If you ever dream to have a stroll along the Loire Valley, gazing at a beautiful castle while enjoying the gentle sunset light of the Touraine region, we are pretty sure Amboise and its amazing architecture would be a perfect match for you.
The castle of Amboise is one of the best “châteaux” that you will encounter in the region, revealing a magnificent Renaissance style as well as Leonardo da Vinci’s innovation laboratory. People often say that Amboise has a lot in common with Italian villages. That is maybe why the famous inventor and painter decided to finish his thrilling life there.Dating back to the medieval ages (11th century), the castle was initially a fortress that was requisitioned by the monarchy during the Renaissance, to become a property for French kings.
Between the winding sreets of the medieval town, the overlooking castle and the beautiful landscape offered by the river, Amboise might be THE enascapable Loire valley day trip!
A bit more than an hour away from the vibrant capital city and half an hour from the city of Tours, you will be able to face a magic scenery that will be part of the best memories you bring back from France.
Prepare your visit to Amboise
When to visit Amboise
Like the whole Loire valley region, the best time for a visit is probably during the late spring or the summertime. Although a clear and sunny winter day can be unexpectedly pleasant, the castle and its garden will be more enjoyable on a sunny day.
How long is needed to visit Amboise
Because it is only a small town, one day should give you plenty of time to enjoy the chateau and the little winding streets, full of shops and restaurants.
From Amboise, it is even possible to go to the Chenonceau castle and visit it the same day. Indeed, it is only 20 minutes away! You can purchase your admission ticket here or book your 50-minute commented cruise on the Cher!
However, if you like to take your time, spending a night in town is far from being unpleasant!
What should I wear to visit Amboise
Nothing is particularly recommended to visit Amboise as the castle really stands in the heart of the town. The chateau being on a hill, you will have to walk up to reach the entrance.
As any walk, wearing walking shoes might be more comfortable. Apart from that, nothing special is required.
What is there to see in Amboise
Even though the town itself is very cute, Amboise is mostly famous for its beautiful medieval castle and its rich history, dating back from the 11th century.
Entering this magnificent piece of architecture, you will be able to discover the impressive royal rooms and tapestries.
Going up the Minimes tower also offers an unmatched view on the Loire and its valley.
The Chapel of Saint-Hubert also holds one of the treasures of Amboise: Leonardo da Vinci’s tomb. Indeed, the famous inventor was invited to spend the end of his life in the Clos Lucé, a closeby manor, where he died in 1519.
We strongly recommend visiting the Clos Lucé as it gives an amazing overview of all the major inventions of the Italian prodigy.
After the interiors, a stroll in the castle gardens is mandatory to enjoy the beautiful flowers of a garden “à la française”.
How to get to Amboise
Access by train and bus
Getting there by train is fairly easy as the Amboise station is less than 20 walking minutes away from the castle and the town center.
From Paris, a change of train might be required in Tours or Saint-Pierre-des-Corps.
Buses don’t go directly to Amboise, so taking a train is much more convenient.
Access by air
There is, as you can guess, no airport in Amboise. The closest one is in Tours, but as it is a small airport, flight depart only from a few European cities.
Coming from overseas, the easiest is to take a train to Paris and travel to Amboise by train or car.
Access by car
Being only 220 kilometers away from Paris, Amboise is pretty quick and easy to reach by car from there. From the capital city, it would take around 2,5 hours to get there.
The heart of Amboise counts around 1 300 free parking spaces and 400 (more central) paying ones.
What to eat in Amboise
Le Lion d’Or
Located along the Loire in an 18th century house, you will discover Chef Delétang’s tasty and innovative cuisine along with a very nice wine selection.
Groups, families with kids, romantic couples
In an old and charming 20th century house, let yourself tempted by an exquisite and refined local cuisine. We strongly recommend the market menu!
Families with kids, romantic couples, luxury travelers, senior travelers
3 minutes away from the castle, this former river lock has a lot to offer: carefully chosen wines with local products thoroughly prepared!
Families with kids, groups, senior travelers
Where to stay in Amboise
Le Manoir Les Minimes
A high-standard manor house located amazingly located near the heart of Amboise and just beneath the castle: a great way to step into the local culture!
4-star luxury hotel
Bar, concierge, parking
Romantic couples, luxury travelers, senior travelers
Le Manoir du Parc
Another delightful manor a bit further away from the castle. Located in a park with a pool, that will be the perfect place for a restful stay.
3-star manor house
Park, jacuzzi, swimming-pool, massages
Romantic couples, luxury travelers, senior travelers, families with kids
L’Iris des Marais
Located in the town center, this beautiful old house turned into a bed and breakfast is a very nice option to be at a walking distance of everything.
Families with kids, romantic couples, budget travelers
Tours & activities in Amboise
If you have 3 hours ahead of you, doing a balloon tour is an amazing way to capture incredible souvenirs of the castle and the scenery!
Balloon tours are not cheap but are perfect for a couple or for a family!
Cruise on the Loire
This great company offers amazing cruises (from 1 to 7 hours long) on the river on a “gabare”, a typical wooden Loire boat!
A cruise is a great option for a family group!
Every Friday and Sunday, in the centre of Amboise, the local farmers’ market displays many stands with local products. A great way to discover the region specials in a vibrant ambiance!
The market is adapted to everyone, from the family with kids to the budget travelers.