Things to Do in Reims
A place of sun-baked vineyards and architectural splendour, few French cities draw quite as devoted a crowd as Reims – the country’s Champagne capital. While it’s true that many come solely for its exuberant tasting tours, there is so much more to discover than luxurious sparkling wine.
Take for instance, its exceptional past. Heavily bombed in the Second World War, the area has been rebuilt to splendorous effect, with its central cathedral acting as a proud symbol of the city.
To experience culture, history and one of the world’s finest tipples straight from the source, visit Reims with P&O Ferries today.
Explore France's Champagne Houses
A visit to the city’s lavish champagne maisons is a must for many a wine lover. Here, you can take your pick from the number of prestigious houses to visit, with almost all offering tasting sessions and tours of their own historic Roman chalk pits - a feature unique to Reims.
Of the household names, Taittinger is one of the best known, and their 4th century chalk mines store three million bottles reaped from their 288 hectares of vineyards.
Take a small group tour to the vineyard, followed by a leisurely lunch in Reims then it’s onto the world famous Grande Maison de Champagne Moët & Chandon. Founded in 1743 by Claude Möet, its history is linked to famous figures such as the Marquise de Pompadour and Napoleon I with this champagne being served at many historical events around the world.
Veuve Clicquot and G.H. MUMM also offer tours near the centre of the city, but you can also visit lesser known producers such as Maison Ruinart, the oldest Maison de Champagne in Reims, which was founded in 1729.
History and Culture in Reims
Start your day with a visit to the Saint-Remi Basilica, a wonderful UNESCO World Heritage Site with spectacular stained glass windows.
A short distance away, the skyline is dominated by the striking Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims, an 800-year-old gothic masterpiece and the largest church in France. Climb the towers’ stairway for a skyline view of the city before exploring the treasure trove of the Palais du Tau (Archbishops' Palace) next door.
Venture onward to the Roman triumphal arch the Porte de Mars to see the city's ancient gate; a spectacularly well-preserved and detailed archway. For those interested in art, the Musée des Beaux-Arts gallery boasts an incredible collection of European painters, including Claude Monet, Henri Matisse and the Dutch master Nicolaes Maes.
Interesting Attractions in Reims
Visit the musuems of Reims for free, enjoy unlimited public transport and get discounts on many local restaurants when you buy a Reims City Pass
For a true taste of local life, head to the Halles du Boulingrin, which has functioned as the city's main marketplace since 1929. A major redevelopment project turned the building into a glorious architectural marvel, where you can pick up regional specialties grown and crafted by local producers.
Eat your way around Reims with a 2-hour Gourmet Walking Tour and learn more about the gastronomy and food of Reims and meet local merchants, their produce and recipes.
Nearby, the Musée de la Reddition is dedicated to telling the story of the German forces surrender, so history buffs will love the chance to wander around the room where the Second World War officially ended. To wind down during your stay, the pedestrian street of Place Drouet-d’Erlon is a great place to eat, drink and people watch to your heart's content.
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