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Reims

France

Just 80 miles (129km) northeast of Paris you'll find Reims (sometimes spelled Rheims), an enchanting city known for Roman ruins, the impressive Gothic Cath├ędrale Notre Dame and, last but not least, champagne. Reims is the unofficial capital of the Champagne region, where bubbling white wine is produced and distributed to the rest of the world. As you would expect, champagne tastings, vineyard tours and cellar tours are some of the most popular things to do here.

But this city also boasts a rich cultural life, beautiful architecture, lots of fantastic restaurants and a whole host of activities to keep you busy throughout your trip. To get a sense of Reims' rich history, visit the ancient Porte Mars, located in Place de la Republique. This sRoman triumphal arch dates back to the 3rd century AD (note that as of 2018, it is being restored and is covered in scaffolding!). Head to Rue Fery and you'll see the Basilique Saint-Remi, an impressive 11th-century abbey that's listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

When you need to refuel, make your way to Les Halles du Boulingrin, a covered food market with fresh produce, meats and fish. It's open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings and Friday evenings from 4pm to 8pm.

Reims is a two-hour drive from Paris (about 45 minutes by TGV), so it's definitely worth visiting for a day or two if you're spending time in the capital. If you need to escape into nature, the scenic Montagne de Reims Regional Natural Park offers 5,000 hectares of natural beauty, with forests, vineyards and charming villages galore.

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