The French Open is just round the corner, giving tennis fans the chance to see some of the finest sportsmen and -women in the world perform at the highest level.
Considering the wealth of culture and history France has to offer visitors to its country, the RAC has compiled a list of summer destinations which are less than 5 hours from Stade Roland-Garros, with information provided by our European Breakdown Cover.
The capital of the Marne in northeast France, Châlons-en-Champagne has retained its historic charm thanks to its splendid half-timbered houses, old bridges, large public gardens and some notable churches. Criss-crossed by rivers and canals, is it any wonder then that this city of art and history has been dubbed “Little Venice”?
Places to visit in Châlons-en-Champagne
As well as the Les Jards Park and the only modern circus arts school in France, the National Centre for Circus Arts (CNAC), visitors will also find:
- The Saint-Etienne Cathedral - with its beautiful stained-glass windows.
- The Notre-Dame-en-Vaux Church - listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998.
- The Museum of Fine Arts and Archaeology - one of France's oldest museums.
- The cellars of the prestigious Joseph Perrier Champagne House
- The Notre-Dame de l’Epine Basilica –a UNESCO-listed pilgrimage site.
- Barge excursions on the Mau and Nau Rivers Tourist Office. Hop on the night tour for an added touch of sensational mystery!
Find directions from Stade Roland Garros to Châlons-en-Champagne with RAC Route Planner – 2 hours 1 min.
Amiens is the go-to destination for history lovers, garden enthusiasts and heritage aficionados. Visitors can explore this charming destination on foot and by bike, where they will find a host of treasures, including the cathedral and belfry, both listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites and the hortillonnages gardens.
Places to visit in Amiens
- Notre-Dame Cathedral - listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site
- The hortillonnages - floating gardens accessed by boat
- Jules Verne’s house – located in the heart of the 19th century district
- The Saint-Leu district - with its beautiful canals and floating market
- The La Hotoie zoological gardens
- The Somme Bay is also nearby
Find directions from Stade Roland Garros to Amiens with RAC Route Planner – 1 hours 40 min.
Thanks to its rich history, a walk through Rouen is a walk through an open-air museum. From its origins as a medieval city, then flowering into a renaissance town, and now a contemporary municipality and the historic capital of Normandy, Rouen has seen many changes and continues to change.
Places to visit in Rouen
If visiting the one of the most beautiful and famous rivers in the world – the Seine - isn’t enough, visitors can also enjoy the:
- Cathedrale Notre-Dame
- Joan of Arc Tower
- Antiquarian district
- Le Secq des Tournelles
- National Museum of Education
- Gothic churches - Saint-Ouen Abbey, Saint-Maclou, Saint-Patrice, Saint-Godard, Saint-Vivien
- Seine valley - the abbey’s road, the fruit trail, Elbeuf Theatre Circus, the green path
Find directions from Stade Roland Garros to Rouen with RAC Route Planner – 1 hours 32 mins.
Founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, Caen, with its rich architectural heritage and thousand years of history, is a must for culture buffs. This quietly remarkable city hosts a number of impressive monuments, including two monasteries and Ducal castle, one of the largest fortified enclosures in Europe.
Places to visit in Caen
As well as the as a theatre visitors will also find:
- The Abbaye aux Hommes and the Abbaye aux Dames
- The Caen Memorial: a museum that plunges visitors into the heart of 20th-century history
- The Ducal castle that overlooks the city, offering an exceptional panoramic view
- Museum of Normandy
- Museum of Fine Arts
- "Festyland" - an amusement park based on Normandy history.
Find directions from Stade Roland Garros to Caen with RAC Route Planner – 2 hours 18 mins.
Dijon has a rich history dating back to Roman times and in its heyday was the capital of the Dukes of Burgundy. A crossroads to numerous trade routes, notably pewter, tin, amber and exotic spices Dijon has a unique cultural and architectural heritage and was once one of the most important towns in medieval Europe.
On his arrival in Dijon, King François I is reported to have said, “What a beautiful town, it is the town of a hundred bell towers.” Even though Dijon may have lost many of its belfries since then, it’s still a captivating capital that retains much of its beauty and heritage and is now a gateway to one of the most prestigious vineyards of France: the Côte de Nuits and its world-class wines.
Places to visit in Dijon
- Palais des Ducs et des Etats de Bourgogne
- Tour Philippe le Bon
- La Chouette
- Cathedral Saint-Bénigne - other churches include Saint-Philibert, Saint-Jean and Saint-Michel
- Seven museums and a contemporary art centres (le Consortium)
- The Well of Moses and the former Charterhouse of Champmol
- The Owl's Trail - this tour passes 22 sites in the historical centre
- Segway Rides - discover Dijon with these futuristic vehicles.
Find directions from Stade Roland Garros to Dijon with RAC Route Planner – 3 hours 2 mins.