If you are in Paris and are looking for a day trip to see a medieval city, Provins is an excellent choice.
This city, located one hour by train from Paris, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a wealth of historical monuments and tourist attractions you can visit in a single day.
Among the main attractions in Provins is the Caesar Tower, a 12th-century fort that is the city’s emblem.
You can also visit the Saint-Ayoul church, the city museum, and the La Légende des Chevaliers show, which combines theater and acrobatics in a medieval setting.
In addition, if you are interested in history, you can visit the ruins of the chapel of the former Palace of the Counts of Champagne and explore the streets and walls of the city, which will take you back to medieval times.
In this article, we tell you everything you need to know to enjoy Provins in one day from Paris.
How to Get to Provins from Paris
Provins is a medieval town located 80 km southeast of Paris. There are several ways to get there from Paris, and here we explain them to you:
The easiest and most comfortable way to get to Provins from Paris is by train (when there are no strikes). A direct train departs from Gare de l’Est station in Paris and arrives at Provins station in approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Trains depart every hour, and tickets cost around 13-16 euros each way. Provins train station is about a 20-minute walk from the historic city center.
Another option is to rent a car and drive from Paris to Provins. The distance is approximately 80 km, and the trip takes about 1 hour.
Several car rental companies exist in Paris and at the city’s airports. If you decide to drive, please note that the historic center of Provins is pedestrianized, and cars are not allowed.
You have to park at the entrance to the village. The parking is paid for, and you can also park in motorhomes. The parking lot is about 5 minute’s walk from the entrance to the village.
You can also reach Provins by bus from Paris. Several bus companies are offering regular services from the Paris bus station.
Tickets cost around 10-15 euros each way, and travel time is approximately 2 hours. Please note that the Provins bus station is located about a 30-minute walk from the historic city center.
In summary, there are several ways to get to Provins from Paris, but the easiest and most comfortable way is by train.
If you decide to drive or take a bus, be sure to plan your trip well and consider access restrictions to the historic city center and rush hours to avoid Parisian traffic.
Walk The Walled City
The medieval town of Provins is known for its impressive ramparts that surround the historic city center. A walk through the walled city is one of the best ways to explore the city in a day.
On our visit to Provins, we visited the ramparts at sunset and the next day in the morning. Without a doubt, sunset is my favorite time.
Start your walk at the Porte Saint-Jean, one of the main entrances to the walled city.
From here, walk along Rue Saint-Jean until you reach Place du Châtel, where you will find the Tour César, a 12th-century watchtower offering panoramic city views.
Continue your tour along Rue de Jouy and Rue de la Pie, two of the oldest streets in the city, and admire the half-timbered houses from medieval times.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Grange aux Dîmes, a former 13th-century tax house that now houses a museum of art and popular traditions.
End your walk at the Porte de Jouy, another entrance to the walled city, and enjoy views of the ramparts and the French countryside.
Visit the Caesar Tower
The Caesar Tower is one of the most emblematic monuments of Provins. This 12-meter-high tower symbolizes the city’s medieval past and is a must-see for those who want to learn about the city’s history.
The Caesar Tower was built in the 12th century and was used as a watchtower and defense tower during the Middle Ages.
Today, the tower is a museum that houses an exhibition on the city’s history and has a terrace at the top that offers stunning views of the city and its surroundings.
Admission to the Caesar Tower costs 5 euros for adults and 3 euros for children.
Visiting hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from April to September and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from October to March.
It is advisable to book the visit in advance to avoid long lines and ensure you can access the terrace at the top of the tower.
Note that you can buy a pass for the most important attractions in the city. In our case, we bought it at the Grange aux Dimes, but you can do it at the Caesar Tower or at your first monument visit.
At the same time you purchase the pass, make the reservation to visit the subway city. The tour is guided in French, but it is well worth it. And you have to book fast because since there is a guide, the capacity is limited.
Visit the Grange aux Dîmes
La Grange aux Dîmes de Provins is a must-see for those who want to learn about the trades and crafts of the Middle Ages in France.
This former merchants’ house from the 13th century, which served as a covered market during the Champagne Fairs, is one of the most sumptuous buildings in Provins.
A visit to the Grange aux Dîmes is an unforgettable experience for the whole family. Visitors can explore the merchants’ house and learn about ancient trading and tax collection practices.
