Getting to Tours!

And let me stay in the neighborhood and tell you more about this wonderful city that already have several posts in my blog. However, they were about monuments and I feel need to tell you how to get here and move about in this gorgeous city, known for the purest of French language.

Of course, let me tell you about getting to Tours! Tours is on the banks of the Loire and the Cher rivers, in the department of Indre-et-Loire no. 37 region of Centre-Val de Loire. It is surrounded by 3/4 by the A10 road or Autoroute d’Aquitaine and its ring road, the city of Tours is also located in the center of a 5-branch highway star: the A10 north to Orléans and Paris (240 km) , the A10 south to Poitiers and Bordeaux (347 km), the A28 to Le Mans and Rouen, the A85 west to Angers ,the A85 is to Vierzon, and initiating the junction with the Rhône valley. Many cross connections of national network complete this traffice knot such as the RN 76, RN 138, etc., making it possible in particular to link the city to the neighboring regional capitals such at Limoges on the RN 147.

Tours is cut in half by the mighty Loire river that make it one of the grand cities of France, the center of the valley of the kings, all is around the Loire. Most and most important monuments are on the right bank of the Loire, this is the old Tours, Cathedral, and Basilica. For a grand entrance by car you come off the A10 on exit Sortie 22 and take Avenue Stendhal into a sharp right turn on pont du lac bridge crossing the nice Cher river into the grand avenue de Grammont go past Place Jean Jaurés into rue Nationale and it takes you into the oldest ch St Julien (b 943) if you want the thrill of crossing the Loire river continue into Pont Wilson. Otherwise just before the bridge turn left into Avenue des Tanneurs into old Tours and another world, magical beautiful and architecturally stunning.

Tours

On street parking is regulated in Tours as in France from 9h to 12h and from 14h to 18h30. The prices are different depending on the sector and the parking time, they can be identified by three colors (red, orange, blue) directly on the screen of the parking meters. If do not know well the city or no time better to go to a paid parking and our favorites over the years are the Vinci Gare or train station, des Halles or covered market, and along the main streets Nationale, and Gambetta. Never encountered problems parking above or below ground and even free parking here.

Tours

The city of Tours has an excellent service of  bus and tramway of the metro area with Fil Bleu and the Rémi regional network. The  Bus station on the side of the train station is at Place du Général Leclerc. The city counts  28 regular bus lines and 1 tramway line with 159 buses, 21 tram lines, 1200 Vélociti (bikes), 4 electric buses and a carriage horse wagon! . If coming with minimum expenses you can use the Parking + Bus system (never used) this gives you unlimited access to the entire bus + tram network during 1 day connections included for 1 to 4 persons in the same car.  The bus service covers 25 towns  which includes Ballan-Miré, Berthenay, Chambray-lès-Tours, Chanceaux-sur-Choisille, Druye, Fondettes, Joué-lès-Tours, Luynes, La Membrolle-sur-Choisille, Mettray, Notre-Dame-d’Oé , Parçay-Meslay, La Riche, Rochecorbon, Saint-Avertin, Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire, Saint-Etienne-de-Chigny, Saint-Genouph, Saint-Pierre-des-Corps (TGV station), Savonnières, Tours, Vernou-sur- Brenne, Villandry, La Ville-aux-Dames, and Vouvray.

This is the Fil Bleu network in English or lets call it city network : Fil Bleu bus network of Tours

The regional or metro bus network is Rémi in French: Rémi regional bus network

The city of Tours on public transports in French: City of Tours on public transports

There is an airport of Tours but never taken it, just for info. It is about 10 minutes from city center of Tours and the TGV train station of Saint Pierre des Corps. The webpage is here: Tours airport

You can get there from Tours on tramway line A: Running from Vinci station to Vaucanson terminus: regular frequency every day. The Bus line 02 of the Fil Bleu network: direction Les Douets Vaucanson stop as well. Bear in mind in Summer schedules change. The schedule of bus 2 is here: Fil Bleu bus line 2 to airport

The bike service in Tours is second to none and it is the 2nd city in France to benefit from this new mobility service offered by Indigo, world leader in parking and majority shareholder of Vélib. Thanks to a dedicated application, the user can reserve and unlock one of the bikes scattered throughout the city in a few seconds, using a flash code. There are 7 bicycle parks in town. More info in English here : Indigo bike network

OF course, Tours has two train stations one in city center and the TGV at nearby Saint Pierre des Corps.

The gare de Tours or train station has a passenger building, with ticket office, open every day and equipped with automatic ticket vending machines. It is equipped with 6 platforms serving 12 lanes. The platform serving tracks D and E, and the platform serving tracks F and G are more than 443 meters, allowing to receive two trains of TGV Atlantique The passenger building gathers four materials: stone for the facade and its statues, iron, cast iron and glass with two large canopies on the facade to offer lightness and transparency. Four statues dominate the building. Two allegories of Bordeaux and Toulouse, and two allegories of Limoges and Nantes. Painted earthenware panels, made between 1896 and 1898 on the tunnesl .

The official Gare train station of center town Tours is here: Train station of Tours

Tours

Tours

The Saint-Pierre-des-Corps TGV train station is a line from Paris-Austerlitz to Bordeaux-Saint-Jean and from Vierzon to Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, located on the territory of the town of Saint-Pierre-des-Corps , less than 3 km from the city cener train station of Tours. This train station served by TGV and Ouigo, Intercités, Interloire, and TER Center-Val de Loire trains. The importance of this station is due to the fact that the station of Tours is a station in dead end, which imposes a cusp for all the trains which continue their route beyond Tours. The Saint-Pierre-des-Corps station allows trains to avoid this maneuver which generates an increase in journey times. The St Pierre des Corps train station has a passenger building, with ticket offices, open every day. It is equipped with automatic machines for the purchase of tickets. The underground access to the platforms and especially the station parking lot are decorated with frescoes. Those of the car park evoke on twelve levels the history of the castles of the region and the famous people who are linked to them.

The official Gare TGV station at St Pierre des Corps is here: Train station St Pierre des Corps

Now I like to offer you some webpages of general interest on Tours and tourist information, hoping it will help you plan your trip here, which is a must.

The city of Tours tourist office in English: City of Tours tourist office

The Touraine val de Loire tourist office on Tours in English: Tourist office Touraine Loire valley on Tours

The Metropolitan area of Tours including the 22 towns for a stepping out into the real FranceMetropolitan Tours region on the towns

And the libraries of Tours, a huge recevoir of information on the architecture and history of these wonderful towns of my belle France, and Tours is right up there; in French: The libraries of Tours

And if you like the town , like me, and want to keep up to date on what is going on there from the real people than look at their main newspaper the New Republic or the La Nouvelle République; have in the entertaintment section in French of course.  newspaper of Tours La Nouvelle République

We had visited it from our new home in the Morbihan breton as well one of the last trip took with my dear late wife Martine, all memories now. We took the N165 voie express towards Nantes, there we hook up with the A 11 towards Le Mans, however past Angers by its airport we took the D766 road direction Jarzé/ Château la Valliére where we took the D959 road towards Tours , crossing the Loire at exit sortie 10 Porte de Tours riding beautifully along the Loire river on our left on Avenue Proudhon right into old Tours in Avenue des Tanneurs! Awesome!

Enjoy Tours, the gateway to the valley of the kings and the marvels of my belle France (thank you Martine). And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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