The perfect weekend destination for champagne lovers


« Épernay, c’est la ville du vin de Champagne. Rien de plus, rien de moins. »
(Épernay is the city of Champagne wine. Nothing more, nothing less.)
— Victor Hugo, Le Rhin, 21 juillet 1842.

France has always been known as the land of wine, and Champagne is the most unique gem in the world of wines. It originates from the historic Champagne region of France, where the people have a relentless pursuit of wine quality. Only sparkling wines produced with specific grape varieties and following special winemaking methods in the Champagne region can be called "Champagne.".

The Champagne region is divided into four major areas: the northernmost Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne along the Marne River, the southern Côte des Blancs near Épernay, and the Côte des Bar further south. Épernay, famously dubbed the "City of Champagne" by Victor Hugo, is a weekend getaway favourite for Champagne enthusiasts from Paris. With its rich history, picturesque town, exciting activities, and welcoming locals, Épernay truly captures the essence of Champagne's allure.

Come and explore this enchanting region, immerse yourself in the world of Champagne by exploring the amazing village Épernay, and experience the ultimate “joie de vivre” that only France can offer! Cheers to a sparkling adventure in Champagne!


How to get to Épernay from Paris?

By train

Trains to Épernay depart from Gare de l'Est station in Paris. The train journey takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the type of train you choose. You can book your train tickets in advance on the SNCF website or at the train station. Arriving in Épernay, the train will take you directly to Épernay train station, which is conveniently located in the town centre, where you can easily access the main attractions and accommodation. Travelling by train offers a relaxing journey and allows you to sit back and enjoy the beautiful landscapes along the way. It also saves you from the hassle of driving and parking.

By car

Travelling by car offers more flexibility and allows you to explore the scenic countryside at your own pace. The route from Paris to Épernay involves taking the A4 motorway eastwards to Reims and following the signs for Épernay on the D951 road. The drive takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions. If you plan to visit nearby attractions or vineyards during your stay in Épernay, renting a car might be a more convenient option.In Épernay, there are several parking areas available near the town centre and tourist attractions, making it easy to park your car and explore the charming town.

However, it is essential to check the train schedule or traffic conditions in advance, especially during peak travel times, to ensure a smooth journey.

What to see in Épernay

Enjoying the countryside from a special perspective

Double-decker sightseeing bus l'Impériale de Marie-Antoinette

Bus à deux niveaux l'Impériale de Marie-Antoinette

After arriving at the train station, we boarded a double-decker sightseeing bus named "l'Impériale de Marie-Antoinette." This magnificent bus took us on a picturesque journey through charming villages and various attractions. 
The guide on board shared with us the town's history, the wine culture, and the origin of the bus's name - a connection to the "Fuite de Varennes",  when Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI fled from the Marne Valley during the French Revolution.
Bus tours last around 80 to 135 minutes depending on the programme, and the adult ticket costs between 75 to 90 euros, while children's tickets range from 30 to 35 euros. If you prefer to customize your itinerary, they also provide personalized half-day tours. You can find all the information and book your bus trip on their website (click here).


Ballon captif flight

ballon captif-épernay

Épernay also offers visitors a unique perspective - a panoramic view of the town and the surrounding vineyards from a height of 300 meters above ground. This is made possible through the "Ballon Captif," a tethered balloon that ascends to this impressive height, equivalent to the second level of the Eiffel Tower!
As the balloon ascends, you'll feel an exhilarating rush of excitement and wonder. The panoramic views of Épernay's vine-covered hills and its charming countryside are simply breathtaking. Embrace the romance of floating amidst the clouds with your loved one, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
The captive balloon pilots explained to us that the balloon's constant connection to the ground ensures a safe flight experience. Additionally, they are very cautious about selecting suitable weather conditions, and in case of rain or strong winds, the balloon won't take off for safety reasons.
However, they also offer an interesting alternative for visitors - a VR balloon tour. Tourists can put on VR devices to experience the same aerial view as in a real balloon and follow an audio-guided tour(English or French) to learn in detail about the geography and iconic landmarks of the city.
You can book your “ballon captif” journey here, but please note that whether the balloon can take off will depend on the weather conditions on the day of your tour.

