Niort, located in the picturesque region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France, is a charming city with a rich history and plenty of attractions to offer visitors. Known for its beautiful architecture, tranquil canals, and vibrant cultural scene, Niort has something to suit every taste. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Niort:
1. Donjon de Niort
Image Source: https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q15214745
Start your exploration of the city by visiting Donjon de Niort, the iconic medieval castle that dominates the skyline. This impressive fortress offers breathtaking views of the city and houses the Sèvres Niortais Museum, which exhibits local art and historical artifacts.
2. Les Halles
Head to Les Halles, the bustling central market of Niort, where you can immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and sample fresh local produce, including cheese, seafood, and delicious pastries. It’s a great place to experience the local gastronomy and interact with friendly vendors.
3. Marais Poitevin
Just a short distance from Niort lies the stunning Marais Poitevin, also known as the Green Venice. Explore this unique wetland area by taking a boat ride along the canals, surrounded by lush greenery and diverse wildlife. It’s a peaceful and picturesque escape from the city.
4. Pilori Square
Visit Pilori Square, the heart of Niort’s historic center. Admire the charming half-timbered houses, enjoy a cup of coffee at one of the cozy cafés, and soak up the vibrant ambiance. The square is also home to the beautiful Church of Notre-Dame, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture.
5. Bernard d’Agesci Museum
Art enthusiasts should not miss the Bernard d’Agesci Museum, a comprehensive art museum that showcases a wide range of works, from classical to contemporary. The museum features collections of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, providing a fascinating journey through different artistic periods.
6. The Dungeon Escape Game
For an exciting and immersive adventure, try the Dungeon Escape Game. This interactive experience allows you to solve puzzles and unravel mysteries within the confines of an ancient dungeon. It’s a fun activity to enjoy with friends or family.
7. Saint-André Cathedral
Pay a visit to the Saint-André Cathedral, a beautiful Romanesque-Gothic church that dates back to the 11th century. Admire its impressive architecture, intricate stained glass windows, and serene atmosphere. Climb the tower for panoramic views of the city.
8. Niortaise Venise
Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/robert1stepien/51400445644
Explore the charming neighborhood of Niortaise Venise, characterized by its narrow streets, colorful houses, and enchanting canals. Take a leisurely stroll along the Quai Métayer or enjoy a boat ride, discovering the city from a unique perspective.
9. Cultural events
Niort hosts various cultural events throughout the year, including music festivals, theater performances, and art exhibitions. Check the local events calendar to see if there’s anything happening during your visit, as it’s a great way to engage with the local community and experience the city’s vibrant cultural scene.
10. Museums and Galleries
Apart from the Bernard d’Agesci Museum, Niort is home to several other noteworthy museums and galleries. The Museum of Traditional Crafts and Trades showcases the region’s artisanal heritage, while the Musee du Donjon highlights the history and significance of the Donjon de Niort. Additionally, the Pilori House of Art presents contemporary art exhibitions, providing a glimpse into the city’s thriving art scene.
11. Explora Park
If you’re traveling with children, a visit to Explora Park is highly recommended. This adventure park offers an array of exciting activities, such as treetop trails, zip lines, and rope courses. It’s a perfect place for kids and adults alike to enjoy some outdoor fun and adrenaline-pumping adventures.
12. Jardins de la Brèche
Adjacent to the Promenade de la Brèche, you’ll find the Jardins de la Brèche, a beautifully landscaped garden. This peaceful oasis features manicured lawns, vibrant flowerbeds, and charming sculptures. It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely walk, a moment of relaxation, or a picnic in the midst of nature.
13. Château de Coudray-Salbart
Just a short drive from Niort, you can explore the magnificent Château de Coudray-Salbart. This medieval fortress, nestled in a serene natural setting, offers guided tours that take you back in time to the Middle Ages. Discover the castle’s history, admire its impressive architecture, and enjoy panoramic views from the top of its towers.
14. Les Jardins de la Magdeleine
For nature enthusiasts, Les Jardins de la Magdeleine is a must-visit attraction. Located in the nearby village of Magné, these stunning gardens showcase a wide variety of plants, flowers, and trees. Take a peaceful stroll through the beautifully landscaped grounds, explore the aromatic garden, and admire the diverse botanical specimens.
15. Gastronomic Tours
Niort and its surrounding region are renowned for their gastronomy. Consider joining a gastronomic tour to explore local markets, meet passionate producers, and sample regional delicacies. From wine tastings to cheese workshops, these tours offer a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the flavors and culinary traditions of the area.
