Located in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, the capital of Limousin enjoys a great reputation. Visiting Limoges is always a pleasant surprise, whether it is for vacations or for a weekend.
The city has an airport with connections to Corsica, Lyon, Paris, but also Morocco and the United Kingdom. Located 3 hours away from Paris and Toulouse, it benefits from a very appreciated central position. Numerous green spaces allow residents to enjoy outdoor activities. Its architecture, witness of its medieval past, amazes the tourists.
Here are the top 10 places to visit in and around Limoges.
The must-sees in Limoges
Limoges porcelain : visit the workshops
Limoges is mostly known for its porcelain. Visiting Limoges without discovering the secrets of this ceramic would be a real shame.
I therefore encourage you to visit some of the workshops to discover the famous Limoges porcelain.
Among the most famous workshops, there is the one of Bernardaud, the first manufacturer and exporter of Limoges porcelain in France. On a guided tour, you can discover the factory dating from 1863, discover the secrets of the famous porcelain, attend a presentation and even participate in an initiation!
The Royal Limoges factory opens its doors for guided tours. Labelled as a Living Heritage Company, it is the oldest porcelain factory in Limoges still in operation. Created in 1797, it has become known over the years thanks to its unique know-how.
The “Atelier des Porcelaines” Jacques Pergay opens its doors for guided tours by appointment in order to allow the curious to discover the traditional know-how of the house which values white porcelain.
Les Jardins de l’Évêché : the botanical park of Limoges
If you like long walks, plants and nature, then you are in the right place ! This botanical garden of Limoges, 2 hectares large, proposes to discover more than 3000 species of plants. Created in 1956, it goes from the feet of the Limoges cathedral to the walls overhanging the Vienne river.
This park is divided into 3 gardens with different themes : the historical garden which is the oldest part of the park, the practical garden with medicinal and aromatic plants, and the ecological garden which represents 5 natural environments characteristic of the Limousin.
The central market of Limoges
This building, built between 1887 and 1889, has been listed as a historical monument since 1976. With its metal structure dating from the 19th century and its sublime porcelain friezes, it is one of the must-see places.
In the central market of Limoges, you will discover about thirty food traders as well as a tasting and animation area. Ideal for the gourmets!
The Old Limoges
In France, almost every city has its old quarter (the Old Le Mans, the old quarter of Amiens, the old quarter of Angers, etc.).
Also known as the “Quartier de la Boucherie”, Old Limoges appeals to visitors for its half-timbered houses, its old stones, but also for the small typical restaurants and independent stores that line the cobbled streets.
In this district, the Maison de la Boucherie is to be visited to discover the life of the Limousin butchers in the 13th century.
The Limoges train station
Put into service in 1929, the current Limoges train station is considered as one of the most beautiful train stations in the world. Classified as a historical monument in 1975, it was built in an architectural style mixing “Art Nouveau” and “Art Deco”. It has a 67 meters high belfry and a hall with a dome with many sculptures.
I strongly advise you to visit it during your visit to Limoges!
What to visit outside Limoges ?
If Limoges is full of places to discover, the outside of Limoges is just as interesting.
The Moulin du Got
Located in Saint-Léonard de Noblat, at the gates of Limoges, this museum of paper and printing highlights the paper activity in the Limousin in the 17th century. In operation since 1489, the Moulin du Got manufactured paper for the Parisian printers. Today, this place revives the majestic hours of the traditional paper industry and innovates by making recycled paper.
The Castle of Chalucet
In Saint-Jean-Ligoure is the Château de Chalucet, a medieval fortress from the 12th century, and its forest park. It is possible to walk in the ruins of the castle founded in 1130, to climb to the top of the Jeanette tower to admire the impressive view on the Briance valley and to walk the 7 kilometers of marked out circuit on the domain of Ligoure.
An unmissable visit outside Limoges!
The Reynou animal park
Located in Le Vigen, near Limoges, the Reynou animal park offers to discover the fauna and flora on more than 100 hectares.
Opened to the public in 1997, the Reynou zoo is home to more than 130 species of animals from around the world. The zoo has many preservation programs in place to protect the species.
It is possible to sleep inside the zoo in lodges in order to experience an immersion in the heart of nature.
Saint-Léonard de Noblat
Located on one of the roads leading to Santiago de Compostela, the city of Saint-Léonard de Noblat is an essential stop if you stay in the Limousin.
Labeled “Plus Beaux Détours de France”, the city has kept its charm of yesteryear and reflects what was the Limousin from the 13th to the 18th century : beautiful wooden houses and granite stones, Romanesque church listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, etc. The town was once famous for its tanneries, porcelain, paper mills and ironworks.
The lake of Saint-Pardoux
Renowned in the Haute-Vienne, this large artificial lake of 330 hectares is located in the heart of a preserved natural site.
Visitors like to go there to practice all kinds of activities: fishing, sailing, pedal boats, hiking, zip-lining, water ski, etc.
An acrobatic park in the forest and an aquatic swimming pool complete the offer of activities to satisfy the whole family.
The lake of Saint-Pardoux is a must if you want to practice activities in nature.
Visiting Limoges for a weekend or for vacations is a unique experience to live at least once in your life! The city and its surroundings instantly transport you back centuries to discover old trades and architectural nuggets.
Thank you for reading my article on the top 10 places to visit in Limoges! I hope it made you want to visit the city!
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Immersive stay in Limousin – Nouvelle-Aquitaine