A Day Trip Guide to Reims, France
By: Kendra Wolfman
Reims is a small town in France and about a 40-minute train ride from Paris. The city is where French kings were once crowned, and is known for the rich history of the Veuve Clicquot Vineyard. While there are many amazing sights in Reims, I’ve gathered the top five things you should do while exploring the city.
Tour the Veuve Clicquot Vineyard and champagne cellars
Veuve Clicquot was founded in 1772, with the first vintage bottle of champagne created in 1810. I took a tour of the underground champagne cellars at the Veuve Clicquot vineyard and it was one of the most unique adventures I’ve ever been on. The tour allows you to explore the rich history of Veuve Clicquot with a knowledgeable tour guide, an interactive tablet that tells you about the history of the vineyard, and significant objects from Veuve’s history to look at along the way such as crates, wine bottles, etc. At the end of the hour-long tour, there’s a champagne tasting which in my opinion was the best part. Oh, and don’t forget to hit the gift shop!
Stock up on Caudalie (or other French skincare brands)
Caudalie is a French skincare company that was founded by Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas in 1993. Caudalie is known for using grape extracts in its products to help target skin problems. Vinoperfect radiance serum is one of my favorite products. This serum helps brighten one’s complexion with Caudalie’s patented Viniferine serum that claims to be 62 times more effective than vitamin C at helping skin become more radiant. When you’re in Reims or France, in general, be sure to stock up on Caudalie! Since Caudalie is a French skincare brand, it is way cheaper to purchase than in North America. It’s also super accessible, you can find the brand in pharmacies, department stores (like Galeries Lafayette), or skincare stores in general. If you forget to stock up on Caudalie on your trip you can always stock up in Duty-Free at the airport!
Visit the Reims Cathedral
The Reims Cathedral has an amazingly detailed exterior and was once the location where the kings of France were crowned. The coronation tradition started with King Henry I of France who was crowned in 1027, making it the permanent location of the coronation of the French monarchs. Aside from taking plenty of pictures of the cathedral, you’ll want to tour the inside as well, for a glimpse of historic gothic architecture. The Cathedral is close to downtown Reims, so after you’re finished exploring take the opportunity to do some shopping and grab a bite to eat! The downtown area of Reims is filled with cute boutiques and restaurants, but also home to larger retailers.
Take a detour
When I was in Reims I took the train to Amsterdam for the day, and from there, I went to Brussels for the weekend. You can buy cheap tickets from Omio either the day of, or weeks in advance if you’re into planning. Omio has tickets for trains that travel all over Europe. I took at least six trains with Omio and loved my experience. The trains are usually on time, very clean and the people working on the trains are very friendly. There are also two train stations in Reims which makes traveling pretty convenient. If you’re unable to find a travel time that works for your schedule at one station or available tickets for your destination, the other station will likely have you covered.
Musée Automobile Reims Champagne
If you’re a lover of vintage cars, this is the spot for you. The Musée Automobile is the fifth-largest car museum in France and is filled with French cars dating back to as early as 1908. The museum houses over 200 cars and allows museum-goers to see the evolution of the French car over the years all in one space. Some of the cars at the museum are limited edition, others are the last remaining models in the world.
Going to the champagne house, shopping in picturesque French boutiques, and exploring historic sites in the city are just a few of the many ways to spend your time in Reims. The town is full of rich history and deserves to be explored!