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Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Indre-et-Loire

Tours - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Indre-et-Loire

Capital of the Touraine area, Tours is also a Town of Art and History, and was the capital of the Kingdom of France in the 15th and 16th centuries. The town has preserved numerous traces of its prestigious past in the form of buildings, monuments and mansions.

Plumereau square in the heart of the old town is extremely lively. Lined with pretty timber-framed houses, this pedestrian square offers plenty of very pleasant café and restaurant terraces to relax on and admire the beautiful facades, some of which have preserved picturesque wooden sculptures. Next stop is Saint-Gatien cathedral and its richly decorated facade. This late Gothic religious monument is unusual in that it possesses magnificent windows dating from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries.

Those who like museums also have lots to choose from:

  • Touraine Archaeological Museum is located in the Gouin mansion, an elegant building of Renaissance architecture;
  • Fine Art Museum in the former Archbishops' Palace with art collections from the Middle Ages to the 20th century;
  • Touraine Wine Museum in the cellars of Saint-Julien abbey.

A great program ...

Additional information

City Tours is situated on the banks of the royal river, in the heart of the Loire Valley World Heritage listed by UNESCO. Capital of the kingdom from 1450 to 1550, the city of Gauls, The Turones, has never ceased to grow demographically and economically.

Originally small Gallo-Roman town perched on a hill protected from river floods, the city of Tours will spread more and more to join the Cher (a tributary of the Loire flowing 3 km further south) . With its port, the city of Tours will acquire great wealth allowing him to build one of the largest basilicas of the age: the Basilica of St. Martin. Destroyed, the fact remains today that two traces, the two towers: the Clock in the West, where stood the entrance, and Charlemagne Tower, 100 meters to the east, in the rue des Halles, paver color symbolize the floor where the pillars that supported the building.

Top Christian pilgrimage during the Middle Ages, the cult of St. Martin will give the city an international reputation. And through waterways (mainly the Loire), the influx of many craftsmen will give rise to huge fairs.

During the Renaissance, Tours and the Loire Valley in general will be the center of the kingdom of France, geographically, culturally, economically and politically. Also becoming a mecca for leather tanning.

Aristocratic city in the empire, here and there with beautiful homes will be built in the district including Prébendes.

The arrival of the train will cause many changes in economic and philosophical. Station and City Hall were built by the famous architect Victor Laloux (he has also the Gare d'Orsay in Paris, now converted into a Museum of Arts of the nineteenth).

Partly destroyed during the Second World War, the city will benefit from American assistance for the reconstruction of the city, in honor of this precious help, the old stone bridge rebuilt by the GI's will be renamed Wilson Bridge, the behalf of the President of the United States at the time (also located on the fountains and other library are gifts from the USA). Will follow the war boom and major urban projects of the iconic mayor (and deputy minister) Jean Royer: Congress Centre Vinci, HLM banks of the Cher, Two Lions Technopole.

Nougat (round cake made with almonds and candied fruit) is a specialty of the city. The other specialty is rillette Tours.

Things to see and do

Leisure activities

Last nameActivity typeRateCity
Overview of the castles of La Loire by helicopter
Entertainment129 € to 369 € Blois
Excursion to the Langeais, Ussé, Azay-le-Rideau & Villandry Châteaux in a Minibus – Departing from Tours
Culture and education143 € Tours
Mont Saint-Michel, Tours & The Loire Chateaux – 3-day excursion
Culture and education639 € Paris
Minibus Excursion to the Châteaux de Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceau, Amboise, Wine Cellar and Visit to the Villandry Gardens – Leaving from Tours
Culture and education156 € Tours
Minibus Excursion to the Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceau, and Chambord Châteaux and Visit to the Villandry Gardens – Leaving from Tours
Culture and education144 € Tours
Discovery Day in a Minibus: Châteaux d'Amboise, Chenonceau, Chambord & Clos Lucé – Leaving from Tours
Culture and education149 € Tours
The Unmissable Châteaux of Chenonceau, Amboise, Chambord & Cheverny – Departing from Tours
Culture and education142 € Tours

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres
Performance halls

Events and festivities

Monthly Tours of May
2nd Regional Spring Festival of A.S.I.E - "Pollution in the World, its Remedies and Solutions"
Story Telling
Vitiloire - Tours Fête the wines of the Loire Valley and its gastronomy
Studio Night
Vocal Florilège of Tours
World Cheese and Dairy Products
Aucard from Tours
Museums-You at the Library
Una Noche in Andalucia

Detailed information

A fun and festive wine tourism event to discover the wines of the LoireFrom 25 to 26 may 2019
Vines, wines and hikes in the Loire Valley
A wine tourism event combining hiking, sightseeing and fine foodFrom 31 august to 1 september 2019
Touraine Loire Valley Marathon
An accessible marathon for all on the banks of the LoireOn 22 september 2019


Facade of the Museum of Fine Arts of Tours
Facade of the Museum of Fine Arts of Tours
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The castle and the cathedral
The castle and the cathedral
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See photo
Interior of the cathedral
Interior of the cathedral
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Bridge over the Loire
Bridge over the Loire
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Half-timbered houses
Half-timbered houses
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Christmas at Tours
Christmas at Tours
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Collection of the museum (© CFA de Tours)
Collection of the museum (© CFA de Tours)
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Visits, leisure and activities nearby


Bed & breakfasts

Vacation rentals



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