Nestled in the heart of the Champagne region, Reims offers more than just tastings of the world’s best sparkling wines. This charming city boasts some of the most iconic sites—all thanks to its rich history and stunning architecture.
Thankfully, Reims is a pedestrian-friendly city. Almost all of the main attractions and activities in Reims are close to one another. Whether you want to explore Champagne Houses, grand cathedrals, and bustling squares, you can easily reach each destination on foot.
Below, we will walk you through the best tourist spots in Reims and how to get there. We will also go over some practical tips to help you make the most of your visit to this city.
Map of Reims
Things To Do in Reims
Reims is home to many of the most prestigious landmarks and Champagne Houses that you can explore on foot. Many of the city’s main tourist attractions are within walking distance of one another. Tourists love to visit Reims and explore the city without relying largely on public transportation or cars.
If you plan to do a day tour, include these activities in your Reims itinerary:
Visit the Reims Cathedral
The magnificent Notre Dame de Reims packs a rich history beyond comprehension. It’s renowned for its Gothic architecture and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in the 12th century, 25 of the 33 French kings were crowned here.
This impressive façade of the Catholic cathedral is adorned with over 2,300 statues. It’s the only cathedral in the world to display angels and their open wings, which includes the famous Smiling Angel. If the Gothic façade is enough to hold your gaze, wait until you see what’s on the inside!
The Reims Cathedral is easy to locate and you can reach it on foot from many parts of the city.
Go on a Champagne House Tour
You could never go wrong with visiting some of the most iconic Champagne Houses. Exploring the Houses makes a wonderful day tour. You can soak up the beauty of the picturesque vineyards or go on a cellar tour for a dose of booze in their champagne bar before you go to your next destination.
There are many Champagne Houses located across the city. Visit Taittinger, Champagne Ruinart, Pommery, Mumm, and Veuve Clicquot on a guided day trip. Don’t worry, they are all within walking distance of one another!
Visit the Foujita Chapel
Designed by Japanese artist Tsuguharu Foujita, the Foujita Chapel is also considered one of the most iconic historic monuments in France. The chapel was built in 1966 and is known for its stunning frescoes painted in shades of blue, green, brown, and yellow. These frescoes depict religious iconography.
It’s a little away from the city center, but it’s located inside the premises of Mumm Champagne. So if you plan to visit the Champagne House, you might as well stop by the Foujita Chapel.
Tour the Musée de la Reddition
If you’re fond of history, you will fall in love with this museum. It’s a museum that commemorates the end of World War II in Europe and it’s also where Nazi Germany officially surrendered to Allied forces.
Inside the Musée de la Reddition, you will see photos, documents, maps, uniforms, and some weapons from the war. You will also see the actual wooden table where the conditions of surrender were agreed upon. In case you get hooked, they also show a short documentary film about WWII in French and English.
The museum is roughly a 5-minute walk away from the city’s main railway station (Gare de Reims).
Explore La Porte De Mars
Porte de Mars or Mars Gate is an ancient Roman arch, dating back to the 3rd century AD. It’s the widest triumphal arch in the Roman world. The gates also served as one of the entry points to Reims during the Roman era. Its exterior is covered with intricate carvings, as are the ceilings of its three passages.
The Mars Gate is a well-preserved structure that is worth visiting if you’re spending a day in the city. It’s situated in the peaceful countryside.
Visit the Musée Automobile Reims Champagne
For car enthusiasts, this museum is like Disneyland. It’s definitely a must-see if you want to discover rare cars.
First opened to the public in 1985, the Musée Automobile Reims Champagne puts together old motor vehicles, some of which are over a century old. It’s a collaborative museum with unique specimens from around the world, from French cars to American automobiles.
French automobile designer Philippe Charbonneaux’s car collection is displayed here. It also houses motorbikes, racecars, and toy cars.
Although it’s located slightly away from the city center, it is still reachable on foot. You can walk into the museum from the Champagne Houses.
Visit Palais Du Tau
Palais Du Tau used to be the residence of French Kings who were crowned in Reims. It was the palace of the Archbishop. What makes this place interesting is that What makes this place interesting is the many different artifacts and displays attributed to the Reims Cathedral.
Inside the Palais Du Tau, you will see some of the earliest known and most notable sculptures and carvings of the cathedral. The original Smiling Angel is also displayed here, as well as the replica of the cathedral’s west façade. You will also see the original angel that stood above the spire of the Reims cathedral.
The museum also has a Treasury that contains precious artifacts. But the robes and tapestries used to crown French kings are a must-see.
The Palais Du Tau sits next to Reims Cathedral so you can easily reach the museum.
Shop Around Place Drouet d’Erlon
The Place Drouet d’Erlon is a short walk from the Reims train station. From Porte de Mars Square, you will see this charming, tree-lined avenue. Take a stroll in this bustling area and explore different restaurants, and shops, and feel the local atmosphere.
Stroll Around Basilique Saint-Remi
If you can’t get enough of the Gothic art masterpiece of a building that is the Notre-Dame de Reims, you’re not ready for the Basilique Saint-Remi. This structure combines both Romanesque and Gothic architecture. It’s regarded as the largest Romanesque church in Northern France.
The Saint Remi basilica was built to keep the relics of Saint-Remi in the 11th century. Saint-Remi was the archbishop who baptized the first King of the Franks, Clovis I in 496. The archbishop is also buried here.
The stone-carved figures on its exterior are truly a work of art. As soon as you enter the church, depending on the time of the day, you’ll be greeted by the ethereal lights coming from its stained glass windows. Visiting the church will take you back to the time.
This place is easily accessible if you come from visiting the nearby Champagne Houses. It’s just around the corner from Taittinger.
Tips for Visiting Reims
It’s always best to plan ahead for your trip to Reims, France. If your head is fixed on exploring the city on foot, make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and beware of cobbled lanes!
You will see many places to eat, and drink, and there are coffee shops and pizza places everywhere. Plus, most of the tourist attractions are free to visit. However, you may need to pay an entrance fee to certain museums. Champagne tours and champagne tasting come with a fee but make sure to book in advance.
How Much Time Do You Need for Reims?
A day tour to Reims should be enough to visit the main attractions. However, some tourists stay for two days or more. If you want to go at a slower pace here, stay for 2 to 3 days. With this much time, you will be able to visit the vineyards and main tourist spots.
Is It Worth Staying in Reims?
The rich history of the city makes Reims worth visiting. The city is pretty large and there are many things to do here. You can stay for a day to explore different attractions, including Champagne Houses and their UNESCO World Heritage Site. In your free time, you can explore the countryside and the scenic, sloping vineyards.
Can You Walk to Champagne Houses in Reims?
A guided champagne tour is one of the highlights of Reims. If you open google maps, all the Champagne Houses in Reims are close to one another.
You can walk from the center of Reims to Champagne Veuve Clicquot. From there, you can walk to Champagne Ruinart, and it will only take you 14 minutes. If you take a turn between the two Houses, you will find Pommery.
Is Reims Safe at Night?
Overall, Reims is safe. The city is well-policed even at night. But if you can avoid walking alone, do so. Crimes still happen in some neighborhoods in Orgeval and Croix Rouge, Wilson, although these places are not heavily visited.
While driving a car or using public transport to get around Reims is a great way to save time, exploring the city on foot will give you a more personalized experience. Reims is a walkable city that boasts a lot of historical sites and iconic Champagne Houses.
If you can spend a day or two in this charming city, we highly recommend visiting the places we’ve listed above.
Let us know if you have more questions about walking into Reims and we will be happy to guide you. Thanks for reading!