3 days in Reims. Just enough time to capture the charming atmosphere and enjoy the countless delicacies of the French kitchen. And let’s not forget the champagne! Reims is (together with the neighboring city of Epernay) home to a world-famous champagne production and headquarter of famous houses such as Taittinger, G.H. Mumm and Veuve-Cliquot-Ponsardin. Join us for a tour of this beautiful city.
The center of culture
The city of Reims contains several monuments and churches listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, i.e. the Notre Dame cathedral, which is unbelievably beautiful and definitely worth a visit! On a sunny day it’s possible to picnic in the surrounding, green areas – and between May 6th and October 23rd it gets even better; during these months the cathedral is presenting an exceptional light show, which comes to life at nightfall, and it’s an immense experience for both children and adults.
A gastronomical adventure
But Reims is more than monuments and museums; the city, which was founded by the Romans around 80 BC, provides a number of gastronomical adventures, which will intrigue even the most experienced chefs and foodies. I recommend you try the Michelin restaurant ‘Le Millenaire’ with one Michelinstar, if you’re craving the absolute best. La Millenaire offers a limited yet exquisite selection of fish, meat and French delicacies such as foie gras and escargots. Other prominent dining venues in the area include Le Parc les Crayéres and La Vigneraie.
If you’re on the lookout for a traditional brasserie, you’ll find FLO in the centre, just opposite the railway station. Here you can get traditional French dishes such as moules marinées and foie gras at a lower cost.
Before or after dinner there’s plenty of opportunities to enjoy a glass of regional champagne in one of the many bars scattered around the city. During summer season you’ll find loads of tourists on the crowded yet cosy square of Place Drouet d’Erlon, which despite of this actually offers some quite nice outdoor restaurants. On our first night we had a Kir Royale at Bistrot Edgar, who has a decent selection of champagne.
Make a head start of the day by visiting one of the many champagne cellars in Reims. Each house offers you a unique chance to get acquainted with both the production and the history of the cellars. Learn how a champagne is made from harvest of the grapes to maturing of the bottles deep down the chilly cellars of Reims.
A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of visiting Taittinger, whose cellars can be dated all the way back to the Roman era. To taste the different vintages is a sublime experience, which anyone with a remote interest in wine and champagne should try. It’s also quite fun to gain an insight into this underground world that holds a lot more activity than one might think!
If you want to live in the centre of Reims there’s several options, however, it’s recommendable to spend a little extra and stay in luxurious surroundings just outside the city. Read our reviews of two beautiful hotels in the region – Chateau de Fere (and old, medieval castle) and Hostellerie La Briqueterie (a gastronomical haven!). Both of the hotels are Relais & Chateaux. One needs a car to stay here, but it’s definitely worth the drive!
Reims is a true French gem located in the heart of a district bursting with joie de vivre. And it doesn’t matter if you’re not already that into cuisine, fine champagne and cultural experiences – you will be!
The city is located approximately 1,5 hours drive north east of Paris, and if you’re not traveling by car we recommend you take the high speed train directly from Paris.
To get more information visit www.reims-tourism.com.