16. Cycling and Canoeing
Niort and its surroundings boast an extensive network of cycling paths and picturesque waterways. Rent a bike or a canoe and embark on an adventure, exploring the scenic landscapes, charming villages, and tranquil watercourses at your own pace. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy the natural beauty of the region while staying active.
17. Street Art
Niort has embraced street art as a vibrant form of expression. As you wander through the city, keep an eye out for colorful murals and artistic interventions on building facades. The Street Art Circuit allows you to discover these urban artworks while adding a contemporary twist to your exploration of Niort.
18. Day Trips
Image Source: https://tourguide-france.com/product/niort-walking-tour/
Niort’s strategic location makes it an excellent base for day trips to other notable destinations in the region. Consider visiting the historic town of La Rochelle, with its picturesque harbor and charming old town, or the renowned vineyards of the Cognac region, where you can enjoy tastings and learn about the production process of this world-famous spirit.
Image Source: https://www.francecomfort.com/en/sights/412/Coulon
Located in the heart of the Marais Poitevin, the village of Coulon is often referred to as the capital of the Green Venice. Explore its charming streets, visit the Maison du Marais Poitevin to learn about the wetland ecosystem, and take a boat ride through the peaceful canals.
20. Château de Niort
Discover the ruins of the Château de Niort, a medieval fortress that once stood adjacent to the Donjon de Niort. While mostly in ruins, the site provides a glimpse into the city’s medieval past and offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.
21. Saint-Hilaire Church
Visit the Saint-Hilaire Church, a beautiful Romanesque church dating back to the 12th century. Admire its intricate stonework, stunning stained glass windows, and peaceful atmosphere.
22. Parc du Pré-Leroy
Enjoy some outdoor recreation at Parc du Pré-Leroy, a sprawling park that offers walking trails, picnic areas, and sports facilities. It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely walk, a family outing, or simply unwinding amidst nature.
Image Source: https://www.terresdefrance.com/en/natura-resort-pescalis
Nature lovers and fishing enthusiasts should visit Pescalis, a vast fishing complex located near Moncoutant. With numerous lakes, fishing spots, and nature trails, it’s a paradise for anglers and a great place to enjoy the serene beauty of the French countryside.
24. Domaine de la Roche
Discover the Domaine de la Roche, a beautiful estate situated on the banks of the Sèvre Niortaise River. Explore its picturesque gardens, go for a scenic walk along the river, and visit the Château de la Roche, a Renaissance-style castle within the grounds.
25. Chizé Forest
Embark on a nature excursion to the Chizé Forest, a large forested area near Niort. Explore its walking trails, observe the local wildlife, and visit the Mouton Village, a unique conservation center dedicated to the preservation of rare sheep breeds.
26. Local Markets
Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the vibrant markets in Niort and its surrounding villages. Sample regional delicacies, pick up fresh produce, and browse through artisanal crafts. The Niort market, held every Thursday and Saturday, is particularly worth a visit.
27. Maison de la Meunerie
Explore the Maison de la Meunerie, a historic mill that has been converted into a museum. Learn about the traditional milling techniques used in the region and gain insight into the importance of grain production in the local economy.
28. Le Musée de Niortais
Visit Le Musée de Niortais, a museum dedicated to the history and culture of Niort and its surroundings. Discover artifacts, documents, and interactive displays that showcase the city’s past, from prehistoric times to the present day.
29. Parc de la Brèche
Spend some time in Parc de la Brèche, a picturesque park that offers green spaces, playgrounds, and a lake. Take a leisurely walk, have a picnic, or simply relax in this peaceful setting. The park also hosts various events and concerts during the summer months.
30. Les Jardins d’Orien
Experience the beauty of Oriental gardens at Les Jardins d’Orien. This tranquil garden features lush vegetation, serene water features, and an ambiance inspired by Asian aesthetics. Take a peaceful stroll and find a moment of serenity amidst the harmonious landscapes.
31. Le Jardin de la Grosse-Pierre
Image Source: https://www.domainedelagrossepierre.fr/
Discover Le Jardin de la Grosse-Pierre, a charming garden located on the outskirts of Niort. With its vibrant flowerbeds, picturesque ponds, and well-maintained pathways, this garden provides a serene and colorful retreat for nature lovers.
32. Escape Game Niort
Challenge your problem-solving skills and teamwork at Escape Game Niort. Choose from a variety of themed rooms and try to solve puzzles, find clues, and escape within a set time limit. It’s a thrilling and engaging activity for groups and friends.
