Top 6 places to visit in Bourges, France

Bourges in Central France deserves to be better known.  Relatively compact, you can explore the town easily in a weekend. Its only 2 hours by train from Paris or 1 and a half hours from Tours airport. Read on for the top 6 places to visit. 
1 – Cathedral of Saint Etienne

A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992, it retains most of its original features. Built between the late 12th and 13th centuries, it’s a masterpiece of Gothic art.
Bourges Cathedral - Luxury Columnist
Most of the stained glass dates from 1215.

Bourges stained glass - Luxury Columnist
The exterior is incredibly rich in detail.

Exterior Cathedral - Luxury Columnist
Look carefully at the exterior and you’ll spot this cheeky gargoyle created by the Cathedral’s unknown master builder.

Bourges Cathedral cheeky shot - Luxury Columnist
Make sure to visit the tower for the spectacular view over the town.

Bourges Cathedral view - Luxury Columnist
2 – Palais Jacques Coeur

Jacques Coeur was an extremely successful merchant, knighted by King Charles VII. He was able to fund the construction of this unique Gothic mansion house.

Palais Jacques Coeur - Luxury Columnist
Some say that these two statues on the exterior of the building represent the merchant and his wife.

Jacques Coeur - Luxury Columnist        JC - Luxury Columnist
Palais Jacques Coeur - Luxury Columnist
The chapel has a beautiful painted ceiling.

Painted ceiling - Luxury Columnist
It is said that Jacques Coeur had this roof designed to resemble a boat.

3 – The Marais or Marshes

Bourges is set on the marshes or “Marais” as they are known in France. It’s a pleasant network of canals and allotments, perfect for an afternoon stroll.
Some of the allotments can only be reached by rowing boat.

Bourges Marais - Luxury Columnist
Scarecrow - Luxury Columnist
4 – The “Blue Nights” or Nuits Bleues

If you can, try to visit in Summer when the major sites are illuminated by a trail of blue lights to follow around town.

Nuits Bleus - Luxury Columnist
You can visit from nightfall every Thursday, Friday and Saturday in May, June and September and every day in July and August.

Les Nuits Bleus - Luxury Columnist
Medieval images are projected onto the historical buildings.

Les Nuits Bleus - Luxury Columnist
Nuits Bleues - Luxury Columnist
4 – Timber framed houses

Bourges has more than 440 timber framed houses. Many were rebuilt after the Great Fire of La Madeleine in 1487.

Timber framed house - Luxury Columnist
The House of the 3 Flutes has a wood carving of, you guessed it, 3 flutes on the pillars in front of the door.

3 Flutes House - Luxury Columnist
The birthplace of Jacques Coeur is particularly attractive – although some say he wasn’t actually born there.

Maison Natale JC - Luxury Columnist
6 – Rail Biking at Cosne Cours sur Loire

This is a fun activity, and great exercise. It’s a 1 hour drive from Bourges and definitely worth the trip. Cyclo Rail is a sort of bike seating up to 4 people. You pedal along a disused railway line in beautiful countryside.

Cyclo rail
It starts at the largest French metal railway bridge, built by Gustave Eiffel’s team (of the Eiffel Tower fame).

Cyclo rail - Luxury Columnist
Cycling is fairly easy as much of the 6.5 kilometre is flat.

Cyclo Rail - Luxury Columnist
You will pass over a 40 metre high viaduct, overlooking the Saint Satur river.  Cyclo Rail - Luxury Columnist
Over 3 million people have enjoyed Cyclorail in France – there are 44 sites spread all over France.

Read part 2 of my French travels here, as I travel on to Paris for some serious shopping!

  • Great post! If I ever find myself in Bourges, I’ll definitely refer back to this aticle. Particularly the rail biking looks like so much it 🙂

    Jasmin xx

    • Yes the railbiking was great fun, and you can do it in lots of different parts of France

  • Rachel

    Wow, this looks great! Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

    Love, Rachel

  • Nadieyaa Gibb

    very very nice post! sooo interesting..! thanks for share 🙂

    wanna follow each other..? follow me and let me know 🙂 i’ll follow you back soon after it..

    • HI Nadieyaa, thanks for your comment. I’m very happy to follow everyone who follows me, so done! Love your illustrations by the way

      • Nadieyaa Gibb

        hi, iam followign you on bloglovin now.. 🙂 do u have GFC? i cant find it on your page..

        • Hi Nadieyaa, I was following you on Twitter, but have added you on Bloglovin too. Not on GFC yet, so many networks! Do you recommend it?

  • Kat Arban

    Beautiful! I have to visit one day!!

    • Yes it’s a great place to visit. Hawaii is on my wishlist too. Are you on Bloglovin by the way?

  • sprinklesofstyle

    Ah, your photos are absolutely beautiful!!! Everything looks gorgeous!! 🙂

    Layla xx

  • The pictures are absolutely amazing, the ‘cheeky’ gargoyle is hilarious. I will be in France in November, I’ll definitely try to make it out here! 🙂

    • Dani

      If you are further south definitely go to Carcassonne

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  • Dani

    Oh my, flying buttresses! Old Europe. Every time old Europe. Brilliant pictures

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