Only Weekend in Champagne Itinerary That You Need

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A weekend in Champagne is dreamy. Between the iconic Avenue de Champagne in Epernay and the stunning Reims Cathedral, you’ll fall head over heels for this famous French wine region during your visit. 

After having visited Champagne last year, I can honestly say that it is definitely worth the hype! There is a glitz and glamour feeling that comes with sipping one of the most prestigious beverages for celebrations in the world. You can’t help but feel a little fancy! 

The best part is that it isn’t far from Paris, meaning you can easily make this into a weekend getaway from the capital city! Or, if you are visiting France for the first time, you can squeeze in a 2-day trip to Champagne so you can enjoy the best this area has to offer.

So if you’re hoping to sip bubbly and walk through historic wine cellars, this is the only 2 days in Champagne France itinerary that you need!

Champagne painting at museum in Epernay

Ultimate Weekend in Champagne Itinerary

Before we dive into the full Champagne itinerary, here is a quick run-down of what to expect during your weekend in the Champagne region. 

Day 1: Epernay

  • Explore Avenue de Champagne
  • Moet et Chandon cellar tour and tasting
  • Visit the Museum of Champagne, Wine, & Regional Archaeology
  • Lunch at Cellier Belle Epoque at Perrier Jouet
  • Tasting at Alfred Gratien
  • Dinner at La Grillade Gourmand
Moet Imperial bottles

Day 2: Reims

  • Visit Reims Cathedral
  • Tour and tasting at Champagne Ruinart
  • Lunch at Le Refrectoire at Pommery
  • Tour and tasting at Veuve Clicquot
  • Sabrage at Pol Couronne
  • Dinner at Brasserie Le Boulingrin or dinner back in Epernay

2 Days in Champagne France Itinerary

Portail Saint-Martin - Things to do in Epernay

Now that you have seen the quick list of things to do in Champagne, let’s dive into the details. I’ll preface this by saying that if you only have a weekend in Champagne, you may want to stick to the cities and spend a day in each. 

This just makes it easier if you’re shorter on time, and there are several Champagne houses in each city, making it easy to visit a couple each day! 

Day 1: Explore Epernay During Your Champagne Itinerary

Hotel de Ville in Epernay

On the first day of your Champagne weekend itinerary, I recommend starting in Epernay. I found this town in Champagne to be endlessly charming.

Not only is it home to the famous Moet et Chandon, but this city has a whole street dedicated to these Champagne houses called Avenue de Champagne. The street is full of ornately decorated Champagne houses because when you’re sipping Champagne, you may as well do it in a place with flair. 

Avenue de Champagne sign

So you can spend a huge chunk of your day just walking up and down this street for your Champagne tastings! 

I recommend coming in the evening before so you can hit the ground running today! So first up is a stroll down the famed Avenue de Champagne to admire the architecture and spot the various Champagne houses along the road including Champagne Esterlin, Champagne de Venoge, and Pierrier-Jouet. 

Statue of perfect with Champagne Glass at Chateau de Venoge

Then, you’re going to start your short break to the Champagne region with a bang! Yes, you’re going to make a reservation ahead of time and book the earlier tour and tasting at Moet et Chandon

Moet et Chandon is the largest Champagne producer in the world, and you can have a taste of this famed house’s product on one of several tours such as the Signature Tour, Moet Collection, The Imperial Moment, and even the Grand Vintage. 

Tours range from 90 minutes to 2 hours. 

During my visit, I ended up going on The Imperial Moment tour which is all about their flagship Champagne. This tour includes a visit to their cellars as well as 2 glasses of their Champagne: Moet Imperial and Moet Rose Imperial. 

Champagne tasting at Moet & Chandon -
Old Champagne aging in the Moet cellas - Things to do in Epernay

The other tours typically include tastings of vintages. Note that the Grand Vintage tour is in the afternoon so if you choose this one, you’ll have to rearrange your tasting schedule. 

Tour prices are €40 for the Imperial Tour, €60 for the Signature Tour, €80 for the Grand Vintage Tour, and €180 for the Moet Collection.

After your tour of Moet et Chandon, you can take the opportunity to stop by the Museum of Champagne, Wine, & Regional Archaeology, also located on Avenue de Champagne. 

Champagne museum in Epernay - Things to do in Epernay

This smaller museum doesn’t take long to peruse, and has a lot of great information about the history of Champagne, what makes the soil so unique for the grapes grown here, the history of the Champagne houses, and even old farming implements on display. 

