The city of Reims is found in the Grand est region of France, only 145 kilometers east-northeast of the capital, Paris. The historically prominent city has a population of 182 592 people. It was once a very important city, playing a vital role in the ceremonial habits of the monarchy. It was in Reims that many French Kings were crowned for almost a thousand years. The city is considered as being the unofficial capital of the region famous for its champagne.
Things to do & Places to see in Reim, France
1. Le Cathédrale Notre Dame - Saint-Jacques de Reims
The Reims Cathedral is a fantastic example of gothic architecture from the 13th century. It was built in 1211 and has a beautiful stained glass window that features a twelve-petaled rose window, an astronomical clock from the 15th century and a gothic themed organ case. It is in this cathedral that many French kings were crowned. It has since become an UNESCO world heritage site. The most famous event that occurred at this cathedral was in 1429 when King Charles VII was coronated. The cathedral is beautifully decorated with other 2000 statues that has towers that loom over the city at a height of 81 meters.
The cathedral is open every day from 7:30 am until 7:30 pm for tours. Whilst in Reims this is a mandatory visit as it is literally the birth place of the french monarchy. You can't really get any closer to french history than a visit to the cathedral in Reims.
2. Palais du Tau
As another UNESCO world heritage site, there is no question as to why this is a must see destination whilst in Reims. The Palais du Tau was the former residence of the archbishop of Reims but originally served as the venue for banquets that would be held after coronations. Allowing the newly crowned king to entertain his important guests. Today, however, the palace is used as a museum to store important relics from the cathedral such as statues and tapestries.
The palace is open every day except for Mondays from 9:30 until 12:30 and then again from 2 pm until 5:30 pm. Cost of admission is 8€ if you are older than 26 years otherwise it is free.
3. Musée de la reddition
The museum of surrender found in Reims. It was originally the supreme headquarters of General Eisenhower. He occupied this apartment that formed part of the Reims technical college at the time. In 1945 , the Germans were still occupying the area when the Third Reich was forced to surrender to the Allied Forces. That is why it is known as being the museum of surrender. It was preserved as it was so that today people could visit the place where the losers of World War II had previously occupied in Reims. The museum displays, among other paraphernalia of Germans in the second world war, over 50 figurines of officers that occupied the area.
It is open all year round to the public from 10 am until noon and then again from 2 pm until 6 pm. It only costs 3€ per adult and children enter for free. Entrance to the museum is also free to the public on every first Sunday of the month.
4. Musée des Beaux-Arts
Set-up as a museum in the early 20th century, the Musée des Beaux-Arts du Reims is housed in the original Saint-Denis Abbey. This museum is home to many great masterpieces ranging through the centuries from the 16th to 21st century. Including furniture, objects of art, sculptures and paintings. Together these pieces form a story that can be told, described by their differing fashions and methods of production that in turn illustrate the changes the world has experienced. On the first floor of the museum there is a display work by 19th century impressionists such as Renoir and Monet, whilst also exhibiting baroque paintings from the 17th century. There is also a ground floor dedicated to many differing periods, that show great examples of decorative arts.
This museum of fine arts is open every day from 10 am until noon and then again from 2 pm until 6 pm. It costs only 5€ per adult and 3€ per child. Free entry is granted to the public on every first Sunday of the month. This is a brilliant fine art museum to visit as it offers a variety of french art that ranges throughout history.
5. Café du Palais
Café du Palais is a family owned cafe found in the heart of Reim. It was originally opened in 1930 and has stayed within the family since. The cafe is well-known for its spectacular decor that fills the restaurant including the wondrous skylight that laminates the room through a beautifully designed stain glass window. Accompanied with the wall decor and wonderful warm colored furniture, the room gives off a warm, relaxing ambiance that is authentically french. Add some yummy food from the quirky bistro to your bubbly glass of champagne and you have yourself a wonderfully classic afternoon in the heart of Reims.
How Do I Get Here From Paris?
Due to it only being a mere 145 kilometers away from Paris, getting to Reims from Paris is pretty straight forward if you enjoy traveling by train. There is direct TGV from Paris to Reims at a cost of 15€. The train ride takes a mere 45 minutes and is highly enjoyable. Definitely worth the money spent. Otherwise there is the option of hiring your own car and driving yourself there. The trip to Reims from Paris by car takes only an hour and half. Just fifteen minutes longer than the TGV train. It costs way more, but then you have the convenience of going where you want when you want, and the cost is laid out from the start, where as, unless you have planned every train ride you take, the cost of travel can escalate without you even realizing it.