Must see attractions in Tours

  • Top ChoiceSights in Tours

    Musée du Compagnonnage

    This extraordinary museum – an absolute gem! – spotlights France's renowned compagnonnages, guild organisations of skilled craftspeople who have created everything from medieval cathedrals to the Statue of Liberty. Dozens of professions – from carpentry to saddle-making to locksmithing – are celebrated here with items handcrafted from wood, wrought iron, bronze, stone, brick, clay and leather; standouts include exquisite wooden architectural models of elaborate towers and a miniature wrought-iron gate that took 14 years to make.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Tours

    Musée des Beaux-Arts

    This superb fine-arts museum, in a gorgeous 18th-century archbishop’s palace, features paintings, sculpture, furniture and objets d'art from the 14th to 20th centuries. Highlights include paintings by Delacroix, Degas and Monet, a rare Rembrandt miniature and a Rubens Madonna and Child. Outside there's a magnificent cedar of Lebanon planted in 1804 and a flowery garden.

  • Sights in Tours

    Cathédrale St-Gatien

    With its flying buttresses, gargoyles and twin Renaissance-style towers (70m) – and, inside, Gothic vaulting, dazzling stained glass and huge baroque organ – this cathedral cuts a striking figure. Near the entrance you can pick up an English brochure on its architecture and history; English signs in the choir explain the luminous stained glass, some from the 13th century, other parts from the 21st.

  • Sights in Tours

    Jardin Botanique

    Founded in 1843, Tours' delightful 5-hectare botanical gardens have a tropical greenhouse, a medicinal herb garden, a small zoo and children's playgrounds. Situated 2km west of place Jean Jaurès, the gardens are served by Fil Bleu bus 15 from place Jean Jaurès or bus 4 from the riverfront; get off at the Bretonneau or Tonnellé stops.

  • Sights in Tours

    Hôtel Gouïn

    Hidden behind an Italianate façade, this gorgeous early-Renaissance residence – visible through a stone gate – was built for a wealthy merchant around 1510. The courtyard is home to a Calder mobile. The interior opens for temporary exhibitions.

  • Sights in Tours

    Basilique St-Martin

    In the Middle Ages, Tours was an important pilgrimage city thanks to the relics of soldier-turned-evangelist St Martin (c 317–97). In the 5th century a basilica was constructed above his tomb; in the 13th century it was replaced by an enormous Romanesque church, of which only two towers, Tour Charlemagne and Tour de l’Horloge, remain. Modern-day Basilique St-Martin, a domed, neo-Byzantine structure, was built from 1886 to 1925.

  • Sights in Tours

    Cloître de la Psalette

    This cloister, built from 1442 to 1524 – that's why it's partly Flamboyant Gothic and party Renaissance – is located on the north side of the Cathédrale St-Gatien. It once served as a scriptorium (for the copying of manuscripts) and a school of Gregorian chanting.

  • Sights in Tours

    Hôtel de Ville

    Built from 1896 to 1904, Tours' monumental city hall was designed to project both republican values and municipal prestige.

  • Sights in Tours

    Tour de l’Horloge

    One of the last vestiges of Tours' 13th-century, Romanesque Basilique St-Martin.

  • Sights in Tours

    Tour Charlemagne

    A vestige of Tours' 13th-century, Romanesque Basilique St-Martin.

  • Sights in Tours

    Palais de Justice

    Built in the 1840s, Tours' neoclassical courthouse has an imposing colonnade facing place Jean Jaurès.

  • Sights in Tours

    Église St-Julien

    Most of this Gothic church, once part of a Benedictine abbey, dates from the mid-1200s.