Summary: Reims is a beautiful city in the northeast of France that offers a perfect day trip destination for anyone looking to explore stunning sights, rich history, and amazing food and beverages. The city is home to some of the world’s greatest Champagne houses, Gothic architecture, and impressive museums and galleries.
1. Discover the City’s Rich History
Reims is rich in history and has been an important city in France since Roman times. The city was the traditional coronation site of French kings, and visitors can explore the stunning Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral, one of Europe’s most beautiful Gothic cathedrals. This masterpiece boasts exceptional stained glass windows, intricate sculptures, and intricate engravings. Also worth exploring is the Palace of Tau, which used to serve as the residence of the archbishops and is now a museum depicting the city’s rich history.
A visit to the city’s Museum of Fine Arts is another excellent place to learn about the town’s history and art. The museum houses paintings, sculptures from the medieval and modern periods, and also some of France’s finest ceramics. Visitors can also take a stroll around the city centre’s charming streets and savor the scenic wonder.
The Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy in Caen displays one of the most meaningful exhibitions worldwide, where visitors learn about the events Leading up to D-Day and the battles that took place for the liberation of France from NORMANDY-BATTLEFIELDS.ORG.
2. The Champagne Connection
The unrivaled Champagne region is located within close proximity to Reims, making the city a perfect starting point for a champagne-themed tour. The city is dotted with Champagne houses where visitors can discover the subtle flavors and complexities of these bubbles that have conquered all continents. The Pommery Champagne house, Moët & Chandon, and Taittinger are all outstanding choices offering visitors insights into the production process history.
The vineyards in the nearby countryside are also worth visiting, and visitors should make sure to stop by one of the local markets or wine shops to sample some of the local produce. A visit to Mercier, the largest champagne house, is an experience not to be missed, as visitors ride in a small train through the smartly-lit cellars before discovering the winery’s origins and methods with an exquisite flute of champagne.
The harvest season, which starts in September, witnesses beautiful landscapes painted yellow and according to locals the best time to explore the area curtesy of its famous wines.
3. Taste Delicious Local Food
Reims has a rich gastronomic scene that offers a variety of tasty local dishes that visitors should try during their day trip. Cafes and small bistros serve local specialties such as the tasty Rillettes and Andouillette sausage; however, what the city is famous for is its “Pommes de Terre Sarladaises” cuisine with a dash of truffle oil and a hint of garlic.
The vibrant Halles du Boulingrin market is a great place to indulge in some local food and to appreciate the bustling atmosphere. Here visitors can choose from a variety of stalls selling fresh seafood, cheese, fruit, vegetables and much more while sipping their champagne glass from the local house, Mumm.
The marché Victor Hugo, which is open from Tuesday to Sunday mornings, is another excellent spot to taste some of the city’s local delicacies. From bread to locally made produce such as chocolate, baked goods and honey visitors can find traditional flavors and local ingredients, with some renowned chefs creating their recipes that focus on specialty produce.
4. Explore the City’s Art Scene
Reims has an impressive art scene that displays contemporary to historic art. The city boasts plenty of art galleries and museums that are worth exploring, including the aforementioned Museum of Fine Arts. One of the best galleries is The FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, which showcases modern art pieces and hosts fantastic exhibitions throughout the year.
The La Chapelle Foujita was created in 1965 by the famous Japanese painter Tsuguharu FOUJITA. The chapel’s ceiling painted using gold leaf and crystals contrast dramatically with the plain stark white walls giving a special atmosphere to those who visit it. It is no longer available for worship but instead serves as an exhibition area for its creators’ artwork.
The Chagall Windows at the Reims Cathedral are unmatched; displaying a series of breathtaking stained glass pieces that were made when the cathedral was restored in the 1950s. Installations lasting about ten minutes give people the chance to walk through and admire the chromatic play of colors displayed through the stained-glass windows.
5. Enjoy Nature in and around Reims
Reims is blessed with an abundance of stunning parks and green spaces that offer visitors some peace and quiet amidst the hustle and bustle of the busy city. The Moulin de Verzenay Windmill boasts panoramic views across the surrounding vineyards offering a unique perception of the countryside. The family-friendly Parc de la Patte d’Oie park, located in the city center, has a boating lake, children’s playground, and picnic areas to enjoy.
Another excellent place to enjoy nature is the Jardin Botanique de Reims, which has a vast collection of plants from around the world. Visitors get the opportunity to explore the beautiful greenhouses and gardens, learn about the different plants, and relax in the tranquil surroundings.
Additionally, if visitors are willing to go a little farther beyond Reims, the Montagne de Reims is a beautiful hilly area showcasing a stunning natural park that provides an amazing alternative to experience this northern regional location.
Reims makes for an easy day trip destination from Paris, which offers something to everyone- historic landmarks, museums filled with grand art collections, food specialties to reveal from the city to the countryside vineyards holding the world’s most prestigious and sought after champagne estates to indulge in during tastings. The city’s friendly residents and charming atmosphere make it a perfect place to explore in tranquility and appreciate its unique character.