It also has a great display of old Champagne ads. 

Wine bottle sizes at the Champagne museum

After you visit this museum, you’re probably starting to feel a bit peckish. And you also may be wishing to try more Champagne. Well, you’re in luck, because also located on the Avenue de Champagne is Perrier-Jouet with its delicious Cellier Belle Epoque Champagne Bar. 

You can enjoy a lovely lunch at the bar here and pair it with a glass or two of their Champagne. 

Spend some time savoring your meal with a glass of Champagne and taking in the beauty of their bar. 

Things to do in Epernay - Wine tasting at Perrier jouet

Then, once you’ve finished your meal, you can head to your next reservation at Alfred Gratien. This is the only Champagne house you’re visiting today that is not on Avenue de Champagne. But don’t worry, it isn’t far away! 

Alfred Gratien still ages its Champagne in barrels and is known as the baby Krug because Krug also still does this. So this is a great place to try barrel-aged Champagne during your visit to Epernay. 

Alfred Gratien Champagne Tasting

Here you can try both the youngest and best/oldest of their Champagnes called the Brute and Paradis, respectively. You can also try their Blanc de Blancs Champagne. 

A tasting here starts at €25. 

Then, once you’ve had your fill of Champagne for the day, you can relax and get ready for a nice dinner at La Grillade Gourmande

This restaurant has delicious food that perfectly complements its wine list. Opt for more Champagne here or perhaps get the scallops with Champagne sauce and pair it with a lighter wine without bubbles. 

Either way, you’re going to have a tasty meal before day 2 during your Champagne itinerary. 

Old wooden cask at Moet & Chandon - Things to do in Epernay

Hours & Information for Day 1 in Champagne:

  • Moet et Chandon and Alfred Gratien have tours and tastings at various dates and times. Refer to their reservations for more details. 
  • Museum of Champagne, Wine, & Regional Archaeology Hours: April-October open Wednesday-Monday from 10 am-7 pm. November-March open Monday, Wednesday-Friday from 1:30-6 pm. Open on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am-6 pm. Closed on Tuesdays. 
  • Museum of Champagne, Wine, & Regional Archaeology Admission: €10 for adults. 
  • La Grillade Gourmande Hours: Tuesday-Saturday from 12-1:45 pm and 7:30-9:30 pm. Closed on Sunday and Monday.

Day 2: Visit Reims

Reims Cathedral

For the second day of your weekend in Champagne, it is time to head to Reims. Now, you could stay the first night in Epernay and then stay in Reims this night. However, you could also just base yourself in one town and take the train between them. 

If you stay in Epernay, you’ll likely want to end your day back in Epernay for dinner. So this will affect where you go to dinner this evening. Other than that, the itinerary still applies!

Reims is a fantastic city to explore during your time in Champagne. This place is giving main character vibes and is home to many famous Champagne houses including Veuve Clicquot, Taittinger, Champagne Pommery, and Mumm. 

Row of Veuve Clicquot

It is also a city that was built upon Roman chalk quarries, which turned out to make perfect cellars for storing Champagne. 

But before you explore these cellars for yourself, you’re first going to start out taking the train from Epernay to Reims in the morning and visiting Reims Cathedral. This stunning cathedral is where the French kings were coronated, making it well worth a visit. 

Interior of Reims Cathedral

After visiting the cathedral, it is time for your tour of Champagne Ruinart. You can either walk the 30 minutes to get here or you can take an Uber or taxi. Either way, you’ll want to book this tour in advance.

I suggest booking the earlier tour at 9:30 am. And let me tell you, this €75 tour and tasting seems steep, but it was worth it! 

Champagne Bottles aging in the Ruinart cellars
Ruinart Champagne Bottles

For starters, this is the oldest established Champagne house and its cellars are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

You actually get to tour the cellars and learn about their prior history of being Roman chalk quarries. You can even spot old mine steps! The largest cellar also has an art installation which is cool to see. 

Old tunnel from Ruinart cellars

The tour concludes with 2 tastings of Champagne, with either a tasting of their rose or regular Champagne. 

Once your tour of Ruinart is finished, you’re probably in need of lunch. Because of the amount of time it takes to go on your two cellar tours today, you won’t have much time for many other tastings. 

