Best things to do in Troyes, France

Ville de Troyes

Troyes, an enchanting medieval town nestled in the Champagne region of France, is renowned for its storied past, picturesque half-timbered houses, and bustling array of factory outlets offering fantastic deals.

Despite being somewhat lesser-known compared to other destinations in the region, Troyes deserves a prime spot on your itinerary when exploring France’s Champagne region. It’s an essential stop if you’re traversing from Champagne to Burgundy, conveniently situated along the route.

Things to do in Troyes for an ideal 1-day visit

This vibrant city in the eastern part of France boasts a remarkable history showcased through architectural monuments and quaint charms lining its downtown streets. This French gem deserves greater recognition than it currently receives.

In addition to its narrow streets, elegant churches, and museums, there’s one more allure that beckons: gastronomy and its unique way of life. Indulging in our exquisite meals isn’t merely enjoyable; it’s an art form. Let Winalist be your guide to exploring the myriad points of interest in Troyes and uncovering the best Troyes wineries in France.

Explore the Old Town

Visit Troyes and its old town center

Viewed from above, the nickname “The City of a Thousand Facades” for Troyes’ historical district makes perfect sense. Wandering through these ancient cobblestone paths and taking in the breathtaking architecture is an experience that will stay with you forever – it’s nearly impossible not to be captivated by this majestic area steeped in history!

Exploring Troyes, France wouldn’t be complete without a leisurely stroll along Ruelle des Chats – the alleyway with roofs so narrow that cats can navigate it sideways. While you’re immersed in this charming atmosphere, be sure to pause and admire the beauty around you! Don’t miss Maison du Boulanger situated on rue Champeaux and rue Paillot de Montbaert, adding even more aesthetic value to the area. And right across from that building stands another remarkable structure – Maison de l’Orfèvre – complete with a majestic tower that exudes unparalleled charm and elegance!

While wandering through the Bouchon de Champagne district, you can marvel at attractions such as rue des Champeaux and the Hôtel Juvénal des Ursins. Additionally, artisans from all over gather to showcase their crafts on the renowned rue de la Monnaie.

Visit the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul

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Situated in Grand-Est and nestled on Place Vernier, the magnificent Saint-Urbain basilica stands as a true Gothic art masterpiece. Commissioned by Pope Urban IV to commemorate his father’s former shop site in Troyes, it originally served as a collegiate church, also known as a church of canons. This architectural marvel has been affectionately dubbed “the Parthenon of Champagne” for centuries!

Upon stepping inside the church, one is immediately struck by its luminosity and understated elegance. The grand stained glass windows, crafted in 1270, were splendidly restored in 1992. Visitors are welcome to explore the Saint-Urbain basilica at their leisure or with the assistance of a guide.

Another must-see religious edifice in Troyes is the Church of Sainte-Madeleine, the oldest in town. Renowned for its impressive rood screen – a barrier separating the liturgical choir from the nave – this Historic Monument offers visitors the chance to delve deeper into its construction and the stories depicted in its stained glass windows with the aid of an audio guide during a twenty-minute tour.

Museum of Modern Art (Musée d’Art Moderne)

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Located within the former Episcopal Palace, this museum showcases a remarkable collection of modern art spanning the 19th and 20th centuries, featuring masterpieces by renowned artists such as Degas, Rodin, and many more.

Shop at the Factory Outlets

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Troyes is celebrated for its array of factory outlets and brand shops, which provide discounted high-end goods. Among them, McArthurGlen Troyes stands out as one of the largest outlet centers, offering fantastic deals on fashion, home decor, and much more.

Ruelle des Chats (Cats Alley)

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Known as “Cats’ Alley” in English, this charming narrow passageway ranks among the most picturesque spots in Troyes. Its name stems from the ease with which cats could leap from one side of the street to the other, thanks to the narrowness and overhanging upper stories of the houses. Within this alley lies one of the finest restaurants for experiencing local gastronomy: Restaurant Chez Felix Be sure to sample the quintessential local dish, “Andouillette de Troyes AAAAA,” a traditional pork sausage.

