Things to do in

Tours, France

Castles and vineyards are just a taste of what this charming town in the Loire Valley has to offer.

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Top 10 things to do in Tours

As the capital of Touraine, the "Garden of France," Tours is most famous for its food, wine, and markets. That's not to say you'll be bored between meals though! Here's what to see and do among the city's many historic sights and cultural activities.

  • Château de Chambord

    1. Château de Chambord

    The 17th-century royal retreat is one of the world's most recognizable châteaux. Its interior is filled with exhibits, but the main attraction is the view from its towers!

  • Cathédrale Saint-Gatien

    2. Cathédrale Saint-Gatien

    Built between 1239 and 1484, the cathedral is perhaps the Loire Valley's most glorious church. The attention to detail, particularly in its stained-glass windows, is stunning.

  • Musée des Beaux-Arts

    3. Musée des Beaux-Arts

    Head east to Angers, the home of the Val de Loire's exceptional Fine Arts Museum. It exhibits works from the 14th century to the present day, as well as archaeological artifacts!

  • Chinon

    4. Chinon

    From Joan of Arc to the Knights Templar, the unmissable Chinon Fortress is a key location in the annals of French history. Its clock tower has been sounding the hours since 1399!

  • Château de Chenonceau

    5. Château de Chenonceau

    Of Tours' two rivers, you can't beat the Loire for scenery. However, the River Cher shouldn't be missed if only for this magnificent château that connects its banks like a bridge!

  • Château d'Amboise

    6. Château d'Amboise

    The nearby market town of Amboise is tiny, but its former castle turned palace was the site of the failed Amboise Conspiracy and unlikely death of Charles VIII. Don't miss it!

  • Marmoutier Abbey

    7. Marmoutier Abbey

    St. Martin of Tours founded this early monastery in 372AD. Few of its original features remain, but curious tourists will find much to shed light on the city's religious history.

  • Basilica of St. Martin

    8. Basilica of St. Martin

    Tours' other important abbey towers over St. Martin's tomb. The original was destroyed during the French Revolution, but its replacement is nevertheless a sightseeing essential!

  • Jardin Botanique de Tours

    9. Jardin Botanique de Tours

    As well as thematically landscaped gardens and a large variety of plants, the city's botanical garden also boasts a petite animal park. Oh, and it's free!

  • Place Plumereau

    10. Place Plumereau

    The Place Plumerau is Tours' picturesque Old Town. It's home to historic homes and some great restaurants, but you might struggle to get a table in peak season!

Frequently asked questions about Tours, France

What top attractions are a must-see in Tours, France?

Planning Your Visit

  • Best time to visit?

    The Loire Valley climate is relatively cool all year round. June to August is peak season for a reason, but the small city is an extremely popular tourist destination for its size. If you don't mind wrapping up warm in the evenings, then you might want to visit at either end of summer, when it won't be quite as busy!

  • How many days?

    Sightseers will love the landmarks in and around Tours, but they do require a fair amount of travelling between the city and its surrounding towns. Book a week (give or take a day or two) and don't try cramming too much into your daily itineraries!

Good to know

  • Language
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
  • Best time to visit
    Fewer tourists but chillier evenings can be found from September through May.

Other Sightseeing Options in Tours, France

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What people are saying about Tours, France

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 507 reviews

Here is a very well maintained Castle, which will satisfy you both inside, and in its large and beautiful gardens intended to be admired as well as to stroll quietly. Note the existence of large parking lots outside and toilets whose cleanliness must be emphasized and which are both free.

Awesome! Super friendly welcome, brilliant walk with all the information you need. Our companion took pictures of us on several occasions. The best of the best we recommend

The best chateau to see in the Loire it truly is a magical fairytale castle. And the skip the line tickets are fantastic.

Our guide did not count his time, He was very invested, very interesting, and knew how to adapt to young and old alike.