However, Pommery has a restaurant, called Le Refrectoire at Pommery, where you can grab a nice meal and order some of their Champagne to try! 

Champagne Tasting in Reims - Pommery

As it is between both Ruinart and Veuve Clicquot, it is kind of the perfect spot to grab lunch. Now if you have the time between lunch and your next tasting, you certainly can go on the self-guided tour of the Pommery Champagne House

However, if you don’t, as I didn’t, you can just enjoy some of their Champagne during lunch and then go to Veuve Clicquot for your last tour during your weekend in Champagne. 

Wine barrels at Veuve Clicquot
Wall carving at Veuve Clicquot Cellars

Veuve Clicquot is a very famous wine, and that yellow label can be spotted from far away! And this Champagne house has a very interesting history! For starters, did you know that “Veuve” means “widow” in French? 

Madame Clicquot took over her husband’s wine business after he passed and is credited with creating the first Champagne vintage with all the grapes in the bottle being grown in the same year. 

She also invented riddling tables to help the lees settle at the neck of the bottle, where they can be removed to make the Champagne clearer. 

Riddling machine at Veuve Clicquot

Find out more about La Grande Dame herself as well as the Champagne house’s history as you take a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site chalk cellars.

There are several tours you can take, but I enjoyed the Brut Yellow Label tour. This costs €35 per person and lasts for an hour. It also ends with a glass of the Brut Yellow Label. 

Tasting a glass of Veuve Clicquot

Other great tours include the Art of Blended Rose or the “Only One Quality, The Finest” tour which cost €60 and €75, respectively. 

I would suggest taking an afternoon tour, and then after your tour, you can head to Pol Couronne for a unique Champagne weekend experience: the art of sabrage. 

Schedule a late afternoon sabrage, that way you have plenty of time to get there after the Veuve Clicquot tour. 

Sabrage is the art of opening a bottle of Champagne with a saber. And you can do this next to the Reims Cathedral here! It starts at €52 to do this, as you’re also paying for the bottle you’ll drink after. 

Then, after all of this Champagne tasting, it is time for dinner. If you’re staying in Reims this evening, I suggest Brasserie Le Boulingrin as a delightful place to eat. Then, if you’re up for it, you can head to the top-floor bar at Restaurant Gabrielle Toit Terrasse where you can grab a glass of Dom Perignon to end your evening! 

If you’re heading back to Epernay, then I suggest having dinner at Cave a Champagne where you can have a delicious meal paired with Champagne. 

Champagne being poured into glasses

Day 2 Hours & Information: 

  • Tastings and tours vary by day, please check the appointments for Champagne Ruinart, Veuve Clicquot, and Pol Couronne and select based on the best timing for you.
  • Reims Cathedral Hours: Daily open from 7:30 am. Closes at 7:30 pm every day except Sunday, where it closes at 7:15 pm. On Sundays until 12 pm, visitors don’t have full access so as to keep the services running smoothly
  •  Le Refrectoire at Pommery Hours: Friday-Sunday 12-2:30 pm and 7-11 pm. Monday and Thursday from 12-6 pm. 
  • Brasserie Le Boulingrin Hours: Monday-Saturday from 12-2:30 pm and 6:30-11 pm. 
  • Restaurant Gabrielle Toit Terrasse Hours: Wednesday through Sunday from 12-2 pm and 7-11 pm. 
  • Cave a Champagne Hours: Monday and Thursday-Sunday from 12-1:30 pm and 7-10 pm. 

Where to Stay During Your Champagne Weekend

Les Suites du 33 at Chateau de Venoge

As I mentioned above, you can either stay a night in each city or stay in one city the whole time and take the train back and forth. 

Either way, here are some hotels to check out in each place! 

In Epernay, I highly recommend staying at a fun Champagne House hotel! 

Epernay: Les Suites du 33

This is where I stayed and loved it! It is a boutique hotel located at Chateau de Venoge on Avenue de Champagne. Our stay included breakfast and a free glass of Champagne upon arrival. This was such a beautiful hotel and property! 

Book it here!

Room at Les Suites du 33

Eperany: A. Bergere Champagne

This cute B&B along Avenue de Champagne has lovely rooms and is within minutes of all the best Champagne houses! 

Book it here!

Epernay: Hotel Jean Moet

Located just steps from Avenue de Champagne, this property has spacious rooms and is next to their Champagne bar to have a glass of Champagne within steps of your room! 

Book it here!

