What To Do And See In Reims? Must See Places

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Located less than an hour away from Paris, Reims is a treasure of art and history. 

Its rich architectural patrimony, viticultural traditions, and museums make this city a destination of choice. 

The history of Reims is intimately linked to that of France, from the baptism of Clovis to the surrender of the German army in 1945.

Capital City of Champagne, Reims welcomes each year more than 3.5 million tourists who go to the city of coronations in particular to visit the most prestigious Champagne Houses.

In the surrounding area, you can walk through the famous vineyards for which the region is famous, whose hillsides are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Champagne Route

In order to discover Champagne and its unique viticultural patrimony, you will simply have to follow the famous Champagne road. This road is winding among vines, on hillsides where are standing the villages, castles, and churches. Discover the Champagne wine cellars and enjoy Champagne tasting.

Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral

Built between 1211 and 1516, Reims’ cathedral is the site where 25 kings of France were anointed. Bigger than Notre Dame de Paris, it figures among the most beautiful testimonies of Gothic art. The most visited monument in Reims, this cathedral is registered on the UNESCO world heritage.

Museum of Fine Arts

Located between the former abbatial palace Saint-Denis, the Museum of Fine Arts gathers paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, furniture, and artworks from Renaissance to Art Déco, not to mention “Grand Siecle” painting, Impressionism, and the unclassifiable work of the French-Japanese artist, Foujita.

Saint-Remi Basilica

Registered on the UNESCO world’s heritage, the Saint-Remi Basilica was built in the 1900s to host the vestiges of Saint Remi, the bishop who baptized Clovis in 498. Much destruction took place during the first World War. The restorations took 40 years, until 1958. The basilica is located next to several Champagne houses such as Ruinart or Taittinger.

Palace of Tau

Adjoining Notre-Dame de Reims cathedral, it owes its name from its “T” shape (“Tau” in ancient Greek). The Palace of Tau was the former palace of the archbishop of Reims and the royal residence of kings of France at the time of their coronation. It was restored in the 1950s and since 1972 it houses a museum linked to the cathedral and to the coronation of the kings of France.

Le Vergeur Museum

Classified as a historical monument, Le Vergeur Museum is composed of two buildings from the 13th and 16th centuries. This mansion house exhibits artworks from antiquity to the 20th century and more, including 50 engravings made by Albrecht Dürer, furniture from the Renaissance period, and artworks from Asia and Orient from the 19th century.

Saint-Rémi Museum

Directly next to the basilica, in the former royal Benedictine abbey, the Saint-Remi museum keeps important collections related to Reims history from prehistory to World War II. You will get to visit the Medieval Hall, the cloister, and the main stairway of this edifice registered on the UNESCO world heritage.

Fort de la Pompelle

Built from 1880 to 1883, the Fort de la Pompelle was the only fort remaining in the Allies’ hands during World War I which allowed for the defense of the city of Reims. This fort houses a museum with very valuable collections, including artillery pieces and a unique collection of 560 helmets from the German imperial army.

The Dragon’s Cave

It was the high strategic location during World War I and more specifically of the Nivelle offensive. The dragon’s Cave was transformed in 1915 by the German units into underground barracks. From September to November 1917, it witnessed many bitter battles between the French and Germans.

Mars Gate

Dating from the 3rd century, the Mars Gate is the largest known arch in the Roman world: 33 meters long and 13 meters high. It takes its name from the proximity of a temple dedicated to the Roman god of war. Porte Mars was built to bear witness to the city's most prosperous period under the Roman Empire.

Villa Demoiselle

The Villa Demoiselle is the architectural symbol of the city of Reims and was built in 1904 under the orders of Henry Vasnier. This stunning villa was bought and restored by the owner of Pommery, Paul-François Vranken in 2004. The interior of the villa has been completely redone in the original Art Nouveau style.

Reims F1 Circuit

Listed as French monumental heritage, the Reims-Gueux circuit has hosted 14 Formula 1 French Grand Prix races. A large part of the stands and part of the route (the Muizon bend has been removed) are still visible. The last Grand Prix race was held in 1969.

Reims Champagne Automobile Museum

The Reims Champagne Automobile Museum is one of the 5 largest automobile museums in France. It has a collection of over 230 vehicles ranging from 1908 to the present day. The museum also presents a collection of over 5,000 miniatures and toys related to the automotive world. The oldest vehicle in the museum is a Lacroix-de-Laville dating from 1903.

Top 4 Major Annual Events in Reims

THE JOHANNIC FESTIVALEvent to commemorate the coronation of Charles VII, July 17, 1429, in the cathedral of Reims.June
LES FLÂNERIES MUSICALESClassical music and jazz festival.End of June - end of July
THE RUN IN REIMS10km, half, and marathon.October
REIMS CHRISTMAS MARKETReims is the 3rd largest Christmas market in France after Strasbourg and Colmar.End of November - end of December

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