Things to do in Champagne

Things to do in  Champagne

Add some fizz to your vacation

The northeastern province of Champagne, a 45-minute ride from Paris by high-speed train, offers more than just the wine for which it was named. Aside from sipping Champagne during a tasting session at historic wineries such as Veuve Clicquot and Moët and Chandon Champagne, you can explore the historic treasures of Reims and Epernay, sample truffles handcrafted by chocolatiers, and see the birthplace of Dom Pèrignon. Visit for a few hours on a small-group tour from Paris, or devote a couple days to exploring the vine-covered hills along the Champagne Routes.

Top 13 attractions in Champagne

Reims Cathedral of Notre Dame (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims)

One of France’s greatest Gothic masterpieces, the Reims Cathedral dates to the 13th century and is hallowed as the coronation site of many French kings. The UNESCO-listed landmark—recognizable for its twin bell towers and rose stained-glass window—was shelled during World War I but has since been restored to its former glory.More

Pommery Champagne (Domaine Pommery)

One of the Champagne region’s largest and most influential producers, Champagne Pommery is best known for pioneering the dry, brut-style sparkling wine. Today, Pommery is renowned for its sprawling network of chalk caves and its colorful, Elizabethan-style headquarters.More

Taittinger Champagne House (Maison de Champagne Taittinger)

One of the few Reims Champagne houses to have retained its independence, Taittinger is a popular stop for bubbly enthusiasts. With origins dating to 1734, the family-run winery stores and ages its Champagnes in chaulk vaults that date back to Roman times.More


Just north of popular Épernay, Hautvillers at first may seem like just another village in the countryside. But for true fans of sparkling wine, it’s a pilgrimage destination—as the birthplace of champagne. The town's Saint-Pierre Abbey is where Dom Pérignon first made the bubbly elixir; the abbey is now owned by Moët & Chandon.More

Moët & Chandon Champagne Cellars (Les Caves Moët & Chandon)

The Moët & Chandon Champagne brand was once a favorite of King Louis XV and is still toast-worthy today, with some 30 million bottles produced annually. Visit the brand’s headquarters in Epernay, France, to tour the vast Moët & Chandon Champagne cellars (Les Caves Moët & Chandon), learn how Champagne is made, and taste a selection of Moët & Chandon products.More

House of Mumm (Maison Mumm)

Founded in 1827, G. H. Mumm & Cie—one of the world’s largest and most-esteemed champagne houses—is a popular destination for oenophiles who are looking to sample and discover more about France’s world-class bubbly. Taste the winery’s famed Cordon Rouge Champagne and tour its underground caves as you learn the history of the House of Mumm.More

Tau Palace (Palais du Tau)

Please note: The Tau Palace is temporarily closed.A former residence for French monarchs, previously occupied by the Archbishop of Reims, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991, the Tau Palace (Palais du Tau) is one of Burgundy’s key historical landmarks. The palace’s name comes from its distinctive “T” shape (tau is the Greek equivalent of “T”), and its history dates back to the 6th century.More

Abbey of Saint-Remi (Abbaye Saint-Rémi)

The picturesque Abbey of Saint-Remi (Abbaye Saint-Rémi)—also known as the Saint-Remi Basilica (Basilique Saint-Rémi)—was founded in the sixth century and offers travelers a classic taste of French religious architecture. Two towering stone spires bookend a regal entryway marked by a round stained glass window dating back hundreds of years. Travelers will find a collection of 16th century tapestries depicting the life of Saint Remi in this spiritual oasis that offers a relaxing escape from the chaos of the city.Visitors love the quiet, spacious interior and agree that Abbey of Saint-Remi (Abbaye Saint-Rémi) never seems to get crowded. Travelers can explore the stark halls and impressive altars while they learn about the abbey’s destruction during World War I, as well as restoration efforts to return the structure to its original Roman Gothic splendor.More

Champagne Mercier

Champagne Mercier ranks as one of the region's most popular Champagne houses, and the family brand has been producing quality bubbly since 1858. The historic cellars in Epernay opened their doors in 1869 and tours now offer visitors the chance to not only sample the legendary champagne but to learn about the years of tradition and innovation that have shaped the champagne making process.Descending via a panoramic lift and stepping on board a mini train, visitors explore the labyrinth of 47 tunnels that house the champagne cellars, an impressive 18-kilometers of chalk caves burrowing 30-meters beneath the ground and embellished with artwork by sculptor Gustave Navlet. Additional highlights of a visit include viewing the Mercier Cask, the world's largest wine cask, and of course, visiting the tasting room, where guests can sample various champagne blends and vintages, available to purchase at the on-site shop.More

Verzenay Lighthouse (Phare de Verzenay)

