Orleans (French, Orléans) is the capital of the Centre-Val de Loire region of north-central France, located some 120 km (75 miles) south-west of the French capital Paris.

Access

By plane

The best way to get to Orleans by plane is to fly into either one of the two Paris Airports. Most international carriers will service Charles De Gaule (CDG), but most low-cost carriers will service Orly. Orly airport is slightly closer to Orleans if you are driving, but neither airport provides direct services to Orleans and one will most likely have to transfer in Paris.


By train

Many trains serve the sizeable railway station near Place Jean d'Arc, from Paris, which takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

From Paris take a SNCF train from Paris's Gare d'Austerlitz to the Gare d'Orleans


By car

Take the A10 motorway south-west from Paris. The trip will only be slightly more than and hour, but in rush hour the hour trip can easily become a 3 hour endeavor.

Transportation

  • Semtao Tramline and buses run throughout the city of Orleans and the town of Fleury-lès-Aubrais.

Within Orleans the tram runs from the city center down main street to the outlying small towns and suburbs. This does not provide much help to tourists.

The best way to travel is by foot or bike. The city is not large so by foot is the best way. Many bike rental stations allow you to use a bike from point A to B at low fares.

Sightseeing

  • Ste-Croix Cathedral (La Cathédrale Sainte-Croix)
  • the House of Joan of Arc (La Maison de Jeanne d’Arc)
  Most of Orleans in devoted to Jean d'Arc as she liberated the town in medieval times. Its hard to walk through the town without seeing Jean d'arc related stuff quite frequently. The house is definitely worth seeing.
  • the Parc Floral (10 km south of down town)
  • the Musée historique et archéologique de l'Orléanais
  • the Musée des Beaux Arts
  • the "Europe Bridge"
  • the Hotel de Ville (City Hall)
  Where everyone in the city is required to get married, the hotel de ville has breathtaking rooms filled with royal curtains and gold trimmings.
  • the Cathedral

Walk around the center of town, or along the banks of the river Loire. Barhop. Visit some of the city's great boulangeries.

The city celebrates Joan of Arc during the first week of May with parades, demonstrations, a "medieval market" and sound and light shows.

  • l'Astrolabe 1 Rue Alexandre Avisse, 45000 Orleans. Concert hall dedicated to Modern Music, Reggae, Percus, Techno, French Song, also includes an Ice-skating ring and Dojo.

Billards (pool) can be a fun way to unwind from a busy day. Orleans has many pool salons and even the bowling alley also has a billards section. Billards is popular among teenagers on fridays after school, but finding an open table shouldn't be a prolblem.

Shopping

Most stores do accept credit cards which will save you the hassle of exchanging money numerous times. The local chocolate factory, Chocolaterie Royale, makes many interesting and delicious souvenirs. Even if you aren't in the mood to buy chocolate, stopping by their store near the town square will amaze you at the way they can mold chocolate.

Many large French and international stores fill Orleans including H&M and Le Galerie Lafayette.

Restaurants

  • Pizzeria Capri 103bis, Rue du Faubourg Madeleine , 45000 Orléans. Great Service, excellent pizza and pasta.
  • Tokyo 14, Place du Chatelet, 45000 Orléans. Really good Sushi. $15-30

Nightlife

The Rue de Bourgogne is home to the majority of bars, pubs and nightlife of Orleans. Le bord de la Loire (the Loir river bank) is popular among young high school students as a place for weekend drinking. There are also several concerts held along the Loire River during the summer.

  • Le Petit Barcelone 218, Rue de Bourgogne. Relaxed atmosphere, plenty of tables for sitting around with friends and having drinks.
  • Havana Cafe 28, Place du Chatelet. Indoor and outdoor seating, good place to have drinks with friends.
  • Le Paxton's Head Rue de Bourgogne. Karaoke
  • L'Amazone 105 bis, Rue de Faubourg Madeleine. Night club playing African Zouk, Reggae and Hip Hop music.

Lodging

See the Listing of the Hotels in Orleans

Around 40km south of Orleans on the way to Bourges is the Parc des Alicourts 3-star campsite and spa, a Yelloh Village holiday centre with a fishing lake, an aqua park with 4 pools, a plush health spa with hydrotherapy centre, camping pitches, chalets, cottages and a villa for rent.

Within easy reach of the chateaux and attractions of the Loire Valley, offering special offers on family holidays, camping weekends and spa breaks.

Surrounding

Visiting the castles and houses along the Loire river is a great day trip from Orleans. A must see is Chambord.