Tours Introduction Walk (Self Guided), Tours

Declared a “City of Art and History” more than 20 years ago, Tours stays true to its title boasting rich cultural and historic heritage dating all the way back to the second century BC. Stately architecture complete with beautiful gardens await visitors coming to the city. See all these on this orientation walk and enjoy your time in Tours.
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Tours Introduction Walk Map

Guide Name: Tours Introduction Walk
Guide Location: France » Tours (See other walking tours in Tours)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 14
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.2 Km or 3.2 Miles
Author: Linda
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Place de la Cathédrale
  • Château de Tours
  • L’amphithéâtre de Caesarodunum
  • Le Musée des Beaux-Arts
  • Gare de Tours
  • Hotel de Ville
  • Palais de Justice
  • Rue Nationale
  • Basilica of St. Martin
  • Tour Charlemagne
  • Place du Grand Marché
  • Place Plumereau
  • Eglise Notre Dame de la Riche
  • Jardin Botanique
Place de la Cathédrale

1) Place de la Cathédrale (must see)

The Place de la Cathédrale is a beautiful little square with two very impressive religious landmarks. The first is the Cathédrale Saint-Gatien, a masterpiece of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. The second is the beautiful Cloître de la Psalette, a cloister realized in the same architectural style as the cathedral.
Château de Tours

2) Château de Tours

The Château de Tours, is a castle built in the 11th century, the building displayed an architecture of the Carolingian period, and was the residence of the Lords of France.

Until the 2000s, the Royal Castle of Tours was used as an aquarium where about 1,500 fish of 200 different species could be seen. It also served as Grévin museum. The castle was classified as monument historique on 20 August 1913.

Currently, the building houses contemporary exhibitions of paintings and photographs, including works by Joan Miró, Daniel Buren, Nadar, and the workshop of Tours history where archeological and historical documents, models, audio-visual films on the history of Tours etc are shown.
Sight description based on wikipedia
L’amphithéâtre de Caesarodunum

3) L’amphithéâtre de Caesarodunum

The Amphithéâtre de Tours is located behind the cathedral in the town’s historic center of the town. You can recapture the atmosphere of the city in ancient times by walking around this relic of the Roman occupation.
Le Musée des Beaux-Arts

4) Le Musée des Beaux-Arts (must see)

The Musée des beaux-arts de Tours is located in the bishop's former palace, near the cathedral St. Gatien, where it has been since 1910. It displays rich and varied collections, including that of painting which is one of the first in France both in quality and the diversity of the works presented.

In the courtyard, there are a magnificent cedar of Lebanon and stuffed elephant in a building in front of the museum. This elephant was killed for madness during a circus parade "Barnum & Bailey" in the streets of Tours on 10 June 1902.

The museum gets over 12,000 works but only 1,000 are shows to the public. On the ground floor, the museum has a room especially dedicated to Tours art of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

The monument has been classified as monument historique on 27 June 1983.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 9 am to 12:45 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Gare de Tours

5) Gare de Tours

Gare de Tours is a railway station serving the city Tours. It is situated on the Paris–Bordeaux railway, the Tours–Saint-Nazaire railway, and the non-electrified Tours–Le Mans railway. The Gare de Tours is a terminus; most TGV trains only serve the nearby Gare de Saint-Pierre-des-Corps.

On 28 December 1984, the railway station was classified as monument historique.

The architect of the 1898 station was Victor Laloux, with four allegorical limestone statues of cities by Jean Antoine Injalbert (Bordeaux and Toulouse) and Jean-Baptiste Hugues (Limoges and Nantes).

Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 4:30 am to 11:30 pm; Saturday: from 5:30 am to 11:30 pm; On Sundays and public holidays : from 5:30 am to midnight.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Hotel de Ville

6) Hotel de Ville

The City Hall of Tours was built between 1896 and 1904 by architect Victor Laloux. It stands in contrast to the Parisian-style Palais de Justice (Courthouse) and the general area of Place Jean Jaurès. This disproportionately large building reflects the influence of the municipal authorities.
Palais de Justice

7) Palais de Justice

The Palais de Justice of Tours was constructed between 1840 and 1843 by Charles Jacquemin and his son, John. The courthouse is distinguished by columns and a portico in the central part of the building. Visitors can combine a trip to this impressive building with its neighbor, the City Hall.
Rue Nationale

8) Rue Nationale

The Rue Nationale is one of the oldest street and the busiest shopping street in the city of Tours.
Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, the street has been crossed in its first half part, by two car lanes and two bus lanes, and in its second half part, by pedestrians and public transport only. The street is completely lined with shops.
The total restructuring of the wide part of the street is planned for 2013, including new construction (a Musée d'art contemporain, etc.) and conversion of a part between Rue des Halles and Rue Émile Zola, in an area exclusively reserved for pedestrians, cyclists and trams.[2] Buildings, including two hotels, will be designed by the agency Arte Charpentier and the architect Andrew Hobson.

