Cultural Weekend Getaway: 8 Best Things To Do In Troyes, France

things to do in troyes france

Located on the Seine River about 150 km (93 miles) southeast of Paris, Troyes is a commune and the capital of the Aube department in north-central France. It lies in the Champagne region of Northern France and has existed since the Roman era as the hub of numerous highways, including the Via Agrippa. There are train connections from Paris, Dijon, Mulhouse and several regional destinations to Gare de Troyes train station. There is also a small regional airport Troyes – Barberey, where it has regional flights to Troyes.

With its Gothic churches, half-timbered houses and architecture from the 16th-century, Troyes is a short weekend getaway for those who want to be in touch with the culture of the France countryside.

1. The historical Musée de Vauluisant

Musée de Vauluisant is formerly the fabulous renaissance Hôtel de Vauluisant. The building, with its charming twin turreted towers built in the 16th – 17th centuries, contains of two museums, Musée d’Art Champenois (Regional Art Museum) and Musée de la Bonneterie (Textile-Hosiery Museum). You will start your exploration through the marvelous religious paintings, sculptures, and stained glasses collections from churches and monasteries around Troyes. Get close to the stained glasses and be astounded by the craftsmanship of those eras.

On the 2nd floor, you will explore the Textile-Hosiery Museum, where you can get to know the history of Troyes as the hosiery capital of France from 1700s up to the 1960s. There are both primitive wooden looms and sophisticated machines from the industry’s golden age in the 1800s. You will gain a whole new perspective about Troyes and its region from your exploration at Musée de Vauluisant.

Musée Historique de Troyes

Address: 4 Rue Vauluisant, 10000 Troyes, France

Website: Musée Historique de Troyes

2. The legendary Eglise de la Madeleine

Eglise de la Madeleine is the oldest church in Troyes, dating back from 1120 and was rebuilt in 1200 as a supreme example of Gothic architecture. The highlight of the church is the impressive choir’s renaissance stone rood screen, which was sculpted between 1508 and 1517. Few of these survive in French churches, so it’s a great experience to see a few of these renaissance legacies.

With incredible stained glass windows, Eglise de la Madeleine is a beautiful church. Check out some particular windows depicting the Passion and the Tree of Jesse. When you get out from the church, turn left and left again and you will arrive at a small, peaceful garden behind the church, planted with green shrubs and white flowers. It’s the perfect place to rest before you head out to your next destination.

Église Sainte-Madeleine

Address: 3 Rue de la Madeleine, 10000 Troyes, France

3. The flamboyant Troyes Cathedral

Sitting at the heart of Troyes, the Troyes Cathedral, famously known also as Cathédrale St-Pierre St-Paul, is a prime example of the Flamboyant Gothic style. Started in the 13th-century and completed more than 400 years later, Troyes Cathedral is entirely gothic, and is popular as one of the most beautiful churches, not just in France, but all of Europe.

Check out the three huge roses that were designed by the Renaissance architect Martin Chambiges. The stained-glass windows share Bible stories and are wonderfully depicted in deep rich colors. This was the way for illiterate medieval peasants to learn about the Bible stories. The incomplete single-tower on the West front, the small Renaissance campaniles on top of the tower, the whole cathedral architecture and interior will give you an unforgettable experience.

Troyes Cathedral

Address: Place Saint-Pierre, 10000 Troyes, France

Website: Troyes Cathedral

4. Blast to the past at Old Troyes

Within a second, Troyes can transport you to a different era by exploring the road to the Old Troyes. The Old Troyes has a multitude of Troyan timber-framed houses from the 16th-century that evoke the medieval and renaissance period. All houses are four stories high and these lovably rickety buildings are topped with triangular gables and all have different shades of daub. Stop by at one of the terrace cafés and enjoy the medieval and renaissance atmosphere of Old Troyes.

Tout Simplement Restaurant Bar à Vins

Address: 29 Place Alexandre Israël, 10000 Troyes, France

Website: Tout Simplement Restaurant Bar à Vins

5. Wandering through the Ruelle de Chats

Aren’t you wondering why it’s called the Ruelle de Chats, or in English: the cats alleys? This medieval alley is so narrow so the tops of the buildings on either side of the alley are so close, that cats on the top floor or attic can leap across from one side to the other.

The overhanging corbeled houses converge in a sort of urban ravine, blocking out all daylight, which it wouldn’t be difficult as the opposing facades actually touch each other at the top. It’s a must-visit when you are in Troyes. Spend some time to wander and there are lots of good restaurants nearby.

La Mignardise

Address: 1 Ruelle des Chats, 10000 Troyes, France

Website: La Mignardise

6. Shop till you drop at Marques Avenue

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Posted by Marques Avenue on Friday, 29 March 2019

Troyes is also famous for its collections of factory outlets where you can find some designer products for discounted price. Marques Avenue factory outlet provides good ranges of shops from low to high price, from designer to high street fashion. And what’s even better that you don’t have to bargain at Marques Avenue, they have already done it for you!

Marques Avenue Troyes

Website: Marques Avenue Troyes

7. The remarkable Basilique Saint-Urbain

things to do in troyes france | the remarkable basilique saint-urbain
Source: eliizzzbeth on Instagram

Basilique Saint-Urbain is one of the most remarkable churches in France, with a perfect replacement period from stonewalls to the iconic Gothic style of stained glasses. It started in 1261 by Pope Urban IV, who was born in Troyes and had this church built in 1262 for his patron saint.

Check out the narrow porch that frames a 13th-century Last Judgment tympanum, whose highly worked elements include the grimacing skeleton. And don’t forget to look for a carved crayfish on one of the statue’s niches, which is a testament to the local river culture. At the Basilique Saint-Urbain, you will see the renaissance statue of “Vierge aux Raisins,” the Virgin with Grapes, clutching Jesus with one hand and a bunch of champagne grapes on the other, inside a chapel on the South side.

Basilique Saint-Urbain de Troyes

Address: Place Vernier, 10000 Troyes, France

8. Take the road to Champagne Route

Troyes is located in the Aube, an area that produces champagne. Take a half hour’s drive from Troyes to the southwestern Côte des bar area, and you will find a beautiful 136-mile (219 km) champagne route that is clearly marked by the view of the vineyard by the side of the roads. Here, you can learn about the traditional champagne making process from the start of the geological tour to the end of production. And you can also do champagne tasting and learn about the different taste of each product. It is recommended to visit on July 29 – 30 to catch the festival of the champagne route in the villages around Bar sur Seine.

Champagne Rémy Massin et Fils

Address: 34, Grande Rue, 10110 Ville-sur-Arce, France

Website: Champagne Rémy Massin et Fils

Come back for more of Troyes

Whether you plan for a champagne culture holiday, to explore each church and museum, or for a big shopping tour at Troyes, you will always want to come back for more experiences in the city.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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