 Address: Esplanade Charles de Gaulle, 51200 Epernay


Discover the secrets of champagne

Champagne tasting with French apéritif accompagnement

Champagne tasting with French apéritif accompagnement

As a “luxurious“ beverage, Champagne often evokes images of lavish dinners or lively celebrations, and rightfully so. It is often seen as a symbol of victory or festivity on many occasions. However, in France, the true essence of "joie de vivre" is captured in the natural countryside setting, where a glass of fine Champagne, paired with some French delicacies, and enjoyed in the company of friends, creates the perfect moment.

Underground cave Edouard Mardin-Épernay

We were welcomed into the family home of the Founder Edouard Martin, where Jean Baptiste Martin (the 4th generation of winemakers) currently lives and works.
Here, we visited this historically significant house and its vast underground cave. Even on scorching summer days, the temperature in the cave remains at a cool range of a few degrees Celsius, providing a refreshing escape. Moreover, this consistent temperature and humidity create an ideal environment for storing the Champagne, ensuring its quality and preserving its unique flavours over time.

Les artiste chez Edouard Mardin

We also had the pleasure of meeting two artists hosted by Edouard Martin, Joanna Wojtowicz and Massimiliano Mocchia di Coggiola. They regularly showcase their artworks here, while painting in the garden and conversing with us about their artistic journey and creative ideas.
In these tranquil surroundings, the charm lies not just in the celebratory aspect of Champagne but also in the simple pleasure of savouring life's joys with loved ones.

Address: 3 rue Aristide Briand, 51150 Bouzy 


Discover the terroir and the methode champenoise in  Centre d’interprétation PressoriaCentre d'interprétation Crédit photo BOEGLY+GRAZIA

For those who are truly interested in the history and techniques of Champagne, Épernay offers excellent resources to give you an in-depth look at everything there is to know about Champagne. The Centre d'Interprétation Sensorielle des Vins de Champagne is located in the former pressing centre of Maison Pommery, at the foot of the historic hillsides of the town of Aÿ-Champagne. PRESSORIA offers a unique sensory experience revealing the secrets of Champagne.
The pressing centre Pommery à Aÿ Champagne is a landmark in the architectural and industrial heritage of the House of the same name. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for almost a century this building has stood as a testament to the skills of the vine-growing and wine-making trades, making it a symbolic place in the intangible heritage of Champagne.

  Centre d’interprétation Pressoria

An immersive scenographic journey consisting of ten rooms takes on a playful voyage from "Earth to the Bubble," engaging all five of your senses. We found several impressive presentations here. With huge chalky pillars « Le Craie »at the entrance, one can dive into the Champagne region’s subsoil and discover how the typical chalky soil was formed.

  Centre d’interprétation Pressoria

Light and shadows, accompanied by immersive surround sound, envelop us, showcasing the varying effects of different seasons' climates on the vineyard.

  Centre d’interprétation Pressoria

The power of multimedia technology is fully utilized in this creatively designed exhibition hall, where interactive games provide visitors with an engaging and enjoyable experience. Among these interactive activities, the game "Identifying Friends and Foes of the Vineyard" will particularly attract children who are curious about nature. So even if you visit with children, they will still find plenty of fun here and satisfy their abundant curiosity.

 Centre d’interprétation Pressoria wintasting

Then we concluded our visit with a tasting of two Champagne wines or two grape juices(for the teetotalers and minors).

The adult ticket price here is 16 euros, the student ticket is 14 euros, and the children's tickets range from 6.5 to 8.5 euros. Additionally, there is a family ticket priced at 38.5 euros, which includes admission for two adults and two children. You can book your ticket on the website by clicking here.

