39 Best Places And Things To Do in Poitiers, France

Poitiers is a captivating city located in western France, known for its rich history, medieval charm, and cultural heritage. As the former capital of the region of Poitou, it offers visitors a delightful blend of ancient architecture, vibrant streets, and a relaxed atmosphere. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Poitiers:

1. Futuroscope

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One of Poitiers’ biggest attractions is the renowned Futuroscope theme park. Offering a unique blend of multimedia and futuristic technology, Futuroscope provides a range of immersive experiences, 3D and 4D shows, and thrilling rides. It’s a perfect destination for families and anyone interested in cutting-edge entertainment

2. Notre-Dame la Grande

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This stunning Romanesque church is a masterpiece of religious architecture. Admire its intricate facade, adorned with intricate sculptures depicting biblical scenes and mythical creatures. Inside, you’ll find a tranquil atmosphere and beautiful stained glass windows.

3. Saint-Pierre Cathedral

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Poitiers is also home to another impressive religious monument, the Saint-Pierre Cathedral. This magnificent Gothic cathedral boasts breathtaking architecture, intricate stone carvings, and stunning rose windows. Take a moment to appreciate the grandeur and serenity of this sacred place.

4. Palais des Ducs d’Aquitaine

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Explore the Palais des Ducs d’Aquitaine, a former residence of the Dukes of Aquitaine, which now serves as Poitiers’ City Hall. The building is a fine example of medieval architecture and offers a glimpse into the city’s historical past.

5. Parc de Blossac

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If you’re in search of tranquility and natural beauty, head to Parc de Blossac. This serene park provides a welcome escape from the bustling city streets. Stroll through its lush greenery, relax by the pond, and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.

6. Musée Sainte-Croix

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Art enthusiasts should not miss the Musée Sainte-Croix, home to an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and archaeological artifacts. The museum showcases artworks from various periods, including ancient Gallo-Roman pieces, medieval sculptures, and modern art.

7. La Piscine

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Enjoy a refreshing swim at La Piscine, Poitiers’ modern aquatic center. The facility offers a range of pools, water slides, and wellness areas, perfect for relaxation or a fun-filled family day.

8. Local Gastronomy

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Poitiers is known for its delicious cuisine, so be sure to sample the local specialties. Try the indulgent goat cheese, called Chabichou, and the tasty Poitou-Charentes butter. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor traditional dishes like farci poitevin (stuffed cabbage), tourteau fromager (a type of cheesecake), and the region’s famous cognac.

9. Musée Rupert de Chièvres

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This museum is dedicated to fine arts and archaeology and houses a diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, and artifacts. Explore its exhibits to gain a deeper understanding of the region’s artistic heritage.

10. Jardin des Plantes

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Take a leisurely stroll through the Jardin des Plantes, a beautiful botanical garden located near the city center. Admire the vibrant flowers, lush greenery, and serene ponds, which provide a tranquil escape from the urban environment.

11. Church of Saint-Jean-de-Montierneuf

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Another architectural gem, the Church of Saint-Jean-de-Montierneuf, is worth a visit. This Romanesque church features a distinctive octagonal bell tower and stunning vaulted ceilings. Take a moment to appreciate its unique design and serene atmosphere.

12. Hôtel de Ville

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Explore the Hôtel de Ville, Poitiers’ Town Hall, located in a charming 12th-century building. Admire its beautiful facade and step inside to discover the grandeur of the council chamber and other notable rooms.

13. Balloon Ride

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For a truly unforgettable experience, consider taking a hot air balloon ride over the city and its picturesque surroundings. Enjoy breathtaking views of Poitiers from above and capture stunning aerial photographs.

14. Sainte-Radegonde Church

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Visit the Sainte-Radegonde Church, a significant religious site in Poitiers. This Romanesque church is known for its elegant architecture and its association with Saint Radegund, a Frankish queen and saint.

15. Nightlife in Poitiers

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Poitiers boasts a vibrant nightlife scene, with numerous bars, pubs, and clubs scattered throughout the city. Enjoy a drink at a trendy cocktail bar or dance the night away at one of the energetic nightclubs.

16. Local Events

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Check the local events calendar to see if any festivals, concerts, or cultural events are taking place during your visit. Poitiers hosts various celebrations throughout the year, providing a fantastic opportunity to experience the city’s vibrant atmosphere and immerse yourself in its traditions.

17. Musée d’Art Contemporain de Poitiers (MAC)

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Art enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to visit MAC, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Poitiers. The museum showcases a diverse collection of contemporary artworks, including paintings, sculptures, installations, and multimedia exhibits. Explore the thought-provoking displays and gain insight into the world of modern art.

18. Parc de la Belle

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Located just outside the city center, Parc de la Belle offers a tranquil retreat for nature lovers. This expansive park features beautifully landscaped gardens, serene walking paths, and a picturesque lake where you can rent paddleboats or simply relax by the water. It’s an ideal spot for a picnic or a peaceful afternoon surrounded by nature.

19. Place Charles de Gaulle

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Visit Place Charles de Gaulle, a lively square in the heart of Poitiers. This bustling hub is lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops, making it a perfect spot for people-watching and soaking up the city’s vibrant atmosphere. Enjoy a cup of coffee, indulge in some local cuisine, or simply take in the sights and sounds of the city center.

20. Les Halles

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For a true taste of local life, visit Les Halles, Poitiers’ covered market. This bustling market is a food lover’s paradise, offering an array of fresh produce, regional specialties, and gourmet delights. Stroll through the aisles, sample some local delicacies, and pick up ingredients for a picnic or a culinary souvenir to take home.

