Destroyed during World War II, the City of Brest (French) is not a hugely popular tourist destination. However, the Port of Brest is home to several interesting attractions that visitors will want to check out. The 15th Century Chateau de Brest is lovely. The 14th Century Tour Tanguy houses a history museum. The most popular attraction in the Port of Brest is Oceanopolis east of town.
The Port of Brest enjoys a relatively mild maritime climate with little change throughout the year. Short light rains are common, and the weather can change quickly during the day. Summers are warm, but not too hot. Winters are mild. Temperatures average from a high of 20 ° C (68 ° F) in July and August to a low of just under 4 ° C (39 ° F) in January and February.
The Musee de la Marine de Brest, located in the Chateau de Brest, a maritime fortress in the heart of the Port of Brest, testifies to the Port of Brest's naval importance to the region and to France. Collections include historic maps, maritime paintings, model ships, nautical instruments, and sculptures. Located at the mouth of the River Penfeld on the Brest roadstead, the Chateau is the oldest building in the town. Having been rebuilt continuously over the years to defend the Port of Brest from land and sea attacks, its architecture is mixed and unique.
Facing the Chateau on the River Penfeld is the Tour Tanguy (French), Bastille de Quilbignon. This medieval tower was probably constructed during the 14th Century Breton War of Succession. Today, it is home to the Museum of Old Brest that tells the story of important events in and around the Port of Brest before the beginning of World War II in 1939. Private tours are available outside of regular museum hours.
Undoubtedly, the Port of Brest's most popular attraction is Oceanopolis on the southeastern edge of town at the Port de Plaisance du Moulin Blanc marina. This high-tech center for sea-life contains the biggest marine aquarium in Europe. Three themed pavilions feature a tropical coral reef, a polar ice seal habitat, and the temperate zone. A one-day tour takes visitors on a voyage through the world's oceans where some ten thousand marine creatures from more than 120 species live.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Brest by sea can find a list of scheduled cruises by searching for "Brest" on the Cruise Compete website.