Staying in a city that you don’t know can be exciting : what do I do? where do I go? We thought we’d give you a hand! Let’s plan together a typical weekend in Orléans, gathering the must-do activities. You will for sure notice the influence of Joan of Arc in the city since she liberated Orléans from the English invader in 1429, and is consequently very important in the history and heritage of the city. We will give you ideas to combine cultural aspects and fun, and make the most of your trip!
You might want to stay in a hotel in the centre of the city, allowing you to walk anywhere you want, which is ideal for Orléans. For instance, l’Hotel de l’Abeille is great for tourists: well located and typical of French buildings, this hotel has an arden-terrace on the 4th floor with a nice view on the cathedral Sainte Croix. Start you day by following the tram rail track in the rue de la République, right next to this hotel, which will lead you directly to the Place du Martroi, a lovely square with restaurants, a carousel and a statue of the proud Joan of Arc.
In this street, you can take your time and enjoy the different shops, but you should particularly stop at the Cafés Jeanne d’Arc and benefit from more than a century of experience and knowledge. You could even attend a roasting session at one of their multiple workshops. Walk a few more minutes and you will arrive to the House of Joan of Arc, where you can find out everything about her history thanks to multimedia equipment, cartography and chronology.
It is now time to have lunch! Why not grab a snack and eat along the Loire? Don’t feel like going for a picnic? Just enjoy one of the many great restaurants of the city.
You now want to discover the rest of the city and its heritage, in a fun and unusual way? You should go for La Chasse au TrésOrléans. Through a well organised investigation, walk in the streets of Orléans with your group and solve the mystery of this treasure hunt while discovering some of the best places and anecdotes of the city. This will take you all afternoon, and you might want to rest at the end of the day. An option for you and your friends or family is to sit on a terrace and enjoy the friendly atmosphere. The Rue de Bourgogne is well known for all its bars, and we advise you to discover one in particular : A la Page is a cultural bar providing local products. It allies cultural pleasures, from a little free library to an open stage, and animation, from artists’ expositions to music or poetry, all in a warm atmosphere. If you want to have dinner out, you might want to book a table because on Saturday nights, a lot of restaurants are often full.
Before you get back to your hotel, do not forget to walk past the Cathedral Sainte Croix, which is beautifully illuminated until 1am during summer, offering a magical show. However, do not stay up too late, because your weekend is not over and you have a big day tomorrow!
A Sunday morning is not a real Sunday morning if you do not relax so just lie in bed and enjoy your hotel. You can then go have brunch, and your day can start! Staying in the heart of the city, you should stop at the Beaux Arts Museum, near the Tourist office, where you can admire France’s second-largest collection of pastels behind the Louvre, as well as an impressive collection of works related to Joan of Arc. The time you spend there is up to you, but you might want to leave early enough to have time to walk to the Loire. If you get there before 4pm, you can explore Orléans canal on board a Chinese boat, or if you prefer, you can take a cruise along the Loire to explore its natural and cultural heritage aboard a traditional flat-bottomed vessel until 6.30pm. Both those two visits are only available in French, but the landscape and the atmosphere are worth it. And sadly, your weekend comes to an end, it is time to get back to the hotel and pack your things. You obviously don’t want to live because you had such a good weekend but don’t worry, you can come back any time, Orléans will always welcome you!