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Where in the world: Europe  /  France  /  Centre-Val de Loire  /  Indre-et-Loire  /  Tours

Top 15 things to do in Tours

1. Chateau de Chenonceau, Chenonceaux

Protected and loved by prominent women in Renaissance history, including Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médici, Chateau de Chenonceau, is the second most visited château in France, other than the Royal Palace of Versailles. French Renaissance architect Philibert de l'Orme designed the castle and built it on the site of an old mill on the River Cher in the 11th century. The château later saw renovations during the 16th century due to its destruction in the 15th century.

All of its gardens and grounds are open for you to explore, including the castle's architectural mixture of late Gothic and early Renaissance. Old masters’ paintings, as well as an extremely rare selection of Flanders Tapestries from the 16th century, comprise the art collection. Visit Catherine de Médicis’ bedroom to view the recently restored Corrège’s painting on wood, "L’Education de l’Amour."
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Tours from $108 › Learn more about Chateau de Chenonceau

2. Futuroscope, Chasseneuil-du-Poitou

If your idea of a great day with the family includes heart-pounding rides, jaw-dropping 3D flicks, and 4D effects that fly you over oceans and take you surfing on titanic waves, then Futuroscope is your perfect destination. Blast off into outer space or take flight with birds of the natural world and find out exactly why this theme park is the second most-visited attraction in France. Since the park updates its attractions every year, there's always something new to see and do. Your kids will love dancing with robots, pedaling a propeller-driven machine inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, and discovering the fascinating ecology of dinosaurs of the deep sea--projected on a 3,000 sq-m (9,700 sq-ft), hemispherical screen.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Learn more about Futuroscope

3. ZooParc de Beauval, Saint-Aignan

Not only is this zoo dedicated to protecting endangered species, ZooParc de Beauval is ranked among the top 15 beautiful zoos in the world. Bring the whole family to learn about conservation and the facility's endangered species breeding program that sends animals to other zoos around the world. Then, visit the tropical greenhouse that houses a rainbow of tropical birds. The raptor show features 20 large birds of prey, with a starring Andean condor with a wingspan over 3 m (9.8 ft) wide. More than 4,600 animals are featured here, including white lions, manatees, tigers, kangaroos, koalas, and giant pandas.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Tours from $940 › Learn more about ZooParc de Beauval

4. Loire Valley Castles & Wine Tasting Day Trip from Paris

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Step out of Paris and into a fairytale, travelling in air-conditioned comfort to the beautiful Loire Valley. Live like French royalty for a day with a local wine tasting, and the freedom to explore three astounding châteaux. Your expert, English-speaking tour leader will entertain you between stops with insights and stories about the countryside and the nobility who once reigned over the region.
Suggested duration: 13 hours
Tours from $163 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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5. Chateau de Chambord, Chambord

Chateau de Chambord is the quintessential monument to the flamboyance of French kings; all the grandeur with a dash of delightful whimsy. A dreamscape of turrets and towers rises from the terrace, resulting in its trademark silhouette that has often been likened to the skyline of a city. François I built it to serve as his hunting lodge and it is surrounded by forests that serve as a perfect lead-in to the jaw-dropping first glimpse. The Castle is a perfect example of sixteenth-century Renaissance architecture. When inside, don't miss the famed double helix stairways, rumored to have been designed by Leonardo da Vinci. Explore its vaulted hallways, 400 palatial rooms, decorative staircases, and end your visit by taking a walk in the sprawling gardens.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Tours from $108 › Learn more about Chateau de Chambord

6. Cathedrale Saint-Gatien

Built between 1170 and 1547, Cathedrale Saint-Gatien is a Roman Catholic cathedral boasting many restorations. View essential collections like the organ built by Barnabé Delanoue in the 16th century and donated by Archbishop Martin de Beaune. You can also see the Carrara marble tombs of the two children, from Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany, both of whom died as infants. Then try to recognize the three different architectural designs encompassing the structure: Romanesque tower buttresses, Gothic ornamentation, and Renaissance tower spires.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $63 › Learn more about Cathedrale Saint-Gatien

7. Le Chateau du Clos Luce - Parc Leonardo da Vinci, Amboise

Famous as the official residence of Leonardo da Vinci at the end of his life between 1516 and 1519, Le Chateau du Clos Luce - Parc Leonardo da Vinci is now an interactive museum with forty models of visionary machines designed by Leonardo. You can experiment with Leonardo's inventions by steering his tank, paddling his boat, operating his fan-style machine gun, and spinning Archimedes' screw used to lift water.

Pick up a brochure in English and 14 other languages at the entrance that includes a map of the garden, the park, the château, and the countryside.

Discover the first automobile illustrated in Leonardo's innovative mechanical drawings and the machines he developed using his knowledge of botany and zoology. His studies of body mechanics inspire the workings of many of his machines. View his illustrations for flying machines that parallel modern technologies for helicopters, gliders, and propellers. Explore Leonardo's plan for a functioning city and his famous geometric drawing of a dodecahedron.

