notre dame reims

notre dame reims

© mongoose

Reims is the largest city in the French region of Champagne-Ardenne, though not the capital. The city has about 190,000 inhabitants. On January 1, 2016 Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine were combined into one region named Grand Est.



Events and Festivals


The Joan of Arc Festival is held in the city centre of Reims in June. It is one of the biggest historical celebrations in France. During this annual festival the coronation of Charles VII of France which took place at the cathedral of Reims on July 17th 1429 is commemorated. The real star of the show though is Joan of Arc who led Charles VII military victories during the Hundred Years War and has become a national hero. During this celebration the streets are filled with costumed people demonstrating the skills of folk craftman from that time. The highlight of the show being the march of Joan of Arc through the streets of Reims.



Getting There

By Train

French Railways, SNCF offers trains throughout the country. There are high-speed connections to Paris, Metz, Nancy and Strasbourg.

By Car

The motorways A4 (Paris-Strasbourg) and A26 (Calais-Langres) are near Reims.



Getting Around

While the centre is fairly compact and easy to get around by foot, if you want to go further afield then try the buses. They're very reliable, run regularly, and despite local complaints, good value at €1.55 to go anywhere. If you intend to use them a lot, buy a carnet of 10 tickets from bars, tabaco shops or newspaper shops. single tickets can be bought on the bus but make sure you have the right amount. You can also buy day tickets which are interesting if you take the bus at least 4 times during the day Reims Public transportation website.

Taxis are reasonable (about €1 per kilometre) but you can't hail them and they have to be booked in advance, which can be difficult if your French isn't above conversational level.




The Place d'Erlon is the near beating heart of the city (It's not exactly a hotbed of activity!) . There are many great places to eat here from cheap burger bars (Q, a Belgian McD's) to Anglo-Irish bars, to the very expensive, but very good Brasserie Flo, on the corner near the station. If you go around the corner onto Boulevard Foch you will find some good mid-price eateries. The restaurant in the Hotel d'Univers is supposed to be very good, according to my local friends, but looks very intimidating from the outside. The Cote, nearer the square, is cheaper and is just as good for food. The real gem worth finding is the Aux Coteaux, mainly a pizzeria but with some nice mains as well.





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Keep Connected


France is one of the best connected countries in the world, with data speed for upload/download ranked among the top 5 in the world. Most hotels and hostels would have in-house facilities to provide free internet access. Many major cities also have initiatives put in place to provide free wi-fi connection in public spaces. Alternatively there are internet cafés available in most cities/towns at a reasonable rate. Some private businesses, such as local cafés (or even the Starbuck's chain), may also provide wi-fi connectivity - keep an eye out for the signs by the shop windows/doors. Also look for the @ symbol prominently displayed, which indicates internet availability. However, with most homes now wired for the internet, cyber cafés are increasingly hard to find, especially outside the major cities.


See also: International Telephone Calls

To dial an international number from France, the IDD is 00, followed by the country code that you wish to dial, the area code and the phone number.
To call France from abroad, start with the international direct dialing (IDD) code from the country you're in, followed by French country code 33, the area code (drop the first zero in front of the area code), and the phone number. French telephone numbers are rarely given without the area code. The telephone number, including the area code, is made up of 10 digits. They are written in a set of 5 pairs of digits (i.e. 01 xx xx xx xx xx).
In France, the area code designations are: 01 - Paris Area ("Région Ile-de-France"), 02 - northwest, 03 - northeast, 04 - southeast, 05 - southwest, 06 - mobile phone providers. From 2010 onwards, 07 will also be assigned to mobile phone providers in order to cater for the surging demands for mobile phones.

Emergency numbers are 15 (medical aid), 17 (police station) and 18 (fire/rescue). You can also use the European emergency number 112 (perhaps a better choice if you don't speak French). These calls are free and accessible from virtually any phone, including locked cellphones.

France uses the GSM standard of cellular phones (900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands) used in most of the world outside of the U.S. There are several companies (Orange, SFR, Free, Bouygues Télécom and some others MVNOs like Virgin Mobile) offering wireless service. The country is almost totally covered but you may have difficulties using your mobile phone in rural or mountainous areas. If you stay for some time, it may be advisable to buy a pre-paid cell phone card that you can use in any phone that supports the GSM standard on the 900/1800 MHz bands. Then incoming calls and SMSes are free.


La Poste in France is also referred to as the PTT (short for postes, télégraphes et téléphones). The mailboxes are painted bright yellow and often there is a slot for local city mail and another slot for "outside mail". Normally there is a queue in the post office, but most of the post offices have the self service machine installed which is quite easy to operate. Nowadays many of the tabac and even some of the souvenir shops also sell postage stamps. Normally an overseas postcard costs almost as much as sending a letter. Mails sent in France also have a zip code. The first two numbers represent the administrative department (e.g. in Paris' case that would be 75).

Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 7:00pm Monday through Friday, and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays. Apart from the basic job of mailing letters, most of the post offices do some banking activities also and some even have photocopy machines and cyber cafes for internet access.

For international package services, you might also check options with companies like DHL, UPS or TNT, which have competitive services and prices and might be faster in most cases.


Accommodation in Reims

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Reims searchable right here on Travellerspoint.


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