Things to do in
Tours, France

Castles and vineyards are just a taste of what this charming town in the Loire Valley has to offer.

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Our most recommended things to do in Tours, France

Chenonceau Castle Admission ticket

1. Chenonceau Castle Admission ticket

Enjoy access to Chenonceau site and its wonderful gardens. This unusual castle was built on a bridge across the Cher River. To learn more about castle history, audio guides are available in 16 languages. The castle is located near the small village of Chenonceaux in the Indre-et-Loire department. Chenonceau castle, also known as the Chateau des Dames, is famous for the great heroines who lived there, such as Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medicis, and for the beauty of its Renaissance gardens. Chenonceau castle was also used as a military hospital during the First World War. Discover the rich history of this incredible fortress.

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Clos Lucé Castle Ticket: Da Vinci Home & Science Museum

2. Clos Lucé Castle Ticket: Da Vinci Home & Science Museum

Learn about the history of Leonardo da Vinci and his masterpieces (including the Mona Lisa) during his time in France at the Château du Clos Lucé. Invited by King Francis 1st of France, Leonardo da Vinci left Italy and took up residence at the Château du Clos Luce in the autumn of 1516. Appointed "first painter, engineer and architect to the King", Da Vinci served the monarch with his talents, working tirelessly on numerous projects and imagining plans for the "ideal château". With this admission ticket, you will receive access to both the castle and park. The visit will begin in the bedroom of Leonardo da Vinci, the site where Leonardo died in 1519 at the age of 67. From the window, you can see the Saint Hubert Chapel at the Royal Castle of Amboise, which is the burial place of Da Vinci. Whilst in the Leonardo da Vinci Park, you will learn about the artistic creations and major inventions of the artist. You will enter the imaginary world of Da Vinci, seeing the world as he did in these unique grounds.

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Château of Azay-le-Rideau Skip-the-Line Ticket

3. Château of Azay-le-Rideau Skip-the-Line Ticket

The Château of Azay-le-Rideau was built in the heart of Loire Valley during the reign of François I, and offers all the charm of the Renaissance. It is a 16th-century architectural masterpiece, rising up from an island formed by the Indre River, and is situated within a romantic 19th-century park. The château boasts a colorful history. In 1510, Gilles Berthelot acquired the seigneurie and fortress of Azay, rebuilding it in the sumptuous Italian style that was popular at the time. After Berthelot's relative Semblança, who had been aiding Berthelot in building his wealth in the region, was accused of embezzlement and executed, Berthelot fled. The château was then given by François I to his companion-in-arms, Antoine Rafin, and his descendants, who lived there until the 18th century, after which it fell into the possession of the Marquis Charles de Biencourt, responsible for the château's beautiful gardens. After benefiting from an exceptional restoration program, this jewel of the Loire Valley will be revealing its finery in the summer of 2017. The château also offers a new experience: new highlighted collections, a dream-like tour path, mobile tour guide applications, the romantic park and so on. Not to be missed: the living room and dining room of the Marquis of Biencourt (19th century décors), the atmospheric staging of the kitchen, the new interpretation area. The sight is protected by UNESCO, and features gothic motifs, a royal apartment used by Louis XIII in 1619, stunning Renaissance ornamentation and façades that overlook the lakes, with apartments embellished with overhanging corner turrets. Visit before September 19, 2021 and see the temporary exhibition DE CHANTILLY À AZAY-LE-RIDEAU. LE RETOUR DES PORTRAITS DE LA RENAISSANCE. This exhibition includes 36 portraits painted between the rule of Charles VII and Louis XIV, and includes a portarit of Catherine de Médicis and her children.

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From Tours: Retro Classic Sidecar Ride

4. From Tours: Retro Classic Sidecar Ride

After meeting with your guide at the meeting point, your tour to step back in time will begin. This tour is a guaranteed gateway to the Loire Valley and its castles, touring a town which is rich in art and history. Your guide will be keen to show you the area's most unusual and unique places. You will discover all the emblematic places of the city, such as the Cathedral Saint-Gatien which is famous for its magnificent stained-glass windows, the Charlemagne Tower, and the Horloge Tower. You will also encounter the two vestiges of the Basilica Saint-Martin and the Place Plumereau, which is one of the most beautiful squares in France. Your entire tour will be conducted from the comfort of a sidecar, and at the conclusion of your experience you will be returned back to your point of origin.

