Visit Poitiers in 10 steps

Featured, Unmissable

Free activities
All year round
Paddle on the Clain in Poitiers ©Sébastien LAVAL
An activity "Expériences Famille" is available here

The day has just dawned on Poitiers and we already feel the dynamism that emanates from medieval streets. The café terraces gradually fill up, punctuated by the comings and goings of passers-by. One of the privileged moments to capture the atmosphere of the city! So let's not wait any longer, on the way to introduce you to 10 unmissable Poitevine stages by crisscrossing the streets steeped in history.

Step 1: Notre-Dame-La-Grande Church, the Romanesque jewel of the city

The reflections of the sublime sun the church of Notre-Dame-La-Grande, it's a good time to take a look. Arrived in front of the facade of this Poitevin nugget, you will fall under its spell. It will impress you with its facade unique and magnificent Romanesque architecture. A real story is hidden behind it, testimony to the past. It reads like a picture book and tells you the story of the Bible, that of the apostles, two bishops and finally Christ.

Push the door and the invitation in the colors of the wall decoration dating from 1850 will jump out at you. The authentic Romanesque choir vault, the Renaissance stalls, the small XNUMXth century organrd century are among the other wonders to discover…

Step 2: An Escape Game to combine play and discovery

Different options are available to you to explore the city from top to bottom:

Viking 2.0: life-size adventure game

THEPoitiers Tourist Office takes you on an adventure in the world of vikings! Follow in the footsteps of your ancestors and try to uncover the treasure. This escape game will transport you to the heart of the city's rich historical past, for 1h30 of entertainment.

Riddles of Odyssey Prod: play detective

Are you unbeatable at Cluedo? Do you love solving mysteries? The enigmas of Odyssey Prod. are also perfect for you. What a unique moment to slip into the shoes of a real secret agent. Walk the streets of Poitiers and elucidate mysteries in less than 1h30.

Escape Game, Eleanor's Treasure in Poitiers©

Escape League: Eleanor's Treasure

Activate the experience mode by going on a quest for the treasure ofEleanor of Aquitaine, emblematic character of Poitiers (and from France!). Through an Escape Game, follow in the footsteps of the former queen of France and then of England. Immerse yourself in a medieval atmosphere and gather all your assets to carry out the mission. This activity is part of the device Expériences Famille, offering multiple activities to share with your tribe.

Step 3: The Palace

You will discover during your visit, the palace, former Poitiers Law Courts, exceptional testimony to the architectural style called “Angevin Gothic”. This emblematic place of Poitiers has seen some of the characters of French History pass through: William the Great, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lionheart and even Jean de Berry.
Today, this building remains one of the most remarkable examples of medieval civil architecture in France. You just have to push open the door to find yourself immersed in the immense ceremonial room 50 meters long, decorated in the XNUMXth century by the mistress of the place, Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Step 4: The impressive Saint-Pierre Cathedral

Can't escape the majestic Saint-Pierre Cathedral. It is by far the most imposing building in Poitiers, you will see for yourself. Built on the model of Notre-Dame-de-Paris, it was built at the instigation ofEleanor of Aquitaine.

You will feel very small in front of its facade. Its beautiful rose window and its three carved portals will strongly invite you to contemplate the equally impressive interior. You can admire the wall paintings, a treasure of Gothic art of a quality and size unique in France.
Another world-renowned rarity escapes at first glance: the Clicquot organ, whose three thousand pipes occupy the gallery 20 m above the ground. Thanks to its authenticity and its exceptional state of preservation, the instrument delivered in 1787 can be heard today, with as much brilliance, the same timbres as three centuries ago.

Saint-Pierre Cathedral in Poitiers©ACAP

Stage 5: A green break at Parc de Blossac

The weather is nice, the air is warm, the birds are singing. Blossac Park is the ideal place to enjoy a moment cut off from the urban atmosphere. Above the Clain valley, walk along this théâtre de vegetables

You can walk freely through its various spaces: its French garden, its English garden, its garden of light and shade, its zoological park.

Before resuming your exploration of the city, sit down on the grass for a delicious picnic.

Step 6: Cultural visit to the Sainte-Croix Museum

The sun is still shining early in the afternoon and you should not miss the Sainte-Croix Museum – the largest in Poitiers, located on the former site of the Sainte-Croix Abbey. The museum invites you to browse the different painted and sculpted works of the XNUMXthrd until the middle of the XNUMXth centuryrd century. Sculptures, bas-reliefs, photographs, objects, the Sainte-Croix museum welcomes all disciplinary fields making it essential in Poitiers.
It is difficult to make a choice among the emblematic pieces as they are exceptional in their state of conservation.
Note, however, the extremely rare marble dating from the Gallo-Roman era, Athena of Poitiers, or the remarkable sculptures and inscriptions from the Merovingian era.
We will also focus on the numerous paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries, including ten works by Camille Claudel and five by Auguste Rodin. Children will be fascinated by the monstrous dragon Grand'Goule.

Sainte-Croix Museum in Poitiers©Thomas JELINEK – Agence Zebrelle

Stage 7: Head for the mysterious Saint-Jean Baptistery

At the exit of the museum, take a quick tour of the Baptistery of Saint-Jean. It is one of the oldest Christian monuments in Europe! The oldest parts date from the IVrd century.

As you enter the Baptistery, admire all the mural paintings from the XIrd, XIIrd and XIIIrd centuries, the collection of Merovingian sarcophagi.

Step 8: Fun workshops and exhibitions at Espace Mendès France

Do your children ask you questions that you don't always have the answers to? What if you aroused their scientific curiosity? This is what Espace Mendès France offers you.

Throughout the year, exhibitions and workshops help develop the scientific culture of young and old, to better understand the complex and dynamic world around us. The science ofviennent then more fun!

DNA leads the investigation - EMF©Amélie R Photographie – Pomme Verte

A new activity in Mendès France

Let yourself be tempted by the new activity offered as part of the Expériences Famille, with DNA leads the investigation. Put on your scientist costume and find out the culprit.

I am leading the investigation

Step 9: Festive atmosphere at the Ginguette Pictave at Îlot Tison

It is in Poitiers that you will enjoy a beautiful festive atmosphere on the banks of the Clain.

This former sawmill has been completely transformed into a gigantic 2-hectare park. This bucolic parenthesis connects the two banks and the different districts of the city by a footbridge.

Very pleasant for walking, resting, picnicking but also for enjoying the activities. We offer you departures by canoe, kayak, pedalo or paddle. Sail on the Clain while enjoying this green setting.
During the day and at sunset, take advantage of the different concerts et summer entertainment with a good meal or a good drink around the bar and foodtrucks.

Step 10: Panoramic souvenir photo at Notre-Dame-des-Dunes

To end the day and understand why Poitiers is nicknamed the city of 100 steeples, go to Notre-Dame-des-Dunes for a breathtaking view of the city center. The end of the day light guarantees you a nice shot.

View of the Dunes©Thomas JELINEK – Agence Zebrelle

For an even more in-depth visit…

Take advantage of the guided tours offered by the Grand Poitiers Tourist Office to explore the city's gems in more detail. Labeled "City and Country of Art and History" since 1995, Poitiers has benefited from a substantial heritage enhancement and animation programme.

This is why you are offered thematic guided tours to help you explore the city, its monuments, its districts and its great characters.
The schedule of visits is regularly updated, you can consult them on the Tourist Office website.

After this beautiful day in Poitiers, we hope that you will leave with only one idea in mind “It is sure, we will come back”.

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