Epernay, Champagne-Ardenne: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Epernay in Marne

Visit Epernay (Champagne-Ardenne, France)

MAP & PLACES TO VISIT

Epernay is in the Marne department of the Champagne-Ardenne region, in the north of France. It is situated about 25 kilometres south of Reims, and on the southern edge of the Natural Regional Parc de la Montagne de Reims which is based around Pourcy to the north-west of Epernay.

The town is well known as the capital of the Champagne producing region of France: Epernay is a wealthy looking town because of the expensive 19th century townhouses and other mansions constructed with the wealth derived from the champagne trade.

Exploring Epernay

The town sits below the vine-covered hills typical of the region and is well placed to discover various of the well known champagne producers. While Epernay is best known as a mecca for those with a taste for and interest in champagne the rest of the town and the surrounding region also contain some places of interest.

Chateau Perrier in Epernay

Avenue de Champagne: the grand wine houses

The Avenue de Champagne is the place to start your tour of the grand champagne houses: some of these have most remarkable caves below the buildings that are very extensive. The Avenue de Champagne is also the place to start your visit even if you are not interested in champagne, because it is along this Avenue that many of the most impressive houses and chateaux in Epernay are to be found.

- Moet-et-Chandon and Mercier are the most popular champagne houses for a quick introduction to the champagne experience (called a dégustation in French), although there are also many smaller producers open to visits in the town. The orangerie and gardens at the Chateau Moet et Chandon is a highlight of your visit.

- At Castellane you also get good views across the town included in your visit: you can't miss it because their 1905 tower dominates the town

Other places of interest in Epernay

Because of its geographical location near the French border Epernay has been attacked and almost destroyed numerous times during its long history. As a result there is little remaining here from the medieval period and most architecture in the town dates from the 19th and 20th centuries.

The 'Portail Saint Martin' is the oldest monument in Epernay and is an impressive stone doorway that is all that remains of the 16th century Church of Notre Dame.

Two particularly noteworthy villas that you will see as you explore the town are the town hall (built in 1858) and its impressive gardens and the Chateau-Perrier (built in 1854) and notable as being the headquarters for the British, the Germans and then the Americans all during the Second World War. The Gabrielle-Dorziat Theatre also has an impressive facade.

The most important religious monument in Epernay is the church of Notre-Dame (the church has the appearance of being much older than 1925 when it was rebuilt after war damage). You can also see the synagogue which has a decorative facade.

Several pretty, well-maintained parks provide plenty of resting places as you wander around Epernay, and  there are various marked paths passing through the town that show off the splendours of the flowers and parks.

Entrance to Church of Saint-Martin in Epernay

Attractions nearby

There is attractive countryside around Epernay to explore with a mix of vineyards and forests, and the chance to see numerous small villages and churches and castles in the gently rolling terrain. To the north of Epernay you can explore the Natural Regional Parc de la Montagne de Reims, while the valley of the Marne River to the west and the countryside to the south are also very scenic.

The tourist office in Epernay has details of driving routes for each of these areas, including suggested chateaux along the route that are open for wine tasting: the 'route des vins' is the most popular route in the region.

Visitors will certainly also want to visit the historic centre of Reims, best known for its UNESCO listed monuments and to the north-east of Epernay, as well as the town of Chalons-en-Champagne to the east of here.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Champagne-Ardenne guide.

See also:

Map of Epernay and places to visit

Visit near Epernay with France This Way reviews

Address: Épernay, Marne, Champagne-Ardenne, 51200, France || GPS: latitude 49.04, longitude 3.96

Plan your visit to Epernay, Champagne-Ardenne

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Montagne-de-Reims: regional natural parc (10km)
  • Oger: ville fleurie 4* (10km)
  • Jardin botanique de la Presle: remarkable garden (10km)
  • Chamery: ville fleurie 4* (15km)
  • Rilly-la-Montagne: ville fleurie 4* (15km)
  • Cathédrale de Reims (Reims): religious monument (24km)
  • Reims Cathedral, Abbey and Palace: heritage site (24km)
  • Reims: town of art and history (25km)
  • Tau Palace: national monument (25km)
  • Towers of Reims Cathedral: national monument (25km)

Market days in Epernay, France

Regular market(s) are held in Epernay each Wednesday & Tuesday all day & Thursday all day & Sunday & Saturday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Epernay (Francais)