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Map of Tours

Chief town of the Loire valley and capital of the Touraine region, TOURS has long had a reputation as a staid, bourgeois city. An English travel writer wrote in 1913:

Tours has an immense air of good breeding … you have visions of portentously dull entertainments in lofty gilded saloons where everything is rather icily magnificent.

It's a reputation that Tours doesn't really deserve: it's a bustling urban centre, only an hour's journey from Paris on the TGV line, with a great many restaurants, bars and cafés, and, thanks to the student population, a lively nightlife. For a stay in a Tours hotel, have a search on this website. These factors have brought an influx of business people and young commuters into an already large and fairly diverse population. It has a prettified and animated old quarter, some unusual museums – of wine, crafts, stained glass and an above-average Beaux-Arts museum – and a great many fine buildings, not least of which is St Gatien cathedral. And if you don't have your own transport, it's the obvious Touraine base, with both bus and train connections to some of the most notable châteaux – Villandry, Langeais, Azay-le-Rideau and Amboise – as well as the celebrated wine-producing town of Vouvray.

Pages in section ‘Tours’: The City, Arrival, Eating, Drinking and nightlife, Château, Listings, Cathedral quarter, Old quarter, Around rue Nationale.

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