Troyes, Aube: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Troyes in North East France (Champagne-Ardenne region)

Visit Troyes (Champagne-Ardenne, France)

The town of Troyes is in the Aube department of the Champagne-Ardenne region, on the Seine River. The city describes itself as "La cité en forme de bouchon de champagne" (trans: the city in the form of a champagne cork) although this is more noticeable from aerial views (since it describes the layout from above) than from exploring the town on foot...!

Exploring Troyes

Troyes has a wide range of attractions including an impressive medieval centre, renaissance buildings, and several important religious monuments. Your visit can start in the Place de l'Hotel-de-Ville, the main square in the town centre, and along the bustling Rue Emile Zola, the principal street through this part of the town.

Here in the square you can see the Town Hall, an excellent example of a later Renaissance building and built in the 17th century. The town hall has been cleaned recently and it is now much easier to appreciate the statues, the columns, the tower and the other features.

Medieval houses in Troyes town centre

Another particularly important building in the centre of Troyes is the Hotel du Lion Noir, on Rue Emile Zola and dating from the 16th century. This house is especially interesting because of its external staircase, open to the elements and made from wood, which is very unusual.

Among the other notable buildings here you will see the Hotel de Marisy, the Hotel de Mauroy (which contains a museum of traditional artisan tools) and the Hotel of the Prefecture for the Aube department, in the neo-classical style.

Troyes has been described as having one of the finest medieval centres to be seen in France - and it is certainly true that the old town in Troyes is a lovely ensemble of buildings, with streets of tall colombage houses surrounding the attractive cathedral: lots of the medieval houses have now been painted in bright colours. This region of the town is centred in the Saint-Jean sector of Troyes (next to the Place de l'Hotel de Ville).

A few of the best examples of medieval houses can be seen in Rue Passerat, with others on Rue Emile Zola, and the Maison du Dauphin, on rue Kléber, is a remarkable 16th century house.

Some of the streets such as the Ruelle des Chats are especially narrow - an effect emphasised by the building protruding more at higher levels until the upper stories actually touch the building opposite.

Other highlights in Troyes

The gothic style Cathedral of Saint-Peter and Saint Paul (built 13th - 17th century) dominates the centre of Troyes, and is decorated with many carved highlights (gargoyles etc) above all on the west facade. Highlights inside the cathedral include some fine stained glass windows and a reputed organ.

You will also want to visit the 12th century Church of Saint-Madeleine, the oldest church in Troyes and featuring some exceptional stone carvings, in particular the rood-screen, the statues and the stained-glass windows.

There are also several other churches in Troyes, each with their own distinct features and attractions including the Saint-Remy church with the 'clock' on the belltower; the Church St-Jean-du-Marché, where Henry V married Catherine of France; and the saint-Urbain Basilica.

The town also has some interesting museums - particularly noteworthy are the Museum of Modern Art including, for example, works by Courbet and De Stael; the 'Museum of Tools and Workmen'; and the Museum of Fine Arts and Archaeology'.

During the summer months garden enthusiasts are also in for a treat: not only is the town listed as a 'ville fleurie 3*' but several individual gardens are also open to the public and merit exploring. These include the Jardin des Innocents, the garden of medicinal plants, and a garden of aromatic plants among others.

Troyes cathedral

Of course the tourist office in Troyes on Rue Aristide Briand is an invaluable first port of call when you visit for more details of opening hours, current events and suggested highlights in the town.

Discount shopping in Troyes

Many people visit Troyes to buy discount clothes - the town is an important textile centre, and many 'designer discount shops' are here (perhaps 250 according to one estimate) that sell designer clothes at discount prices - the largest concentration to be found anywhere in Europe.

These are mostly in two districts of Troyes: Pont Sainte Marie (north-east of central Troyes) and Saint Julien les Villas (south-east from the centre).

Attractions nearby

The substantial Natural Regional Park of the Forest of the Orient offers many opportunities to enjoy the countryside of the region and has many outdoor activities available, frequently linked to the lakes found in the park.

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

See also:

Map of Troyes and places nearby

Tourist classifications for Troyes

Troyes has received the following tourist classifications: listed town of Art and History ; historical protected town centre' (secteur sauvegardé)

Address: Troyes, Champagne-Ardenne, 10000, France || GPS: latitude 48.299, longitude 4.0791

Plan your visit to Troyes, Aube

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Jardin du château de Barberey-Saint-Sulpice: remarkable garden (6 km)
  • Lac d'Orient: site of natural beauty (20 km)
  • Foret-d'Orient: regional natural parc (24 km)
  • Lacs Amance et du Temple: site of natural beauty (30 km)
  • Jardin du prieuré: remarkable garden (31 km)
  • Neuville-sur-Seine: ville fleurie 4* (38 km)

Market days in Troyes, France

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

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