33. Golf du Petit Chêne
If you enjoy golf, head to Golf du Petit Chêne, a beautiful 18-hole golf course set in the tranquil countryside near Niort. Enjoy a round of golf amidst the scenic landscapes and rolling hills.
34. Les Canards de Niort
Visit Les Canards de Niort, a duck farm that specializes in foie gras production. Take a guided tour to learn about the traditional methods of foie gras production and enjoy tastings of this delicacy.
35. Wine Tasting in the Region
Explore the nearby vineyards of the Loire Valley, such as those in the Saumur or Chinon appellations, and indulge in wine tastings. Sample a variety of wines, from crisp whites to full-bodied reds, and learn about the wine-making traditions of the region.
36. Les Halles de Niort
Besides being a bustling market, Les Halles de Niort is also home to several food stalls and restaurants. Indulge in local delicacies, including fresh seafood, gourmet cheeses, and delectable pastries. It’s a great place to satisfy your culinary cravings and immerse yourself in the vibrant food scene.
37. Bicycle Ride along the Sèvre Niortaise River
Rent a bicycle and pedal along the picturesque Sèvre Niortaise River. The cycling paths offer scenic views of the riverbanks, lush greenery, and charming villages. It’s a relaxing and enjoyable way to explore the natural beauty of the area.
38. Niort Chocolaterie
Treat your taste buds to the delights of Niort Chocolaterie, a local chocolate shop known for its handmade chocolates and confections. Take a guided tour to learn about the chocolate-making process and sample their delectable creations.
39. CAC La Villa Pérochon
If you have an interest in photography and contemporary art, visit CAC La Villa Pérochon. This cultural center hosts rotating exhibitions featuring works by both local and international artists, providing a platform for artistic expression and creativity.
40. Niort Football Club
Image Source: https://alchetron.com/Chamois-Niortais-F.C.
If you’re a sports fan, consider catching a match of the Niort Football Club at the Stade René Gaillard. Experience the excitement of French football and cheer on the local team in a lively atmosphere.
41. Picnic by the Riverbank
Image Source: https://www.touraineloirevalley.co.uk/picnic-top-spots/
Take advantage of the serene riverbanks of the Sèvre Niortaise and enjoy a relaxing picnic. Pick up some delicious local treats from the markets, find a picturesque spot along the river, and savor your meal while surrounded by nature.
42. Les Voûtes du Donjon
Venture underground and explore the Les Voûtes du Donjon, a network of tunnels and vaults that once served as cellars and storage spaces for the city. Join a guided tour to learn about their history and discover hidden architectural gems.
43. La Rochelle
Approximately an hour’s drive from Niort, La Rochelle is a vibrant coastal city known for its picturesque harbor and sandy beaches. Plage des Minimes and Plage de la Concurrence are two popular beaches in La Rochelle where visitors can relax, swim, and soak up the sun. The city also offers a variety of watersports activities, boat tours, and beachside cafés.
Situated about an hour’s drive from Niort, Chatelaillon-Plage is a charming seaside resort known for its long sandy beaches and family-friendly atmosphere. The beach offers ample space for sunbathing, swimming, and building sandcastles. There are also restaurants and cafés along the promenade, perfect for enjoying a meal with a sea view.
45. Ile de Ré
Image Source: https://seafranceholidays.com/ile-de-re-in-france-guide/
Located just off the coast from La Rochelle, the Ile de Ré is a popular destination renowned for its beautiful beaches. Plage des Portes en Ré, Plage de la Conche des Baleines, and Plage de la Couarde-sur-Mer are some of the stunning beaches on the island. With their pristine white sands and clear turquoise waters, these beaches provide a perfect setting for relaxation and enjoying water activities like surfing, kiteboarding, and sailing.
46. Ile d’Oléron
Another picturesque island off the coast, Ile d’Oléron, offers a range of beaches to explore. Plage de la Boirie, Plage des Saumonards, and Plage de la Giraudière are among the island’s sandy shores. These beaches provide a tranquil escape with ample space for sunbathing, beachcombing, and swimming. The island is also known for its oyster beds, so be sure to savor some fresh seafood while you’re there.
Situated approximately an hour’s drive from Niort, Fouras is a charming coastal town with several sandy beaches. Plage de la Grande Plage and Plage de l’Espérance are popular choices for sun-seekers. Beyond the beaches, Fouras offers historical attractions such as the Fort Vauban and stunning views of the nearby islands.
Places and Things To Do