Considered the unofficial capital of the Champagne wine-growing region, Reims lies on the banks of the Vesle River in France’s Grand Est region. It’s renowned for its magnificent cathedral and is home to several fascinating museums, including the site where World War II was officially declared over.
Things to do in Reims
Marvel at the beautiful Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims, a 13th-century masterpiece and the location where French kings have been crowned for more than 1,000 years. After admiring the elaborately carved west facade and its twin towers, step inside to see the colourful stained glass windows, the Gothic carved portals and the centuries-old grand pipe organ.
No trip to Reims is complete with taking a guided cellar tour at one of the champagne houses, which usually include a sample of the finished product. In addition to names such as Veuve Cliquot and Pommery, you can also choose to visit the champagne houses of Piper Heidsieck, Tattinger and Ruinart.
Get up close to paintings and sculptures by some of France’s most celebrated artists at the Musee des Beaux-Arts, which also houses a collection of watercolour portraits by Lucas Cranach the Elder. Also not to miss is the Musée de la Reddition, a museum that commemorates the end of World War II at the site where the Third Reich’s surrender was officially received. In addition to military artefacts and vintage furnishings, the museum features more than 50 figures that help to bring the past to life.
Getting around Reims
Reims is around 1.5 hours’ drive from Paris and just under two hours from Charles de Gaulle Airport. Regular trains connect from major cities across France to the Reims railway station while buses and trams travel throughout Reims. The centre of Reims is compact enough to explore on foot.