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On the banks of the Loire River sits the artistic and lively town of Nantes, France. Enthrallingly historic, yet elegantly modern, it's been said that Nantes is one of Europe's best places to live and it's not hard to see why. Gleaming clean, delightfully cultured, and vibrant with nightlife, it's a hostel destination that will keep you busy from morning until night. Wander through the narrow lanes of Place du Bouffay, pause to watch a busker on the street, sip café au lait in a cobblestone courtyard, visit the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany and stroll through its medieval ramparts and flower-laden moat gardens. One of Nantes' most famous attractions is Machines de l'île situated on an island in the middle of the Loire, the complex features a 40ft mechanical elephant which walks around and sprays water at passers-by, as well as a giant carousel and a machine museum.