Châlons-en-Champagne, located in the heart of the Champagne region in northeastern France, is a charming city with a rich history and plenty to offer visitors. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Châlons-en-Champagne:
1. Notre-Dame-en-Vaux Cathedral
This stunning cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Admire its intricate stained glass windows and ornate sculptures. Don’t miss the opportunity to climb the bell tower for panoramic views of the city.
2. Les Jards
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Explore this picturesque public garden, a tranquil oasis in the city center. Stroll along the tree-lined paths, admire the beautiful flower beds, and relax by the ponds. It’s a perfect spot for a picnic or a leisurely afternoon.
3. Le Cirque
Step into the fascinating world of circus arts at Le Cirque, a cultural venue that hosts regular performances and exhibitions. From acrobatics to jugglers, you’ll be amazed by the talent and creativity on display.
4. Museum of Fine Arts and Archaeology
Delve into the city’s history and artistic heritage at this museum. It houses an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and archaeological artifacts, providing insights into the region’s past.
5. Hôtel de Ville
Visit the Châlons-en-Champagne City Hall, an architectural gem with its distinctive Renaissance facade. Take a guided tour to discover the building’s history and learn more about the city’s governance.
6. Boat Ride on the Marne River
Enjoy a scenic boat ride along the Marne River, which winds through Châlons-en-Champagne. Relax as you glide past charming waterfront houses and lush greenery, taking in the peaceful atmosphere of the city.
7. Champagne Houses
As Châlons-en-Champagne is located in the heart of the Champagne region, a visit would not be complete without exploring some of the renowned champagne houses. Take a tour and learn about the champagne-making process, and, of course, indulge in a tasting or two.
8. Les Églises Saint-Alpin et Saint-Jean
These two historic churches showcase different architectural styles. Saint-Alpin Church features beautiful stained glass windows, while Saint-Jean Church boasts a stunning organ. Both are worth a visit for their historical and artistic significance.
9. Local Cuisine
Sample the delicious local cuisine of Châlons-en-Champagne. Indulge in regional specialties such as Chaource cheese, Reims ham, and, of course, Champagne. The city has a variety of restaurants and cafes where you can savor these culinary delights.
10. Les Halles Market
Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Les Halles, the city’s bustling market. Browse through stalls filled with fresh produce, local cheeses, meats, and other gastronomic delights. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the local culinary scene and pick up some delicious treats to enjoy.
11. Châlons Plage
During the summer months, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Châlons Plage, a temporary beach set up along the banks of the Marne River. Relax on the sandy shores, soak up the sun, and enjoy various recreational activities and water sports.
12. Le Petit Jard
Located near the Cathedral, Le Petit Jard is a charming public garden with manicured lawns, flower beds, and a tranquil fountain. It’s a lovely spot for a leisurely stroll or a moment of relaxation amid nature.
13. Capitole de Châlons-en-Champagne
Explore the Capitole, a historic building that houses the town’s administrative offices. This architectural gem features an impressive facade adorned with intricate sculptures and decorative elements. Take a guided tour to discover its fascinating history.
14. Champagne Cellar Tours
Venture beyond the city center to visit the prestigious Champagne cellars in the surrounding area. Take guided tours of renowned Champagne houses like Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, and Taittinger. Learn about the champagne production process, explore the cellars, and, of course, indulge in tastings of exquisite Champagne.
15. Musée Garinet
Discover the local history and culture at Musée Garinet, located in a beautiful 18th-century mansion. The museum houses a diverse collection of art, artifacts, and historical objects, providing insights into Châlons-en-Champagne’s past.
16. Parc de l’Hôtel de Ville
Enjoy a leisurely stroll or a picnic in Parc de l’Hôtel de Ville, a charming park surrounding the City Hall. Admire the well-manicured gardens, colorful flowerbeds, and picturesque fountains.
17. Champagne Vineyard Tours
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Venture into the picturesque Champagne vineyards that surround Châlons-en-Champagne. Take guided tours to learn about the process of grape cultivation, explore the scenic vineyards, and enjoy wine tastings while soaking in the stunning views.
18. Museum of the Resistance and Deportation
Gain insight into the history of the French Resistance during World War II at this informative museum. Through exhibits, artifacts, and personal accounts, the museum provides a moving and educational experience.
19. Champagne Pommery
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Just a short distance from Châlons-en-Champagne, you’ll find Champagne Pommery, a renowned Champagne house with a rich history. Take a tour of the impressive underground cellars, learn about the Champagne-making process, and enjoy a tasting of their exquisite Champagne.
20. Balade des Arts
Take a self-guided walking tour known as the Balade des Arts, which leads you through the streets of Châlons-en-Champagne, showcasing contemporary art installations and sculptures. It’s a wonderful way to explore the city’s artistic side while enjoying a leisurely stroll.
21. Maison du Pain
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Discover the art of breadmaking at Maison du Pain, a museum dedicated to the history and tradition of bread. Learn about the various bread-making techniques, taste freshly baked bread, and gain a deeper appreciation for this staple of French cuisine.
22. Théâtre du Chemin Vert
Catch a performance at Théâtre du Chemin Vert, a historic theater that hosts a diverse range of theatrical productions, including plays, musicals, and dance performances. Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene of Châlons-en-Champagne and enjoy a memorable evening of entertainment.
23. Place Foch
Visit Place Foch, the main square of Châlons-en-Champagne, surrounded by elegant buildings and cafes. Sit at one of the outdoor terraces, sip a cup of coffee, and soak in the lively atmosphere while observing the bustling city life.