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Tours: Great Escape Sidecar Tour

5. Tours: Great Escape Sidecar Tour

A collection of fantastic architectural treasures, this tour takes you into the very heart of the UNESCO-listed Loire Valley. You'll begin by discovering the Cathedral Saint-Gatien, which is famous for its magnificent stained glass windows. From there you will discover other emblematic places of the city such as the Charlemagne Tower and the Horloge Tower, and two vestiges of the Basilica Saint-Martin. You'll then encounter the Place Plumereau, which is one of the most beautiful squares in France.  Admire the town's many half-timbered houses, before following the Loire to Vouvray where you can see some of the area's most beautiful vineyards. At the conclusion of your experience, you'll be returned to your tour meeting point.

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From Tours & Amboise: Day Trip to Chambord & Chenonceau

6. From Tours & Amboise: Day Trip to Chambord & Chenonceau

Benefit from pick-up by air-conditioned, 8-seater van and head to the picturesque Château de Chenonceau with magnificent Renaissance gardens. Then, go to Amboise for a wine tour with tastings. Visit Les Caves Duhard for a wine experience and sample some of the wines of the Loire Valley at a tasting with a sommelier. Enjoy a gourmet selection of cheeses, charcuterie, and dessert. Continue to Chambord for a guided tour of the chateau and game reserve. Admire the fine details of the largest chateau in the Loire Valley, including a double helix staircase by Da Vinci. Get dropped off in Tours at 6 PM or Amboise at 6:45 PM.

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From Tours/Amboise: Day Trip to Chambord, Blois & Cheverny

7. From Tours/Amboise: Day Trip to Chambord, Blois & Cheverny

Depart Tours or Amboise to journey into the Loire Valley and discover some of its famous châteaux. Stop at the Château de Blois, notable for its unique mix of Medieval, Gothic, Renaissance and Classical architecture. The former home of kings Louis XII and François I, its history is steeped in tragedy and is notable as the place where Joan of Arc went to be blessed by the Archbishop of Reims before departing with her army to drive the English from Orléans. Pause for a wine tasting and sample some of the organic wines of Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny. The Cheverny appellation produces elegant reds from the pinot noir and gamay grapes, as well as fruity whites from the chardonnay and sauvignon grapes. Sample a stunning organic white wine made from the romorantin grape, imported into the Loire Valley by King François I. Take a guided tour of the Château de Cheverny, owned by the same family since the days of Louis XIII. See some of the most beautiful furniture in the Loire Valley, and learn the château's rich history, such as its connection to Tintin comic books and the impressive hunts on horseback that used to take place with a pack of 100 dogs. You may even get to see the spectacular daily event of “the dogs’ soup!” Move on to the Château de Chambord, one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world for its distinctive French Renaissance architecture. Discover the vast national game reserve of the largest château in the Loire Valley, and learn the monument's fascinating history, including the unverified tale of Leonardo da Vinci's involvement in its construction. Return to your original departure town, with drop off in Tours at 18:00 or Amboise at 18:45.

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Private Walking Tour of Tours Historical Center

8. Private Walking Tour of Tours Historical Center

Do you know which city was the capital of France in 15th century? Where the famous French novelist Honoré de Balzac was born? Which city is considered to be the Garden of France? Or where you can hear the purest French spoken language? The answer to all of these questions is Tours, a historic city dating back to the Middle Ages located right in the heart of France, just one hour away from Paris. Join our helpful and knowledgeable guides to discover the rich history and wonderful medieval buildings of Tours. Visit the city's beloved Cathédrale Saint-Gatien, which dates back to as early as 1170. The cathedral is a beautiful mix of different architectural styles, with major sections finished between the 13th and 15th centuries. Another point of interest may be the medieval Tour Charlemagne, located in the center of the Old City. Or, feel free to visit the famous museum of Beaux- Arts on your own, admiring its impressive collection including pieces by French, Italian, Flemish and Dutch masters. Then, enjoy a taste of the region's fine wine, considered by many to be among the best in all of France. Let us show you the beautiful city of Tours through the eyes of a local!

