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Champagne Travel Guide

Discover the origins of the world’s most celebratory drink with a trip to the birthplace of bubbly an abundantly lush landscape that offers history, heritage and more than a bit of sparkle.

Just an hour by train or two hours’ drive east from Paris, most visitors choose Épernay or Reims as a base for touring the area. Épernay, a city conveniently situated at the center of this winemaking haven, is where you’ll find some of the champagne world’s biggest names: Dom Pérignon, Perrier-Jouët, Moët & Chandon and other prominent maisons. The star grape here is Pinot Meunier, typically blended with varieties such as Pinot Noir, for example, to make intense blanc de noirs. You’ll also find Chardonnay, used in blends to produce light, fresh blanc de blancs.  

Champagne Houses To Visit

You may have once been told by an apéritif aficionado that not every sparkling wine is “champagne.” And that person would be right — champagne, the drink, refers to a specific kind of sparkling white wine made according to strict standards exclusively out of the historic region of Champagne.

Veuve Clicquot

Veuve Clicquot, named after the famous Madame Clicquot (who brought the brand to prominence at a time when women weren’t involved in such business), is one of the finest champagne maisons, both for its size and quality of its vineyards. A rich heritage built up over centuries, Veuve’s vines stretch across nearly 1,000 acres of rolling hills composed of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier varieties. Don’t forget to reserve a cellar visit they book up quite a bit of time ahead!

1 rue Albert Thomas, 51100 Reims


Two thousand years of history carved out 60 feet underground. The world-famous Taittinger cellars Gallo-Roman chalk quarries during the 4th century are open for tours all year round. Fun, informative and in an unforgettable setting, discover the soul of the House’s champagnes with a tailor-made tasting (seven kinds are available). Bring a shawl or jacket; it can get quite chilly!

12 rue du Champ de Mars, 51100 Reims


Founded in 1811, Perrier-Jouët owes its success to the passion and partnership of Pierre-Nicolas Perrier and Rose-Adélaide Jouët, two entrepreneurial champagne lovers. The pair made a bold decision to champion the Chardonnay grape, pioneering the intricate, floral style for which the brand is recognized. The company is based out of an 18th-century Art Nouveau mansion, the founding family’s former home dubbed the “Maison Belle Époque,” which with its events and art exhibitions remains a testament to Perrier-Jouët’s rich heritage.

11 avenue de Champagne, 51200 Épernay 

Moët et Chandon

“Sharing the magic of champagne with the world.” This is the mission statement and raison d’être of Moët et Chandon, one of the most legendary of champagne houses. And so it has, for 270 years; Jean-Remy Moët, grandson of the founder Claude Moët, is largely regarded as the person who first introduced the fizzy favorite, beloved by everyone from the Marquise de Pompadour to Napoleon. To visit is to treat yourself… Here, glamour is as important as the impeccable savoir-faire. 

20 avenue de Champagne, 51200 Épernay 


Another independent, family-run maison, Bollinger has been producing sophisticated sparkling wines since 1829. Its 440 acres of vines, spread out over seven main plots, are famously recognizable by tightly planted, straight rows that work well with the area’s geography. Previously closed to the public, visitors can now explore the house’s famous “Galerie 1829” cellar, which contains some 10,000 bottles and historical archives.   

16 rue Jules Lobet, 51160 Aÿ-Champagne

Laurent Perrier

Founded way back in 1812, Laurent-Perrier enjoyed a revival in 1945 under Bernard de Nonancourt a man passionate about the winemaking process from vine to cellar. With equal respect for tradition and innovation and, above all, for people, Bernard nurtured relationships with the area’s grape growers to develop a unique range of exceptional champagnes. Today, Laurent-Perrier (in its signature bottle reminiscent of a traditional hand-blown flacon) is exported and enjoyed in over 160 countries across the world.

32 avenue de Champagne, 51150 Tours-sur-Marne

Although Champagne is certainly doable as a day trip, we highly suggest an overnight stay (especially if you’re imbibing!), so you can sip the famous fizz in style at one of the many châteaux or other luxury accommodations, all of which present unparalleled wine country experiences.

What To Do in Reims

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims

An imposing Roman Catholic cathedral thought to be founded in the 5th century and, most impressively, the traditional coronation place of France’s kings. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991, it is one of the best-known representations of Gothic art in France, both for its architecture and its whopping façade featuring 2,303 carved statues. A striking symbol of the city.

Palais du Tau

The Palais du Tau whose name is derived from its T-shaped formation (“tau” in Greek) –  was the former palace of the Archbishop of Reims, as well as the banquet hall for the kings of France during their coronations, held in the nearby Cathedral. Today, this classical wonder hosts a variety of cultural events. 