21. Maison de l’Architecture de Poitou-Charentes

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Architecture enthusiasts should visit the Maison de l’Architecture de Poitou-Charentes. This center for architecture showcases exhibitions and events that celebrate the region’s architectural heritage and contemporary design. Learn about the unique buildings and urban landscapes of Poitiers and gain insight into the city’s evolving architectural scene.

22. Wine Tasting

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Poitiers is located in the renowned wine region of Poitou-Charentes, offering excellent opportunities for wine tasting. Take a day trip to the nearby vineyards, such as those in the Vienne or Haut-Poitou appellations, and sample a variety of delicious wines while learning about the local winemaking traditions.

23. Château de Dissay

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Just a short distance from Poitiers, you’ll find the majestic Château de Dissay. This Renaissance castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and offers guided tours that allow you to explore its opulent interiors and learn about its fascinating history. Enjoy the grandeur of this architectural gem and soak in the tranquil surroundings.

24. Maison de Jeanne d’Arc

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Pay a visit to the Maison de Jeanne d’Arc, a historical house dedicated to the life and legacy of Joan of Arc. Located in the medieval quarter of Poitiers, this museum provides insights into the legendary figure and her connection to the city. Discover the story of Joan of Arc through interactive exhibits and artifacts.

25. Cité Médiévale de Chauvigny

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Venture outside of Poitiers to discover the medieval town of Chauvigny. Perched atop a hill, the Cité Médiévale boasts well-preserved medieval architecture, including a remarkable collection of five fortified castles. Explore the narrow streets, visit the churches, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

26. Marais Poitevin

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Experience the tranquility of the Marais Poitevin, also known as the Green Venice. Located a short distance from Poitiers, this vast wetland area is characterized by its intricate network of canals, lush vegetation, and diverse wildlife. Take a boat ride through the marshes, surrounded by serene landscapes and abundant flora and fauna.

27. Château de la Roche-Courbon

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If you’re willing to venture a bit farther, visit the Château de la Roche-Courbon, located near Saint-Porchaire. This Renaissance castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and offers guided tours that take you through its elegant rooms and landscaped grounds. Enjoy the charm and history of this architectural gem.

28. Hiking in the Vienne Valley

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Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunity to explore the Vienne Valley on foot. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on one of the many trails that wind through the picturesque countryside, passing by charming villages, vineyards, and scenic viewpoints along the way.

29. Les Crocodiles du Monde

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For a unique and educational experience, visit Les Crocodiles du Monde, a crocodile and reptile park in Civaux, near Poitiers. Discover fascinating reptilian species from around the world and learn about their habitats, behaviors, and conservation efforts.

30. Les Machines d’Ile

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Take a day trip to Nantes, a city renowned for its creativity and innovation, and visit Les Machines d’Ile. This artistic and mechanical wonderland features giant animatronic creatures, including the famous Great Elephant, and offers a whimsical and immersive experience for visitors of all ages.

31. Beaches of La Rochelle

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If you’re longing for some sun, sand, and sea, head to the coastal city of La Rochelle. Explore its picturesque old harbor, visit historical landmarks such as the Towers of La Rochelle, and enjoy the sandy beaches and vibrant beachfront atmosphere.

32. Parc Floral de la Roseraie

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Escape the bustling city and indulge in the beauty of Parc Floral de la Roseraie. This enchanting park is home to a stunning collection of roses, vibrant flower beds, and tranquil walking paths. Take a leisurely stroll, admire the colorful blooms, and relax in the serene atmosphere.

33. Le Parc de Loisirs de Saint-Cyr

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Enjoy a fun-filled day at Le Parc de Loisirs de Saint-Cyr, a recreational park located near Poitiers. The park offers a range of activities, including water sports, hiking trails, mini-golf, and even a beach area. It’s a fantastic place to unwind, have a picnic, and engage in outdoor adventures.

34. Les Puits Saint-Jacques

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Venture underground and explore the fascinating Les Puits Saint-Jacques. These ancient wells were used as a water supply system for the city during the Middle Ages. Descend into the depths and learn about the history and engineering behind these impressive structures.

35. Musée des Tumulus de Bougon

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Take a day trip to the Musée des Tumulus de Bougon, located near Poitiers. This archaeological site features a collection of Neolithic burial mounds, known as tumuli. Explore the museum exhibits to learn about the lives and rituals of the ancient people who built these impressive structures.

36. Vélorail du Poitou

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Experience a unique adventure by riding the Vélorail du Poitou. This activity allows you to pedal along an old railway track, enjoying the beautiful countryside and scenic views. It’s a fun and interactive way to explore the region and appreciate the natural surroundings.

37. La Maison du Biscuit

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Indulge your sweet tooth at La Maison du Biscuit. Located in nearby Sortosville-en-Beaumont, this charming biscuit shop offers a wide variety of delectable treats, including biscuits, cakes, and confections. Sample the delicious flavors and bring home some goodies as souvenirs.

38. Parc de la Ribaudière

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Escape to Parc de la Ribaudière, a picturesque park located on the outskirts of Poitiers. This peaceful green space features walking paths, picnic areas, and a lake where you can relax and enjoy nature. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a family outing.

39. Parc de Blossac

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Spend some time in Parc de Blossac, a charming green oasis in the heart of Poitiers. This public park features beautifully manicured gardens, a lake, and walking paths. It’s an ideal place for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or simply enjoying the tranquility of nature.