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What to Do in Limoges
But Limoges is also a cultured city, the birthplace of Renoir and once home to wordsmiths Molière and Balzac. It's an acclaimed "City of Art and History", with year-round festivalsof dance, music and theatre, and it offers gorgeous green spaces in which to catch your breath. A university city, the capital of the Haute-Vienne départemente is also a centre of high-tech research. And as befits a city renowned for its manufacturing skills, wherever you wander, you'll find chic stores selling delicate Limoges china. In town for work, making a family trip to Limoges or flying in for the Frairie des Petits Ventres food festival in October? Accor's portfolio of hotels in Limoges, France, offers plenty of choice for every visitor.
Things to do Near Limoges
Start your exploration of Limoges in the pedestrianised square around the soaring Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Limoges, a remarkable ensemble of (mainly) Gothic architecture six centuries in the making. Bristling with gargoyles and stained glass, its vaulted interior hides frescoes in its Romanesque crypt and a fine Renaissance rood screen. Next-door you'll find displays of decorative arts at Limoges Fine Arts Museum, housed in the former bishop's palace. Close by, you can learn how the city's famous porcelain was crafted at the Museum Four des Casseaux, a former factory with a kiln built in 1904, or peek into the Cité des Métiers et des Arts to see some exquisite examples of the art. From there, take a guided tour of the Souterrain de la Règle to discover a medieval labyrinth of corridors and storehouses beneath the city, and then resurface for a stroll on panoramic walkways in the riverside Jardin Botanique de l'Évêché. Following the riverbanks, you will find yourself at the Pont Saint-Martial, an historic bridge in Limoges with stone spans dating from the early 13th century. Turning north from the Vienne, a pleasant stroll will take you to an atmospheric tangle of cobbled medieval lanes and half-timbered houses in the Quartier de La Boucherie, where you can search out the tiny but beautiful Chapelle Saint-Aurélien, topped by a bulbous bell tower made of wooden tiles. A few streets away is another charming place: the Cour du Temple Limoges is a delightful mishmash of medieval and Renaissance architecture overlooking a courtyard packed with al fresco cafés. And of course Limoges tourist attractions include a showstopper museum spotlighting its most famous export – the Musée National Adrien Dubouchéis a paean to ceramics, with thousands of pieces of priceless porcelain on display in a fine mansion dating from the 18th century.
However, tourism in Limoges is not limited to the city; there are loads of places to visit near Limoges. If you're on a family trip to Limoges, take younger kids to Parc Bellevuefor a day of fun on waterslides and mini-train rides. Older children can be let loose in Périgord-Limousin Regional Natural Parkfor cycling and walking trails near Limoges – including a section of the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route – as well as pony trekking, fishing and golf. For a stark reminder of the horrors of war, pay your respects at the Memorial Centre in Oradour-sur-Glane, a village wiped out – with its inhabitants – by Nazi troops on June 10th, 1944, and subsequently left to decay at nature's pace in remembrance of the massacre.
No visit to Limoges is complete without tasting some Limousin specialties; all the best restaurants in Limoges will feature steak from Limousin beef cattle and tender lamb grazed in the foothills of the Haute-Vienne. Hearty slices of boudin noirblack pudding flavoured with chestnuts and coarse pork-based grillon pâté are other popular options, while clafoutisbaked custard flan filled with black cherries suits anyone with a sweet tooth. You can also pick up picnic goodies – fresh baguettes, strong Gour Noir goats' cheese dipped in black ash, and hand-harvested Golden Delicious apples – from stalls piled high with regional delicacies in the Halles Centrales. Opened in 1889, this enticing market hall has a tiled porcelain frieze depicting local foodstuffs just above the arched windows on its façade. If you're wondering what to drink with your Limousin foods, the region is not currently well-known for its wine production. However, a few former vineyards have recently been replanted and production of Mille et Une Pierres reds and Verneuil rosés has recommenced to great acclaim. Another local tipple, the sweet, golden-coloured Vin de Paille is often served as an apéritif at Christmas.
Getting to Limoges
Visiting Limoges for the weekend? Our places to stay near Limoges cover several hotels in Limoges centre ville, including a stylish 4-star property with coworking space, a fitness room and a swimming pool with views over the Vienne. Accor offers offer bed-and-breakfast deals at well-priced hotels in the centre of Limoges, as well as hostel-style Limoges accommodation with automatic check-ins and vending machines for snacks.
Budget flights from across France and the UK arrive at Limoges Bellegarde Airport, ten kilometres from the city centre. In summer a bus service runs into the city, but for much of the year, taxis are the best transport option to get you to your Limoges hotel. Regular trains from Paris Austerlitz arrive in around 3.5 hours at Limoges-Bénédictins railway station, which is something of a local attraction in its own right – distinguished as it is by elaborate art deco styling and stained-glass windows, a vast bronze dome and a landmark clocktower. The tolled A20 autoroute also connects Limoges with Paris (approximately 4 hours) and Toulouse (3 hours) in the south.