Poitiers is a stunning city located in the heart of western France, famous for its rich history, impressive architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. Whether you’re interested in exploring historic landmarks, relaxing in beautiful parks, or learning about the city’s fascinating past, Poitiers has something for everyone.
Interesting facts about Poitiers:
- Poitiers is a city located in western France, in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. It has a population of around 90,000 people.
- Poitiers is famous for its rich history, and has been an important center of trade, culture, and religion since Roman times.
- The city played a key role in the Hundred Years’ War between England and France, and was the site of several important battles.
- Poitiers is home to many beautiful landmarks and historic buildings, including the Palace of Poitiers, the Saint-Pierre Cathedral, and the Baptistère Saint-Jean.
- Poitiers is also known for its beautiful parks and gardens, including the Parc de Blossac and the Jardin des Plantes.
- Poitiers is a university town, and is home to the University of Poitiers, which was founded in the 15th century.
- Poitiers is also home to Futuroscope, a theme park that is dedicated to multimedia and audio-visual technology.
- Poitiers is located in the heart of the Loire Valley, which is famous for its wine production.
- Poitiers has a vibrant cultural scene, with many festivals and events taking place throughout the year, including the Festival de la BD (comic book festival) and the Les Expressifs (music and performing arts festival).
- Poitiers is also a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with many hiking and cycling trails, as well as opportunities for fishing and water sports.
In this article, we will take a look at the 15 best things to do in Poitiers.
Visit the Notre-Dame la Grande
Notre-Dame la Grande is a breathtaking church located in the heart of Poitiers. This Romanesque masterpiece was built in the 11th century and boasts a stunning façade decorated with intricate carvings and sculptures. Inside, visitors can marvel at the beautiful stained glass windows, intricate stone carvings, and the serene atmosphere that permeates the building. For an even more unforgettable experience, try to visit the church during one of its many concerts or religious events, when the entire space is filled with music and light.
Near the church, visitors can also find a charming square that’s perfect for strolling and taking in the local atmosphere. The square is lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops, making it an ideal spot for grabbing a bite to eat or a cup of coffee. Be sure to check out the nearby Tourist Office, which offers a wealth of information on Poitiers’ many attractions and activities.
Explore the Palace of Poitiers
The Palace of Poitiers is a magnificent Gothic building that dates back to the 12th century. Originally built as a fortress, the palace later served as the residence of the Counts of Poitiers and the Dukes of Aquitaine. Today, it houses the law courts of the region, and visitors can explore its many stunning features, including a beautiful courtyard and an impressive entrance hall. Inside, the palace’s main attraction is the magnificent Salle des Pas Perdus, a vast room with vaulted ceilings that once served as a waiting room for the Duke’s courtiers.
Another highlight of the palace is its beautiful chapel, which features intricate stone carvings and a stunning rose window. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the palace’s archives, which offer a fascinating glimpse into the region’s rich history. Be sure to take some time to wander around the palace’s beautiful gardens, which offer a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city.
Admire the architecture of the Baptistere Saint-Jean
The Baptistere Saint-Jean is one of the oldest churches in France and a must-visit attraction for architecture enthusiasts. This stunning building dates back to the 4th century and is a fine example of Merovingian architecture. Its most impressive feature is a beautiful baptismal font that’s carved from a single block of stone and decorated with intricate motifs and patterns. Visitors can also admire the church’s beautiful stained glass windows and the stunning carvings that adorn the exterior.
Nearby, visitors can also find the charming Place Charles VII, a lovely square that’s perfect for strolling and taking in the local atmosphere. The square is surrounded by beautiful buildings that date back centuries and is a great spot for a cup of coffee or a bite to eat.
Enjoy the scenery at Parc de Blossac
Parc de Blossac is a beautiful park located in the heart of Poitiers and a perfect place to relax and enjoy the scenery. The park offers a wide range of activities, including a mini-golf course, a playground, and a lake where visitors can rent pedal boats. The park’s beautiful gardens are perfect for taking a leisurely stroll, and visitors can also enjoy a picnic on the lawns or try some of the local delicacies at the park’s many cafes and restaurants. For a more active experience, the park also features several hiking trails and fitness stations, making it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
One of the park’s highlights is the beautiful Château de Blossac, a stunning 18th-century building that’s now home to the city’s museum of natural history. The château’s beautiful gardens and elegant interior make it a must-visit destination for architecture and history enthusiasts alike.
Visit the Musee Sainte-Croix
The Musee Sainte-Croix is a beautiful museum that’s home to a wide range of exhibits on the art and history of Poitiers and the surrounding area. The museum’s collection includes works by some of the region’s most famous artists, including Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Camille Corot, as well as many beautiful sculptures, artifacts, and manuscripts.
One of the museum’s highlights is the impressive collection of Gallo-Roman artifacts, which offer a fascinating glimpse into the region’s rich history. Visitors can also explore the museum’s many beautiful galleries, which are filled with stunning works of art and offer a unique insight into the city’s cultural heritage.
Discover the Church of Saint-Hilaire le Grand
The Church of Saint-Hilaire le Grand is a stunning Romanesque church that dates back to the 11th century. Its most impressive feature is a beautiful bell tower that offers breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding countryside. Visitors can also admire the church’s beautiful stained glass windows, intricate stone carvings, and the serene atmosphere that permeates the building.
Nearby, visitors can also find the charming village of Saint-Hilaire-le-Grand, which is full of quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants. The village is a great place to explore and soak up the local atmosphere, and visitors can also try some of the region’s famous goat cheese and other culinary specialties.
