Located on the banks of the Maine River, right next to the Loire River, Angers is known as the western gateway to the Loire Valley. An intellectual centre in the 15th century, today Angers is a charming small city with gorgeous Renaissance architecture, typical medieval half-timbered houses, and a centuries-old chateau!
Angers was the capital of the Anjou region until the French Revolution. It was the cradle of the Plantagenet dynasty, who controlled Europe from England to Spain for two centuries. The medieval city centre is still dominated by the Château d’Angers, from where the Plantagenets ruled the Angevin Empire between the 12th and 13th century.
What to do in Angers in one day
The city is situated in the Loire Valley, just an hour away from Nantes. It’s a great place to add to your Loire Valley itinerary, especially if you want to take a break from all the castle hopping. Of course, there is a castle in Angers, but besides this, you’ll find historic tapestries, charming cobbled streets, half-timbered houses and even a cat café!
I created this itinerary for one day in Angers in such a way that it will work perfectly for all travellers – no matter if you’re visiting the city on a day trip or staying overnight. In fact, I followed the exact same route during my stay in Angers.
My only advice is, if you’re visiting the city on a day trip from Nantes or Tours, start early and be in Angers at 9AM or 10 AM at the latest. Otherwise, you won’t have enough time to see it all.
At the end of the blog post, you can find a map of this itinerary (with all attractions and restaurants’ websites).
What to do in Angers in one day
- Start your day with breakfast at My Little Bakery
- Explore Château d’Angers
- Admire the Apocalypse tapestry
- Taste the parmesan cheese wheel pasta at Restaurant Daddy
- See the contemporary tapestries at Musée Jean-Lurçat
- Take a look at Maison d’Adam, a 15th-century half-timbered house
- Admire the stained glass windows of Angers Cathedral
- Discover Galerie David d’Angers
- Visit Musée Pincé
- Taste the world-famous orange liqueur at Cointreau Distillery
- Visit Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church
- Take a walk in Jardin des Plantes
- Admire the art at Musée des Beaux-Arts
- Enjoy the company of some cats at Cats and Cookies
Breakfast at My Little Bakery
09:00 AM – 09:45 AM
Start your day in Angers with breakfast at My Little Bakery. Located on your way to the castle, this little bakery offers delicious pastries and sandwiches, all made with quality products.
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Built in the 13th century, the ancient castle of Angers with its massive defensive walls and 17 round towers, looks more like a fortress than a chateau from the outside. However, once you cross the drawbridge, you’ll find a completely different picture. Beautiful gardens, several historic buildings and chapels, plus a stunning view of the Maine River wait for you inside!
Once the home of the Dukes of Anjou (during the 14th-15th century), today Château d’Angers houses the Apocalypse tapestry. Measuring 100m in length and 6m in height, this is the oldest and the largest medieval tapestry in the world! The tapestry depicts the story of the Apocalypse from the Book of Revelation by Saint John the Divine in 90 colourful images.
Lunch at Restaurant Daddy
12:15 PM – 01:30 PM
For lunch head to Restaurant Daddy. This nice local restaurant, just a short walk from the castle, is famous for its parmesan cheese wheel pasta.
Museum of Jean-Lurçat
01:45 PM – 02:30 PM
The Museum of Jean-Lurçat (Musée Jean-Lurçat) is set in the 12th-century Hôpital Saint-Jean, one of the oldest hospitals in France. The museum occupies the Grande Salle des Malades (Hall of the Sick), a beautiful hall with a vaulted ceiling and the 17th-century old orphanage building.
If you’re visiting Angers only for a day, I’ll recommend you to see only the Grande Salle des Malades. Here you’ll find a set of ten tapestries, created as a counterpoint to the Apocalypse Tapestry, by Jean Lurcat from 1957 to 1966.
The tapestries housed in the second building tell the story of textile art from the 1950s to the present day. With a few exceptions, they are far less spectacular than the ones in the Grande Salle des Malades.
02:50 PM – 03:00 PM
This impressive half-timbered house from the 15th century served once as an apothecary. It is named after the Bible’s first man, whose figure you can see in the wooden carvings of the exterior of the building.
