About Locale

Tours and the Loire Valley

Tours is a beautiful city that is worth visiting, you can admire artifacts from all eras dating back from gallo-roman period, to middle age and renaissance. Place Plumerau, the main square in "Le vieux Tours" (medieval district) is famous for its half-timbered buildings and its busy bars and restaurants. It is surrounded by some of the most beautiful castles of France, overseeing the Loire and Cher rivers, as well as many wineries.

City Hall of Tours City Hall of Tours
Château de Chenonceau Château de Chenonceau
Château de Chambord Château de Chambord
Place (square) Plumerau, downtown Tours Place (square) Plumerau, downtown Tours
Château d'Ussé Château d'Ussé
Château d'Azay-le-Rideau Château d'Azay-le-Rideau
Cave Monplaisir Cave Monplaisir

We strongly recommend visiting at least one castle, below is a list of nearby castles:

  • Chambord (1 hour away): Jeremy's favorite, arguably the most beautiful French castle on the same level as Versailles.
  • Chenonceau (40 minutes away): Pooja's favorite, incredible castle that overpasses the Cher river.
  • Rigny-Ussé (40 minutes away): Castle that Charles Perauld had in mind when writing "The Sleeping Beauty".
  • Azay-le-Rideau (25 minutes away): Beautiful Renaissance Castle

You can also visit wineries and caves, there are many along the Loire, you can just stop by any that you see, visit the cave, taste some wine (usually for free), and buy some bottles for way cheaper than at the store (yes California I'm looking at you...). If you want pointers, here are a few:

Quick Tip

Make sure to bring an international adapter to charge all of your electronics. You can find them on Amazon, such as this one.

Paying in France

France accepts credit cards almost everywhere so the cheapest option is probably a no foreign transaction fee card. For cash transactions, it is better to withdraw euros directly at a bank ATM in France versus a currency exchange desk.

Don't forget to notify your banks / credit card companies that you will be abroad or they will freeze your accounts.

Common Translations

  • Bonjour (bohn-zhoor) - Hello (literally: good day)
  • Au revoir (oh-reh-vwar) - Goodbye
  • Je m'appelle... (zhuh mah-pehl) - My name is... (literally: I call myself)
  • Comment vous appelez-vous? (kohn-mahn voo zah-play voo) - What is your name?
  • Parlez lentement (par-lay lehn-ta-mohn) - Please speak slowly
  • Je ne comprends pas (jhuhn kom-prohn pah) - I don't understand
  • S'il vous plaît (seel voo play) - Please
  • Merci (mehr-see) - Thank you
  • De rien (dah ree-ehn) - You're welcome
  • Excusez-moi (ehk-kew-zay mwah) - Excuse me
  • Ça va? (sah vah) - How are you? (informal) or... I'm fine
  • Oui / Non (we / nohn) - Yes / No
  • Parlez-vous anglais? (pahr-lay voo ahn-leh) - Do you speak English
  • Où sont les toilettes (oo sahn lay twah-leht) - Where are the restooms?