Visit Tours, a Historic City in the Loire Valley


Loire ValleyFood and WineCultural HeritageSporting ActivitiesNature and Outdoor ActivitiesCities

Yves Brault
© Yves Brault

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 4 January 2023, updated on 16 April 2024

Here, living is an art

Tours, the capital of Touraine, enjoys an exceptional location in the heart of the prestigious region of the Loire châteaux. Crossed by two rivers, this charming Gallo-Roman town maintains its status as a timeless "Garden of France."

On foot, by train or bicycle, discover the famous district of "Old Tours" or stroll through the historic gardens of the city. On the terrace of a café, in medieval alleys or through its markets, you'll taste the "sweetness of Tours."

Traditional departure site for tours to major cultural attractions in the Loire Valley, Tours is also the home of the "live well and eat well" ideal, so dear to Rabelais.

What not to miss in this beautiful European city:

As a city of art and history, Tours has benefited from an active policy of restoring its old quarters during the 60s, which has allowed it to keep the Place Plumereau, one of the largest restored areas in Europe.

  • The Museum of Compagnons: The heritage of Compagnons - the guilds of skilled craftsmen found nowhere else in the world!
  • Place Plumereau and its half-timbered houses, medieval streets, the Châteauneuf neighborhood.
  • The Cathedral of St. Gatien
  • The Basilica of St. Martin
  • Traditional markets
  • The Vinci International Convention Center, designed by Jean Nouvel.
  • The Prébendes d'Oé Garden
  • Specialties: "Rillettes de Tours," "Nougat de Tours," Vouvray wines, and wines from Montlouis-sur-Loire

The "Tours" of events

  • The Fêtes Musicales in Touraine: International Festival of Classical Music. In February, June and November.
  • The Vocal Anthology: International Competition of Choral Singing at Pentecost.
  • Tours on the Loire: Guinguette along the Loire, outdoor cinema, and shows. From mid-May to mid-September.
  • Vitiloire: one hundred winegrowers give you a taste of the wines of the Loire. Early June.
  • Garlic and Basil Fair: traditional gourmet feast. In July.
  • 10 and 20 km Tours marathons. In September.
  • The Paris-Tours: for over a hundred years, this famous bicycle race is held annually in October.

Visit Tours

  • Led by guide-lecturers from Villes et Pays d'Art et d'Histoire, the Tours/Loire Valley Tourist Office offers a wide selection of general or themed guided tours: "Antique", "Renaissance", "Cathedral", "St. Martin", "Victor Laloux," and "Nocturne"
  • Audio tours: Discover Tours at your leisure with our IPOD!
  • The little train: Let yourself be carried through the old quarters of the city for a 50-minute guided tour. Easter to October.
  • The carriage: You'll discover the streets of Tours to the rhythm of hooves pounding the pavements of the old town. In July and August.
  • Visit Tours and its surroundings with the "Pass through Tours" passes available in several options at reasonable prices.

"This town is joyous, loving, fresh, flowery, and better-perfumed than any other city in the world ..." - (Balzac, born in Tours).

Getting to Tours

Tours is one of the major French cities, situated at the crossroads of central France and at the heart of European communication lines.

  • Train: Take the train to the Gare de Tours Centre, or to the Gare de Saint-Pierre-des-Corps (with shuttle trains to Tours).
  • International airport just outside Tours
  • Freeways: A10 - A85 - A28


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