Poitiers is a historical treasure trove in Western France, known for its medieval architecture, Romanesque churches and lovely pedestrian-friendly precincts. The city is a wonderful weave of pebbled streets that take you back to the Middle Ages, while the lively university crowd keeps Poitiers buzzing.
Things to do in Poitiers
Dating back to 1115, the celebrated Church of Notre Dame La Grande boasts an exquisitely sculptured facade that’s one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in France. Don’t miss the spectacular 15-minute light show, where a kaleidoscope of colours is projected onto the facade depicting how it would have looked in the Middle Ages.
Thanks to its Brutalist architecture, the Musée Sainte-Croix demands your attention from the moment you arrive. Discover a concrete labyrinth of prehistoric, ancient and medieval artefacts from the region. The archaeology exhibit is truly special, as it is built around the well-preserved remains of the 7th-century Abbey of Saint-Croix.
Don’t miss a visit to Palais de Justice, a striking building that once housed the most powerful Dukes and Counts in France. The dining hall was constructed in the late-12th century by Eleanor of Aquitaine, the most powerful woman of the Middle Ages, who later became Queen of England.
For incredible views of the surrounding countryside, escape to Parc de Blossac, a beautiful park consisting of various gardens. Take a stroll through the romantic English Garden with its ornamental fountain and outrageously over-the-top herbaceous borders.
Getting around Poitiers
Poitiers is 90 minutes from Paris by train or two hours from Bordeaux. Once in Poitiers, the best way to explore is by foot with colour-coded trails marking the pavement for you to follow.