Address: 11 boulevard Pierre Cheval Anciennement Boulevard Pasteur, 51160 Aÿ-Champagne


Musée du vin de Champagne et d’Archéologie régionale 

Musée du vin de Champagne et d’Archéologie régionale

In French wine culture, "terroir" is a highly significant concept. This French term is commonly used to describe a specific vineyard’s unique environment and climatic conditions, along with the influence these factors have on grape cultivation and the flavours of the resulting wine.To understand the terroir of Champagne wine, the best way is to visit the Musée du Vin de Champagne et d’Archéologie régionale. With over 2,000 exhibits, the Musée du Vin de Champagne et d'Archéologie Régionale in Epernay tells the story of the Champagne region, from the formation of its soil several million years ago to the champagne industry today, which is locateded in Château Perrier, a magnificent 19th-century building that was listed as a Historic Monument in 2013.

Musée du vin de Champagne et d’Archéologie régionale

The interior decorations, the marquetry parquet floors and the neo-Eighteenth century grid were created by the same craftsmen who designed the decorations for the Opéra Garnier and the Hôtel de Ville in Paris. This beautiful chateau will be the perfect choice for an elegant French-inspired photo shoot when you can't get the desired shot inside a historic building due to the crowds of tourists in Paris.

Musée du vin de Champagne et d’Archéologie régionale Agenda

Do not be afraid of the abundance of French texts in the museum. At the museum's reception, you can get a multilingual audio guide to better understand the vast array of exhibits in this magnificent museum.

 Château Perrier English-style park

Beyond the castle lies a 7 500 m2 English-style park that allows us to immerse ourselves in nature and revel in various styles of beauty. Additionally, within the castle and gardens, a diverse range of temporary exhibitions continuously unfold. So, by visiting the museum during different seasons, you will not only enjoy the changing landscapes but also encounter unique artistic experiences.
Full-price tickets for the museum are €9.50, students and groups €6.30, and the museum opens its doors free of charge to the entire public on the first Sunday of every month and on “Nuit des musée”. Click here for more imformations.

 Address:Château Perrier, 13 avenue de Champagne, 51200 Épernay


Where to stay in Épernay

 l'Hôtel de Champagne

To better experience Épernay's landscapes, we highly recommend staying for more than one day so that you can not only watch the sunset over the Avenue du Champagne but also stroll through the city's markets on Saturday mornings, sample fresh local fruits and shop for artwork by local artists. We stayed at l'Hôtel de Champagne, with its ideal location a stone's throw from the prestigious Avenue de Champagne, our hotel in the centre of Epernay has a beautiful coworking space that's both relaxed and refined.

Address: 30 rue Eugène Mercier, 51200 Épernay


When to Visit Épernay ?

This “City of Champagne” transforms with splendid colours throughout different seasons, but we highly recommend visiting during summer. Not only is it a great escape from the scorching heat in the city, but also a unique and refreshing experience to savour chilled champagne amidst the lush green estate.Moreover, during the summer months, Epernay prepares the greatest festivities for visitors from all over the world to revel in.


Vign'Art Épernay

You can discover unique creations and experience a moment of art in the heart of nature from 15 May to 17 September 2023 thanks to the Vign'Art festival in Épernay.
Vign'Art is a festival of contemporary art and land art in Champagne. Bringing together nearly twenty regional, national and international artists, and exhibiting their works on different sites, as close as possible to the vines. Every year, Vign'Art transforms the Champagne vineyards into a veritable open-air art gallery! For its 4th edition, Vign'Art 2023 invites you to discover 16 sites across the Champagne region. The artworks are interlinked to form a remarkable circuit for exploring the Champagne region differently. The various sites are accessible on foot, with parking available nearby.


Fête de la musique

As we all know, the 21st of June is the "Fête de la musique", or music festival, in France. This is the day when everyone takes to the streets to be immersed in the joyful rhythms of music.

Habits de Lumière

Habits de Lumière Épernay Crédit Alexandre Couvreux

If you visit in winter, don't worry, Épernay's hospitality also has an unforgettable experience in store for you: the annual light show Habits de Lumière!Two festive evenings occur on the Avenue de Champagne on Friday and Saturday evenings. Illuminations, video-mappings, champagne bars, musical entertainment and fireworks create a unique and festive atmosphere.



Author: Jingxin
Photos: Jingxin, Alexandre Couvreux, © BOEGLY+GRAZIA