Nowadays, Maison d’Adam is a gallery shop known as the Maison des Artisans. Here you’ll find handcrafted glassware, wood sculptures, artworks, handmade jewellery, ceramics and many more.
Cathédrale Saint-Maurice d’Angers
03:00 PM – 03:30 PM
Angers Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Maurice d’Angers) was built between the 11th and 16th centuries. It is a unique mixture of romanesque and Gothic architecture with ornate Baroque decorations and sculptures. Cathédrale Saint-Maurice d’Angers is the final resting place of Margaret of Anjou, Queen consort of England and France after marrying Henry VI.
Don’t miss to admire the cathedral’s beautiful collection of stained glass, considered to be a masterpiece of French 13th-century glasswork.
Galerie David d’Angers
03:40 PM – 04:30 PM
Galerie David d’Angers is a small museum dedicated to the sculptor Pierre-Jean David, known as David d’Angers. Pierre-Jean David was a famous sculptor in the 18th and 19th centuries. Some of his most important works are the pediment of the Panthéon, the monument to General Gobert in the Père-Lachaise Cemetery in Paris and the Gutenberg monument in Strasbourg.
The museum is housed in a restored Toussaint Abbey dating from the 13th century. Thanks to the modern glass ceiling, you can admire the beautiful sculptures bathed in daylight.
For dinner choose between Bistrot Des Ducs or Reste Au 51. Both restaurants offer excellent gastronomic experiences. Note, that the restaurants are open only for lunch and then from 7PM onwards. Thus, if you’re visiting Angers on a day trip (especially if you’re travelling by train), you’d probably have to skip dinner.
More ideas for your one day in Angers
If you’re visiting Angers for more than a day (or want to add more attractions to your itinerary), take a look at my recommendations below.
Musée Pincé (Logis Pincé) is a Renaissance mansion from the 16th century, built by the mayor of Angers at that time. And it looks like a small Loire Château with its numerous towers and turrets!
Today, the mansion is the site of an archaeological museum, featuring Greek, Roman and Egyptian antiquities, and art from Japan and China.
Angers is the birthplace of Cointreau, the world-famous orange liqueur. It was created here in 1875 and it is still the only place in the world where it is produced!
It is possible to visit the Cointreau Distillery (Carré Cointreau) and learn the history behind the famous liqueur.
Completed in 1904, Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church (Église Notre-Dame-des-Victoires) is a relatively new church. Still, it is worth a quick look inside, because of its gorgeous Roman-Byzantine style and enriched choir with stained glass windows.
Jardin des Plantes
This lovely little English garden was created in 1905 by Edouard André. It’s a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city, with green lawns, centuries-old trees, waterfalls and statues.
Musée des Beaux-Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts), set in several interconnected historic buildings, is a must for every art lover. The museum is divided into two parts. The first shows the history of Angers through time from the Neolithic period to the present day. The second one is focused on fine art and sculptures from the 14th to the 21st century.
Cats and Cookies
I love cats, but I don’t have one, so I never miss a chance to visit a cat café while travelling. And I was delighted to find out that there is one in Angers! Besides homemade pastries and organic drinks, in Cats and Cookies you’ll find 12 friendly adopted cats.
Château d’Angers – the castle is not as popular as the other Loire Valley Chateaux, but if you’re visiting in the summer expect crowds (book your skip-the-line ticket here).
How to save money on your Angers itinerary
If you plan to visit Château d’Angers and at least two museums, buy the Billet jumelé. This combined ticket gives you free access to the castle and all the city’s museums – Musée des Beaux-Arts, Musée Jean-Lurçat, David d’Angers Gallery, Museum of Natural Sciences, Musée Pincé, Château de Villevêque and Artothèque. You can buy this combined ticket from the castle or any of the city’s museums.
Another option is the Angers City Pass. It gives you free entry to 25 historic and cultural sites, including the tourist mini-train. You can buy the pass from the Angers Tourist Office (Address: 7 place Kennedy, 49051 Angers).
