Known locally as ‘Le Petit Paris’ for its distinct Parisian feel, Tours is home to a mixture of 19th-century architecture and expansive green spaces, making for a refreshing atmosphere typical of the Loire Valley.
Like other French cities, Tours has its own food delicacies. Head to Place Plumereau in the city’s Old Town to find restaurants like Le Zinc, serving regional cheese such as Olivet cendré, and an egg pie known as pâté berrichon. During your visit to the district, you’ll find 15th-century wooden-beamed houses leaning into the streets and restaurants below. Alternatively, spend a morning at the Les Halles de Tours market to purchase breads and wine.
It’s no surprise that Tours resides in the ‘Garden of France’ when you consider its parks and other green spaces. Visit the Place de Strasbourg to find picnic spots and children’s play facilities or head to the Jardin botanique de Tours to see 150-year-old ginkgo trees and greenhouses. Alternatively, the Préfecture Garden is home to the Anatole France Monument while the banks of the Loire River offer views of Tours' blue-slated roofs.
If you're looking for things to see and do in Tours, the Old Town is where you’ll find the city’s shopping streets, the Cathédrale Saint-Gatien, the Charlemagne Tower and the Basilique Saint Martin – a basilica once destroyed during the French Revolution. The Hôtel de Ville de Tours showcases the architectural prowess of Jean-Antoine Injalbert while the Museum of Fine Arts houses a collection of 19th-century French oil paintings.