Take a walk through the Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes is a beautiful botanical garden located in the heart of Poitiers. The garden features a wide range of plants and flowers from around the world, as well as a large greenhouse that’s home to exotic plants and animals. Visitors can also enjoy a peaceful stroll through the park’s many beautiful gardens, which offer a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city.
One of the garden’s highlights is the stunning Roseraie, a beautiful garden that’s filled with thousands of rose bushes and other colorful flowers. Visitors can also explore the park’s many walking paths, which offer a great opportunity to see some of the region’s native flora and fauna.
Learn about Poitiers’ history at the Musee Rupert de Chièvres
The Musee Rupert de Chièvres is a fascinating museum that’s dedicated to the history of Poitiers and the surrounding area. The museum’s collection includes a wide range of artifacts, documents, and photographs that offer a unique insight into the city’s rich heritage.
One of the museum’s highlights is the impressive collection of Roman artifacts, which includes mosaics, sculptures, and other decorative objects. Visitors can also learn about the city’s medieval history, its role in the Hundred Years’ War, and its importance as a center of religious and cultural significance.
Explore the Museum of Natural History
The Museum of Natural History is a great destination for nature lovers, offering a wide range of exhibits on geology, botany, and zoology. Visitors can learn about the plants and animals that are native to the region and their habitats, as well as the geological history of the area.
One of the museum’s highlights is the impressive collection of fossils, which includes many rare and unusual specimens. Visitors can also explore the museum’s many beautiful galleries, which feature a wide range of interactive exhibits and displays that offer a fascinating insight into the natural world.
Visit the Saint-Pierre Cathedral
The Saint-Pierre Cathedral is a beautiful cathedral that dates back to the 12th century. It is a fine example of Gothic architecture and features stunning stained glass windows and intricate carvings. Visitors can attend a mass or simply admire the beauty of the cathedral.
One of the cathedral’s highlights is the stunning choir screen, which is adorned with beautiful carvings and sculptures that depict scenes from the Bible. Visitors can also admire the cathedral’s many beautiful chapels, which are filled with stunning works of art and offer a unique insight into the city’s religious heritage.
Go shopping at Les Halles de Poitiers
Les Halles de Poitiers is a covered market that sells a wide range of fresh produce, meat, cheese, and other local delicacies. Visitors can sample some of the region’s culinary specialties and purchase souvenirs to take back home.
The market is a great place to soak up the local atmosphere and enjoy some of the region’s famous hospitality. Visitors can also watch as local vendors prepare and sell their wares, making for a unique and authentic shopping experience.
Take a stroll through the historic district of Poitiers
The historic district of Poitiers is a beautiful area that is full of stunning architecture and historical landmarks. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the cobblestone streets and admire the beautiful buildings that date back centuries.
One of the district’s highlights is the beautiful Place de la Liberté, a charming square that’s perfect for strolling and taking in the local atmosphere. The square is surrounded by beautiful buildings that date back to the 18th and 19th centuries and is a great spot for a cup of coffee or a bite to eat.
Attend a performance at the Theatre Auditorium de Poitiers
The Theatre Auditorium de Poitiers is a great place to catch a show or concert. The theater features a wide range of performances, including opera, ballet, and classical music. Visitors can enjoy an evening of entertainment in a beautiful setting.
One of the theater’s highlights is the beautiful auditorium, which features stunning acoustics and a beautiful interior that’s decorated with intricate carvings and sculptures. Visitors can also admire the theater’s many beautiful galleries and lounges, which offer a unique insight into the world of theater and performance.
Futuroscope is a theme park that is located just outside of Poitiers. The park features a wide range of attractions and shows that are based on multimedia and audio-visual technology. Visitors can enjoy a unique and interactive experience that is perfect for all ages.
One of the park’s highlights is the stunning 4D cinema, which offers a fully immersive experience that takes visitors on a thrilling journey through time and space. Visitors can also enjoy a range of exciting rides and attractions, as well as explore the park’s many interactive exhibits and displays.
Discover the Chateau de Touffou
The Chateau de Touffou is a beautiful castle that’s located just outside of Poitiers. The castle dates back to the 16th century and is a fine example of Renaissance architecture. Visitors can explore the castle’s many beautiful features, including its stunning interior, its beautiful gardens, and its impressive moat.
One of the castle‘s highlights is the beautiful Chapel of Saint-Louis, which features stunning stained glass windows and intricate carvings. Visitors can also explore the castle’s many rooms and galleries, which are filled with beautiful works of art and offer a unique insight into the region’s cultural heritage.
Outside the castle, visitors can also find a beautiful park that’s perfect for a leisurely stroll. The park features many beautiful walking paths, as well as several lakes and ponds where visitors can spot a wide range of native flora and fauna.
Poitiers is a beautiful city that offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. From stunning architecture and historical landmarks to beautiful parks and gardens, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant and cultural city. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s rich history, soaking up the local atmosphere, or simply enjoying some of the region’s famous hospitality, Poitiers is a destination that’s not to be missed.
What is the best time of year to visit Poitiers?
The best time to visit Poitiers is in the spring or fall, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.
How do I get to Poitiers?
Poitiers is easily accessible by train, with regular services from Paris and other major cities in France.
What is the currency used in Poitiers?
The currency used in Poitiers is the euro.
Are there any other attractions near Poitiers that are worth visiting?
Yes, there are many other attractions near Poitiers that are worth visiting, including the historic town of Angouleme and the beautiful Château de Chinon.
What are some of the best restaurants in Poitiers?
Some of the best restaurants in Poitiers include Le 16, Le Restaurant des Halles, and La Cuisine de Marie.