8 must-see things to do in Reims

Visiter Reims bouteilles de Champagne retournées

Your next weekend is coming up and you’ve decided to visit Reims? Find out more about the must-sees in the capital of Champagne!

Welcome to Reims, the city of the sacres! Surrounded by vineyards, it welcomes you to the heart of the Champagne region. The city’s history is closely linked to that of France, from the baptism of Clovis to the surrender of the German army in 1945. A visit to Reims is an unforgettable experience if you’re a history buff. And if you’re a gourmet or a nature lover, you’ll be in for a real treat! Here are eight things to see and do in Reims.

1. Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral

Visiter la Cathédrale de reims

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Natalia Bratslavsky

When looking for something to do in Reims, it’s impossible not to start with the cathedral! Built between the 13th and 14th centuries, it hosted the coronations of the kings of France for almost a thousand years. One of the most famous is that of Charles VII. In 1429, as the Hundred Years’ War raged, he entered the city escorted by Joan of Arc. If you’re thinking of visiting Reims in June, you’ll have the opportunity to discover the Fêtes Johanniques, which commemorate the event every year.

Considered a masterpiece of Gothic art, the cathedral has been on Unesco’s World Heritage list since 1991. It was so badly damaged by the bombardments of the First World War that it was dubbed a « martyrdom cathedral ». Today, it has been restored and still boasts ancient stained glass windows, as well as contemporary works by artists such as Marc Chagall.

2. Champagne houses

maisons Champagne Reims

Photo credit: Shuttertsock / Thomas Dutour

What can you do in Reims if you love good wine? Visit the cellars and houses of Champagne, of course! The famous sparkling wine has made the fortunes of several wine-producing families, including Vranken-Pommery, Veuve Cliquot and G. H. Mumm. H. Mumm. The tour is an opportunity to discover their history and their most emblematic products. Many other wineries in and around Reims also open the doors of their cellars for tastings. Whether you’re a couple or a group of friends, this is a must-do activity in moderation!

3. City streets

Les Rues de Reims

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Southtownboy Studio

If you’re looking for something to do in Reims, a stroll through the streets will give you plenty to see. These include Art Deco architectural treasures such as the Carnegie Library. You’ll also discover vestiges dating back to Gallo-Roman times, such as the Porte de Mars and the cryptoportico on the Place du Forum. For an original approach, discover one of the longest Street Art frescoes in the Port Sec – La Husselle industrial zone. Last but not least, you’ll catch a glimpse of some of the city’s most famous landmarks, such as the Cirque or the Cinéma Opéra.

4. Pierre Schneiter Park

Le jardin pierre schneiter

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons / Fab5669

More than a park, it’s a veritable horticultural garden! Created in the 19th century, it was later named after a Reims politician. The park is home to many rare and surprising species, including a Verzy fau. These beech trees, native to a village in the Marne region, have fascinated visitors for centuries with their twisted appearance. A real local curiosity, not to be missed if you’re planning a visit to Reims! A waterfall, an English garden and a French garden are also among the things to discover in this magnificent park in summer and winter alike.

5. The Tau Palace

Palais du Tau et Cathédrale

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons / Ludovic Péron

Located next to the cathedral, this episcopal palace owes its name to its T-shape, which is Greek for Tau. While it served as the residence of the city’s bishops, it is also famous for having been the place where kings came to be crowned. Like its neighbor, it was severely damaged during the First World War. Since 1972, the Palais du Tau has housed a museum retracing the history of the coronations of the kings of France. If you’re planning a family visit to Reims, there are plenty of activities on offer for children, especially during the school vacations.

6. Fossier House

biscuits rose spécialité de la ville

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Nito

Lovers of sweet treats, here’s another classic of Reims gastronomy! Cookie rose has been made in Reims since the 17th century by the city’s cookie factories, the most famous of which is now Maison Fossier. To discover the secrets of the Maison Fossier, tours are available every day by prior arrangement. The tour ends with a tasting of the Maison’s specialties. Will you be surprised to learn that it’s customary to dip a pink cookie in champagne before eating it? If you’re looking for something to do in Reims with a child, duo pastry classes are also on the program.

7 Champagne Park

Le Parc Champagne

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Fab5669

To the south-east of the town, a green setting of over twenty hectares awaits you. Formerly known as Parc Pommery, it was created at the request of the Marquis de Polignac in the early 20th century. Renamed the Parc de Champagne in 2004, it is home to a number of sports facilities, including basketball courts and a tree climbing course. If you’re looking for something to do in Reims with children, the park also boasts several play areas. Events are regularly organized here throughout the year on the themes of sport, nature and music.

8. Planetarium

Planetarium de reims sous la coupole

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons / Planétarium de Reims

Visiting Reims is also an opportunity to get close to the stars, thanks to its planetarium. Opened in 1979, it was the second largest planetarium in France, alongside the one in Paris. Completely modernized in 2013, it now belongs to the City of Reims. Sessions are available for young and old alike. You can choose between a tour of the solar system, a look at next night’s sky or the mysteries of the Milky Way. The planetarium is also home to the incredible astronomical clock designed by Jean Legros, a pharmacist from Reims with a passion for astronomy. If you’d like to visit, reservations are essential.

How to get to Reims

By plane

Thanks to its proximity to Paris, Reims is easily accessible from airports. To reach it, you can land at Paris-Roissy international airport or Paris-Vatry airport. Reims also has its own airport, Reims en Champagne, reserved for light business and tourist aircraft. Finally, you can also choose to arrive at Beauvais-Tillé airport, in the Oise department. All you need is a bus journey of around two hours and thirty minutes to reach your destination at a very economical price. To find the flight you need, don’t hesitate to use the website of our partner Ulysse, an online flight comparator.

By train

Looking for a more eco-friendly way to visit Reims? With its two train stations, Reims is well served by rail. The first, Reims-Centre, is in the heart of the city center. The second is the Champagne-Ardenne TGV station in Bezannes. Two lines pass through here: Paris-Sedan and Lille-Méditerranée. You can then take the tramway to reach the city quickly. If you’d like to visit the city’s charming surroundings, why not rent a car in Reims?

By car

If you’re visiting Reims from the north of France, you can take the A26 freeway, which links Calais to Troyes and Dijon. From Paris, take the A4 freeway. Six exits serve the city, and there are plenty of parking lots where you can leave your vehicle.

By boat

Travelling by water? Take a boat or barge on the Aisne Canal and stop off at Reims. The city has two nautical relay stations, one in Reims itself and the other in Sillery, just fifteen minutes away.

Where to stay in Reims?

You’ve planned what to do in Reims; now you need local accommodation! There are several options to suit your budget. If you want to book a hotel, you can expect to pay from fifty-five euros per night for two people. For a four-star establishment, rates start at one hundred and twenty euros per night for two. You can also rent a furnished apartment on AirBnB, from sixty euros. Many rentals are available within three kilometers of the city center. Depending on the season, offers may vary. Remember to compare rates before booking, to get the best value for your money.

History, champagne and architecture: be sure to visit Reims next weekend!

Map of hotels and accommodation – Reims