Blois, located in the heart of the Loire Valley in France, is a charming city with a rich history and a wealth of attractions to offer visitors. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Blois:
1. Château de Blois
A must-visit attraction in Blois, the Château de Blois is a magnificent castle that showcases various architectural styles, from medieval to Renaissance. Explore the royal apartments, admire the intricate details of the façade, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the castle’s terraces.
2. Maison de la Magie Robert-Houdin
This unique museum is dedicated to magic and illusion, paying tribute to the famous French illusionist Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, who was born in Blois. Enjoy fascinating magic shows, interactive exhibits, and a chance to learn some magic tricks yourself.
3. Cathédrale Saint-Louis de Blois
Admire the stunning Gothic architecture of the Cathédrale Saint-Louis de Blois. The cathedral features beautiful stained glass windows and intricate stone carvings. Climb the tower for panoramic views of Blois and the Loire River.
4. Halle aux Grains
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Visit the Halle aux Grains, a historic covered market that dates back to the 15th century. This vibrant marketplace is a great place to sample local produce, including cheese, wine, pastries, and other regional specialties.
5. Jardins de l’Évêché
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Take a leisurely stroll through the Jardins de l’Évêché, a peaceful park located behind the cathedral. Enjoy the beautifully landscaped gardens, statues, and flower beds, and take in the serene atmosphere.
6. La Maison de la Bd
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For comic book enthusiasts, a visit to La Maison de la Bd is a must. This museum celebrates the art of comics and graphic novels and showcases the works of renowned comic book artists.
7. Musée de la Résistance
Learn about the history of the French Resistance during World War II at the Musée de la Résistance. The museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents that shed light on this important period in French history.
8. Loire à Vélo
Rent a bicycle and explore the Loire Valley’s scenic countryside. Blois is a perfect starting point for cycling along the Loire à Vélo, a well-marked bike route that stretches for hundreds of kilometers and takes you through picturesque villages, vineyards, and stunning landscapes.
9. Local Cuisine
Indulge in the local gastronomy of Blois. Sample delicious Loire Valley wines, try regional dishes such as rillettes (potted meat), tarte Tatin (caramelized upside-down apple tart), and goat cheese from the nearby village of Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine.
10. Château de Chambord
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Just a short drive from Blois, you’ll find the iconic Château de Chambord. This grand Renaissance castle is a masterpiece of architecture, with its distinctive French Renaissance style and unique double helix staircase. Explore the opulent interior, wander through the extensive parkland, and soak up the grandeur of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
11. Balloon Ride over the Loire Valley
Experience the Loire Valley from a different perspective by taking a hot air balloon ride. Float gently above the stunning landscapes, vineyards, and castles, enjoying breathtaking views of the region. It’s an unforgettable way to appreciate the beauty of Blois and its surroundings.
12. Golf du Château de Cheverny
Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round of golf at Golf du Château de Cheverny. This 18-hole golf course is set amidst the picturesque countryside, offering a scenic and tranquil setting for a day on the greens.
13. Les Bords de Loire
Take a leisurely walk or bike ride along Les Bords de Loire, a picturesque riverside path that stretches along the Loire River. Enjoy the peaceful ambiance, admire the river views, and take in the beauty of the surrounding nature.
14. Visit Vineyards and Wineries
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The Loire Valley is renowned for its excellent wines, and a visit to Blois is an opportunity to explore the region’s vineyards and wineries. Take a wine tour, taste a variety of Loire Valley wines, and learn about the winemaking process while enjoying the scenic countryside.
15. Les Grottes Pétrifiantes de Savonnières
Embark on an underground adventure at Les Grottes Pétrifiantes de Savonnières, located near Blois. These fascinating caves offer a guided tour where you can discover the unique geological formations and learn about the process of petrification.
16. Local Festivals and Events
Check the local events calendar for festivals and events happening during your visit to Blois. From music festivals and art exhibitions to historical reenactments, the city offers a diverse range of cultural activities throughout the year, providing an immersive experience into the vibrant local culture.
