From the glories of its architecture to the value of its vintages, Reims is one of northern France’s most charming (and decadent) cities. Three days is enough time to visit the extraordinary Reims Cathedral, tour exclusive Champagne houses, and even take a day trip into the French countryside. Here’s your perfect itinerary.
Day 1: Ancient Heritage and Gothic Splendor
The city’s unarguable highlight is Reims Cathedral (formally known as the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in 1275 and standing 264 feet (81 meters) high, it was damaged during both World Wars but has since been restored to its original glory. Dedicate several hours to soaking up its Gothic splendor. After a break for lunch, glimpse other top landmarks (including the ancient Roman arch Porte de Mars) on a Segway tour of the city. Later in the day, exploring Tau Palace (Palais du Tau) or St. Remi Basilica (Basilique Saint-Remi)—both architectural marvels—before winding down with a cozy bistro dinner.
Day 2: Life Amongst the Vines
In Reims, Champagne isn’t reserved for special occasions—it’s the stuff of everyday life. The petite city is considered the de facto capital of the wine region and is ringed by some of the world’s most exclusive Champagne houses (including Mumm, Veuve Clicquot, Pommery, and Taittinger). Spend your second day touring the cellars of one of Reims’ most popular houses, or venture to neighboring Épernay to explore its UNESCO-listed Champagne Avenue (lined by houses such as Moët et Chandon). Most full-day tours include indulgent lunches and round-trip transport, so you can sit back, relax, and sip in style. Upon your return to Reims, head to a neighborhood restaurant or enjoy a casual meal of ham, mustard, and Chaource cheese, all local specialties.
Day 3: Day-Trip Possibilities
Devote your third day to a trip intoa the scenic French countryside. History buffs can embark on a World War I–themed tour of the nearby Forest of Argonne, where battle sites, trenches, and other landmarks still remain. Alternatively, for those with a taste for opulence, the Château de Condé is famed for its sumptuous, Renaissance stylings. Dating back to the 16th century, the estate was frequented by royalty and members of the French nobility over the centuries. For a day trip of a different stripe, the family-friendly Nigloland—an amusement park with dozens of rides and shows—is also within commuting distance of Reims. Whichever excursion you choose, head back to Reims in time for dinner at one of the city’s Michelin-starred, fine-dining haunts.