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Capital of the Aube département, and formerly of the Champagne region, Troyes is forever linked with champagne and makes a handy pitstop for anyone wishing to visit the area's prestigious champagne houses and fabled vineyards. But it's not just about the champagne here: Troyes is also famous for its culinary delights and for its shopping – as befits the former epicentre of the French textile industry, this lovely place is a magnet for committed bargain-hunters, with more than its fair share of factory outlets offering massive savings on designer shopping in Troyes. And as the city is only 180 kilometres from Paris, it's a popular destination for romantic weekend breaks – Accor's portfolio of local hotels includes some of the best places to stay in Troyes.
Things to Do in Troyes
Start your visit to the city with a stroll around Old Troyes, where you'll come across medieval treasures like tiny La Ruelle des Chats, with half-timbered houses leaning gently inwards across the narrowest of stone passageways. From there, we recommend a peek into the rather foreboding, Renaissance Musée de Vauluisant, where exhibitions showcase 16th-century stained-glass windows and Troyes' once-thriving knitting industry. Close by is the Maison de l'Outil et de la Pensée Ouvrière, a Troyes landmark with craftsmen's tools beautifully displayed in an ornate 16th-century mansion wrapped around a courtyard planted with bonsai trees. Across the Canal du Trévois and under the watchful eyes of gargoyles ornamenting the flying buttresses of the Gothic Basilique Saint-Urbain, there's a contemporary interlude among all this ancient beauty. The waterside Coeur de Troyes is a heart-shaped, gleaming metal sculpture crafted by artists Michèle and Thierry Kayo-Houël – surrounded by fountains, it rewards a visit at night to see it pulsating red with lights. From there, it's an easy stroll to Troyes Cathedral(more property known as the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul), a Gothic fantasia celebrated for its rose windows, intricate, sculpture-adorned façades and glittering stained-glass panels. Steps away from the cathedral is a new kid on the sightseeing block: Troyes events in spring 2022 saw the opening of the Cité du Vitrail,paying permanent homage to the skills of Troyes glass-makers past and present. Housed in a former hospital with 12th-century origins, rebuilt in the 18th century, the museum unveils spectacular examples of the genre, from religious masterpieces to jewel-like contemporary gems.
Troyes is a fantastic base for driving the rolling, chalky hills of the 220-kilometre Côte des Bar section of the Route Touristique du Champagne (Champagne Road) – taking in world-renowned grand marque champagne houses and vineyard tours as well as numerous Romanesque churches, stately châteaux and memorials from both world wars. It's also close to Reims and Épernay (both about 1.5 hours' drive), the elegant present-day nerve centres of champagne production. To the east of Troyes is the city's rural playground: Parc Naturel Régional de la Forêt d'Orient (Orient Forest Regional Nature Park) is a birdwatcher's hotspot, with sightings of black storks and eagles possible on forest rambles, while the park's marshes are home to wild Polish Konik ponies with distinctive stripes on their backs. In summer the beaches edging Lake Orient fill up with sunbathing locals, while families head to Nigloland theme park for twirls on its traditional carousels and adrenaline-pumping roller coasters and Ferris wheel.
Wining and Dining in Troyes
Whether you prefer to dine at the best restaurants in Troyes or watch the world go by from intimate bistro terraces, Troyes local specialities involve a robust larder of cured charcuterie, plus venison and wild boar sourced from the surrounding countryside and served up as hearty pâtés, rillettes and terrines. Intensely flavoured andouillette de Troyespork sausages come in all manner of guises – boiled, sliced as a snack, grilled or served in a red-wine stew. For a street snack on the hoof, pop into one of the many classic boulangeries in the cobbled streets of Old Troyes and pick up a brioche filled with Chaource, a soft creamy cow's cheese produced in an Aube village nearby. Less traditional offerings include a liberal swathe of taco, sushi and burger bars feeding the city's student population. The Aube is dedicated champagne country, so you'll have no problem when ordering a glass of chilled fizz at bars in Troyes. Other regional wines to look out for on drinks menus include fruity Riceys rosés, while the most popular local apéritif is Prunelle de Troyes, a plum liqueur similar to sloe gin and distilled in Troyes since 1840.
Accor hotels in Troyes include hotels with parking – a distinct advantage in this city, where secure spaces for cars are at a premium. Several affordable options are in the city centre – making a handy base for a weekend of shopping in Troyes – while our best hotel in Troyes has a cocktail bar and meeting rooms; it's on the site of an old bonnet-making factory. If you are due at conferences at Le Cube - Parc des Expositions de Troyes, we have 4 hotels – 3 budget and a 4-star – with coworking space in Troyes close by. All our hotels in the Troyes area of France have easy access to the city's network of motorways.
Getting to Troyes
Thanks to its proximity to Paris, Troyes makes an excellent short break from the capital. It's a 1.5-hour train ride from Paris Gare de l'Est for a weekend of shopping in Troyes for discounted fashions or a scenic drive along the Route Touristique du Champagne. The nearest airport to Troyes is Paris-Vatry (50 minutes' drive), with budget flights to southern Europe and North Africa. However, most international flights will arrive at Paris Orly or Paris Charles de Gaulle, including services from the UK and across northern Europe. By car, Troyes is easily accessible from several major French cities, connecting with autoroutes including the A5 to Paris, the A26 to Reims or the A5 and A31 to Dijon. If you're travelling from the UK on a cross-channel ferry, the drive from Calais to Troyes takes around 4 hours via Reims.