Chartres Travel Guide

Chartres Overview

Chartres was one of the most important pilgrimage sites of the Middle Ages and is still a popular destination for travelers from all over the world who come seeking inspiration. Home to the veil of the Virgin Mary, Chartres’ Notre Dame Cathedral also boasts some of the most beautiful stained glass windows in existence, a mysterious labyrinth and a jaw-dropping design that seems to soar to the heavens and take your soul with it.

One of the best preserved examples of Gothic architecture in France, Chartres Cathedral is exciting for students of design as well as anyone who appreciates art frozen in time. Only an hour-long train ride south from Paris’ Gare Montparnasse, Chartres is an easy day trip from the city and is best visited on a sunny afternoon when the stained-glass windows of the cathedral will be in their full glory. Built in only 66 years, a very short time for such a structure, Notre Dame is an excellent model of almost-pure High Gothic architecture.

However Chartres is much more than an amazing cathedral; this medieval town retains much of its character and charm and you can still walk down roads named after the merchandise once sold there, such as ‘rue de la Petite Cordonnerie,’ (Shoemaker’s Road) and rue de la Possonnerie (Fish Road). Along the ancient streets you will find modern shops too, with plenty of hotels and restaurants cater to traveling pilgrims, just as they have for centuries.

Things to do in Chartres

Chartres was one of the most important pilgrimage sites of the Middle Ages and is still a popular destination for travelers from all over the world who come seeking inspiration. Home to the veil of the Virgin Mary, Chartres’ Notre Dame Cathedral also boasts some of the most beautiful stained glass windows in existence, a mysterious labyrinth and a jaw-dropping design that seems to soar to the heavens and take your soul with it.

One of the best preserved examples of Gothic architecture in France, Chartres Cathedral is exciting for students of design as well as anyone who appreciates art frozen in time. Only an hour-long train ride south from Paris’ Gare Montparnasse, Chartres is an easy day trip from the city and is best visited on a sunny afternoon when the stained-glass windows of the cathedral will be in their full glory. Built in only 66 years, a very short time for such a structure, Notre Dame is an excellent model of almost-pure High Gothic architecture.

However Chartres is much more than an amazing cathedral; this medieval town retains much of its character and charm and you can still walk down roads named after the merchandise once sold there, such as ‘rue de la Petite Cordonnerie,’ (Shoemaker’s Road) and rue de la Possonnerie (Fish Road). Along the ancient streets you will find modern shops too, with plenty of hotels and restaurants cater to traveling pilgrims, just as they have for centuries.

Hotels in Chartres

Hotel Jehan de Beauce: centrally located, renovated rooms and buffet breakfast           

Comfort Hotel Chartres: basic yet adequate hotel, 42 rooms and restaurant attached

Best Western Le Grand Monarche: quality rooms, clean, located right on main plaza

Hotel Chatelet: charming 3-Star Hotel, centrally located, 200m from train station

Ibis Chartres Centre Cathedral: small hotel at bottom of village on the Eure River

Chateau d’Esclimont: romantic luxury chateau outside of the city with traditional French charm

Chartres Weather

Chartres Travel Resources

Please share any Chartres travel resources in this section. Links to other websites, visa information,car rentals, consulates, etc are all very helpful.
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