As most locals will tell you, St-Brieuc (pop. 48,000) is much more of a commercial center than a tourist trap. The university students help make the city vibrant; its lively bar scene is one of the best in the region. Situated between the Cote d’Emeraude and the Cote de Granite Rose, it is a perfect base for daytrips to the scenic countryside. Trains arrive from Dinan (lhr. 2-3 per day, 8.60) and Rennes (lhr. 15 per day, 15). From the station on bd. Chamer, walk straight down r. de la Gare and bear right at the fork to reach pi. de la Resistance and the tourist office, 7 r. St-Goueno. ( 02 96 33 32 50; fax 02 96 61 42 16. Open July-Aug. M-Sa 9am-7pm, Su lOam-lpm; Sept.-June M-Sa 9am-noon and l:30-6pm.)
The 13Youth Hostel O is in a 15th-century house 3km from town; take bus #2 (dir.: Centre Commercial les Villages) and get off at the last stop, turn around and take the first left onto r. du Broceliande; follow it to its end and turn left onto r. du Vau Meno. Turn right onto r. de la Ville Guyomard, where you’ll find the hostel on the left. ( 02 96 78 70 70. Breakfast included. Reception 9:30am-noon, 2-7pm and 8-8:30pm. Dorms 3. MCV.) Bars and outdoor cafes cluster in the area behind the tourist office and along the small rue Fardel behind the Cathedrale St-Etienne; rue des Trois Freres le Goff is lined with inexpensive Moroccan, Italian, Chinese, Mexican, and Irtdian restaurants. Postal Code: 22000.