Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois is a charming city located in the Essonne department of the Île-de-France region in France. Although it may not be as well-known as some of the larger cities in France, it offers a delightful blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois:
1. Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Garde
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A prominent landmark in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, this beautiful basilica dates back to the 19th century. It features stunning stained glass windows, intricate architecture, and a serene atmosphere. Take a moment to explore the interior and admire the religious artwork.
2. Maison d’Art et de Culture
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This cultural center hosts various exhibitions, concerts, and events throughout the year. It’s a great place to experience local art and immerse yourself in the vibrant creative scene of Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois. Check their schedule to see what’s happening during your visit.
3. Parc Pierre et Marie Curie
Enjoy a leisurely stroll or a picnic in this picturesque park named after the famous scientists Pierre and Marie Curie. The park offers lush green spaces, walking paths, and a small pond. It’s a perfect spot to relax and enjoy nature.
4. Musée du Vieux Sainte-Geneviève
Immerse yourself in the history of the region by visiting this small local museum. It showcases artifacts, photographs, and documents that depict the evolution of Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois over the years. The museum offers a glimpse into the city’s past and its cultural heritage.
5. Dining at local restaurants
Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois offers a variety of dining options to satisfy your taste buds. From traditional French cuisine to international flavors, you’ll find something to suit every palate. Explore the local eateries and indulge in delicious meals made with fresh, local ingredients.
6. Golf de Marivaux
If you’re a golf enthusiast or looking to try out a new sport, head to Golf de Marivaux. This golf course offers a scenic setting and well-maintained fairways for golfers of all skill levels. Enjoy a round of golf while soaking in the beautiful surroundings.
7. Attend local events and festivals
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Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, providing a glimpse into the local culture and traditions. From music concerts to street fairs, these events offer an opportunity to mingle with locals, sample regional delicacies, and enjoy live performances.
8. Day trip to Château de Versailles
Just a short distance away from Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, you’ll find the magnificent Château de Versailles. Take a day trip to explore this iconic palace, with its opulent interiors, stunning gardens, and rich history. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-visit destination for history and architecture enthusiasts.
9. Visit local markets
Experience the vibrant atmosphere of French markets by visiting the local markets in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois. Stroll through the stalls filled with fresh produce, local cheeses, artisanal crafts, and more. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and sample regional specialties.
10. Enjoy outdoor activities at Base de Loisirs de Draveil
Located nearby, Base de Loisirs de Draveil is a recreational park offering a range of outdoor activities. From water sports like sailing and canoeing to biking, hiking, and picnicking, this park is perfect for those seeking an active and adventurous day out.
11. Explore the Château de Courances
Located a short distance from Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, the Château de Courances is a stunning Renaissance-style castle surrounded by magnificent gardens. Take a guided tour of the castle to learn about its fascinating history and architecture. Then, wander through the beautifully landscaped gardens, featuring waterfalls, canals, and a charming Japanese garden.
12. Discover the Arboretum de la Vallée-aux-Loups
Nature enthusiasts should not miss a visit to the Arboretum de la Vallée-aux-Loups, a tranquil park known for its diverse collection of trees and plants. Take a leisurely walk through the peaceful pathways, breathe in the fresh air, and admire the colorful foliage during the autumn months.
13. Attend a performance at the Théâtre de Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois
If you appreciate the performing arts, check the schedule at the Théâtre de Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois. This local theater hosts a variety of performances, including plays, concerts, and dance shows. Immerse yourself in the cultural scene and enjoy a night of entertainment.
14. Visit the Maison-atelier Foujita
Art enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the Maison-atelier Foujita, the former residence and workshop of the renowned Japanese-French artist Tsuguharu Foujita. Discover his unique artistic style and explore the intimate spaces where he lived and created his masterpieces.
15. Attend the Fête de la Musique
If you happen to visit Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois in June, don’t miss the Fête de la Musique. This annual music festival takes place on the summer solstice and celebrates music in all its forms. Enjoy live performances by local musicians, bands, and artists at various venues throughout the city.
16. Explore the historic village of Milly-la-Forêt
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Venture beyond Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois and visit the charming village of Milly-la-Forêt. Explore its picturesque streets, visit the historic Chapelle Saint-Blaise-des-Simples, and admire the beautiful plants and flowers at the Jardin des Cinq Sens.
17. Indulge in local delicacies
Don’t forget to savor the local cuisine while in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois. Visit the local bakeries to taste freshly baked pastries and bread, try regional dishes at the cozy restaurants, and sample delicious French cheeses and wines.
18. Attend the Salon de la Caricature, du Dessin de Presse et d’HUmour
If you have an interest in cartoons and caricatures, plan your visit to coincide with the Salon de la Caricature, du Dessin de Presse et d’HUmour. This annual exhibition showcases the works of talented cartoonists and humorists, providing a unique and humorous perspective on current events.
Places and Things To Do