Visit Poitiers in 10 steps

Featured, Unmissable

Free activities
All year round
Paddle on the Clain in Poitiers ©Sébastien LAVAL

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 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 vault of the choir, authentic Romanesque, the stalls from the Renaissance period, the small organ from the XNUMXth century are among the other marvels to discover...

The Poitiers Tourist Office takes you on an adventure into the world of the Vikings! Walk in the footsteps of your ancestors and try to flush out the treasure. This escape game will transport you to the heart of the city's rich historical past, for 1h30 of entertainment.

Riddles of Odysseys Prod: play detectives

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©

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 his tribe.

Step 3: The Palace

You will discover during your visit, the palace, former courthouse in Poitiers, testimony to the architectural style known as “Angevin Gothic”. This emblematic place of Poitiers has seen some of the characters of the History of France: William the Great, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lionheart or Jean de Berry. Today, this building remains one of the most remarkable examples of medieval civil architecture in France.

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.

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. Take a break to savor the delicious ice cream and drinks kiosk.

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 the exploration of the city, settle down on the grass for a delicious picnic.

Step 6: Cultural visit to the Sainte-Croix Museum

The sun is still shining at the start of the afternoon and you shouldn't miss the Sainte-Croix Museum – the largest in Poitiers –, located on the former site of Sainte-Croix Abbey. The museum invites you to browse the various painted and sculpted works from the 14th to the middle of the 20th century.

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 short tour of the Baptistery of Saint-Jean. It is one of the oldest Christian monuments in Europe! The oldest parts date from the XNUMXth century.

On entering the Baptistery, contemplate all the mural paintings from the XNUMXth-XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, the collection of Merovingian sarcophagi.

Step 8: Fun workshops and exhibitions at Espace Mendès France

Do your children ask you questions to which you do not always have the answer? How about arousing their scientific curiosity? This is what offers you Espace Mendès France.

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!

Lobby of Espace Mendès France©EMF

Step 9: Festive atmosphere 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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Ponteil Marina ©Bastien SAUVE – Agence Zebrelle