Another year, another Tour de France. From 6 to 28 July, one of the biggest cycle events will take place again.
In this blog post we will take you through some of the places where world’s most competitive cyclists will rival for being the winner of ‘Tour de France 2019’.
6 July - 7 July: Brussels
This year’s departure will take place in Brussels for the second time in history. The reason for this being the celebration of Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx’s Tour de France victory in 1969, which will be exactly 50 years ago this year.
Brussels is the European capital and there are plenty of things to do. Whether you’re visiting by yourself, as a family or couple, Brussels has something to offer for everyone. A couple of things you can’t miss when visiting Brussels:
Free entrance to a wide variety of museums
Brussels has got an endless choice of different museums. What’s more to like, is that there are lots of museums that are free. Make sure you check before you go whether you need to make a reservation.
Manneken Pis – Petit Julien
Manneken Pis is probably the most famous citizen of the Belgian capital. This 58 cm fountain of a rebellious little boy, can be found on the corner of the Eikstraat and Stoofstraat. It used to play an important role in Brussel’s distribution of drinking water in the 15th century. Over the last decades, this iconic fountain has become a symbol of the Brussels folklore.
Flea and vintage markets
Bargain hunters make your way to Brussels! Brussels is the place to go to pick up some bargains. Arrive a few days early in Brussels and go for a stroll at one of the many flea and vintage markets. The best markets to pay a visit:
1. Marche du midi
2. Marche Aux Puces de Bruxelles
3. Marche des Antiquites et du Livre du Sablon
8 July: Binche - Epernay
The third stage of the Tour de France will go right through the heart of North France’s region called Champagne.
The Champagne region is well known for its refreshing, sparkling wines and you definitely can’t leave without visiting one of France’s many vineyards. The best place to go for a champagne tasting and enjoy the amazing French cuisine at the same time is ‘La Cave a Champagne’. It’s less commercial compared to the other places in the region, but the quality and atmosphere is just as good, if not better.
Tip: If you fancy going to museums, don’t plan to do this on Monday 8 July. All museums, churches and shops are closed on Mondays.
9 July: Reims
Have you got a sweet spot for architecture? Reims won’t leave you disappointed then. This village is well-known for its natural beauty and famous architecture.
Reims is the lucky owner of the Reims cathedral. From 1816 until 1825, every French king was crowned here, making it quite a special place to visit.
This enormous church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a stunning example of Gothic architecture. The outside may look impressive to you, but we can assure you that the inside is even better.
Porte de Mars
The Porte de Mars, also known as the Mars Gate, is a very unique single remaining of the four monumental Roman gates. You can still see the authentic carvings in the walls. It’s just undergone a total renovation, making it the right time for you to visit.
13 July: Saint-Etienne
Saint-Etienne has got a rich history in industrial and mining. Accompanied by a guide, you can visit the mine and museum, which are definitely worth your time if you’ve got a couple of hours to spare. All of the tours are in French, but don’t worry, there’s English signage.
18 July: Toulouse – Bagneres-de-Bigorre
Art lovers will feel at home in Toulouse, as Toulouse is the place to go to when you have a passion for art. From churches, to museums, Toulouse is an incredible city which offers amazing food and plenty of shopping centres.
Basilica of Saint Sernin
The Basilica of Saint Sernin was built in honour of Saint Sernin, who was the first bishop of Toulouse. It’s the largest Romanesque church in France and a UNESCO World Heritage with outstanding architecture.
Musee des Augustins
A splendid example of Gothic architecture. The museum is an old Augustin’s Monastery and is Toulouse’s landmark. It is home to thousands of collections: from paintings to sculptures, this museum is certainly worth a visit.
Built in the 16th century, Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Toulouse. The view from the bridge is amazing and beautiful during the day and at night. At night the bridge is illuminated, which creates a very romantic atmosphere.
25 July: Embrun
Perfect for hiking, Embrun is a small place in the Hautes-Alpes and has a climate among the driest and sunniest of the Alps. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the Hautes-Alpes and the views are incredible. From going for a quiet stroll in the village to go out on an adventurous trip of aqua rafting.
28 July: Rambouillet - Paris
The last stage of the Tour de France will take us from Rambouillet to the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Rambouillet has got one of the most beautiful forests in France. This is the perfect place for you to relax and get some peace and quiet from the busy world before setting off to Paris to watch the last stage.
What to do in Paris
If you want to know what you can’t miss in the French capital, read our blog post on what you can’t miss in Paris.
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