Photo of Poitiers

About Poitiers

Poitiers in west-central France is the capital of the Poitou-Charentes region. Historically it has been an important strategic stronghold and sits on a geographic crossroads. Our pick of the best places to stay in Poitiers offer both city centre chic or a chateau just outside town.

Poitiers was founded by the celtic Pictones. It became Pictavium under the Romans who built a huge amphitheatre and baths. It was subsequently a Visigoth and Frankish capital. In the Middle Ages, Poitiers was the site of the first decisive victory of a Christian army over a Muslim power (Battle of Tours 792). Eleanor of Aquitaine was closely associated with the town and married the English King Henry II here in 1152. The university was founded in 1431 and is the second oldest in France - today 25% of the population are students, which lends the city a vibrant buzz.

What not to miss

  • The fourth century Baptisterie Saint-Jean is reputedly the oldest church in France, other churches of note include Notre-Dame la Grande, the twelfth century cathedral Saint-Pierre and the underground chapel Hypogee des Dunes.
  • The streets are full of medieval architecture and half timbered houses with many attractive shops to browse. Plus a wide range of cafes, bars and restaurants for refuelling as you wander.
  • The botanical Jardin des Plantes is a pleasant spot to relax.
  • The Musee Saint Croix is full of fascinating exhibits.
  • The Parc du Futuroscope is great for children - an ultra modern virtual reality themed experience.

Easily accessible, the town is a mere one hour and forty minutes from Paris on the TGV. Or if you're coming by car, it's an ideal stopping off point on the way to the Languedoc or further on to Spain - it's just off the A10 motorway.

The best places to stay in Poitiers are very busy durinng the peak summer months, so if you're planning to visit during July or August, get organised and book well ahead.

The best places to stay in Poitiers

For a stylish central B&B

  • La Maison de Marc offers five stylish B&B rooms right in the centre of town. The decor is smart with wooden floors and unusual abstract art throughout.

For a Riverside Chateau

  • The lovely eighteenth century Chateau du Clos de la Ribaudiere sits on the banks of the River Clain. It has been beautifully restored as a luxury hotel with elegant interiors and a gourmet restaurant serving the finest French cuisine. Ideal for a romantic break, and well located for visits to Futuroscope.

For a private flat or apartment

  • For those looking for some additional privacy, we recommend visiting our online partner

Travel Information

  • The city is serviced by Poitiers Airport.
  • Poitiers is on a TGV line and there are daily services to Paris that take 90 minutes.
  • For those interested in hiring a car, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
  • The best time to visit Poitiers is in the summer months from June to September, when the temperature sits comfortably in the low 20s.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Poitiers

  • La Maison de Marc Poitiers 5 rooms from £86

    A stylish B&B in the centre of the historic city. The white-washed walls, adorned with abstract art, and wooden floors give the spacious rooms real character. The continental breakfasts and incredibly friendly hostess are a real highlight. The perfect place from which to explore Poitiers.

    Local exploring  -  Discover Poitiers' rich medieval heritage, particularly its Romanesque architecture, churches and Poitiers Palace
    City Style  -  Located in downtown Poitiers close to major attractions such as the Notre Dame church and the shopping district
    Value chic  -  With its central location, stylish decor and reasonable prices, Maison de Marc comes in at a bargain
    Short fly break  -  Easy accesible from Poitiers airport and a well-sized city to be explored over a short break
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  • Chateau du Clos de la Ribaudiere Poitiers (10 Rue du Champ de Foire) 41 rooms from £122

    A beautifully renovated 18th century chateau on the banks of the River Clain. Large and spacious rooms with antique furnishings, exposed beams, rich fabrics and garden views. The gourmet restaurant serves traditional French cuisine, and the leafy garden boasts a pool. A grown up getaway.

    Romantic Break  -  Luxurious rooms with modern comforts, indulgent interiors, in room massages and a fine dining restaurant on site.
    Hideaway  -  Set within a large park on the banks of the River Clain, it's the ideal place to getaway from it all.
    Sights nearby  -  History buffs must visit the church of Notre-Dame-la-Grande, St Jean Baptistery and St. Pierre Cathedral.
    Swimming Pool  -  An outdoor pool for guests
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