July 3-7, Nantes (France)
Be careful: Summer holidays start on July 4th. Please book your return flight or train ticket as much in advance as possible.
Nantes Atlantique (NTE) is Nantes airport. It provides daily direct flights to (and from) Geneva (CH), London (UK) and Milano (IT), as well as many French cities (Paris, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, etc. ). Additionally, a low-cost airline (namely Ryanair) connects Nantes to Shannon, Nottingham, and London. The next section explains how to reach the town from the airport.
Most European cities are reachable from Nantes through a flight with connection (meaning a short, planned connection). However, the following option should also be considered.
Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) is one of Paris airports which is easily reachable from Nantes thanks to direct high-speed trains (TGV). It takes 3 or 4 hours to go from Nantes station to Paris-CDG, depending on the time of the day. Additionally, Nantes train station is in the middle of the town and close to the conference center (see the map section), as opposed to the airport. However, there are only four daily trains in each direction (see next paragraph for information about trains).
Paris-CDG airport provides numerous daily flights to international destinations.
Daily high-speed trains (TGV) connect Nantes to Paris (2H), Lille (4H), Lyon(4H), and Paris-CDG (Paris airport, 3H or 4H). Information, time tables, and on-line booking of train tickets can be done on the SNCF website , by clicking on Information Schedule and Booking on the left-hand side.
Regular SNCF train tickets may be cancelled before departure and totally refunded. Book your ticket as early as possible!
The distance between Paris and Nantes is 400 km. It takes about 4 hours by car to reach Nantes from the western area of Paris, and one more extra hour from the eastern area. The fee for using the motorway between Paris and Nantes is slightly above 30 euros.
In Nantes, you may use buses or trams. Three tramways go through the town, among which line number 1 connects the station, the castle (next to the conference center), and "Commerce", which is next to the city centre. See the map section for a quick overview.
There are four tram stops between the train station and "Commerce": Gare SNCF (Train Station), Duchesse Anne (Castle & Conference Center), Bouffay, and Commerce. On average, it takes one minute to go from one stop to the next one. TAN tickets can be used for trams and buses. Each ticket costs about 1 euro and allows you to travel for one hour, no matter how many buses or trams you take. Tickets are not sold aboard trams, but can be purchased on automatic machines. Anyway, you should use the free pass.
The complete map of bus and tram lines is available in a huge .gif file (1.5MB).
Finding the Conference Center
Taking the tram line number 1, stop at "Duchesse Anne", next to the castle (to the north). Opposite to the castle (to the south) is a bridge which crosses railways. Cross the bridge on the left side. Take a look around: you can see the castle, the cathedral, the Lieu Unique (a colored tower labeled "LU"). Keep on walking on the left side of the avenue (whose name is "Avenue Carnot"). Three hundred metres further, the Conference Center is on the left, next to the Novotel. From the tram stop to the conference center, the journey takes at most six minutes.
A shuttle joins the airport to the train station and the conference center. Departures are roughly every hour, as indicated below. The trip takes less than 25 minutes and costs 6 euros, unless you have the free pass (most likely for your return trip). There are three shuttle stops: « commerce; », conference center, and train station (a hundred meters near the south entrance). Look at the map section.
The shuttle leaves the airport at:
- Weekdays: 7:05 – 8:15 – 9:45 – 10:30 – 10:55 – 11:35 – 12:50 – 13:20 – 14:25 – 15:25 – 16:25 – 17:40 – 18:50 – 20:30 – 21:35 – 22:25
- Saturday: 8:10 – 10:30 – 11:45 – 12:45 – 14:00 – 15:00 – 16:00 – 17:25 – 18:35 – 20:40 – 22:35
- Sunday: 15:25 – 16:20 – 17:40 – 18:40 – 20:15 – 21:35 – 22:20
By taxi, the cost is about 20 euros.
Nantes Conference Center and the city of Nantes offer a free pass "Pass'Cité" to all the ECOOP participants. This pass allows you to take buses and trams for free, as well as the airport shuttle. You may also borrow bikes at the Conference Center. This pass will only be given at the registration desk, therefore you will have to pay your trip to initially reach the conference center.
There is a car park next to the Conference Center "Parking Cité des Congrès". Needless to say that it is not free.