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From Tours: Chambord, Chenonceau & Lunch at Family Chateau

9. From Tours: Chambord, Chenonceau & Lunch at Family Chateau

Travel back to the days of the French Renaissance on a full-day tour of the châteaux of the Loire Valley, and enjoy an optional lunch in a privately-owned— and still occupied — castle. Meet your guide at the Tourist Office in Tours at 9:00 AM and drive by minivan to Chambord. Discover glorious works of art and architecture as your guide selects the most emblematic rooms to visit. Hear memorable anecdotes as they point out hidden details. Get breathtaking views of the castle during a coffee break in Chambord Park. Lunch will be served at an off-the-beaten-path location, hosted by the French Countess who lives there permanently. Taste local food in the smallest of all the Loire Valley castles. Continue to Chenonceau, passing the must-see castles of the French “Valley of the Kings,” including Chaumont, Amboise and Clos Lucé. Upon arrival at the Château de Chenonceau (the most visited historical monument in France), admire the unusual castle built on a bridge across the Cher River. Stroll through the manicured gardens named after the "Catherine de Médicis" and "Diane de Poitiers," the famous ladies who lived there. Take time to appreciate the refined architecture and feminine influence of each room and see beautiful antiques and lovely arrangements of fresh flowers. Then your guide will offer you an aperitif of local produce in a secret corner of the park. Enjoy the most striking view of Château de Chenonceau, before returning to Tours at 7:00 PM.

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From Tours: Afternoon Loire Valley Wine Tour to Vouvray

10. From Tours: Afternoon Loire Valley Wine Tour to Vouvray

Meet your guide at the tourist office in Tours and drive in a minivan to Vouvray. Discover this beautiful wine area full of passionate winegrowers. Meet a French winemaker in a charming family run estate. See the vines and visit the traditional vat room and the cellars. During this visit, you will improve your knowledge regarding wine-making and of course wine tasting. Elegant sparkling wines and white wines are produced in this area. After this first visit, explore one of the famous underground caves that were dug during the 10th century in order to extract stones and today used by a famous Loire Valley wine house for producing and storing wines. Throughout the afternoon, your guide will share his knowledge with you, to help you understand the diversity of Loire wines and its specific terroir. You will learn the different steps of wine tasting and train your nose to identify many wine aromas. You will also taste wines from the other appellations of the region. Benefit from your guide's tips and tricks and learn to taste like a professional. Then enjoy an aperitif of local products like cheese, rillettes and fresh bread, the perfect match to Loire wines. Afterwards, you will be driven back to Tours, where your tour will end. 

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Frequently asked questions about Tours, France

What top attractions are a must-see in Tours, France?

Planning Your Visit

  • Best time to visit?

    The Loire Valley climate is relatively cool all year round. June to August is peak season for a reason, but the small city is an extremely popular tourist destination for its size. If you don't mind wrapping up warm in the evenings, then you might want to visit at either end of summer, when it won't be quite as busy!

  • How many days?

    Sightseers will love the landmarks in and around Tours, but they do require a fair amount of travelling between the city and its surrounding towns. Book a week (give or take a day or two) and don't try cramming too much into your daily itineraries!

Good to know

  • Language
    French
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +33
  • Best time to visit
    Fewer tourists but chillier evenings can be found from September through May.

Other Sightseeing Options in Tours, France

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What people are saying about Tours, France

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 563 reviews

Here is a very well maintained Castle, which will satisfy you both inside, and in its large and beautiful gardens intended to be admired as well as to stroll quietly. Note the existence of large parking lots outside and toilets whose cleanliness must be emphasized and which are both free.

Awesome! Super friendly welcome, brilliant walk with all the information you need. Our companion took pictures of us on several occasions. The best of the best we recommend

The best chateau to see in the Loire it truly is a magical fairytale castle. And the skip the line tickets are fantastic.

Our guide did not count his time, He was very invested, very interesting, and knew how to adapt to young and old alike.

YOU RECEIVE A SELF GUIDE WHEN YOU ENTER, SO ENTRY TICKETS ONLY WERE THE SMART WAY TO GO. YOU CAN GO AT YOUR OWN PACE