In Reims, there are plenty of great hotels, here are a few favorites!

Reims: Best Western Premier Hotel de la Paix

Located near the cathedral, you can base yourself here and enjoy wandering the town! It has modern rooms, a cocktail lounge, a sauna, and more!

Book it here!

Hotel in Reims

Reims: La Caserne Chanzy Hotel & Spa

This is where I stayed on my recent visit and it was fantastic! This is located next to the cathedral and many rooms even have views overlooking the square and cathedral. This hotel also has a great spa including a hammam, sauna, pool, and massage treatments. 

Book it here!

Getting to Champagne

Champagne Tasting in Reims - Sabrage

Getting to the Champagne region is pretty easy, thanks to the TGV. You can hop on the train in Paris and be in Reims in about 45 minutes! For Epernay, it is about 1.5 hours from Paris via the train. 

You can also drive from Paris if you wish. Paris is about a 2 hour drive to Reims and about 2.5 hours to Epernay, depending on traffic. 

Check rental car prices on Auto Europe!

Getting Around Champagne

Close up of lees in the neck of the Champagne Bottle

Once you’re in either Reims or Eperany, you can walk around to a lot of places. 

In Epernay especially, it is a walkable city. Most Champagne houses are on Avenue de Champagne so you won’t be walking much to get from house to house. 

In Reims, there are also taxis and Ubers available to get across the city for a tasting. 

To get between the two cities, you can take the train. The train ride is about 45 minutes each way. 

However, if you want to be on your own schedule, or if you want to get out of the main cities and explore more of the smaller towns and vineyards of Champagne, then you’ll need a car. 

I like to check Auto Europe for rental car deals. 

When to Visit For Your Champagne Itinerary

Kat with champagne at Esterlin

Champagne in general has chillier winters, and some Champagne houses either have reduced hours or are perhaps closed for renovations during the winter months. 

As such, I don’t recommend visiting during the winter. However, April through October is a great time to visit to enjoy a bit better weather and the Champagne houses being up and running! 

Of course, summertime can be quite popular, so you’re going to want to book reservations well in advance. I ended up visiting in April and it was great! It wasn’t too hot or cold, and it wasn’t busy at all! 

You should still book reservations in advance, as many tours and tastings require them, but it shouldn’t be too crowded yet.

Also, September can be a fun time to visit for the harvest! 

Guided Tours of Champagne

Lees in a champagne bottle

Don’t want to worry about booking Champagne tastings and tours on your own? Or want to explore outside the main cities and don’t want to drive? Here are some great guided tours of Champagne:

Other Tips For Your 2 Days in Champagne Itinerary

Champagne in Epernay

Before you leave for the most epic weekend in Champagne, here are some extra tips!

  1. Book tastings and tours in advance! Yes, even tastings. These can fill up quickly, and if you want a tour in English and at the right times to be able to fully experience this Champagne itinerary, you’ll need to book in advance. I recommend booking directly through the Champagne houses’s websites if possible. If they don’t have bookings on their website, I use to book tastings and the sabrage. 
  2. Book dinner reservations in advance. If you want to have a nice sit-down dinner, like at the restaurants I’ve mentioned above, it helps to have reservations.
  3. How many tours and tastings can you do in a day? 2-3 at the most. I wouldn’t recommend doing more than 2 tours in a day, as these can last between 1.5-2.5 hours. Tastings can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, so you need to make sure you’ve got enough time in between tours/tastings/meals to get around the cities.
  4. Is a weekend in Champagne enough time? Absolutely! In 2 days in Champagne, you can certainly enjoy the best tastings in both Epernay and Reims. However, if you are able to, I recommend spending 4 days, making 2 full days in each city. Or you can spend 1 day in Epernay, 2 days in Reims, and 1 day exploring the countryside. But 2 days is a great way to get acquainted with the region and learn more.
  5. Knowing some French helps! I mean, it always helps to know basic words like hello, goodbye, please, thank you, yes/no, etc. in French when you’re traveling here. While these Champagne houses above have tours and tastings in English, it helps to know some words while out and about. Also, saying “Bonjour/Bonsoir” is SO important when you enter any establishment. It is seen as rude not to. Check out the 17 most useful French phrases to know before you visit here!

This is the ultimate weekend in Champagne itinerary including the best Champagne houses to visit in a weekend, where to stay, how to get around, and more! Would you like to visit Champagne? 

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