Enter Leonardo's universe in the park containing 20 huge interactive machines. Float around the lake in the boat Leonardo designed, walk along the paths with 40 oversized translucent canvases depicting diverse works, and walk across the two-level bridge Leonardo designed to reach his garden that brings his botanical drawings to life. Your children will love this fun exhibit so much they'll forget it's also educational.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $31 › Learn more about Le Chateau du Clos Luce - Parc Leonardo da Vinci

8. Loire Valley Castles Day Trip with Chenonceau and Chambord from Paris

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Majestic castles, famous wines and Renaissance masterpieces make up this unforgettable trip to the charming Loire Valley. Enjoy skip-the-line entry to Chambord then Chenonceau to be wowed by the extravagant glamor of the French aristocracy and discover their fascinating history. You’ll enjoy the machines and different invenctions made by Leonardo da Vinci in Cheverny Castle and its faboulus gardens.
Suggested duration: 12 hours 30 minutes
Tours from $198 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

9. Chateau de Villandry, Villandry

Considered by many people to be the most beautiful gardens anywhere, Chateau de Villandry owner, Henri Carvallo, proudly and jovially keeps the property maintained in immaculate condition for your enjoyment. Its famous Renaissance gardens, include a water garden, ornamental flower gardens, and vegetable gardens. The garden layout includes formal patterns created with low box hedges. You can learn more about the gardens and castle with a guided tour available in English. Take your sweetheart on a carriage ride, and then play tennis on the real grass court complete with free rule sheets for the classic game.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Tours from $112 › Learn more about Chateau de Villandry

10. Chateau de Cheverny, Cheverny

Renowned for magnificent interiors and the collection of furniture, tapestries, and objets d'art, Chateau de Cheverny has belonged to the same family for over six centuries. They own a pack of about seventy hunting dogs that live on the grounds, and you can watch them being fed on the live video feed. Guided tours offer added fun as you drive an electric car or boat to discover the grounds. A walk down to the guardroom leads you to a collection of arms and armor, while venturing further brings you to the Chambre du Roi that is richly hung with five Parisian tapestries designed by Simon Vouet to represent the story of Ulysses. Your visit to the castle includes a look at the fictional castle by author and illustrator, Hergé, the creator of the "Adventures of Tintin," who used Cheverny as his inspiration.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Tours from $128 › Learn more about Chateau de Cheverny

11. Chateau Royal d'Amboise, Amboise

With sweeping panoramic views of the Loire valley, it's no wonder why Chateau Royal d'Amboise was a favorite royal residence of several successive kings. Balconies overlooking the valley create an air of grandeur. The tomb of Leonardo da Vinci resides in the Saint Hubert chapel, renowned as a masterpiece of extravagant Gothic architecture. An armored tank designed by Leonardo da Vinci sits on the grounds of the château.

The architecture quintessentially represents the French Renaissance with gardens and the Minimes and the Heurtault towers. The towers, which served as the royal residence, are available for you to explore, but you need prior permission. After the lavish royal pomp, with permission again, you can descend to the mysterious underground, a place few royals ever saw.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $257 › Learn more about Chateau Royal d'Amboise

12. Loire Valley 3 Best Castles & Wine Tasting Small-Group Day Trip from Paris

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Stroll through the châteaux of Chenonceau, Chambord, and Amboise on this full-day tour from Paris to the UNESCO-listed Loire Valley. Admire Chenonceau’s amazing floral gardens, and marvel at the sheer grandeur of Chambord, the largest chateau in the valley. At Amboise, see the quarters of King Francois I and the tomb of Leonardo Da Vinci. Learn from an informative guide about each site, and fit in souvenir shopping along the way.
Suggested duration: 12 hours
Tours from $257 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

13. Bioparc - Zoo de Doue la Fontaine, Doue-la-Fontaine

Out of the 55 species of animals at Bioparc - Zoo de Doue la Fontaine, more than 43 are listed as threatened species, with nine of those species considered to be critically endangered. Leap into Leopard Canyon for a look at rare leopards housed in an environment that largely mimics bamboo forests and snow of the Himalayas. Visit the only aviary in the world where Andean condors can fly, then visit the South American exhibit with spider monkeys, giant otters, spectacled bears, tamarins, and maned wolves. Head to the Asian continent to spot a Sumatran tiger and the white-handed gibbon primates. Your admission price helps ensure their long-term survival in captivity.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Learn more about Bioparc - Zoo de Doue la Fontaine

14. Place Plumereau

Suggested duration: 30 minutes
Tours from $63 › Learn more about Place Plumereau

15. Loire Valley Day Tour Chambord and Chenonceau plus Lunch at a Private Castle

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Jump into the heart of French history by visiting the 2 most prestigious châteaux of the Loire Valley. Feel the intimacy of a lesser known private family-owned château and enjoy a typical French lunch away from tourist groups. Let yourself be guided by your local expert and learn about the intimate little secrets of the French Kings who once lived in Château de Chambord and Château de Chenonceau. Enjoy off-the-crowd panoramic views, benefit from wealth of thrilling genuine details and funny anecdotes and make the most of this exciting day. 
Suggested duration: 9 hours
Tours from $202 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

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