Sparkling City of Champagne
The largest city in the Champagne-Ardenne, Reims is inextricably linked with this region’s famous sparkling wine. In fact, the city’s symbol - its huge Gothic cathedral - has a window depicting the monk who invented champagne: Dom Perignon. This coronation cathedral of French kings for around a millennium also has stained-glass windows designed by Marc Chagall.
A mosaic detailing champagne production also features on an Art Nouveau building with a barrel-shaped door on Rue de Mars, next to the 17th-century city hall.
But it’s the Reims champagne houses that are stars of the show. Many big brands are headquartered here and some including Pommery and Taittinger offer cellar tours in their underground chalk caves. You can also visit Veuve-Clicquot by appointment. Of course, no tour would be complete without a champagne tasting session, so you may leave feeling a little bubbly.
As you’d expect of such a prestigious city, there’s no shortage of restaurants, bars and shops including Galeries Lafayette and the Espace d’Erlon shopping center. Tree-lined Place d’Erlon is considered the heart of the city and is home to the Reims Christmas markets.
Paris Orly Airport is the closest, so chances are you’ll arrive by car. See Booking.com for a great range of Reims accommodations that include parking.