24. Champagne Festivals
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Time your visit to coincide with one of the vibrant Champagne festivals held in Châlons-en-Champagne. Experience the lively atmosphere, music, dancing, and, of course, the opportunity to taste an array of Champagne varieties.
25. Les Jards et ses fontaines
Les Jards, a beautiful public garden mentioned earlier, is also known for its enchanting fountains. Take a leisurely stroll through the garden and admire the intricately designed fountains that add a touch of elegance and charm to the surroundings.
26. Le Musée de l’Hôtel le Vergeur
Visit the Musée de l’Hôtel le Vergeur, a historic mansion turned museum. Discover its fascinating collection of art and artifacts that depict the local history and culture of Châlons-en-Champagne. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that showcase a variety of artistic disciplines.
27. Paddleboarding on the Marne River
For outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure, try paddleboarding on the Marne River. Rent a paddleboard and glide along the calm waters while enjoying the picturesque surroundings and the cityscape from a unique perspective.
28. Parc de la Patte d’Oie
Escape the urban environment and relax in Parc de la Patte d’Oie, a charming park situated on the banks of the Marne River. This tranquil green space offers walking paths, picnic areas, and a playground, making it an ideal spot for families and nature lovers.
29. Les Coteaux de Champagne
Embark on a scenic hike or bike ride along Les Coteaux de Champagne, the hillsides that overlook the vineyards surrounding Châlons-en-Champagne. Enjoy breathtaking views, explore charming villages, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Champagne region.
30. Musée du Cloître de Notre-Dame-en-Vaux
Located within the premises of the Notre-Dame-en-Vaux Cathedral, this museum showcases a collection of religious artifacts, sculptures, and paintings. Gain a deeper understanding of the cathedral’s history and the significance of its religious art.
31. Les Fêtes Johanniques
Experience the vibrant Les Fêtes Johanniques, a historical festival held annually in Châlons-en-Champagne. This event commemorates Joan of Arc and features parades, medieval reenactments, concerts, and a festive atmosphere that transports you back in time.
32. Champagne Tastings
Indulge in Champagne tastings at local wine bars and cellars in Châlons-en-Champagne. Engage with knowledgeable sommeliers who will guide you through the diverse flavors and nuances of the region’s Champagne, allowing you to savor the essence of this world-renowned sparkling wine.
33. Le Port de Plaisance
Take a stroll along Le Port de Plaisance, the marina in Châlons-en-Champagne. Enjoy the scenic views of the boats docked along the canal and soak in the relaxed atmosphere. There are also waterfront restaurants and cafes where you can indulge in delicious meals or refreshing drinks.
34. Eglise Saint-Alpin
Visit Eglise Saint-Alpin, a picturesque church known for its beautiful stained glass windows. Marvel at the intricate details and vibrant colors of the glasswork, and take a moment for quiet contemplation in this peaceful and historically significant religious site.
35. Les Bulles Sonores
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If you happen to visit Châlons-en-Champagne in July, don’t miss Les Bulles Sonores, a music festival that takes place in Parc de l’Hôtel de Ville. Enjoy live performances by local and international artists across various genres, creating a vibrant and festive ambiance.
36. Les Journées du Patrimoine
If you visit Châlons-en-Champagne in September, you may have the opportunity to participate in Les Journées du Patrimoine (Heritage Days). During this annual event, many historical sites, including private mansions and public buildings, open their doors to the public, allowing you to explore and appreciate the city’s architectural treasures.
37. Les Moulins de la Vallée du Coq
Discover the historical windmills of Châlons-en-Champagne at Les Moulins de la Vallée du Coq. Take a guided tour to learn about the importance of windmills in the region’s agricultural history and see the restored windmills in action, providing a glimpse into the past.
38. Local Festivities
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Immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions by participating in various festivities and events that take place throughout the year. From lively carnivals and parades to music festivals and wine fairs, Châlons-en-Champagne offers a vibrant calendar of celebrations that reflect the unique spirit of the region.
39. Les Caves de Champagne
Delve into the underground world of Champagne production by visiting Les Caves de Champagne. Take a guided tour of the vast network of cellars and tunnels, learn about the traditional methods of Champagne-making, and witness the aging process of these exquisite sparkling wines.
40. Les Fruits du De
If you’re a nature enthusiast, take a short drive from Châlons-en-Champagne to Les Fruits du Der, a nature reserve and bird sanctuary. Explore the diverse ecosystems, go birdwatching, or enjoy a leisurely hike or bike ride through the beautiful landscapes surrounding the Lac du Der.
41. Les Halles du Boulingrin
If you’re looking for a unique culinary experience, visit Les Halles du Boulingrin in Reims, a short distance from Châlons-en-Champagne. This covered market is housed in a striking Art Deco building and offers a wide variety of local produce, meats, cheeses, and specialty foods.
42. Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie
If you have an interest in art and archaeology, visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie in Châlons-en-Champagne. This museum houses an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and archaeological artifacts that span various periods of history.
43. Les Coteaux, Maisons et Caves de Champagne
Immerse yourself in the Champagne region’s cultural and architectural heritage by exploring the “Les Coteaux, Maisons et Caves de Champagne” UNESCO World Heritage site. This site encompasses the vineyards, houses, and cellars of renowned Champagne producers, offering a glimpse into the region’s history and craftsmanship.
44. Golf de La Grande Romanie
Tee off at Golf de La Grande Romanie, a picturesque golf course located in the countryside near Châlons-en-Champagne. Enjoy a round of golf amidst rolling hills, pristine fairways, and scenic views, creating a relaxing and enjoyable experience for golf enthusiasts.
Places and Things To Do