Spotlight on Reims

September 29, 2016

Spotlight on Reims

There are few cities in the entirety of France with as much history and culture as Reims. Often overlooked due to the fact that most of the city was levelled in the First and Second World Wars, it is also home to some of the most magnificent architecture in Europe, let alone France. The most famous example of this is the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Reims; a striking and magnificent cathedral which dominates the skyline of the city.

It is also the home of champagne, as well as many champagne houses such as the world-famous Taittinger house, and a great deal of bars serving up the best of the bubbly stuff. Reims can also boast 4 Michelin-starred restaurants to its name, plus 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Things to do in Reims

  • Say some Hail Marys at the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Reims, one of the most striking examples of gothic architecture in the world.
  • Climb the cathedral’s 249 steps and enjoy a stunning view of the entire city from its highest point.
  • Next door to the cathedral lies the Palais de Tau, associated with the old monarchy of France who were crowned at Notre Dame. Palais de Tau is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and home to a number of wonderful artefacts and pieces of art.
  • Learn about the end of the Second World War in Europe at the Surrender Museum, where German generals signed the documents to mark the end of hostilities.
  • Marvel at over 3 million bottles of champage in the cellars of the Taittinger Champagne House, carved out of chalk pits where an abbey once stood.
  • Read our Great Journeys guide to the Champagne Region for more information on the area around Reims.
  • Do as the Romans do at the Portre de Mars, with its 3 stone arches, a relic from the Roman times.

Where to eat

  • Reims is home to 4 Michelin-starred restaurants. The most luxurious is L’Assiette Champenoise which was given a rating of 3 Michelin stars in the 2016 Michelin guide. Perfect for a special occasion.
  • Version Original puts an international twist on a number of French dishes, perfect for a unique meal that you can’t find anywhere else.
  • Get a taste of the Far East at Racine, which serves up authentic Japanese and French cuisine.
  • For more ethnic cuisine, try L’Istanbul or Le Riad, which serve up halal Turkish and Moroccan dishes respectively.

Where to drink

  • The champagne caves at Pommery are wonderfully decorated with art installations which you can admire as you sample wonderful champagne.
  • Find out what the craic is at Kilberry, an Irish-themed bar which is amazingly popular with locals and also has a famous happy hour!
  • L’Apostrophe is ideal for the bookworms among you. Enjoy a drink while you peruse the library at this cosy, literate café.
  • Adventure outside of the city to Regional Natural Park of the Montagne de Reims and discover the Perching Bar; an environmentally friendly champagne bar suspended 7 metres above the ground, powered by solar panels and accessible only by wooden walkways.

How to get there

Getting there couldn’t be easier! Take your car and sail to France on one of our three routes – the city is a simply 3-hour drive from Calais or Dieppe ports. So whether you use our ferry routes from Dover, or our Newhaven to Dieppe crossing, you’ll be in the heart of the champagne region in no time at all!


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