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Best things to do in Reims

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Where in the world: Europe  /  France  /  Grand Est  /  Marne  /  Reims

Top 15 things to do in Reims

1. Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims

One of the most splendid displays of Gothic architecture, Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims is where 34 kings of France were once crowned. Joan of Arc led the Dauphin to this cathedral to be crowned King Charles VII, and the last King Charles X was also crowned here in 1825.

The crowning jewel of this cathedral, the façade was completed in the 14th century following 13th century designs. Marc Chagall designed the stained glass at the east end in 1974, and above the door to the north is the "Laughing Angel" statue with a famous enigmatic smile.

You can climb the steps to the top of the towers to look at the concrete and timber roofline built in the 15th century. The towers are 81 m (267 ft) tall, and the south tower holds two great bells. The bell that weighs more than 10,000 kg (11 tons) was named "Charlotte" in 1570 by a Cardinal of Lorraine.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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2. Wine Tours & Tastings

There's no better way to explore the birthplace of the world's most celebrated bubbly than to join a guided tasting tour in and around Reims. You'll drink your way through the area's vineyards, visit "les grandes marques" (Champagne-producing houses), and discover underground caves and tunnels where this celebratory wine ages. The full-day tours include visits to the World Heritage-listed Reims Cathedral and the tomb of Dom Perignon. The shorter 2- or 3-hour option still allows you to get behind-the-scenes and sample vintage Champagnes paired with regional culinary specialties.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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3. Champagnes Pommery

Housed in the Château la Gordonne, Champagnes Pommery has unique architecture with a stairwell going down 116 steps to the maze of caves. Since 1976, their mission has been to respect biodiversity and ecological practices by cultivating their wines in a sustainable manner. They even graze 2,000 sheep in the vineyards every winter to create organic manure of the highest quality.

It's important to highlight that Pommery is only made at Château la Gordonne, but the company owns two other château properties with vineyards that they use to make other brands of wine. There are two brands produced at this site: Vranken and Pommery, which are both branded under the Vranken-Pommery Monopole company.

Cuvée Lyesse is their vintage variety champagne for Pommery, while Demoiselle is the "above years" variety for Vranken. Pommery is best known for its Brut Royal, Brut Grand Cru Millésimé, and it's vintage Champagne Cuvée Lyesse. The cellars are open for you to visit. Try a wine tasting of shop at the boutique. Reservations are required.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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4. Basilique Saint-Remi

Founded in the sixth century, Basilique Saint-Remi has conserved the relics of Saint Remi (died 553), the Bishop of Reims since 1099, after whom Reims was named after. The 12th-century stained glass remains intact in the four-story Gothic choir, but many valuable objects were looted during the French Revolution, and the Holy Ampulla of the coronation of the kings of France, located in the abbey, was destroyed in 1793.

In honor of its 800th birthday, recent restorations have improved the basilica. An on-site museum in the Abbey Royale highlights the history of the abbey, local archaelogical relics, regional military history, and the town's Gallo-Roman history.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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5. La Maison Mumm

Founded in 1827 and famous for the red ribbon on its signature Cordon Rouge, La Maison Mumm is one of the largest Champagne producers worldwide. You will know you've reached the winery when you see the iconic windmill that still adorns the entrance today.

The three founding brothers were from Germany, but the French confiscated all of Mumm's property, although they had lived in Champagne for almost a century before World War I, because they had never bothered to become French citizens.

Their premium label cuvée includes Mumm de Cramant, and the house is renowned for its Cordon Rouge champagne. This winery is owned under the label Pernod Ricard. You can schedule a tour into the cellars, and visit one of the most comprehensive museums on the craft of champagne making. Guides help you throughout the cellars, and teach you everything about the art of wine tasting.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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6. Champagne Taittinger

Founded in 1734, Champagne Taittinger is one of the few giant champagne houses still controlled by members of the family that founded it. This is one of the most visitor-friendly of the large champagne houses.

