Bourges: An Unexpected French Treat

One thing I’m sure I have mentioned a million times in this space is how much I love being surprised by a destination. As a traveler, there’s nothing better than having low – or no – expectations for a place, and then being blown away. Needless to say, Bourges was one of those very pleasant surprises. I hadn’t even heard of the town before our trip, but I wound up really enjoying it.

After visiting Guédelon, we made our way to Bourges to spend the night. Right away, I was thrilled by how beautiful the city was: it’s filled with grand buildings, cobblestone lanes, and an abundance of large, ornate doors (the town could provide months’ worth of #IHaveThisThingWithDoors material on Instagram, I am certain). The city was, simply, a pleasant place to be.

In addition to being a pretty place to walk around, Bourges is home to one very grand cathedral, the aptly named . . . Bourges Cathedral. The structure dates back to the 12th century so, needless to say, it’s slightly historical. It also features a detailed facade, super high ceilings (Bourges Cathedral is taller than Notre-Dame!), and beautiful stained glass. I took a ton of photos but none quite seemed to capture its grandeur.

On our second day in Bourges, we woke up to rain. Kind of a bummer but, predictably for this charming town, it seemed cute even with the drizzle. We walked a few more loops around Bourges – and popped into a bakery to stock up on some lunch provisions – before heading onto our next destination.

While in Bourges, we stayed at Hotel D’Angleterre, which is affiliated with Best Western. My first reaction to a Best Western is usually . . . nope, but this hotel was really nice! I also stayed in a nice little Best Western back in Bologna, so perhaps it’s time for me to change my tune on the chain (in Europe, at least).

The Bottom Line: Bourges is sleepy but delightful. For a relatively under-the-radar (to me, at least) town, I was surprised by just how much it had to offer. Plus, it’s near Guédelon and the Loire Valley chateaux, so it definitely makes for a convenient overnight stop.

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