Where to stay in Angers
If you’re considering staying overnight in Angers, choose accommodation in the area between the Maine River, Jardin du Mail, Bd du Roi René and Bd Carnot. In this way, you’ll be within walking distance of all attractions, restaurants and the main train station.
Located next to the main train station and in immediate proximity to the city centre, this hotel is perfect for a short stay. The modern rooms are spacious and comfortably designed.
Why book – ideal location, just short walk to everywhere, public parking next to the hotel
Set in a mansion from 1860, Les Chambres de Mathilde offers spacious and bright modern rooms with period features – high ceilings, antique parquet flooring.
Why book – great location, in the immediate vicinity of restaurants and shops, parking nearby
Getting around in Angers
Find here a detailed map of this Angers walking itinerary.
The capital of Anjou is a very compact city and the best way to explore it is on foot. All the city’s attractions are easily reachable, just a short walk from each other.
How to get to Angers
The city’s main train station is Angers Saint-Laud (Gare d’Angers Saint-Laud). It is situated about 10min walk from the historic city centre. Check timetables and book train tickets online at SNCF official site.
The city has 6 different parking zones and no free parking right in its centre. If you’re arriving by car, it’s best to book accommodation with parking or use a car park (see a list of all car parks here).
Day trips from Angers
Loire Valley Chateaux
One of the most beautiful regions of France, the Loire Valley, is famous for its wine and castles. In fact, there are more than 300 chateaux scattered in the valley! Of course, not all of them are open to visitors, but still, there is plenty to see.
Below you can find the most beautiful castles near Angers (about an hour away), which are worth a visit. Note, that most of them are accessible only by car.
- Château de Saumur – a charming 10th-century chateau, featuring a large collection of decorative ceramics and tapestries
- Château de Brézé – one of the most intriguing castles of the Loire, thanks to its underground fortress and 16th-century wine presses
- Château d’Ussé – the castle that inspired Charles Perrault to write the Sleeping Beauty
- Château de Chinon – a 10th-century medieval fortress, where the last Knight Templar, Jacques de Molay, was imprisoned
- Château de Langeais – a small medieval castle where you can see a recreation of the wedding of Charles VIII of France and Anne of Brittany that took place here on 6 December 1491
- Château d’Azay-le-Rideau – built on an island in the Indre River, this is one of the most romantic Loire castles
- Château de Villandry – this chateau is famous for its French Gardens, which include a water garden, ornamental flower gardens and labyrinths
Tours, one of the largest cities in the Centre-Val de Loire region, is the birthplace of Balzac. Due to its central location, the city is a great base to explore the Loire Valley Chateaux. Some of the city’s highlights are Cathédrale Saint-Gatien and Place Plumereau with its half-timbered houses from the 15th century.
Find out more in my travel guide on how to spend one day in Tours, France.
How to get to Tours
Take a train from Gare d’Angers Saint-Laud to Gare de Tours (50min journey). From the main train station, it’s just a short walk to the city centre.
How many days in Angers
Is one day in Angers enough?
One day in Angers is enough to visit the castle, one or two of its popular museums and explore the city centre. In fact, the city is a great day trip from Nantes or Tours.
What if I have less than a day in Angers?
If you have less than a day, do a walking tour of Angers and visit the castle. The chateau is the city’s most popular attraction for a reason – the Apocalypse tapestry is truly impressive. Skip the Museum of Jean-Lurçat, which is located a little further than the rest of the historic sights.
1 or 2 days in Angers?
The capital of Anjou has several excellent museums, so a day and a half would be the perfect amount of time to discover the city. However, if you’re not a museum person, one day is more than enough to see its main historic sights.
Best time to visit Angers
For fewer crowds and nice weather, visit the city during the months of May, June or September.
Faqs about visiting Angers
Known as the western gateway to the Loire Valley, Angers is definitely worth a stop. The city is famous for its 13th-century castle, medieval half-timbered houses and the Apocalypse tapestry – the oldest and the largest medieval tapestry in the world. Angers is the historical capital of Anjou and the cradle of the Plantagenet dynasty.