Orleans, a cool and unusual metropolis
5 cool and unusual experiences!
Over the centuries, Orleans has been shaped by its close relationship with the Loire as well as its fascinating historical and cultural heritage.
From Sainte-Croix Cathedral to its inextricable bond with Joan of Arc, Orleans has built its reputation on the many symbols of the city’s past. However, there is far more to Orleans than meets the eye!
Discover the cool and unusual experiences that promise to make your stay in Orleans entertaining and unique in equal measure.
Ride in a hot-air balloon
Have you always dreamed of flying through the air, free as a bird? Do you want a unique and exhilarating experience? Then set sail in a hot-air balloon and view Orleans from way up high.
Share the magic of a hot-air balloon ride with a small, intimate group. Riding the wind currents, you will feel in perfect communion with the natural landscape below, a striking mosaic of colour unfurling in every direction. From the meandering Loire to the region’s most prominent landmarks, get a whole new perspective of the region on this thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Traditional boat trips on the Loire
If the idea of exploring the Loire on a traditional river craft floats your boat, then look no further! Set sail on an unforgettable boat cruise. This toue sablière, a small, flat-bottomed barge measuring between 10 and 20 metres long, provides an original mode of transport taking you into the heart of the local countryside. The captain always enjoys sharing his love for his boat and his extensive knowledge of the Loire with passengers. An ideal activity for visitors of all ages to enjoy with the family, a group of friends or that special someone!
A fan of river and canal cruising and interested in learning more about the Loire and its sailors? Then come for the Loire Festival, the biggest European gathering of river boats taking place every two years.
Take a stroll with a Greeter
Do you know what a Greeter is? Venture off the beaten path and discover the cool and unusual side of Orleans with a local volunteer! Put yourself in the capable hands of an Orleans native as they share their passion for their neighbourhood and city. Get their recommendations for things to see and do around the city, and make a new friend along the way.
This entirely free guided tour is the ideal option for exploring different parts of the city: stroll around the old town, pass through the Dunois quarter, enjoy a lovely walk on the banks of the Loire or simply check out the night life of Orleans. An original and personal way to discover cultural surprises that even frequent visitors to the city might not know about!
Another way to visit Orleans
Orléans Val de Loire Tourisme offers a selection of guided tours, such as Orléans Top to Bottom. Climb all 252 steps up to the top of Sainte-Croix Cathedral to find the best panoramic views of the city. Your efforts will be rewarded with a moment to catch your breath and the sweeping views of Orleans and the Loire. Then venture down into the ‘bowels’ of the city to visit the crypt of St. Avit, a Romanesque vault which lay hidden until the 19th century.
EXPLORE STREET ART IN ORLEANS
Orleans and street art, a long-term relationship!
From the cats by internationally-renowned artist Thoma Vuilla to the graffitied walls of the former Dessaux vinegar factory, not to mention the ‘MUR Orléans’, MifaMosa’s mosaics, the famous fish by Rire fish and the Levalet collages, Orleans is awash with street art.
During your visit to Orleans, swing by the Mur Orléans (Orleans wall) on the front of Les Carmes Cinema on Rue Henri Roy to see a modern work of art in continual renewal. Plus every April, Orleans comes to life, hosting two events devoted to street art—the Loire Art Show and the Roads Festival—to promote all manner of urban art to a wide audience.