Quimper is a wonderful town in the province of Brittany, France. Its specialty is Quimper faience, a type of white glazed pottery with colorful painted designs and patterns.
Get in Quimper
The train station is located in the eastern part of the city. It receives trains regularly from Paris and Rennes, and other parts of France.
There is an airport just 8 km from Quimper, in Pluguffan (UIP), with regular flights from Paris.
Top Places to see and Things to do in Quimper
“Quimper” is Breton for “Meeting of Two Rivers,” and when you enter Quimper by train you walk along the River Odet, which has many pleasant small bridges along it. One can also walk up the River Steir for a quiet promenade, leaving city streets behind for greenery.
The city’s grandest and most unmistakable monument is the Cathedral St. Corentin, a Gothic cathedral with two spires which dominate the townscape. The interior is beautiful, but like most of Quimper’s visiting places, it closes for lunch. Other remarkable churches include St. Mathieu (which is also Gothic style) and Locmaria (a church preserved from the Middle ages, with a spare elegance.)
It is pleasant merely to walk up and down the streets of Quimper, which are very well-preserved, but for an excellent view you can also climb Mont Frugy, the large green hill to the south of the river Odet. Frugy has several trails, and not only is a walk peaceful and not-too-challenging, but the views of the city can’t be beat.
There are several charming gardens open to the public in Quimper: the Medieval garden to the southwest, near Locmaria and the Earthenware Museum, which is a faithfully preserved (or reproduced) Medieval cloister garden, and the Garden of the Retreat, in the north of town, near the Jesuit Chapel. This garden has more exotic plants such as palm trees. Also the Max Jacob theater, near the train station, has a beautiful garden behind it, which is open to the public.
The three biggest museums in Quimper are the Departmental Museum of Brittany, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Earthenware Museum. The first two are both located very near the Cathedral St. Corentin; the Earthenware Museum is found close to Locmaria.
What to eat and drink in Quimper
The seafood is very good in Quimper, but the food that you will find in greatest profusion is crepes. Sweet and savory, almost every street will have a creperie on it. As crepes are the regional specialty of the area, you really can’t go wrong.
Bakeries will carry far bretons and gateaux bretons as other regional specialties — don’t be afraid to try them out, either.
Cafe des Arts, right off of the Rue St. Catherine, is a popular scene, crowded, with a pleasant vibe.
Pottery and other earthenware is a regional specialty of Quimper, usually white with beautiful colored patterns. Another common motif found in Quimper is the triskelion (the three-pronged spiral), in the region’s colors of black and white.
Now You Know