Where Kings were crowned, Reims, France

In En-Route, Europe, France, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, Unesco, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

More than Champagne

The city of Reims is in the Grand Est region of France; it is around 170 miles (270km) from Calais. We live in the southeast of the UK and have passed by this city many times and just admired the Notre-Dame de Reims from a distance.

Place Royale, Reims, Champagne Region, France

Reims is actually only 80 miles (129km) northeast of Paris.

On this occasion, we decided to included Reims in our Champagne road trip.

A helpful guide

If like us, you love visiting different regions of France then this Michelin guide will definitely assist in your planning.

We used a previous version of this book to plan our eastern France road trips, now you can grab the revised copy.

Not so ‘triumphal’

Reims was originally founded by the Gauls, but also played a significant role during the Roman Empire. In the 3rd century AD the triumphal arch named Porte Mars was erected, unfortunately for us restoration was taking place and all we got to see was tarpaulin.


But beneath the 3rd century Gallo-Roman forum, a well preserved cryptoporticus can be found. This was once used to store grain.

The cryptoporticus, Reims, Champagne Region, France
Inside the cryptoporticus, Reims, Champagne Region, France

Our Lady of Reims

The eye-catching centre piece of Reims is Notre-Dame de Reims, this wonderful cathedral erected in 1211 is where the Kings of France were crowned. ‘Our Lady of Reims’ celebrated her 800th anniversary in 2011.

Unfortunately, during the First World War the cathedral suffered significant damage and important sections were destroyed and left in ruins.

As this building was rich in cultural heritage, restoration began in 1919 and was fully reopened in 1938.

The Cathedral, Reims, Champagne Region, France

Sound and Light

In celebration of Reims rich history, a sound and light show is performed on the façade of the Cathedral late into the evening. It is an amazing display into the reconstruction of the building.

Illuminated Cathedral, Reims, Champagne Region, France
The story of the Cathedral in lights, Reims, Champagne Region, France
The Cathedral at night, Reims, Champagne Region, France


In 1991 the UNESCO World Heritage List inscribed the Notre-Dame de Reims, the Palace of Tau and the former Abbey of Saint-Remi, now the Romanesque-Gothic Saint-Remi Basilica, which still has its original 9th century nave, into its list.

Basilique Saint-Remi, Reims, Champagne Region, France
The nave of Basilique Saint-Remi, Reims, Champagne Region, France
The tomb of Saint-Remi, Reims, Champagne Region, France

Art Deco

Comptoir de l'Industrie, Reims, Champagne Region, France

Due to the aftermath of WWI, Reims had to pick itself up and rebuild. The evidence of this can be seen throughout the town, with some wonderful examples of Art Deco architecture.

Classic Architecture, Reims, Champagne Region, France
The Post Office, Reims, Champagne Region, France
On the Rue du Temple, Reims, Champagne Region, France

Unfortunately, the old theatre house could do with a little TLC.

The old theatre in need of TLC, Reims, Champagne Region, France

Les grandes marques

A trip to Reims wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Les grandes marques ‘Champagne producing houses’. Many of the larger houses have their headquarters in Reims and are open for you to tour and taste.

We chose G.H. Mumm but there are plenty to choose from. For a little more insight into the production, take a look at our ‘Tour of a Champagne cellar’ post.

Some of the tunnels and caves that the Champagne houses use to age their wine, which are under the city of Reims date back to Roman times.

Deep inside the chalk, Reims, Champagne Region, France

Walking the streets

There is no better way of exploring a town than on foot, you wouldn’t want to miss out on any of it.

Statue to Joan of Arc, Reims, Champagne Region, France
Impressive buildings throughout Reims, Champagne Region, France
Place de l'Hôtel de ville, Reims, Champagne Region, FranceSupplies, Reims, Champagne Region, France
Le Cellier, Reims, Champagne Region, France
Le Manège de Reims, Champagne Region, France
The Opera house at night, Reims, Champagne Region, France
The War Memorial, Reims, Champagne Region, France

This gave me another opportunity to indulge my obsession of visiting cemeteries. On this occasion, it was Reims’s Cimetiere du Nord.

Cimetière du Nord, Reims, Champagne Region, France
To the fallen in the Cimetière du Nord, Reims, Champagne Region, France


For the petrol heads amongst us, Reims maybe ringing bells for reasons other than the Notre-Dame. The French Grand Prix was held at the circuit of Reims-Gueux on 14 occasions between 1938 and 1966.

The full pit complex from the Circuit Reims-Gueux, France

The grandstands and some of the pits are well preserved and still there today, it certainly is worth a detour. Alternatively take a look at Gary’s post ‘A piece of history – Circuit Reims-Gueux’.

Evening entertainment

You certainly won’t be short of evening entertainment in Reims, particularly down the bustling street of Place Drouet d'Erlon.

For a taste of the local cuisine why not try Brasserie Du Le Boulingrin, this lovely brasserie located just opposite Les Halles, dates back to 1925.

Brasserie du Boulingrin, Reims, Champagne Region, France


Our accommodation for the 3 nights in Reims was at the Best Western La Paix. Very centrally located and parking was €14 per night.

Have You?

Visited Reims? Or have you just passed it by as you headed south? as we did for so many trips to France. It really is worth exploring - trust us

Inspired to visit Reims?

Does the thought of a tour of a Champagne House tempt you?

Why not check out the latest deals on Booking.Com?

The Catherdral, Reims, Champagne Region, France

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