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PoitiersFrance

When you think of Poitiers, you may think of Futuroscope... but the city has much more to offer! On the banks of the River Clain, the beating heart of the Poitou-Charentes region is full of history and culture, and less than two hours away from Paris.

Let's be clear, Poitiers is a great city to live in. Near the Loire Valley and the Atlantic coast, France's biggest student city excels in biomedical and aeronautical research. It is home to a large number of students who come to follow in the footsteps of Ronsard, Rabelais and Descartes, brilliant minds that once attended Poitiers university.

Packed with bars and restaurants to suit all tastes, Poitiers invites exploration. The "city of a hundred spires" reveals its heritage through the Chemins de Notre-Dame, signposted walks offering three different routes that are marked out on the ground. As you wind your way through the charming shopping streets of the city centre, you'll soon see that modern-day Poitiers embraces the future as well as the past. Among the city's 80 listed buildings, undoubtedly the most iconic is the Église Notre-Dame la Grande, an 11th-century masterpiece of Romanesque architecture. In summer and at Christmas, you can attend the Polychromies, an enchanting light show that brings back to life the colours that once adorned the sculptures on the church's facade.

Continue your walk along the Grand'Rue, home to one of the last candle manufacturers in France, and you'll come to the stunning Gothic Cathedral of Saint Peter, construction of which began in the 12th century under the aegis of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Nearby are the Baptistère Saint-Jean, one of the oldest Christian buildings in Europe, and the Palais de Justice, the former palace of the Counts of Poitou and Dukes of Aquitaine, where Joan of Arc was interrogated in 1429.

Art lovers won't want to miss the fantastic Rupert de Chièvres museum, which is home to paintings by artists of the Dutch and Flemish schools, as well as the huge Musée Sainte-Croix, which is just around the corner, where a range of archaeological collections are on display. Fancy a bit of greenery? Stop off at the Jardin des sens, a colourful, beautifully fragrant place where you can enjoy relaxing.

And of course, you can't visit Poitiers without visiting the legendary Parc du Futuroscope, a digital technology theme park that will fascinate young and old alike. Giant screens, dancing robots and a 4D adventure... be warned, it's mind-blowing!

Conveniently situated between Paris and Bordeaux, Poitiers is easy to get to, particularly by train. From Paris, it only takes one and a half hours by high-speed train and around three hours by car to reach the department of Vienne via the A10 motorway. The city also has an airport with connections to Lyon, London and Ajaccio. As Poitiers is quite compact, it's easy to get around on foot, by bicycle or via the Vitalis bus network.

Where to stay in Poitiers

Les 3 Cités, Poitiers, France

Les 3 Cités

When in Les 3 Cités, you can plan a visit to Poitiers Cathedral and Place du Marechal Leclerc, some noteworthy sights in the nearby area.

Les 3 Cités

Top hotels in Poitiers

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
ibis Poitiers Sud
ibis Poitiers Sud
3 out of 5
£63
per night
29 Apr-30 Apr

Situated in the shopping district, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Caves of the Norée, Parc de Blossac and Fun Forest Parcours Aventure. St-Hilaire-le-Grand ...

4/5Very Good! (224 reviews)
Good overnight stay

"Good location opposite Auchan in South Poitiers, at the end of the N10. Plenty of free parking. Easy check-in and room as expected, typical IBIS really, comfy bed, free WiFi, TV, and shower ensuite. NJ o toiletries as such but squeeze bottles of hand wash and shampoo and shower gel. It seems to be ..."…"

Reviewed on 9 Dec 2019

ibis Poitiers Sud
Hôtel Inn Design Poitiers
Hôtel Inn Design Poitiers
3 out of 5
£48
per night
24 Apr-25 Apr

Located in the heart of Poitiers, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Caves of the Norée, Parc de Blossac and St-Hilaire-le-Grand Church. Place du Marechal ...

3.9/5Good! (276 reviews)
1 Night stay

"Good location easy to find, limited choice of food on evening menu and expensive for what it was. Friendly staff"…"

Reviewed on 22 Dec 2019

Hôtel Inn Design Poitiers
Aparthotel Adagio access Poitiers
Aparthotel Adagio access Poitiers
3 out of 5

Situated in Poitiers, this residence is within a 15-minute walk of Notre-Dame la Grande, Place Charles de Gaulle and Palais de Justice. Place du Marechal Leclerc ...

4/5Very Good! (341 reviews)
Best service in France!

"The service was above and beyond what we expected. When we called to tell them that we would be arriving after hours, we were immediately given the codes for the front door and the lock box with the keys. Then, they sent all the same info in an email within the hour. By a mistake that I made we actually ..."…"

Reviewed on 25 Sep 2019

Aparthotel Adagio access Poitiers

Popular things to do in Poitiers

Notre-Dame la Grande
Image for Notre-Dame la Grande

Notre-Dame la Grande

4.5/5(8 reviews)

You can learn about the history of Poitiers with a trip to Notre-Dame la Grande. Discover the area's cathedral and seek out its golf courses.

Futuroscope
Image for Futuroscope

Futuroscope

4.5/5(5 reviews)

Enjoy the excitement at Futuroscope and find out why this is a popular theme park in Chasseneuil-du-Poitou. Discover the area's countryside and seek out the golf courses.