Visiting Orleans Like a Local: The Must-Do Visit
A regional city in the heart of the Centre-Val de Loire region in France, Orleans has everything you need to spend a few days relaxing and enjoying culture. Famous for Joan of Arc and the liberation of the city from the English in 1429, Orléans is on a human scale and ideal for a family getaway in the Loiret.
Discover the main things to do and visit in Orléans, but also where to sleep, and the souvenirs to offer your loved ones.
Places to visit
Place du Martroi
The central square of the city of Orléans, the Place du Martroi is a must-see with the statue of Joan of Arc. This place is full of history because the origin of the word Martroi in Latin means martyrium to designate executions. It is therefore here that the executions of the condemned took place.
Today the square hosts markets, restaurants, and bars, a lively place to visit.
Cathédrale Sainte-Croix d’Orléans
Classified as a historical monument, the construction work began in 1287 and was completed in 1829, almost six centuries were necessary for this monument. It is among the largest Gothic cathedrals in France.
Orléans: the old town
Orléans is very easy to visit on foot, particularly because of its traffic-free zone in the heart of the city. With many Renaissance stone or pan de bois houses, you will be charmed by the alleys and streets: Rue de la Charpenterie, Rue de l’Empereur, Rue de la Poterne are particularly must-sees.
Stop at a delicious café or restaurant to recharge your batteries after walking through the old centre. And in the evening to go out for a drink, go to Rue Bourgogne where many bars await you.
The gardens of Orléans
The Floral Park of the Source located in the district of Orléans la Source is one of the most visited places of the Loiret. Labelled a Remarkable Garden by the Ministry of Culture, the diversity of the flora will seduce you in all seasons. In addition, a zoological park awaits you: pink flamingos or exotic birds are to be observed.
A little extra: take a tour with the little train or rent a rosalie (a pedal car).
Also discover the Jardin des Plantes. This botanical garden, originally created to produce medicinal plants, has become a park where floral decorations and education are combined. Indeed, the Jardin des Plantes has an apiary to make children aware of the life of bees.
The quays of the Loire
Perfect for a walk or cycle ride, the quays of the Loire are suitable for everyone. As you walk along the quays, you can see the Orleans Canal Lock, the old timber-framed houses and the various bridges of Orleans, including the George V Bridge.
Where to stay in Orléans?
Escale Oceania Orleans
This 3-star hotel enjoys a privileged location on the banks of the Loire River in Orléans. The establishment is a short distance from the city centre and close to many sites of interest. The rooms are beautifully designed, offering functional space and modern amenities. Guests will also appreciate the range of facilities and services available.
Novotel Orléans Saint-Jean-de-Braye
A 4* hotel at the gateway to the Sologne and the Loire castles, the Novotel is located in Saint-Jean-de-Braye, a town near Orléans. With a park with trees and an outdoor swimming pool, the hotel is ideal for those who wish to relax in front of a warm fireplace or stroll on the terrace.
Appart City Orleans
Just 10 minutes from the historic city centre, Appart City Orleans offers comfortable, self-catering 3-star accommodation. The flats are equipped with a kitchen with ceramic hob, microwave and fridge. If you want to be independent during your getaway, this is the place to stay.
Best Western La Porte des Chateaux
The Best Western Hotel La Porte des Chateaux is unique, offering a wide variety of accommodation. It is a privileged place for a holiday, and its location makes it the ideal starting point for discovering the history of the Loire castles including the Chateau of Chambord, Chenonceaux, or the Chateau of Amboise. Located in Meung-sur-Loire, 100 metres from the town’s castle and 15 kilometres from Orléans, this hotel offers an exceptional setting for tourists and business travellers.
What to bring back from Orleans
- Orleans vinegar is the city’s flagship product. More than 300 manufacturers shared the mythical recipe in the Middle Ages, today, Only the Maison Martin-Pouret perpetuates the tradition of vinegar in the old way.
- Andouille de Jargeau is made up of equal parts of tripe and minced pork meat placed in an authentic pig gut: a delight of local gastronomy.
- Le Pithiviers: A cake from the town of Pithiviers which is made of almond powder, caster sugar, icing sugar and kirsch.
- La Poire d’Olivet: a William pear brandy with a pear in the bottle that has been ripened for a long time.