City Tours, France, is a charming destination that offers a wealth of historical and cultural attractions. Located in the picturesque Loire Valley region, City Tours is renowned for its architectural wonders, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, or a foodie, this city has something to offer everyone. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in City Tours, France.
1. Cathédrale Saint-Gatien de Tours
Start your exploration with a visit to the magnificent Cathédrale Saint-Gatien de Tours. This Gothic masterpiece boasts stunning stained glass windows, intricate carvings, and a rich history dating back to the 12th century. Climb to the top of the bell tower for breathtaking panoramic views of the city.
2. Musée du Compagnonnage
If you’re interested in craftsmanship and traditional trades, the Musée du Compagnonnage is a must-visit. This unique museum showcases the works of skilled craftsmen from various trades, including carpentry, stonemasonry, and ironwork. Admire the intricate details of their creations and learn about the history of these traditional guilds.
3. Basilique Saint-Martin
Another impressive religious monument in City Tours is the Basilique Saint-Martin. This Romanesque-style basilica houses the tomb of Saint Martin, one of the most revered saints in France. Explore the ornate interior, adorned with beautiful frescoes and sculptures, and soak in the spiritual atmosphere.
4. Place Plumereau
For a taste of the city’s lively atmosphere, head to Place Plumereau. This picturesque square is lined with charming half-timbered houses, bustling cafes, and restaurants. It’s the perfect spot to relax, enjoy a drink or meal, and people-watch.
5. Musée des Beaux-Arts
Art lovers should not miss the Musée des Beaux-Arts, which houses an impressive collection of artworks from the 14th to the 20th century. Marvel at masterpieces by renowned artists such as Rubens, Rembrandt, and Delacroix. The museum’s diverse collection spans various artistic movements and provides a comprehensive overview of European art history.
6. La Guinguette de Tours
During the summer months, visit La Guinguette de Tours, a popular riverside spot where locals and tourists gather for outdoor festivities. Enjoy live music, dance, indulge in delicious food and drinks, and experience the vibrant nightlife of the city.
7. Parc de Sainte-Radegonde
Escape the city bustle and unwind at the tranquil Parc de Sainte-Radegonde. This beautiful park offers lush green spaces, walking paths, and stunning views of the Loire River. Pack a picnic and spend a relaxing afternoon surrounded by nature.
8. Loire Valley Châteaux
City Tours is an excellent base for exploring the renowned Loire Valley and its magnificent châteaux. Take a day trip to nearby castles such as Château de Chenonceau, Château de Villandry, and Château d’Amboise. Marvel at their grandeur, explore their manicured gardens, and step back in time to the Renaissance era.
9. Local Cuisine
Indulge in the culinary delights of City Tours. Taste regional specialties like rillettes, rillons (pork belly), and local goat cheese. Pair your meal with a glass of Loire Valley wine, known for its exceptional quality. Don’t forget to try the delectable tarte Tatin, a caramelized apple tart that originated in the region.
10. Les Halles de Tours
Experience the vibrant atmosphere of a traditional French market at Les Halles de Tours. This indoor market is filled with stalls offering fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, pastries, and more. Explore the aisles, interact with local vendors, and sample delicious local flavors.
11. Jardin des Prébendes d’Oé
Take a leisurely stroll through the Jardin des Prébendes d’Oé, a beautifully landscaped park that showcases the city’s horticultural heritage. Admire the colorful flowerbeds, serene ponds, and intricate sculptures as you relax in this peaceful oasis.
12. Maison de Jeanne d’Arc
Discover the story of Joan of Arc at the Maison de Jeanne d’Arc. This historical house offers insights into the life and achievements of the iconic French heroine. Learn about her role in the Hundred Years’ War and her connection to the city of Tours.
13. Museum of Natural History
If you’re interested in natural history, make a visit to the Museum of Natural History. Explore its extensive collection of fossils, minerals, and taxidermy specimens. The museum also features interactive exhibits that educate visitors about the biodiversity and ecosystems of the region.
14. Loire à Vélo
Rent a bicycle and embark on a scenic ride along the Loire River with the Loire à Vélo cycling route. This well-marked path stretches for hundreds of kilometers, allowing you to discover the stunning landscapes, charming villages, and vineyards that dot the Loire Valley. Enjoy the fresh air and picturesque views as you pedal along the riverbanks.
15. Les Bodin’s
If you’re in the mood for some entertainment, catch a show at Les Bodin’s. This comedic theater production offers a humorous portrayal of rural French life, filled with hilarious characters and witty dialogue. Prepare to laugh and be entertained by this unique cultural experience.
16. Château de Tours
Visit the Château de Tours, a historic castle that now serves as the city’s art museum. Explore the exhibition halls displaying contemporary art, photography, and temporary exhibitions. The castle itself is a remarkable architectural gem, with its imposing towers and impressive façade.
17. Rue Colbert
Wander down Rue Colbert, one of the main streets in Tours, lined with charming shops, boutiques, and cafés. It’s a great place for shopping, savoring delicious pastries, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll while taking in the city’s vibrant atmosphere.
