the sites of this city tour are to be discovered only from outside because otherwise to visit them completely, it would have been necessary to plan minimum 2 days…
Here is the list of my must-see sites in Nancy that I chose as stops on my 1-day city tour:
- Place Stanislas
- Arc Héré
- Place de la Carrière
- Governor’s Palace
- Ducal Palace
- Cordeliers Church
- Restaurant Brend’Oliv
- Door of the Craffe
- Notre Dame Door
- Desilles Gate
- Rue du Haut Bourgeois
- Place Saint Epvre
- St Epvre Church
- Hotel de la Monnaie
Nancy in 1 day – Map of my walking route
Nancy in 1 day – Detailed stages of my itinerary
Nancy walking tour – Departure from Place Stanislas
My city tour starts from Place Stanislas.
Very bad in history, I still wanted to understand why this magnificent square is called Stanislas Square. And yes, sometimes I have to admit that my lack of culture penalizes me when I visit strong historical sites. So I ask beforehand to understand and appreciate. Here is a summary of what I have learned about the history of this place:
In fact, its name is because of Stanislaus Leszczynski. Stanislas Leszczynski was King of Poland and Duke of Lorraine between 1737 and 1766. He was appointed head of the Dukedoms of Bar and Lorraine in 1737 by his son-in-law, King Louis XV. He wanted to control these strategic territories, close to the eastern borders of France.
By wanting to make Nancy the most beautiful city in Europe, Stanislas Leszczynski has transformed the city into a dazzling city, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was therefore him who decided to build not only this majestic square but also most of the most beautiful monuments in Nancy.
With the death of Stanislas Leszczynski, Lorraine was definitively reunited with the kingdom of France.
Nancy walking tour – L’Arc Héré and the Place de la Carrière
From the Place Stanislas, you will arrive straight on the Arc Héré by taking the rue Héré. This was the old passageway through the ramparts of the Old City of New City. It was Stanislas Leszczynski in 1752 who decided to destroy the old royal gate to make a Triumphal Arch to the glory of Louis XV.
Now you have to go straight on towards the Place de la Carrière with its small fountains, sculptures and beautiful mansions. You can admire 2 magnificent palaces (the former Hôtel de Craon used today as a court and the Bourse des Marchands).
Nancy walking tour – Governor’s Palace
Taking the street of the Ecuries, you will then arrive at the Governor’s Palace. It is a large mansion built in the 18th century in the classical style. Since 1824, this palace has become the address of the prefecture. Opposite the Palace is the park of the Pépinière with its bandstand and beautiful statues.
Nancy walking tour – Ducal Palace – Cordeliers de Nancy Church
By taking the Grande Rue, you can visit (if you have time) the Lorraine museum installed in the Palace of the Dukes of Lorraine (or Ducal Palace) which tells the whole history of Lorraine.
Then you will be able to admire the gate of the Ducal Palace and thus pass from a flamboyant Gothic architecture to the Renaissance style.
Nearby is the chapel and the Cordeliers church, which was once connected to the Ducal Palace.
Lunch break at Brend’Oliv Restaurant
On the Grande Rue, just before arriving at the Craffe’s door, the Restaurant Brend’Oliv is my little gourmet address. I recommend it for its simple dishes prepared with fresh and succulent products.
1 day tour of Nancy – Porte de la Craffe
At the very end of the Grande Rue is the oldest gate in Nancy, dating from 133: La porte de la Craffe. Before crossing the gate, you can enter through a gate and then climb the stairs on the left to discover the back of the 2 towers of the gate.
1 day tour of Nancy – Citadel – The Notre Dame gate
You will cross the Craffe gate and will be on the rue de la Citadelle, then you will arrive at the Citadelle Gate. Here you will find beautiful remains of the old ramparts.
To follow my itinerary, you have to turn left to take the rue Henri Deglin. Continue on the Boulevard Charles V until you reach the Place du Luxembourg and the Porte Desilles.
1 day tour of Nancy – Private mansions Rue du Haut Bourgeois
You will have to turn left and left again to go up the rue du Haut Bourgeois. Around this street, you can discover magnificent private mansions (Hôtel Fontenoy, Hôtel Ferraris, Hôtel des Loups, Hôtel d’Haussonville, Hôtel De Chastenoy…).
To continue, you will go back to the Grande Rue to reach the Place Saint Epvre.
1 day tour of Nancy – Place St Epvre
On the Place Saint Epvre, you will discover the St Epvre Church with its huge stained glass windows and its high spire.
1 day tour of Nancy – The Hotel de la Monnaie
Follow the Grande Rue to turn right onto Rue Callot and thus in front of the Hôtel de la Monnaie. This building currently houses the Departmental Archives. Originally, it was where the coins of the Duchy of Lorraine were minted.
My little gourmet address
To finish my 1 day tour of Nancy on a gourmet note, I suggest you finish your afternoon with some good Nancy macaroons. To do so, you will have to go to number 21 rue Gambetta (2 steps from the Hôtel de la Monnaie) at the Maison des Soeurs Macarons. It’s a little expensive but they are pastries, chocolates and of course Lorraine macaroons of incomparable quality and made according to the traditional recipe.
Which hotel to choose for a stay in Nancy?
If you are looking for a well located hotel in the heart of the old town of Nancy, I recommend the Hotel de Guise. It is a 17th century establishment which has a lot of charm and above all is very well located less than 15 minutes walk from the train station and 280 meters from the palace of the Dukes of Lorraine. For those who come by car, there is a public car park nearby.
And what about visiting Strasbourg, less than 2 hours drive from Nancy?