Melun, located in the Île-de-France region of France, is a charming city with a rich history and a variety of attractions. Known for its medieval heritage, picturesque landscapes, and cultural offerings, Melun offers visitors a delightful experience. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Melun.
1. Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
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Just a short drive from Melun, this magnificent 17th-century castle is a must-visit. Designed by Louis Le Vau, landscaped by André Le Nôtre, and decorated by Charles Le Brun, the château is a masterpiece of classical architecture. Explore its opulent interiors, vast gardens, and enjoy the regular events and exhibitions held here.
2. Musée de la Gendarmerie et du Cinéma
Located in the heart of Melun, this unique museum showcases the history of the French gendarmerie (police force) as well as the city’s contribution to the world of cinema. Discover fascinating artifacts, costumes, vehicles, and learn about famous films shot in Melun.
3. Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Melun
Marvel at the beauty of this Gothic cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century. Admire its impressive stained glass windows, intricate carvings, and the peaceful atmosphere inside. Take a moment to appreciate the architectural and historical significance of this religious landmark.
4. Bords de Seine
Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Seine River, which flows through Melun. The Bords de Seine promenade offers picturesque views, green spaces, and charming riverside cafés. It’s a perfect spot for a picnic, bike ride, or simply relaxing amidst nature.
5. Place Saint-Jean
Visit this lively square in the center of Melun, surrounded by historic buildings, cafes, and shops. Enjoy a cup of coffee or a meal at one of the outdoor terraces and soak up the vibrant atmosphere. The square often hosts markets and cultural events, adding to its allure.
6. Parc de l’Île Saint-Étienne
Escape the urban bustle and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this island park. Connected to the mainland by two bridges, the park offers beautiful walking paths, picnic areas, and even a small zoo. It’s a great place to unwind, enjoy nature, and spend quality time with family or friends.
7. Shopping in Melun
Explore the city’s various shopping districts, such as Rue Saint-Aspais, Rue Paul Doumer, and Rue du Général de Gaulle. These streets are lined with boutique stores, specialty shops, and local markets where you can find unique souvenirs, fashion items, regional delicacies, and more.
8. Gastronomic Delights
Indulge in the culinary delights of Melun. Try the famous Brie de Melun, a soft and creamy cheese with a distinct flavor. Explore the local markets to discover fresh produce, artisanal products, and regional delicacies. Don’t miss the opportunity to dine in the city’s charming restaurants and savor traditional French cuisine.
9. Jardins de l’Hôtel-de-Ville
Located behind the Melun Town Hall, these well-maintained gardens provide a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city. Take a leisurely stroll among the vibrant flower beds, manicured lawns, and charming statues. It’s an ideal spot to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.
10. Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de Melun
Delve into the art and history of Melun at this museum. Discover a collection of paintings, sculptures, archaeological artifacts, and historical documents that showcase the city’s heritage. The museum often hosts temporary exhibitions, adding new dimensions to its offerings.
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Venture beyond Melun and explore the neighboring town of Brie-Comte-Robert, located just a short distance away. This medieval town is known for its well-preserved architecture, including the impressive Château de Brie-Comte-Robert. Wander through its narrow streets, visit the market square, and soak up the medieval atmosphere.
For outdoor enthusiasts, a visit to Bois-le-Roi is a must. This small town near Melun is nestled in the Fontainebleau Forest, renowned for its scenic beauty and excellent rock climbing opportunities. Explore the forest trails, go hiking, or try your hand at bouldering on the famous sandstone rocks.
13. Les Bords de l’Yerres
Another picturesque riverside promenade, Les Bords de l’Yerres offers a tranquil escape from the city. Enjoy a walk or bike ride along the riverbank, taking in the serene views and lush greenery. There are also picnic spots and playgrounds, making it an ideal destination for families.
14. La Cave du Château
Wine enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit La Cave du Château in Melun. This charming wine bar and shop offers a wide selection of wines from various regions of France. Sample different vintages, receive expert advice, and perhaps even pick up a bottle or two as a memento of your trip.
15. Melun Market
Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the vibrant Melun Market. Held on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the market is a bustling hub of activity where you can find fresh produce, artisanal products, cheeses, flowers, and more. It’s a great place to experience the authentic flavors and colors of the region.
16. Maison de la Faïence
Explore the art of faience, a traditional form of decorative ceramics, at the Maison de la Faïence in Melun. Discover the history of this craft, admire the beautifully crafted pieces, and even participate in workshops to create your own faience artwork.
17. Boat Cruise on the Seine
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Experience Melun from a different perspective by taking a boat cruise on the Seine River. Enjoy a leisurely ride along the water, taking in the scenic views of the city and its surroundings. Some cruises also provide commentary, giving you insights into the history and landmarks along the river.
18. Golf de Melun
Golf enthusiasts can tee off at the Golf de Melun, an 18-hole golf course located near the city. Enjoy a round of golf surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful landscapes. The course is suitable for players of all levels, and there are facilities for practice and lessons as well.
19. Théâtre de Melun
Catch a performance at the Théâtre de Melun, a historic theater that hosts a diverse range of productions, including plays, musicals, dance performances, and concerts. Immerse yourself in the vibrant performing arts scene of Melun and enjoy an evening of entertainment.
Places and Things To Do