Reims has two main claims to fame. The first is that it is at the heart of France’s champagne region – only wines made in the area can have the name “champagne”. The second is that its cathedral was where no less than 33 French kings were crowned – making it the country’s equivalent of Westminster Abbey.
It also has some magnificent architecture ranging from some of France’s finest examples of the gothic to a large number of art deco buildings.
There are no less than five sites that have official UNESCO World Heritage status.
When visiting Reims, it’s a good idea to buy one of the official City Cards. For under 20 euros, it entitles you to a visit to a champagne house and the choice of two audio tours of Reims.
What to see in Reims?
Visit the magnificent Cathedrale Notre Dame de Reims. You can also climb up the cathedral tower for a panoramic view.
Next to the cathedral is its museum in the Palais du Tau where you’ll find giant statues of some of the kings whose coronations were held there. Nearby is the Saint Remi Basilica, a 1,000 year old church which has contained the relics of the Bishop of Reims since 1099.
During the Roman occupation it’s thought that the city had no less than four gates around its walls and one of these remains today - The Porte de Mars.
A more modern piece of history can be found at the Surrender Museum which has been located in the building where, on May 7th 1945, German generals signed the documents to officially end the Second World War.
Of all the champagne houses you can visit, Taittinger is one of the most impressive. Champagne tours are also very popular.