18 Les Rendez-vous de l’Histoire
Image Source: https://pce.univ-tours.fr/les-rendez-vous-de-l-histoire
If you happen to visit during the Les Rendez-vous de l’Histoire festival, you’re in for a treat. This renowned historical event brings together historians, authors, and intellectuals from around the world for lectures, debates, book signings, and exhibitions. Immerse yourself in fascinating discussions and gain new insights into various historical topics.
19. Boat Cruise on the Loire River
Finally, consider taking a boat cruise on the Loire River to appreciate the scenic beauty of City Tours from a different perspective. Relax onboard as you glide along the gentle waters, passing by picturesque landscapes, vineyards, and charming villages.
20. Place Jean Jaurès
Visit Place Jean Jaurès, a lively square in the heart of City Tours. This bustling hub is a great place to relax, people-watch, and soak up the local atmosphere. Grab a seat at one of the outdoor cafés, sip on a coffee or a glass of wine, and enjoy the vibrant ambiance of the city.
21. Prieuré Saint-Cosme
Pay a visit to the Prieuré Saint-Cosme, a peaceful priory located just outside of City Tours. This serene retreat was once home to the renowned French poet Pierre de Ronsard. Explore the tranquil gardens, visit the poet’s tomb, and find inspiration in the beauty and tranquility of this historic site.
22. Balloon Flight over the Loire Valley
For a truly unforgettable experience, consider taking a hot air balloon flight over the stunning Loire Valley. Float above the picturesque landscapes, vineyards, and châteaux as you enjoy breathtaking panoramic views. This magical experience provides a unique perspective on the region’s beauty and is sure to be a highlight of your visit.
23. Les Halles Saint-Martin
Indulge your senses at Les Halles Saint-Martin, a covered market where you can discover a wide range of fresh produce, local specialties, and gourmet delights. From artisan cheeses and cured meats to freshly baked bread and pastries, this market offers a delightful culinary experience. Sample the flavors of the region and gather ingredients for a picnic or a delicious meal.
Take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Loire River and visit the charming district of Tours-sur-Loire. Admire the beautiful waterfront architecture, stop by the quaint shops and cafes, and enjoy the serene atmosphere. This area also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, adding an extra layer of excitement to your visit.
25. Château de Plessis-lès-Tours
Just a short distance from City Tours, you’ll find the Château de Plessis-lès-Tours. This medieval castle, surrounded by lush greenery, was once a favored residence of King Louis XI. Explore the fortified walls, visit the tower, and immerse yourself in the history of this fascinating landmark.
26. Loire à Vélo
If you’re a cycling enthusiast or simply enjoy outdoor activities, consider embarking on a cycling adventure along the Loire à Vélo route. This well-marked cycling path covers hundreds of kilometers, winding through picturesque landscapes, charming villages, and vineyards. Rent a bike, follow the route, and take in the breathtaking beauty of the Loire Valley at your own pace.
27. Museum of the Compagnonnage Trades
Delve further into the world of traditional trades at the Museum of the Compagnonnage Trades. Discover the tools, techniques, and history of skilled artisans from various disciplines, such as woodworking, stone carving, and metalwork. The museum’s exhibits showcase the craftsmanship and dedication of these guilds throughout the centuries.
28. Musée du Gemmail
Visit the Musée du Gemmail to witness a unique form of art that combines stained glass and painting. Gemmail is a technique developed in Tours that involves layering glass to create vibrant and detailed images. Marvel at the intricate craftsmanship and the play of light in these stunning artworks.
29. Parc Mirabeau
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city at Parc Mirabeau. This peaceful park offers lush green spaces, walking paths, and a tranquil pond. Take a moment to relax, have a picnic, or simply enjoy the natural surroundings.
30. Wine Tasting in Vouvray
Just a short distance from City Tours, the charming village of Vouvray is renowned for its sparkling wines and vineyards. Embark on a wine tasting tour to explore the cellars, sample the delicious Vouvray wines, and learn about the winemaking process. It’s a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the region’s viticultural heritage.
31. Balzac’s House
Literature enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to Balzac’s House, the former residence of the renowned French writer Honoré de Balzac. Step into the world of this literary figure and explore the rooms where he lived and wrote. The museum offers an intimate glimpse into the life and works of one of France’s literary giants.
32. Rue Nationale
Take a leisurely stroll along Rue Nationale, the main shopping street in City Tours. Browse through boutique stores, charming shops, and specialty stores offering everything from fashion and accessories to local products. It’s a great place to find unique souvenirs and immerse yourself in the local shopping scene.
33. Festivals and Events
Image Source: https://traveltriangle.com/blog/festivals-in-france/
Check the local event calendar to see if any festivals or events are taking place during your visit to City Tours. The city hosts a variety of cultural celebrations, music festivals, and art exhibitions throughout the year. Attending one of these events can provide a deeper understanding of the local culture and create memorable experiences.
Places and Things To Do