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Known as the capital of France's Champagne region, some folk see Reims as a final opportunity to stock up on champagne and have one final excellent French meal before Calais. But if you're just stopping over here you're missing out on some wonderful sights. Not to mention tastes. The post war restorations included several lovely wide boulevards along which are a string of lovely Art Deco cafes and restaurants, in addition to a charming covered market and pedestrianised sections. Add to this Reims' four Michelin starred restaurants and you have yourself a foodie heaven.
With no shortage of historical significance, from the crowning of 33 French kings to the location which saw Germany officially surrender in WW2, there is an abundance of sights for visitors of all interests to see.
What Not To Miss
- Notre-Dame de Reims is something quite special. Something to rival Notre-Dame de Paris even! A triumph of Gothic architecture, there is a 13th Century rose window at one end and hundreds of statues lined up along the facade. To mark the cathedral's 800th birthday in 2011 a vast modern stained glass window was installed.
- The mishmash of architecture, heavy on the Art Deco, is due to the fact that Reims was on the front line of both WW1 and WW2. It was here, on the 7th of May 1945, Germany officially surrendered in what is now called the 'Surrender Museum'.
- Taittinger is among the most famous of Reims' champagne houses, They do tours of the estate and unlike other houses, no booking is required. Eight houses are open to the public. The 'house' was once a church and the cellars go down several levels to those cut into the chalk in Roman times. Don't be put off by the famous name, it's worth visiting Taittinger and it's one of the few champagne houses which still turns bottles by hand.
- The best excursion in - or out - of town is the 45mile Montagne de Reims Champagne Route. Winding through vineyards and hillsides and allowing visitors to truly explore the region's fascinating heritage.
- Visit the Palais du Tau, the impressive former residence of the Bishops of Reims featuring numerous items of historical interest including the remains of the Holy Ampulla.
With the Champagne trail consistently attracting visitors from across the Globe, the best places to stay in Reims are extremely popular, so visitors are advised to book early to bag their dream hotel.
- For proper old fashioned luxury one of the best places to stay in Reims is the Château Les Crayeres. A five star château with a Michelin star chef and a wine list which includes over 400 champagnes. This is also one of the best places to stay for couples looking for romance and one of the top choices if you're looking for a champagne country escape.
- For luxury just outside of Reims, Chateau de Courcelles is an imposing 17th century chateau set in beautiful parkland in the Champagne region. Lovingly renovated throughout, rooms are French chic with four poster beds, chintz fabrics and antique furniture. Dine on modern regional dishes and select wines from the impressive cellar. Rural bliss.
- L'Assiette Champenoise is one of the best places to stay for wine tasters. Several of Reims' eight champagne 'caves' are within walking distance. The accommodation is modern and luxurious. The restaurant has two Michelin stars, so it's perfect for foodies. Surprisingly it's also good for families, as there are lots of rooms large enough to accommodate an extra bed.
- Small hotel, big flavours could describe Le Clos des Terres Soudees, an exceptional boutique hotel. Just five discreetly modern bedrooms - high end design elements accompanied by classical furniture and antiques. An excellent restaurant serves gourmet cuisine and there is an extensive wine list. Romantic and indulgent.
For access to the Champagne route
- If you're looking for somewhere special the Château de Rilly is beautiful. Situated on the edge of the Montagne de Reims where some of the finest of all the champagne grapes are grown.
- La Closerie des Sacres - these former stables provide an authentic French farmhouse feel with the comforts of a charming B&B. Breakfast is included and there are plenty of games and activities for kids on site. With access to the kitchen and BBQ, a perfect spot for families or groups to relax and explore the local area.
For an apartment or villa
- For a wide range of self catering accommodation from simple studios to penthouse flats, check out the selection with our online partner Booking.com.
- Fly to Paris Charles de Gaulle located 123km (76 miles) from Reims.
- Take the high-speed TGV from Paris to Reims with a journey time of approximately an hour.
- Alternatively, if you'd prefer to rent a car to explore the Champagne region, for prices we recommend our online partner Rentalcars
- Between April to October is the growing season in the region and a great time to visit - June to September will provide visitors the warmest weather.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Reims
Chateau de Rilly 15 rooms from £118Rilly-la-Montagne, Champagne
An attractive chateau on the edge of a Nature Reserve and at the foot of the Montagne de Reims. Chic and spacious rooms in creams and yellows, excellent restaurant, and a spa with all the works. A luxurious spot.Cooking classes - Check for timings.TraditionalSpa
Chateau Les Crayeres 20 rooms from £316Reims, Champagne
An exceptional Five Star chateau with a Michelin star chef and beautiful rooms. Luxury, romance, and the finest attention to detail throughout. Classical furniture and sumptuous fabrics. With 400 Champagne labels it's a very sophisticated hotel.Good wine list - There are over 600 champagne labels to choose from!Foodies - Restaurant Le Parc holds two Michelin stars5* Luxury - Very high service standards.TraditionalRecommended by - Relais & Chateaux, Fodors
L'Assiette Champenoise 35 rooms from £171Tinqueux, Champagne
A traditional looking timbered house with uber modern interiors. Excellent restaurant serves gourmet cuisine and has an extensive wine list. Huge rooms and suites with private balconies and jacuzzi bath tubs.Foodies - Arnaud Lallement's cuisine has earned two michelin starsRestaurant - Two Michelin StarsPrivate Hot Tub - The terrace suite has a private double jacuzzi tubSwimming Pool - Indoor Pool
La Closerie des Sacres 3 rooms from £69Lavannes, Champagne
These former stables provide an authentic French farmhouse feel with the comforts of a charming B&B. Breakfast is included and there are plenty of games and activities for kids on site. With access to the kitchen and BBQ, a perfect spot for families or groups to relax and explore the local area.Sights nearby - Explore the Champagne region just 30 mins awayLocal markets - Discover the local town of ReimsGreat walks - Parc de ChampagneFour poster beds - For romantics.Recommended by - Sawdays
Le Clos des Terres Soudees 5 rooms from £154VRIGNY, Champagne
Exceptional boutique hotel. Just five discreetly modern bedrooms - high end design elements accompanied by classical furniture and antiques. An excellent restaurant serves gourmet cuisine and an extensive wine list. Romantic and indulgent.Romantic BreakLocal markets - Good for local colour.Sights nearby - Well located for major sights.
Chateau de Courcelles 18 rooms from £197Reims
An imposing 17th century chateau set in beautiful parkland in the Champagne region. Lovingly renovated throughout, rooms are french chic with four poster beds, chintz fabrics and antique furniture. Dine on modern regional dishes and select wines from the impressive cellar. Rural bliss.Country Escape - Live the regal life in this impeccable chateau complete with manicured gardens and a fabulous restaurant.Wine tasting - Reims, the capital of champagne only 40 minsGreat walks - Take relaxing strolls through the picture perfect park.Full of characterRecommended by - Relais & Chateaux