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.
Most of the stained glass dates from 1215.
The exterior is incredibly rich in detail.
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.
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.
If you can, try to visit in Summer when the major sites are illuminated by a trail of blue lights to follow around town.
You can visit from nightfall every Thursday, Friday and Saturday in May, June and September and every day in July and August.
Bourges has more than 440 timber framed houses. Many were rebuilt after the Great Fire of La Madeleine in 1487.
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.
It starts at the largest French metal railway bridge, built by Gustave Eiffel’s team (of the Eiffel Tower fame).
Cycling is fairly easy as much of the 6.5 kilometre is flat.
You will pass over a 40 metre high viaduct, overlooking the Saint Satur river.
Over 3 million people have enjoyed Cyclorail in France – there are 44 sites spread all over France.