One of travelers' favorite day trips from Paris is to the city of Reims, in the Grand Est or commonly referred to as "Champagne" region of France, to taste bubbly right from where it is produced. There are many options regarding transportation to Reims, where to taste champagne in Reims and even how to get around the beautiful and historical city, founded as early as 80 BC! This article will reveal everything you need to know to maximize your travel time and champagne tasting in the city of Reims.
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HOW TO TRAVEL TO REIMS?
The easiest and most direct way to travel to Reims from Paris is by direct train from the station Paris Est to Reims, with a journey time of a little over 45 minutes. Tickets can be bought online at sncf.com or at the stations, via the ticket offices or ticket machines. Prices do increase so it is best to buy them in advance, although one-way ticket prices usually stagger around 20€. Once you arrive at the train station in Reims, the city center is easily accessible in about 5-10 minutes by various bus routes, which are all waiting outside the train station for you. You can buy tickets on the bus, and even stop in the very helpful Reims tourism office just outside the train station for a map of the city and bus lines.
Reims is also accessible by car, however this route takes more than double the amount of time as the high-speed train, at 1 hour and 45 minutes driving time. Nonetheless it can be done by taking the A4 and exiting when you see the exit for "Reims-Centre/Trinquex" exit, which is number 22. Parking is available at the train station.
WHERE TO CHAMPAGNE TASTE IN REIMS?
While there are many options, ultimately the decision is up to your taste and your budget- and you cannot make a wrong choice!
Photo credit: lvmh.fr Photo credit: Veuve Cliquot
While there are an abundance of options of where to champagne taste in Reims, the most famous champagne tasting spot is at the iconic orange Veuve Clicquot, easily accessible by 20 minute bus ride or 35 minute walk from the Reims train station. Unlike many of the other champagne tastings in Reims, it is imperative to book your cellar tour, following with a tasting of the yellow label bottle, in advance as you cannot walk-in for a tasting. Tastings are only available upon booking tours of their cellars which end with a tasting and opportunity for shopping. The basic tour and tasting package is 25€ per person, and can be reserved in advance on their website.
Open Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30am-12:30pm and 1:30pm-5:30pm
1 Place des Droits de l'Homme, 51100 Reims
INISDR inside tip! The other popular and favorited champagne house, Moet & Chandon, is in fact not located in Reims but near to Epernay (only a 35 minute drive or direct train ride south of Reims if you feeling ambitious and want to visit both,) and also has a train station easily accessibly by a short train ride from Paris. If visiting the cellars of Moet & Chandon is your dream, then hop on a train to Epernay and gorgeous wine country! Reservations to visit Moet & Chandon's cellars can be accessed on their website.
If you are interested in a more intimate champagne tasting and nearer to the city center, then G.H. Martel is for you. This champagne house prides itself on being family-run for over four generations and on its medieval cellars, dug between the 4th and 15th centuries. The location is favorable as it is only a 15-20 minute walk from the Reims Cathedral in the city center. On a typical tour you can taste three of their different champagnes, and booking is also recommend to be done in advance via email to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open everyday, 10am-1pm and 2pm-7pm
17 Rue des Créneaux, 51100 Reims
For the ultimate mix; history, prestige and distance from Reims, visit the Pommery estate and neighboring Villa Demoiselle. Vranken-Pommery Monopole is currently the number 1 largest producer of rosé and number 2 largest producer of champagne, producing many different brands from their terroir. You can visit the Pommery estate in addition to taste the Pommery champagne after a 20 minute walk from the Reims Cathedral. The Villa Demoiselle is a remarkable mansion turned museum where you can discover the history of this residence across the way from the Pommery estate and taste the Champagne Demoiselle. Tours can be booked for either or both destinations on their booking site. Tours are only available in English at the Pommery estate.
Pommery estate: Open everyday, 10am-6pm through March and 9:30am-7pm starting in April
5 place Général Gouraud 51100 Reims
WHAT TO DO IN REIMS?
Aside from champagne tasting, Reims is a lovely city with a lot of history, fascinating architecture and excellent restaurants. The Reims Cathedral has a rich history, beautiful stained glassed windows and should definitely not be missed on a trip to Reims! Our favorite restaurant in Reims is L'Alambic because it serves authentic regional dishes, located on 63 bis Rue de Chativesle, 51100 Reims. There are also many shops and cafés where you can sit and grab a light meal and coffee outside in the square Place d'Erlon. Lastly, the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Reims, while not as well-known as the larger museums in Paris, still houses a remarkable collection and is well worth the visit.
For more information about what to do in Reims and other trips that can easily be taken from Paris, read our informative article: Best trips outside of Paris for a few days.
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