Reims: a city in the Northern part of France, known as the place where the kings of the country were crowned. It is nicknamed the Westminster Abbey of France, and has hosted the Holy Ampulla at the baptism of Clovis, the first king who united all the Frankish tribes under one ruler. The town’s symbol over the years (which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site) has become the breathtaking Roman Catholic Cathedral, Notre Dame de Reims. It resembles the Notre Dame of Paris in more ways than one, and it can very much impress you if you have an eye for architecture.

Reims is situated in the North-Eastern part of the country, at a distance of just 130 kilometers from Paris. Some consider it to be the capital of the district of Champagne, because it is by far the largest city in that area. It belongs to the department of Marne and is crossed by the Vesle river, giving tourists an opportunity to take a boat ride through the stunning city.

Getting there isn’t that difficult, even if you don’t speak French at a high level. You just have to book your tickets in advance, and there shouldn’t be any problems from then on. You can travel by train, if you’re already in the country. TGVs are the fastest way you can travel around France, they are of very high comfort and cleanliness, and you can even reserve your tickets online in English. If you’d like to travel by plane, I’m sorry to say that the town doesn’t have any international airports, but luckily, Paris does, and let us confess: you can get to Paris from practically anywhere. Charles de Gaulle airport is only a 30 minute drive away from Reims, but even if you’re already in the capital city, you can get to the town in less than 45 minutes by the speed train. The situation with buses is kind of the same: you can get to Paris from almost any major city in Europe, and from there, you can change buses or take the train. If you’re in France already, then your job is easy: Reims is reachable by bus from all of the greater cities in the country.

Getting around in the city is pretty simple too. If you’d like to stay in or near the city center, then there’s no need to spend your money on any kind of public transportation: you can walk around almost effortlessly because the main sites are at a close range and mainly in the heart of the city. If you’d like to travel bigger distances, I’d advise the bus. They are very dependable and run regularly, and for a mere 1 Euro, you can go wherever you want in the town. If you’d like to voyage by cab, you need to know that they need to be booked in advance, which can be pretty difficult if you don’t speak the language.

details of Reims cathedral

details of Reims cathedral

Searching for accommodation can be a real challenge, especially when you don’t know what to expect from the city you currently want to visit. I can assure you, that Reims can guarantee a perfect stay for everyone’s pockets. If you’re more of an open minded person, who likes the outdoors and can live without a five-star bathroom, and if you’d like to visit the town in the summertime, then campsites are the perfect thing for you! They’re fairly affordable, and encourage the bond between man and nature. Bed & Breakfasts can also offer you a cozy and snug stay, with delicious food and a quiet ambiance. If you’re more of a luxury-lover, you must stay in a hotel! Reims hotel prices range from 20 up to 700 Euros per night. The housing can differ from the simplest rooms with the most modest views to the most luxurious and all inclusive suits, so everyone can have a great time, and maybe, revisit someday!

Since you’re in a lovely French town and have the opportunity to experience it from head to toe, don’t forget about typical dishes! A classic French breakfast has to contain tartines, which are practically French toast, with jelly or jam, which has a very sweet flavor. In some places, croissants are popular, a kind of sweet corn with chocolate inside. Favored breakfast-time drinks are coffee and tea. Popular dishes (whether at lunch or at dinner) are: steak frites (steak and French  fries, of course!), cassoulet (duck with sausages and beans), coq au vin (rooster in wine), pot au feu (beef stew with vegetables), foie gras (duck or goose liver) and boudin blanc (sausage). Most-loved desserts are the crème brulèeèclair, tarte tatin, madeleine and mousse au chocolat. Hope you get to savor and enjoy every single one of them! You should try out as much restaurants as you can, because every one of them is different and can offer you a very special dining experience. Don’t worry- there are a lot of restaurants you can choose from! Let’s not forget cafe’s, bars and pubs-there are so many, they can’t even be counted!

Let’s take a closer look at tourist attractions! As I already mentioned, you should visit the town symbol: the “Our Lady” of Reims, an exquisite cathedral which can bewitch you at first sight. If you’re in to the arts, you should visit the Museum of Fine Arts and at a price of 3 Euros, you can check out the 16th century tapestries, which portray the story of St. Rémi. There is also a St. Rémi Museum in the city. The Palais du Tau a Reims, which was once the palace of the Archbishop of Reims is now open to the public and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, well worth seeing. You can also stop by at the Porte de Mars, an impressive third century Roman Triumphal Arch, which was the widest in the Roman world. Town hall can also be an interesting place to see, people usually visit Hotel de Ville while staying in the city. For all of you car-freaks I have wonderful news: the city hosts an Automobile Museum, where everyone can admire the motorbikes and cars exposed. The museum is rated fifth largest by its size in France, so you might want to check it out. If all these buildings, museums and expos haven’t convinced you to visit Reims, then maybe the events held in the city will. There is an annually held Joan of Arc festival, which commemorates the heroine with outdoor concerts and medieval reenactments. There is also a folk festival, called Les Sacres du Folklore, so all you folk lovers: get a move on! But even if you’re in town for a day or two on business or any other matters, don’t stay in that crappy old hotel room- go out and explore Reims!

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