The first thing most visitors know about the city of Le Mans is its annual car race which has taken place in the city since 1923. Motor fans from around the world descend on this northern French city each summer for 24-hours of non-stop racing. Hotels in Le Mans become increasingly booked up during this time, so make sure you plan in advance if you want to attend the event. Having said this, Le Mans hotels out-of-season provide access to a charming and traditional city for a fantastic getaway in northern France.
Hotels in Le Mans: Our Picks for Great Places to Stay in Northern France
Experience the Excitement of 24 Hours of Le Mans
Any motor sport fan worth their salt should venture to Le Mans to experience this 24-hour endurance race at least once. Hosted by Le Mans for nearly one hundred years, the race is the oldest of its kind, and has therefore made the city famous. Starting around midday and ending 24-hours later, the endurance race tests a cars ability to run without major engine failure for a full day, with speeds reaching up to 250mph. However, the 24 Heures du Mans is more than just a race, as the city holds further events throughout the year showcasing classic cars, trucks and even bicycles. If you’re searching for hotels in Le Mans near the famous circuit, make sure you do a little research in advance to check if other events are taking place. If you still haven’t got your fill of city’s most famous race, make an excursion to the Motor Museum which showcases the history of the event and a collection of classic cars alongside rotating exhibitions.
Le Mans: More than Just a Circuit
While the 24 Hours of Le Mans is the city’s biggest draw, 24 hours in Le Mans is equally enjoyable if you want to inject some Roman history and French culture into your getaway. A fantastic weekend break from Paris or even London, hotels in Le Mans don’t all cater to the motor crowd, but provide access to the charming Vieux Mans, ancient city walls and fascinating museums. At the heart of the city is the thousand-year-old St Julian’s Cathedral, a Gothic edifice that is one of France’s most striking. Le Mans is surrounded by the remains of an impressive Roman Wall, which is only exceeded in size by those in Rome and Istanbul, completely enclosing the Cité Plantagenêt, or historic quarter. Timbered houses, roughly cobbled streets and 15th century brick facades form the backdrop of an idyllic day exploring the historic heart of Le Mans, and hotels nearby provide access for the duration of your stay. Further events in the city beyond racing include the Europa Jazz festival, some of which is held in the medieval Abbaye de l’Epau, and the impressive La Nuit des Chimères light show which projects beautiful imagery onto Le Mans’ ancient facades across the city during summer.
Explore Northern France: Le Mans and Beyond
While the city is the perfect destination for fans of motor sports and city breaks, hotels in Le Mans also provide a great base for exploring the lush northwest of France. Located in the French department of Maine, Le Mans – much like the rest of the country – has excellent public transport links so you can explore the surrounding cities, towns and green spaces. Hotels in Le Mans are only an hour from the sprawling Parc naturel régional du Perche. Rolling green hills carved by country lanes make for a picturesque day of exploration. The area is also peppered with villages, apple orchards and lush forests for a country escape you won’t forget. Le Mans is also an hour from the charming city of Angers, famous for the 9th century Château d’Angers and a beautiful location on the banks of the Maine River. Angers is also great for families traveling with kids, as the Terra Botanica leisure park here offers the best of an amusement park and botanical garden. Hotels in Le Mans offer something for everyone, even if you’re not a fan of motor sports!