Blois is a pleasantly quaint town – its population is less than 50,000, and it’s perfect for a relaxing getaway. The capital of the Loir-et-Cher region, the town of Blois harmoniously hugs the banks of the Loire River. Just a two-hour drive from Paris, Blois is located in the UNESCO heritage region of the Loire Valley. It’s hugely popular for its history, surrounding verdant countryside and local produce. The city of Blois, fascinating in itself, also serves as a great point to visit famous surrounding chateaux and vineyards.
One of the city’s top attractions is the inspiring Blois Cathedral, which looks down over the city from its rising tower. Meander around Blois and you will marvel at architectural gems, from pointed timber houses to the Château Royal de Blois. The town’s architectural influences are encompassed in this building, a striking combination of Gothic and Renaissance influences. Literally fit for nobility, the Château Royal de Blois served French royalty for many generations. Little Blois punches above its weight in gastronomy too – boasting several Michelin-starred restaurants. Add this to an avant garde museum, a historic town centre and majestic architecture, and you’ll soon understand why so many love it.
Prepare your visit to Blois
When to visit Blois
Blois is perfect to visit during late spring, through to September. These months have less rainfall and temperatures of 20 -25°C. Rainfall is considerably less in August and September, however the summer is a very busy time to visit. The winter months of January and February have the most rainfall.
How long is needed to visit Blois
With a host of architectural feats and museums to visit, you should allow yourselves around three days here. Some sights you will want to spend more time at like the Château Royal de Blois – the highlight of the city. After exploring the medieval old town, take a stroll in the spectacular countryside. Add on a couple of days for this, as well as visiting local vineyards for wine tasting.
What should I wear to visit Blois
Usual town attire is recommended for Blois itself. Remember, parts are steep, so comfortable footwear is a must. Weather can be unpredictable in the Loire Valley, so ensure you keep a light waterproof with you when you head out. Sturdy hiking boot are essential for the surrounding countryside walks.
What is there to see in Blois
The main reason visitors choose Blois is the Château Royal de Blois. Seven French kings and even more queens have wandered the four wings of this outstanding chateau. It provides outstanding examples of French architectural styles of the 13th through to the 17th centuries. It began life as a medieval fortress, but since then, counts of Blois and royalty, built upon its foundations in Gothic, Renaissance and classical styles.
Maison de la Magie Blois stands out because Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin lived here. Born in the early 19th century, Robert-Houdin was inspired by his father’s watchmaking. He was the first to use electricity in his magician tricks. He is most famous for inspiring Erik Weisz to change his name to Harry Houdini, after reading his autobiography. Today the museum relays the history of magic and presents daily magic shows.
Be prepared to be amused, entertained and bemused by the Foundation du Doute. This avante garde museum focuses on the Fluxus artistic movement of the 1960s and 1979s. The permanent exhibition features radical and experimental artworks of more than 50 artists, taking over two floors of the museum. Well known names include artists Érik Satie, Marcel Duchamp and John Cage. Temporary exhibits included Wolf Vostell’s Fandango and Yoko Ono’s works.
How to get to Blois
Access Blois by train and bus
Gare de Blois Chambord train station is connected with Paris by TGV and Intercités trains. The journey takes between 1.5-2 hours and runs regularly. There are also regular services to and from Tours and Orleans.
Buses from Paris Bercy Seine station to Blois, take around three hours and run twice daily.
Access Blois by air
As Blois is just a small town, it’s nearest airport is Tours Val de Loire, around 60km away. By car from Tours Val de Loire Airport usually takes just under an hour. The train from central Tours to Blois takes around 40 minutes.
Access Blois by car
You can drive from Paris in around two and half hours and to cities in the Loire Valley in just under one hour. An ideal way to explore the vineyards and Loire Valley countryside around Blois is with a car.
What to eat in Blois
Au Coin D’Table
Hearty meals come at a good price at this traditional French cuisine restaurant. Try the fish and chunky chips and a rich cheesecake for afters.
Couples and families
9 Rue Henri Drussy, 41000 Blois
A hip restaurant, where hanging modern light shades merge with wooden beams and French posters. Satisfy yourself with swordfish steak and a selection of wines.
Couples and budget travellers
5 Rue du Grenier À Sel, 41000 Blois, France
L’Orangerie de Chateau
This upmarket restaurant is the epitome of fine dining with amazing views of royalty- worthy Blois Chateau. Michelin Starred and with exquisite food to match.
1 Avenue du Dr Jean Laigret, 41000, Blois
Where to stay in Blois
Hôtel ibis Styles Blois Centre Gare
This trendy hotel is a short walk from the Blois Chambord train station. The simple rooms come with a contemporary design of large bright photos and light shades. The dining areas are a mishmash of colours and paper lanterns.
Bar, Wifi, Breakfast
Budget travellers and couples.
14 Avenue Gambetta, 41000, Blois
La Maison du Carroir
Set in a beautiful stone mansion near Blois Chateau, this B&B is a wonderful complement to your stay in Blois. Breakfast outside amongst the climbing plants in a wonderful setting. Chic rooms become even more spectacular with their angular shapes.
Bed and Breakfast
Wifi and breakfast
20 Rue Sainte Catherine, 41000 Blois
Appart ‘Tourism Blois Castles of the Loire
This is the perfect apartment to stay in if you want to try out a medieval timber town house. White-washed stone blends with angled brick and timber walls, while dark parquet and tiles form the floor. Close to Chateau Blois.
Coffee maker Nespresso. Wifi. Cot
Couples and families.
36 Rue Saint Lubin, 41000 Blois, France
Tours & activities in Blois
Visit Cheverny, Chambord and wineries in this day tour
This full day tour is a trouble free way of visiting three of the Loire Valley’s best chateaux. The guided tour takes you to Blois Chateau, Cour-Cheverny vineyards and Château de Cheverny, as well as the Château de Chambord.
Couples, families and budget travellers.
Departs from your accommodatoin
A trip along the Loire River
The Loire River played an important part in the development of Loire Valley. This relaxing boat trip takes you underneath the Charles de Gaulle and Jacques Gabriel bridges and offers unique views of Blois, the city banks and the Cathedral.
Families, couples and budget travellers
Port de la Creusille, Quai Henri Chavigny, 41000, Blois
Blois Visits and Secrets
An atmospheric torch-lit walking tour of historic Blois really adds the magical medieval feel of the city. With regular departures from Château de Blois, the well-respected guide will give a detailed account of Blois through its vast history.
Couples and families
Meeting at Place du Château de Blois l’Office de Tourisme de Blois-Chambord, 41000, Blois