There are two statues of René Descartes and François Rabelais in the street. The Musée des Vins and the Musée du Compagnonnage are respectively located at No. 16 and No. 8
Sight description based on wikipedia
Basilica of St. Martin

9) Basilica of St. Martin (must see)

The beginning of the story of the Basilica of St. Martin goes all the way back to the 4th Century, whne a small chapel was established here. The chapel was dedicated to St. Martin, who was the bishop of Tours at that time. Destroyed and rebuilt many times since, it was architect Victor Laloux that designed the Roman-Byzantine basilica on the site today.
Tour Charlemagne

10) Tour Charlemagne (must see)

Situated on Place de Chateauneuf, the Tour de Charlemagne tower is an important historical landmark that stands proudly in the centre of Old Town Tours. It is the only remaining vestige of the Romanesque-style 13th Century Church of Saint Martin, which was destroyed by French Calvinists in 1562.
Place du Grand Marché

11) Place du Grand Marché

The Place du Grand Marché is located west of the former Abbey of Saint Martin. If you take a leisurely walk around this area you can see some beautiful examples of old houses, dating all the way back to the 15th Century. Look out for their unusual wood frames and interesting Gothic decorations.
Place Plumereau

12) Place Plumereau (must see)

The Place Plumereau is one of the town’s most thriving centres, where you will find many students and tourists at all hours of the day. The 15th Century wood-framed houses on the south side of the street and on nearby side-streets give a charming historical atmosphere to this bustling area.
Eglise Notre Dame de la Riche

13) Eglise Notre Dame de la Riche

The Notre Dame de la Riche is a 15th Century church that stands today as an important historic landmark. The original choir balcony and two side chapels remain in use today. However, the original nave was devastated during the Wars of Religion, and later rebuilt. The beautiful paintings and charming stained glass windows are a big draw for visitors to this church.
Jardin Botanique

14) Jardin Botanique (must see)

The Jardin botanique de Tours (5 hectares) is a municipal botanical garden and arboretum.

The garden was established by public subscription in 1843 at the initiative of pharmacist Jean-Anthyme Margueron (1771-1848), and is the oldest public garden in the city.

In response to the 1841 creation of the city's Hospice Général et de l’Ecole Préparatoire de Pharmacie, it began as a collection of about 2,000 medical and exotic plants arranged in greenhouses (containing about 500 plants), orchard, and garden proper. It was flooded by the Loire in 1848 and again in 1856, to a depth of 2 meters, which required rebuilding the garden and replacing most of its trees. In 1863 an orangery and animal park were added, and then in 1890 new greenhouses (cold, temperate, and hot) under the direction of Louis Madelin, with the garden's first seed catalog published in 1901. The greenhouses were damaged by bombardments in World War II.

Opening hours: From 1 October to 31 March: 7.45 am to 5.30 pm - from 1 April to 31 May and September: 7.45 am to 7 pm - from 1 June to 31 August: from 7.45 am to 10 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Tours, France

Create Your Own Walk in Tours

Create Your Own Walk in Tours

Creating your own self-guided walk in Tours is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Tours Old Town Walk

Tours Old Town Walk

The city of Tours has successfully preserved much of its medieval and Renaissance heritage. Most of these historic buildings and other sights are concentrated in the ancient village of Chateauneuf, now known as the Quartier Plumereau. Take our tour to see the best sights in this amazing area.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
Cultural Venus

Cultural Venus

Tours is home to a thriving cultural life. The town’s many interesting venues offer a large spectrum of performances, exhibitions and festivals. Take our tour to see all the best cultural spots in Tours.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Tours Museums Walk

Tours Museums Walk

Tours is one of France’s great historical centres, as shown by its wide range of museums that tell the fascinating story of the country’s long history. Take our tour to see the most interesting collections.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Historical Churches

Historical Churches

In Tours there are several notable places of worship that pay testament to the rich history and spiritual life of the town. Take our tour to visit the most interesting places of worship in Tours.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles