Visit the Towers of La Rochelle

Panoramic views of the city, harbour and islands

Looking out to the Atlantic, the Tour Saint-Nicolas (14th century), the Tour de la Chaîne (14th century) and the Tour de la Lanterne (12th and15th century) are the remains of a great fortification building campaign undertaken in the City of La Rochelle from 1199.

The Tour Saint-Nicolas and the Tour de la Chaîne form the majestic gateway to the Old Port and for ten centuries formed the key defensive bastions to the city. As true palatial constructions and city castles, they are the symbol of a city with a very rich hand proud seafaring and trading heritage.

The Tour de la Lanterne, the oldest lighthouse on the Atlantic coast and then a navy prison, contains over 600 examples of graffiti carved into the walls by prisoners in over 3 centuries.


Subject to modification.Open

  • 1st April to 30th September:
  • Tower Saint-Nicolas: from 10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.
  • Tower of La Chaîne and La Lanterne: from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2.15 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.
  • 1st October to 31st March: from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2.15 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.


  • 1st January, 1st May and 25th December


  • Tower of la Chaîne, number of floors visited during the tour: 3
  • Tower Saint-Nicolas, number of floors visited during the tour: 5
  • Tower of la Lanterne, number of floors visited during the tour: 7


  • Unaccompanied tour with guide booklet:

French, English, German, Spanish, Dutch
Reservations: 1 day
Duration: 30 min to 1 hr by tower

  • Guided tour:

French, English (upon availabilities)
• Reservations: 3 days
Duration: 45 min to 1 hr by tower
Maximum group size without splitting up: 50 people (unaccompanied tour), 18 people (guided tour)

  • Not to be missed: The Tour de la Chaîne stages a new permanent exhibition entitled “La Rochelle – Québec, embarquez vers la Nouvelle-France” (setting sail for New France) to mark the 400th anniversary of the founding of the city of Québec. The exhibition introduces visitors to the centuries-long history of those who left the shores of La Rochelle for an adventurous life in the New World.

Prestigious visit outside standard opening hours

  • Reservation required


  • Gift shop
  • Seating available during the tour
  • Parking for coaches 500 m
  • Function room rental


1 Tower ticket

  • Adult: 6 €
  • Concessions: 4 €
  • Rate for tourism professionals and groups (minimum 20 people): 5 €

Joint ticket “Tour de la Lanterne, Tour Saint-Nicolas and Tour de la Chaîne”

  • Adults: 8,50 €
  • Concessions: 5,50 €
  • Rate for tourism professionals and groups (minimum 20 people): 6,50 €
  • Free admission: minors under 18*
    Free admission: 18-25 years old* (citizens of one of the 27 countries of the EU or are non-European permanent residents of France)
    * excluding school groups


  • At the junction of main roads from Nantes, Poitiers, Limoges and Bordeaux to the Île-de-Ré
  • From Poitiers/Paris: A10 direction Bordeaux, exit 33, then N11
  • From Bordeaux: A10 direction Paris, A837, then N137
  • From Nantes: A83 direction Bordeaux exit 7, then N137 and N11


Tours Saint-Nicolas, de la Chaîne et de la Lanterne
Vieux Port
17088 La Rochelle
tel.: (33) (0)5 46 41 74 13 / (33) (0)5 46 34 11 81

La Rochelle 

Vieux Port, 17088 La Rochelle