Tours Things to Do Tips by tiabunna Top 5 Page for this destination
Tours Things to Do: 98 reviews and 136 photos
Park near Centre de Congrès Vinci
Tours is blessed with some very pleasant parks. In this tip I shall give details on three of them, though there are others.
Right outside the Gare de Tours station, you will find Place de Général Leclerc. A pleasant enough spot, but surrounded by busy roads. Not necessarily the place to sit and relax. For my money, the best place for somewhere to sit, relax, and enjoy the sunshine, is the park (and I could not find a name for it) alongside the Centre de Congrès Vinci and directly across the road from Place de Général Leclerc. That is the park you see in the first photo, and it is a true oasis in the city. To find it easily, with your back to the station and the tourist office on your right, it is just to the left of the large modern building ahead of you (the Centre de Congrès).
If you walk continue along Boulevard Heurteloup to the left of the station from that park, you will come to the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), with the Place Jean Jaurès across from you. (Photo 2) The main bus terminal is adjacent to it.
At this stage, the pedestrianised Rue Nationale is on your right and will lead you to the old town. Up in that area, along Rue Colbert, I found a pleasant little fountain in what may have been Pl de Coeur Navre. (Photo 3)
The Office de Tourisme is just in front of and to the right of the station, past Place de Général Leclerc, and across Boulevard Heurteloup, at the corner of Rue Bertrand Palissy.
In the mornings the Tourist Office runs a range of guided walking tours of about two hours’ length. I missed the general walk of the city because I wished to do the bus tour of the chateaux at the same time, but it is held in the morning and costs 5.50€ for adults and 4.5€ for children. Most importantly, they have some excellent brochures which will very much assist you in finding your own way and seeing the sights around the town and surrounding districts.
Address: 78/82, rue Bernard Palissy
Other Contact: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 02 47 70 37 37
Open air relaxation in place Plumerau
Place Plumerau is the main square of the ‘old town’. With tourism the main business in the district these days, it is hardly surprising that it is well served with a choice of eating and drinking opportunities. I didn’t stop here, but I rather fancy that sitting in this square with a group of friends on a sunny day, with its mediaeval buildings surrounding, would have to be very pleasant. Even wandering through was enjoyable.
If you wander westwards along rue de Commerce from the Cathedral, it is not a long walk to find yourself here. Alternatively, head up rue Nationale (the main street) from place Jean Jaurès, then left via rue du Maréchal Foch or rue de Commerce - either way, the streets in this area become fairly tangled, so it is nice just to wander and find your destination almost by luck!
Facade of old building, Tours
The ”Vieille Ville” part of Tours has a goodly number of buildings dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. Incredibly, I have read that there were moves in 1957 to ‘do a Haussmann’ and replace much of the old part with ‘new’ buildings. Fortunately, sanity took over and instead the old buildings were repaired and renovated.
To make it easier to appreciate the old town, its streets have now been ‘pedestrianised’, to make walking about it more pleasant. It is, and I am happy to recommend it: my suggestion though, is that you first visit the Office de Tourisme and pick up a copy of their excellent brochure "Tours - Capitale des Chateaux de la Loire" which has a good map (and English translations of the main points). You may have to ask at the counter for it, as I did.
Directions: Near the Cathedral and also the Old Town, further west.
Musée Goüin, Tours
With its fancy 15th century renaissance façade this former town mansion building is a stunner and, though the building it conceals was damaged by fire following the bombings of 1940, the restorations are not discernable.
Inside is the archaeological museum run by the ‘Archaeological Society of Touraine’ – unfortunately there is a rule of ’no photos’ inside. The interesting and eclectic collection includes material dating from the palaeolithic and Roman history of the Touraine area to the late 19th century. It warrants a visit, though unless you have a specialised interest your stay is unlikely to be extended. Guided tours are available.
Address: 25, rue de Commerce, Tours
Directions: Open daily (except Mondays) 1000-1300 and 1400-1800.
Also closed 25 December and 1 January. The entry charge is 4.5€.
Other Contact: email email@example.com
Phone: 02 47 66 222 32
Some of the lovely stained glass
The Cathédrale St-Gatien, as it is more properly known, is an interesting construction, begun in the 13th century and not completed until the mid-1500s. Despite the range of styles, from gothic to renaissance, somehow the result is quite impressive, if looking a little as though some external cleaning might be due (photo 2).
During my visit an organist was giving the pipe organ (photo 3) a workout. There is simply nothing like listening to a good organ in the setting of an empty cathedral, the notes seem to hang in the air. Combine that with atmospheric lighting through the lovely stained glass windows and the high vaulted ceilings (photo 4) and it impressed even a non-religious bloke like me; so I stayed for some time and let the music and atmosphere wash around me. Should the organ be playing when you visit, it’s worth it to find a chair and settle back for a while.
Address: Place de la Cathedrale
Directions: The Cathedral is only a short distance up the rue Bernard Pallisy from the Office de Tourisme, then head to the right past the Place Francois Sicard – once you are in the area, just head for the towers.
More Reviews (9)
tiabunna's Related Pages
Tours Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "TOURING TOURS"
- "Moscow - Tours"
- "Sharrie's Tours Light"
- "Pierre_Rouss's Tours and Loire region Page"
- "Rachel Suns Tour of France Page"
- "What a wonderful city!"
- "In and Around Tours"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Tours
- Hotels in Tours
- Transportation in Tours
- Nightlife in Tours
- Restaurants in Tours
- Shopping in Tours
- Warnings and Dangers in Tours
- See All...
Explore the World
- Broadbeach Hotels
- Taipei Hotels
- San Carlos Island Hotels
- Mullumbimby Hotels
Badges & Stats in Tours
- 15 Reviews
- 38 Photos
- 0 Forum posts
- 40 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (18)
Have you been to Tours?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Tours
Photos in ToursSee All Photos (38)
Top 10 Pages
- Paris Intro, 79 reviews, 222 photos, 1 travelogue
- Vienna Intro, 46 reviews, 178 photos, 3 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Canberra Intro, 60 reviews, 150 photos, 3 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Kakadu National Park Intro, 34 reviews, 161 photos, 3 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Darwin Intro, 38 reviews, 151 photos, 3 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Antarctica Intro, 54 reviews, 103 photos, 3 travelogues
- Montreal Intro, 30 reviews, 95 photos, 1 travelogue
- Macquarie Island Intro, 29 reviews, 76 photos, 1 travelogue
- Cowra Intro, 19 reviews, 75 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Brisbane Intro, 26 reviews, 57 photos
FriendsSee All Friends (65)
Latest Tours hotel reviews
- Hotel Regina
- 80 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 7, 2013
- Holiday Inn Express Tours
- 5 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 25, 2012
- Holiday Inn Tours City Centre
- 51 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 9, 2013
- Hotel de L'Europe
- 19 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 12, 2013
- Ibis Tours Centre
- 47 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 7, 2013
- Hotel de l'Univers
- 65 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 19, 2013
- Val de Loire Hotel
- 6 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Mar 9, 2013
- Hotel Balladins Tours Nord Confort
- 5 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Mar 28, 2013
- Mercure Tours Nord
- 30 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 2, 2013
- Relais Saint Eloi
- 14 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 23, 2013
- Etap Hotel Tours Centre
- 22 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jan 30, 2013