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Tours, "ville d'art et d'histoire" at the heart of the Loire Valley

Set the heart of the Loire valley, on the banks of the Loire and Cher rivers, the town of Tours symbolises all the local historical, cultural and gastronomic heritage. What was once the capital of the kingdom of France now perfectly reflects the art of living in France, conveyed through its old town, lively squares and religious buildings.

Tours, the historic emblem of the Loire Valley

The old district of Tours definitely has a medieval atmosphere with its small paved streets, wooden pitched roofs and squares. The most famous of these is Place Plumereau. Surrounded by typical half-timbered houses, it contains a number of convivial little terraces. Buzzing by day and night, it attracts a cosmopolitan crowd of local residents, students and tourists.

A "Ville d’Art et d’Histoire" ("Town of art and history"), Tours boasts an extraordinary heritage. Its Saint-Gatien Cathedral (12th to 16th century) has a splendid choir, rendered all the more wonderful by the magnificent stained-glass windows. The Saint-Martin Basilica and Abbey of Marmoutier are both medieval. 

Take a stroll along Rues Colbert, Briçonnet and du Grand Marché. In this district, you will find multiple sites bursting with history and culture such as Hôtel Goüin and the Musée des Beaux-arts (Fine arts museum). Don't miss the renovated Musée du Compagnonnage in the former Abbey of Saint-Julien, where you will discover masterpieces made by the Compagnons du tour de France, a traditional institution of apprentices and journeymen.

Just steps from the Loire River, the new contemporary arts centre Olivier Debré (ccc od) offers a rich programme of exhibitions all year round, honouring national and international artists.

Tours, a beacon of culture and gastronomy for the Loire Valley

Tours is decidedly a town of culture and gastronomy, and for lovers of fine food there is no lack of gastronomic specialities! For instance, you might sample the rillettes and rillons with goat's cheese from Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine, or delicious fouaces buns baked in a wood-fired oven... to be enjoyed on a terrace or at the market with a glass of Vouvray or Chinon. If you want to find all these exquisite products to take home, head off to the iconic Halles de Tours!

The banks of the Loire are also a pleasant part of Tours. In the summer, take a seat at the cheerful little outdoor cafe set amidst the weeping willows. This poetic corner is a popular location where the people of Tours come to let their hair down to the rhythm of rock, salsa or jazz.
Accommodation nearby
Are you looking for a hotel, bed and breakfast, campsite, gite or traditional horse-drawn caravan? Discover all our accommodation ideas for your stay in the Loire Valley.


Traditional cuisine, Theme restaurant
at approximately 65 m
TOURS - 37


Traditional cuisine, Theme restaurant, Gourmet restaurant - fine cuisine
at approximately 162 m
TOURS - 37


Traditional cuisine, International cuisine
at approximately 187 m
TOURS - 37


Traditional cuisine, Brasserie, Theme restaurant
at approximately 228 m
TOURS - 37
Bookable online


at approximately 12 Km
from 7€ /pers.