Flagship wines of the house are the Comtes de Champagne composed of 100% Chardonnay and Comtes de Champagne Rosé comprised of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay.

You can visit the forth-century Gothic crayères (chalk mines) that are 17 m (55 ft) below ground and see the only vestiges left of the great 12th-century Saint-Nicaise Abbey. Your tour includes a film about the history of winemaking, a guided cellar tour, the champagne-making process, stories about Reims, and lore about the Taittinger family. The tour concludes with a tasting of one selection with an option to upgrade to more than one tasting. You can go to the visitor's center for a custom tasting.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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8. Room Escape Games

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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9. Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin

Founded in 1772, Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin is best known for its iconic yellow-label champagne. Vintage premium label cuvée, includes La Grande Dame, Carte Jaune, and Clicquot Rich Reserve. You can taste these and more of their signature styles in the visitor's center, or you can experience a tour of the cellars.

Your choice of tours betwen the "In the Footsteps of Madame Clicquot" or "Discovery" tours, includes a journey into the cellars followed by a tasting, by advance reservation. This winery is owned under the label Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH).

In 2008, an unopened bottle of Veuve Clicquot was discovered inside a sideboard in Torosay Castle, Isle of Mull, Scotland. The 1893 bottle was in mint condition having been kept in the dark; it was the oldest bottle known to exist. You can see it on display at the visitor center, a champagne regarded as priceless.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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10. Maison Ruinart

As the oldest established Champagne house, Maison Ruinart has exclusively produced champagne since 1729, only one year after Louis XV decided to allow wine to be transported in the bottle instead of the barrel. This made all the difference, as champagne needs to be aged in bottles to become bubbly.

In 1768, Nicolas Ruinart acquired the cellars that are amongst the largest in the region and Gallo-Roman in origin. Like most Champagne cellars, they are the product of ancient chalk mining, extending an astonishing 38 m (125 ft) below the ground and are 8 km (5 mi) long. The cave helps to keep the cellars at a constant 11 C (51.8 F). The taste of Ruinart is greatly dependent on the aging duration in Crayères (chalk cellars); three to four years is customary for non-vintages and nine to ten years is average for a Dom Ruinart.

You will need to make a reservation in advance to tour the caves and the facilities. The tour ends with a tasting of up to three varieties, or for an additional fee, you can taste a vintage variety. Always remember, bring a sweater because the caves get quite chilly.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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11. Ugolf Reims-Bezannes, Bezannes

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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12. Les Hortillonnages d'Amiens, Amiens

Les Hortillonnages d'Amiens, also known as the "Floating Gardens," make a spectacular patchwork of 300 hectares (1.6 square miles). Surrounded by the Somme and Avre rivers, the floating gardens have been cultivated since the Middle Ages. The gardens are in a marshy area surrounded by 40 miles of canals sometimes called "Little Venice of the North." You can walk along the footpaths or see the gardens from a boat called the Barques à Cornet.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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14. Museum of the Surrender

On May 7, 1945 the first signing of the surrender of Nazi Germany occurred at this location, now called Museum of the Surrender. Dwight D. Eisenhower attended the signing, and many pictures of him and others are available for viewing in the war room.

The ground floor of Museum of the Surrender presents an original film in French and English relating the historical context of the signing of the document. Another room has costumes and information about the military units present in Reims during the signing. A third room in the "little red schoolhouse" depicts members of the inter-allied staff with an exhibition of medals and newspapers from May 8, 1945. The war room, kept in its original condition, has maps and photographs of the signing on that memorable document.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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15. Hotel Le Vergeur Museum

Discover the lifestyle of another time at Hotel Le Vergeur Museum, a cozy home that is one of the oldest civil buildings in Reims. Dating back to the thirteenth century, the home has early twentieth century décor and art. You can view an exceptional collection of wood engravings by Albrecht Dürer, including "The Apocalypse" and "Great Passion." First and second floors of the museum take you into the rooms of Hugues Krafft, who donated the buildings and private collections for you to view, including items related to smoking, dining, kitchen utensils, and his office.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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