Porte de Mars

Porte de Mars (Gate of Mars), near the temple dedicated to Mars (the Roman God of War), is a triumphal arch that dates back to the 3rd century. Standing over 100 feet long and 40 feet high, it features intricately detailed carvings of prominent historical figures on the ceilings of its three passageways. Legend has it that the citizens of Reims built it in gratitude to the Romans, who brought major roads to their city. 


Discover a world of stars and planets, and learn tips for spotting them yourself, at the Reims Planétarium. Enter the massive domed room to sit back and watch astronomical projections that portray an authentic map of the night sky. Afterwards, head to the museum and the observatory, where the region’s largest telescope is open to the public.

Maison Fossier

Thought to be created in 1690, the biscuit rose de Reims came about thanks to a baker who cooked his dough twice (the word biscuit derives from bis-cuit, meaning “cooked twice” in French). Rosy pink in color, oblong in shape and lightly dusted with sugar, it is customary to dip this Reims delicacy in champagne or red wine!

Where to stay in Champagne

stay at

Château de Sacy

A magical château in the heart of les vignobles. Elegant rooms, bespoke service and exquisite gastronomy make for an unforgettable weekend at the top of the Montagne de Reims. The haven recently added a new spa and an outdoor area with authentic Norwegian baths, so you can have a soak (and a glass!) while enjoying a breathtaking panoramic view over the city. 

Rue des Croisettes, 51500 Sacy


Domaine du Chalet

Nestled within a nature park, lives the luxurious Le Domaine du Chalet. This beautiful and stately property has a warm, welcoming family atmosphere. Built in 1860, it is regarded as one of the most exceptional estates in Champagne, featuring four sumptuous suites in the main house and La Canopée a cocoon suite built atop a purple beech tree! With an indoor heated pool and outdoor patio, you can relax at this domain any time of year.

24 rue du Chalet, 51500 Chigny-les-Roses


Les Berceaux de la Cathédrale

Two gorgeously renovated apartments in the heart of Reims. Both boasting a breathtaking view of the Cathédrale, you are just a stone’s throw away from all the city’s major sites Tau Palace, opera house, Musée des Beaux Arts, plus in a chic neighborhood full of great restaurants and award-winning food shops.

2 rue de la Salle, 51100 Reims


La Caserne Chanzy

A former fire station and UNESCO World Heritage Site facing the Cathédrale, a stay at La Caserne Chanzy Hotel is a true cultural immersion. The destination features chic, comfortable rooms, a 5,000-square-foot spa and wellness area, La Grand Georgette Brasserie (named after the building’s original fire truck) and, of course, a champagne bar. With a unique history and central location, this is the perfect hub for discovering the city.

18 rue Tronsson Ducoudray, 51100 Reims

Reims, on the other hand, boasts more of a lively scene; the Cathédrale Notre-Dame, a stunning example of Gothic architecture; the Tau Palace and Porte de Mars; as well as a number of impressive domaines like Ruinart, Veuve Clicquot and Maison Taittinger, with its world-famous cellars. From here, it is easy to explore the Montagne de Reims and its gently sloping vignobles (vineyards), best-known for Pinot Noir and full-bodied sparkling wines. 

Where to Eat in Champagne

eat at

L’Épicerie Au Bon Manger

A charming deli-style wine bar and shop touting delicious goodies like charcuterie and cheese from the nearby farms, smoked fish, a selection of natural wines, biodynamic champagnes and more. An enjoyable atmosphere with delicious bites, you can also feel good about supporting local producers and a passionate family business!

7 rue Courmeaux, 51100 Reims 

eat at

Les Crayères

Domaine Les Crayères is an internationally renowned, multi-award winning property, comprising a majestic château and multiple eateries. Dine at either of the two Michelin-starred gourmet restaurants Le Parc or outside on the terrace at Brasserie Le Jardin both headed by celebrated chef Philippe Mille, whose take on classic French dishes delight foodies from far and wide. A meal at this domaine, outfitted in the decadent style of French classicism, will have you in the lap of luxury. 

64 boulevard Henry Vasnier, 51100 Reims 

eat at

Le Royal

Boasting breathtaking vineyard views and a space inspired by the cultural heritage of the region, this 5-star hotel and gourmand destination spares no luxury. Dine under a thousand shimmering crystal pendants at Le Bellevue Restaurant and Terrace or at the contemporary, Michelin-starred Le Royal. For a truly special culinary experience, reserve the intimate Chef’s Table inside the kitchen. 

Hameau de Bellevue, 9 rue de la République, 51160 Champillon

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