Visit Tours, the gateway city of tourism in Loire Valley

Place Plumereau, heart of Tours's old neighborhood. Loire Valley, France. Visit Tours, the gateway city of tourism in Loire Valley © Léonard de Serres

Located at the heart of an area exceptionally rich in heritage with the major Loire Valley castles all close by and great vineyards like Vouvray, the city of Tours delight travellers from around the world with its medieval center, the great shopping areas, and also in summer with de possibility to board for a pleasant boat trip from the riverside guinguette cafe

Known for its quiet atmosphere, Tours is a city that really has to be experienced, with its first rate cultural heritage and the added energy of some 40,000 resident students!

Things to do in Tours

Attractions in Tours include the fine arts museum with its splendid collection, a magnificent cathedral and the basilica that houses the tomb of Saint Martin, the Olivier Debré Contemporary Art Centre (opening in March 2017) superb city parks and gardens like the Botanical Garden, the flavours of the daily markets, covered markets and the flea market, the vivacious gastronomy, ... in short, great experiences are awaiting you in Tours!

Be sure to pick up a map of Tours and your Touraine map at the tourist office. You can also book your accommodation in Tours.

Tours, a major stage on the Loire à vélo route. Loire Valley, France.
Tours, a key stage on the Loire à Vélo route. Photo credit: David Darrault.

The gateway to the Loire chateaux in France

Tours is ideally located at the heart of an area that is exceptionally rich in heritage. Indeed, regardless of your determined travel range, the prestigious Loire Valley chateaux are never very far: Amboise (35 km), Azay-le-Rideau (25 km), Chenonceau chateau (40 km), Chinon chateau (40 km), Langeais or Villandry (19 km), all of these castles, and others, are within a reasonable distance!

The gardens of Villandry

Place Plumereau

Place Plumereau is one of the hallmarks of the city. This small square surrounded by magnificent half-timbered houses is the liveliest place in the city, at the heart of the historic centre. The friendly atmosphere attracts tourists from around the world as well as students from the nearby universities.     

The "Tours-sur-Loire" guinguette café

From April through end-September, the "Tours-sur-Loire" guinguette café takes over the docks in the town centre. Tables and chairs, a bar/restaurant, latino or musette (accordion music) dance lessons, concerts, outdoor cinema... with each day comes a new view on the Loire, but the friendly atmosphere remains! A great place for concerts in Tours. It is a place for discussions and meeting people, a place to rest or enjoy a good read, a place to appreciate the easy living in Touraine... It's the good life!   

The covered markets

Cheeses, selected meats and delicatessen products, local foie gras, wine, oysters, spices... the covered markets in Tours are a delight for the senses. The emphasis here is on high quality products, with over fifty stalls to choose from. Spend a weekend in Tours, the best place to go for shopping. Tours is also renowned for its markets: no less than one per day!

Journeyman museum (Le musée du compagnonnage)

The only museum of its kind in the world, learn about the customs of trade guild journeyman, a strong tradition in Touraine. For each trade, the most beautiful works, or masterpieces, created by the best journeymen can be found here. Iron craftsmen, roofers, pastry chefs, saddlers... the skill of these craftsmen can be seen in the creative and ingenious nature of their works, genuine challenges that are a testament to the expertise of the journeymen who travelled around France.

Video: discover several facets of the city of Tours

The city of Tours on the french map

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Ici, vivre est un art The E.U. supports tourist sites’ Quality approach
The E.U. supports tourist sites’ Quality approach