The Hôtel de Vauluisant and its museums in Troyes

Vauluisant hotel

The Hôtel de Vauluisant stands as one of the few stone buildings in Troyes dating back to the mid-16th century. Its name originates from a refuge house once situated on its site, belonging to the Cistercian abbey of Vauluisant in the Yonne department. Before stepping inside to explore the museums, you’ll be greeted by a stunning façade characteristic of Renaissance architecture.

Expanded during the 17th and 18th centuries, the building was acquired by the city of Troyes in 1932 to establish a museum of decorative arts. Today, it houses two distinct museums: the Champenois Art Museum and the Hosiery Museum.

The Champenois Art Museum showcases collections dating from the 16th century, featuring remarkable sculptures of religious art that flourished in Troyes during that era. Meanwhile, the Hosiery Museum pays homage to Troyes’ most emblematic industry: knitwear and fashion. Delve into the ancestral craftsmanship of Trojan textile creation, journeying through the ages from wooden looms to sophisticated machines of the 19th and 20th centuries. Explore the collections and manufacturing techniques that have evolved, integral to the region’s industrial heritage.

The House of Tools and Working Thought (MOPO)

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The MOPO in Troyes is a standout destination, featuring 12,000 tools and 65 showcases – essentially, a living museum of apprenticeship. It also boasts the title of the second-largest technical library in France, with an impressive collection of 32,000 works! Visitors can explore this remarkable institution to gain insights into manual trades and other fascinating subjects.

People of all ages can discover something intriguing during their visit, but it holds particular significance for younger generations who may not be familiar with the invaluable manual trades that have gradually faded over time. This museum serves as a platform to rediscover and appreciate craftsmanship. Located at 7 Rue de la Trinité and open daily from 9 am to 12 pm & 2 pm to 6 pm, this is an opportunity not to be missed!

What to do around Troyes?

Are you interested in exploring beyond Troyes to discover the region and find new activities during your stay? Here are some suggestions and a guide to visiting Champagne.

Explore Champagne Tours near Troyes

Troyes is situated in one of the four sub-regions of Champagne: The Côte des Bar. Champagne from this area has a distinct taste compared to the north of the region and offers truly unique flavors. As genuine representatives of their terroir, Winalist’s partner winegrowers and Champagne houses are dedicated to providing a high-quality selection and ensuring a warm welcome. They’re all eager to help you explore this fantastic region and share their wines with passion. Check out the best Champagne houses tours and tastings now!

Champagne Devaux

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Embark on a journey to a rare 17th century dovecote and discover the method of production of champagne at Champagne Devaux.

Fly over the vineyards

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Yes, you read that right. At Champagne Lionel Carreau, you’ll have the opportunity to soar above the vineyards in a plane piloted by the winegrower himself! It’s an experience you won’t want to miss.

Champagne Domaine La Borderie

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Another fantastic Champagne producer family worth visiting is Champagne Domaine La Borderie. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to taste and explore wonderful cuvées with a member of the family.

Visit Reims

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Reims is a must-see city when exploring Champagne, renowned for its rich history, magnificent architecture, and delightful Reims Champagne houses. Just a short drive from Troyes, Reims boasts the iconic Cathedral of Reims, where French kings were coronated for centuries. The cathedral’s intricate Gothic design and stunning stained glass windows are simply breathtaking. Moreover, Reims is synonymous with Champagne production, hosting many esteemed Champagne houses. Visitors can embark on tours of these renowned Champagne houses, gaining insights into the production process and, of course, savoring some of the world’s finest bubbly. All in all, Reims offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and indulgence, making it an essential stop while in Troyes. For more insights, check out our dedicated travel guide on the best things to do in Reims.

Visit Epernay

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Visiting Epernay is a must if you want to fully immerse yourself in the Champagne region of France. Known as the “Capital of Champagne,” Epernay is home to several esteemed Champagne houses, such as Moët & Chandon and Mercier. Exploring this city gives you the chance to take tours of these renowned Epernay Champagne houses, get insights into the production process, and of course, indulge in tasting sessions. Moreover, Epernay showcases beautiful architecture, notably along the Avenue de Champagne, which is lined with impressive mansions and cellars. The town’s picturesque setting amid vineyards and rolling hills only adds to its allure. For more tips, dive into our dedicated travel guide to discover the best things to do in Epernay.