Straddling a spit of land between the rivers Loire and Cher, the ancient cathedral city of Tours is the chief town of the Loire valley. It has the usual feel of a mid-sized provincial city, with some discordant shifts between the strikingly grand and stripped-down modern. Its charms, however, include some good bars and restaurants, an interesting collection of museums – including an above-average Beaux-Arts museum – and many fine buildings, most notably the Cathédrale St-Gatien.

The city’s two distinct old quarters lie on either side of rue Nationale, the busy shopping street that forms the town’s main axis, while the main tourist area lies around picturesque place Plumereau, some 600m to the west. Tours is also the main transport link to the great châteaux of Villandry, Langeais, Azay-le-Rideau and Amboise.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

France features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Ebikes: are they worth the hype?

Ebikes: are they worth the hype?

Though they may be sniffed at by "real" cylists, e-bikes are opening up serious mountain routes to the more casual pedaller. Andy Turner dons some lycra to find…

27 Oct 2017 • Andy Turner local_activity Special feature
20 seriously weird places around the world

20 seriously weird places around the world

The world is a weird (and wonderful) place. And from a rose-coloured lake to a Japanese island ruled by cats, we've got twenty pictures to prove it. 1. Spotted…

26 Jul 2017 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
Cabaret is alive and kicking in Paris

Cabaret is alive and kicking in Paris

Forget about the sleazy tourist traps in Pigalle, there's only one place to see burlesque in Paris: the Crazy Horse, opened in 1951. Eleanor Aldridge spent the …

25 Jul 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge local_activity Special feature
View more featureschevron_right