Reims, France – delight yourself with history and champagne

Sculpture on the outside of Notre Dame de Reims - thumbnailReims, France is filled with history and it is pretty close to Paris. This is why Reims makes for a great daytrip from Paris. In addition to old churches you can see old Roman ruins and you can also visit one or more of the major champagne houses that make the Champagne region famous worldwide. Once in Reims you can easily walk around to the main tourist destinations.

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My favorite tourist attractions in Reims, France

  • See my travel pictures from Reims, France.
  • Visit Notre Dame de Reims. This is the large cathedral in the center of town. It is really worth visiting. Take a look at the intricate sculptures all the way around and especially at the entrance. Also pay attention to the interior and the large stained glass windows.
  • Visit Saint Remi Basilica which is located south of the city center. This is another great example of intricate architecture and careful building.
  • Remember you are in the middle of the famous region called Champagne. Famous for Champagne wine of course. Visit one of the large vineries. We visited Piper Heidsek and Tattinger. The tour offered by Piper is very boring. Tattinger’s vinery tour was much much better. I’ll explain more below.

Reims is surrounded by history

History is all over the place at Reims. You don’t have to look far at all to find old churches and other remains. You will find Notre Dame de Reims in the center of town. This is one very large cathedral and it’s very much worth taking your time admiring the entrance and the towers because they are very, very intricate. Also, the interior seemed to be the largest of all the churches we have seen in France. It is indeed very impressive.

Also a little south of Notre Dame de Reims you can find Saint Remi Basilica which is also another great tourist attraction at Reims. It’s very easy to get to Saint Remi Basilica from Notre Dame of Reims. You can just get to Boulevard de Paix and go south and follow it to Boulevard Victor Hugo (stay right) and then to Boulevard Victor Lambert. Take the first right on Rue Jean Aubert and follow it until you see the church on the right.

History is deeply entrenched at Reims, France. Porte de Mars is an old Roman triumphal arch which is seen here with Notre Dame of Reims in the background.Reims, France - Old Roman ruins and Notre Dame de Reims
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If you’re planning your trip to the this area, you can search my list of hotels in the Champagne-Ardennes area.

Reims is at the heart of the Champagne region in France.

If you visit Reims, you have to take a tour of one of the major champagne houses. It’s really worth your time. If you’re close to Sint Remi Basilica, just go up the street where Boulevard Victor Hugo becomes Boulevard Victor Lambert. You will see Taittinger champagne house. You can’t miss it because they wrote their name on a very large wall facing the boulevard. We have seen this tour and also the tour for Piper Heidsieck. The Taittinger tour was much more interesting because you actually descend in the cellars where they keep the bottles and you get to walk among racks and racks of champagne bottles. Piper Heidsieck is a Hollywood like tour where you get into little cars that take you on a tour that is not really going through the cellars. It was not very interesting.

Reims is home to all the major champagne houses. Champagne houses like Piper Heidsieck, provide visiting tours for tourists. For a reasonable price you get to tour the caves and their factory.
Large champagne bottles on display at the Piper Heidsieck vinery.
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Reims is a delightful place to have lunch and a long slow walk

From the large cathedral Notre Dame de Reims, walk on the left side of the catheral on Rue Eugene Desteque towards Place Royale. After a few blocks take a left on Rue du Cloitre. You will soon get to Place Royale. Here you will find a large statue in the middle of the plaza and lots of outdoor cafes. We enjoyed very much walking slowly and admiring the flowers hanging from lamp posts. The city was very clean and full of flowers and trees making it very enjoyable to walk. Once we got to Place Royale we ate some sandwiches at one of the cafes.

Flowers and trees abound at Reims, France.
Flowers on the streets of Reims, France.
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Is it worth visiting Reims, France?

I think Reims makes a great day trip from Paris if you have the time. There is plenty to see and the city is not very crowded…well except around Notre Dame de Reims. We enjoyed it probably even more because we had a shorter drive since we came from Soissons. Definitely driving the country roads into Reims made a big difference.

My favorite resources for planning your trip to Reims, France

  • Find best hotel prices in the Champagne-Ardennes area.
  • How to get to Reims, France. Reims, France is around 150km from Paris which means about one hour and a half driving on the A4 auto route (freeway). We drove into Reims from Soissons and it took us about one hour because even it’s only 60 kilometers away we drove on a highway as opposed to the freeway. We loved driving on the E46 highway admiring the gorgeous landscape filled with rolling hills and beautiful forests. There was hardly anyone on the road and we took our time. This is a very beautiful part of the French countryside. We were surprised to see a few signs pointing to other castles on the way. How many old castles does France has?
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