You can also enjoy a guided audio tour that is affordable, fun, and very complete, and you can choose the language for your guided tour.
The guided tour includes a theatrical representation of the merchants and trades of the Middle Ages, which makes the visit even more interesting and educational.
In addition, the merchants’ house boasts refined architecture with vaulted rooms and sculpted capitals that are a marvel to behold.
La Grange aux Dîmes is located in the heart of the medieval town of Provins; if you have parked in the parking lot at the entrance of the village, this may be an excellent place to start your visit.
There are also many restaurants and stores nearby to enjoy a local meal or buy souvenirs.
Tasting of Local Products
One of the greatest pleasures of traveling is sampling the local food, and Provins is no exception. The town is known for its local products, such as honey, champagne, and medieval cookies. There are even workshops to learn how to make them!
If you are a cheese lover, you cannot miss the opportunity to taste the Brie de Provins, a soft and creamy cheese made in the region. You can buy it at the local cheese store or at the weekly market held on Saturdays.
Finally, don’t leave Provins without tasting the local beer. The Brasserie Artisanale de Provins brews high-quality craft beers using local ingredients.
You can visit the brewery and have a tasting of their beers. Cheers!
The Underground Galleries
The Underground Galleries are a series of subway tunnels found beneath the French town of Provins.
These tunnels were built in the Middle Ages and were used for various purposes, including storing food and wine and protecting the city’s inhabitants during armed conflicts.
Over the years, subway galleries have become a popular tourist attraction, and visitors can explore the tunnels and learn more about the city’s history and its inhabitants.
The Provins Underground Galleries are a testament to medieval engineering and architecture and are a must-see for those interested in the history and culture of France.
NOTE: To visit the Provins underground galleries, you must pay for admission and book your visit. If you have the Provins Pass, the entrance is included. I recommend you book the gallery visit when you buy the pass.
The visit to the underground galleries is done with an expert guide and the capacity is limited.
The Church of Saint Quiriace
The Church of Saint Quiriace de Provins is an impressive Romanesque church located in the heart of the French town of Provins.
Built-in the 12th century, the church is known for its impressive facade and bell tower, which rises majestically over the city.
Inside, the church has beautiful stained glass windows, sculptures, and frescoes dating back to the Middle Ages.
The church is also famous for its crypt, which is one of the largest and best preserved in France.
The Church of Saint Quiriace is an architectural and artistic treasure and is a must-see for those visiting the city of Provins.
Discover the Museum of the City of Provins
The Museum of the City of Provins is a museum located in the heart of the medieval city. The museum has an extensive collection of objects that illustrate the history and culture of the city and its inhabitants.
From the Middle Ages to the 20th century, the museum features a wide range of artifacts, including ancient weapons, working tools, costumes, jewelry, religious objects, and artifacts of everyday life.
The museum also has a section dedicated to the history of the medieval festival of Provins, which is held every year in the town.
With its various exhibitions and activities, the Museum of the City of Provins is a must-see for those who want to learn more about the history and culture of this fascinating French city.
Place du Chatel
The Place du Chatel is a square located in the center of the medieval town of Provins. The square is known for its impressive medieval architecture, with wooden and stone buildings dating back to the 13th century.
In the center of the square is the Diana fountain, which was built in the 16th century and is one of the oldest fountains in the city.
The Place du Chatel is popular for tourists visiting Provins, as it offers a breathtaking view of the city and its surroundings.
In addition, the square is the site of the city’s weekly market, where visitors can buy local products and handicrafts.
The Place du Chatel is a charming place that reflects the rich history and culture of the medieval town of Provins.
In summary, a day trip to Provins from Paris is an excellent choice for those looking for a unique experience in a well-preserved medieval town.
From Caesar’s Tower to a merchant’s house, there is much to see and explore in Provins.
While it is possible to explore the city on your own, a guided tour may be a more convenient option for those who wish to obtain detailed information about the city’s history and culture.
Several tour options are available, including small group tours and private tours.
In addition, if you are looking for a day trip from Paris, many other options are available. From visiting fairytale castles to exploring picturesque towns, France has a lot to offer.
Whatever your choice, be sure to plan ahead and enjoy your adventure in France.
Plan Your Trip to Paris
- Paris 7-day Itinerary
- Free things to do in Paris
- How to go to the Palace of Versailles
- Tips for your first trip to Paris
- More day trips from Paris
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