A landmark in the middle of the undulating Champagne region and surrounded by endless vines rather than sea, the Verzenay Lighthouse was the brainchild of Joseph Goulet, a Champagne producer who wanted to publicize his brand. Constructed in 1909, the lighthouse stands high on Mt Rizon and originally had a restaurant and nightclub at its base.Thanks to its proximity to the Front Line, the lighthouse was used as an observation tower during World War I and afterwards it fell into disrepair. The residents of the Grand Cru village of Verzenay bought back the building in 1987 and over the next decade slowly restored it; the entertaining and informative multimedia Musée de la Vigne (Vine Museum) opened there in 1999, detailing the annual cycle of Champagne production with interactive displays, touch screens and movies. It was not until 10 years later that the spiral staircase inside the lighthouse was rebuilt and today visitors can once more climb 82 ft (25 m) to the top for views across the world-famous vineyards of Champagne; after the 102-step climb the tasting bar is a welcome sight, featuring ever-changing guest Champagnes. A stop-off to the Verzenay Lighthouse can be combined with renowned Champagne houses such as Moët et Chandon and Taittinger as well as visiting Reims and Epernay along the Route de Champagne.More


With its combination of timber-fronted buildings, cobbled lanes, and Gothic churches, a stroll around Troyes transports you back to medieval France. Hidden away in the south of the Champagne region, the atmospheric Old Town is known for its art galleries, striking architecture, and traditional artisan workshops.More

Sens Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Etienne de Sens)

With a history dating back to 1140, Sens Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Etienne de Sens) is one of the oldest Gothic buildings in France and was once one of the most important in the country—Louis IX married here in 1234. Its elaborately decorated facade and exquisite stained-glass windows make it the undisputed star attraction of Sens.More


Get your thrills at one of the most popular theme parks in France, Nigloland, which includes rides and entertainment options for visitors of all ages—from roller coasters to animal-themed kiddy rides to puppet shows featuring the theme park’s hedgehog mascot.More

Top activities in Champagne

Small Group - Half Day Champagne Tour - Visit of 2 Small Producers/Growers
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Reims: Small-Group Champagne Tour with Champagne Tastings and Lunch
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Small Group - Champagne Full Day Tour - Visit of 3 Champagne Producers / Growers
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Reims afternoon tour to Epernay region and family growers
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From Reims full day Maison de Champagne family growers and lunch
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Exclusive Champagne Tour ( All included ): 2 Famous houses & restaurant
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Reims or Epernay Region: Full Day Private Tour
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From Reims Full day Electric bike Champagne and lunch
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All about Champagne

When to visit

The best time for Champagne-tasting and vineyard tours is between April and mid-October, but people crowd the region’s small towns in July and August. If you don’t mind crowds, visit for the annual La Champenoise wine-tasting marathon in May, the annual Joan of Arc Festival in Reims in June, or the biannual Foire de Châlons agricultural fair (March and September). For wine lovers, the best time to visit is for the grape harvest, which kicks off in late September.

Getting around

Public transport can be patchy and infrequent throughout the Champagne region, and having your own wheels is highly recommended for touring the Champagne houses and wineries. Better yet, hire a private driver or join an organized tasting tour, so you don’t need to worry about designating a driver. Cycling between the vineyards is the most scenic way to get around, but opt for an electric bike, as the region’s hills can quickly slow you down.

Traveler tips

Take a break from Champagne-tasting at the Lac du Der, where you can rent a bike and cycle the 24-mile (38-kilometer) lakeside trail. Outdoor activities abound: Rent a boat to cruise the lake, enjoy water sports such as windsurfing or jet-skiing, and then head to one of the six sandy beaches to picnic by the shore. This is a bird-watching hot spot, too, so look out for cranes swooping across the lake.

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People Also Ask

What is Champagne known for?

Champagne is known for Champagne. Only sparkling wine produced in this region is allowed to be called Champagne, with the houses of Ruinart, Veuve Clicquot, and Moët et Chandon making their home in the area. Explore the idyllic French countryside and the historic towns of Reims and Strasbourg.

How do I get to Champagne from Paris?

Catch the TGV train from Gare de l’Est in Paris—it’s about 45 minutes to the Reims Ville station in the center of Reims, which is the largest city in Champagne. Otherwise, it’s about two hours by car, or about three hours by bus.

Is Reims or Epernay better?

If Champagne is your main focus, Epernay offers convenient houses and caves to tour along its Avenue du Champagne. It has a quieter, countryside atmosphere compared to the university city of Reims, which boasts the Reims Cathedral (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Roman ruins to explore.

Can you visit Dom Perignon?

Yes—Dom Perignon is a vintage brand owned by the house of Moët et Chandon, and they share the same cellars and house in Epernay. Visits to Dom Perignon require an appointment and are a private experience, so as to fully immerse yourself in the history of the iconic Champagne.

What is main town in Champagne?

The historic city of Reims is the largest city in the region, boasting several Champagne houses and the 13th-century Reims Cathedral where the kings of France were once crowned. You can tour and taste at Champagne houses and explore the vineyards outside the city to immerse yourself in the area.

Which Champagne house is the best to visit?

Moët et Chandon is the best-selling Champagne brand in the world, located on the Avenue du Champagne, in Epernay. Founded in 1743, the house has been name-dropped in songs by Queen, Prince, and Mariah Carey, and a visit is sure to evoke the luxury for which the brand is known.

Frequently Asked Questions