After Amboise we drove to Tours (as you can see on the map – still made using paint!).
Tours is described as having «a well preserved cultural heritage which rests easily against its modern, vibrant and dynamic image of today. It has been a seat of learning since the middle ages and carries on this fine tradition through its university today.»
It’s, in fact, a very clean, pretty city (with cool bars to have a drink).
But I’m going to start with the bad part: Don’t visit Tours on a Saturday or Sunday! There’s absolutely nothing going on there. It can be much more interesting on a Thursday or Friday, and you can enjoy it way better.
And again, check where you’re staying over the night before traveling, or you might end up paying a lot more than the expected for a low budget trip. I was looking for hostels again, and the prices are quite expensive compared to other parts of Europe (in case you know a good hostel, and for a fair price in the city, tell us!!).
Now the good parts:
The old houses. Take a walk (as I always recommend), and find the old part of the town. The architecture is really nice, and the shops and bars are very typical, great for some small shopping. Check the map for Place Plumereau and you’ll find this gorgeous part of the city.
Cathedrals! In France, I saw church after church, but I was always amazed by the size and history of it. Tours is not an exception. There you have: Cathedrale St-Gatien, with its gothic facade, which construction began in 1270 but progress was slow and it was not completed until 1547. Basilique Saint Martin, finished by 1924, was built in honor to Saint Martin, after the destruction of the old church, from the XI century. It’s in neo-byzantine style.
Visit the Botanic Garden. Depuis 1843, le jardin botanique est un lieu de promenade incontournable, rempli de charme et de souvenirs. – After 1843, the botanic garden it’s one of the greatest tours, full of charm and good memories. There’s turtles, ducks, parrots, and a lot of trees and plants. More than just a botanic garden, it’s a place where you can have fun.
Have a drink and relax in a bar!
I wasn’t in love with Tours, but I’d definitely put it on my itinerary if I’d repeat my trip.