The spirit of Brest is felt more in the behaviour of its inhabitants than in the beauty of its architecture. They are of a legendary welcoming nature and hospitality, only equalled by their love of a good party. Despite appearances, Brest is a happy town, open, and full to the brim with cultural activities. The Quartz is one of the most popular theatres in France, and the Theatre de L’Instant has been sold out for most nights since its opening 20 years ago.The town is also the headquarters of the cinematheque de Bretagne and the Short Film Festival. Oceanopolis is the largest open-air aquarium in France, and serves as a scientific research station and a hospital for sea creatures, too (seals, birds, dolphins…). All summer the “Jeudis du Port» are just an invitation for a good party basically, with street concerts and an excellent atmosphere in the bars, where a strong coffee or a creamy Guinness await you. However, above all, Brest is a town that has been dedicated to the sea and sailing ever since Roman times. A major port, it also houses a large part of the French navy. Every 4 years (most recently in 2000), there is one of the worlds largest meetings of old sailing craft. There is a friendly regatta, and… a party. Brest' s population quadruples during this period. If you fancy a trip to some of the most beautiful islands imaginable (Molene, Ouessant, Sein…) then it’s Brest you’ll catch the boat from. The waters around Brest are full of Dolphins in the summer, and seals in the winter.