17. Maison de la Photographie
Photography enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Maison de la Photographie in Blois. This museum showcases a collection of vintage and contemporary photographs, highlighting the artistry and storytelling of the medium. Explore the exhibitions and gain a deeper understanding of the visual history and cultural significance of photography.
18. Musée de l’Hôtel de Ville
Discover the local history of Blois at the Musée de l’Hôtel de Ville. Housed in the former City Hall, this museum exhibits a collection of artifacts, documents, and artworks that trace the city’s past. From archaeological finds to medieval tapestries, the museum provides insights into Blois’ rich heritage.
19. Les Montils Mushroom Caves
Just a short drive from Blois, you’ll find the Les Montils Mushroom Caves, a fascinating underground world dedicated to mushroom cultivation. Take a guided tour through the caves, learn about the different mushroom varieties, and see how they are cultivated in a unique subterranean environment.
20. Canal de la Loire à vélo
If you’re up for a longer cycling adventure, explore the Canal de la Loire à vélo. This scenic cycling route follows the banks of the Loire River and offers a picturesque journey through the Loire Valley. Marvel at the beautiful landscapes, charming villages, and serene waterways as you pedal along the well-marked paths.
21. Loire Kayaking
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Experience the Loire River from a different perspective by going kayaking. Several companies in and around Blois offer kayak rentals and guided tours, allowing you to paddle along the tranquil waters and enjoy the scenic views of the river and its surroundings.
22. Les Jardins de l’Anjou
Escape the city and visit Les Jardins de l’Anjou, a beautiful botanical garden located near Blois. Wander through the enchanting gardens filled with a variety of plant species, vibrant flowers, and peaceful ponds. It’s a perfect place to relax, connect with nature, and soak up the serene ambiance.
23. Attend a Performance at the Théâtre Monsabré
If you’re interested in the performing arts, catch a show at the Théâtre Monsabré in Blois. This theater hosts a range of performances, including theater, dance, music, and comedy. Check the schedule and enjoy an evening of cultural entertainment.
24. Maison de la Nature
Nature lovers will appreciate a visit to the Maison de la Nature, a nature center located near Blois. Learn about the local flora and fauna, explore interactive exhibits, and discover the ecological importance of the Loire Valley. Take part in guided nature walks or workshops to deepen your understanding of the region’s natural environment.
25. Musée de l’Objet
Step into the Musée de l’Objet and embark on a journey through the everyday objects that have shaped French culture. This quirky museum showcases a diverse collection of artifacts, utensils, and tools, providing insights into the social and cultural history of the region. Uncover the stories behind these objects and gain a new perspective on the ordinary.
26. Maison des Acrobates
For a unique and thrilling experience, visit the Maison des Acrobates in Blois. This indoor adventure park offers various activities, including trampolines, climbing walls, and obstacle courses. Challenge yourself and have a blast as you test your agility and coordination in a safe and exciting environment.
27. Les Biscuiteries de Chambord
Indulge your sweet tooth by visiting Les Biscuiteries de Chambord, a local biscuit factory located near Blois. Take a tour of the facility, learn about the biscuit-making process, and sample a wide range of delicious biscuits and cookies. Treat yourself to these delectable treats as you savor the flavors of the region.
28. Eglise Saint-Nicolas
Visit the Eglise Saint-Nicolas, a beautiful church located in the heart of Blois. Admire the intricate stained glass windows, elegant architecture, and ornate decorations. Step inside to experience the serene atmosphere and appreciate the religious and artistic significance of this historic place of worship.
29. Musée de la Marine de Loire
Delve into the maritime history of the Loire River at the Musée de la Marine de Loire. Located in Châteauneuf-sur-Loire, a short distance from Blois, this museum offers fascinating exhibits on river navigation, shipbuilding, and the cultural heritage associated with the Loire. Learn about the river’s importance as a trade route and its influence on the region’s development.
Places and Things To Do