At the heart of the Loire Valley with all the most famous châteaux close by, the city of Tours delights visitors with its medieval centre and cultural heritage, great shopping areas and ‘guinguette’ riverside cafés. It has a quiet, relaxed atmosphere despite its 40,000 resident students and is a recognised Ville d’Art et d’Histoire (Town of Art and History).
Take a stroll along Rues Colbert, Briçonnet and du Grand Marché where you’ll find sites bursting with history including Hôtel Goüin and the Musée des Beaux-Arts. Other must-see attractions include the magnificent St-Gatien cathedral and the basilica housing Saint Martin’s tomb, superb city parks and gardens such as the Jardin Botanique, and the covered markets and flea market.
Place Plumereau is one of Tours’ trademarks. This small square surrounded by magnificent half-timbered houses is the liveliest place in town, attracting tourists and students in equal numbers. Le Musée du Compagnonnage is the only museum of its kind in the world, where you can learn about the customs of the travelling guild tradesmen, whose creation of everything from ironworks to saddles to pastry were a major tradition in Touraine.