Pontoise, a charming town located in the Île-de-France region of France, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. From its rich history to its vibrant cultural scene, Pontoise offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply looking to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature, Pontoise has something for everyone. In this blog post, we will take you on a journey through the 30 best things to do in Pontoise.
- 1. Visit the Musée Pissarro
- 2. Explore the Historic Old Town
- 3. Climb the Bell Tower of Saint-Maclou
- 4. Wander through the Parc des Larris
- 5. Visit the Château de Pontoise
- 6. Take a Boat Ride on the Oise River
- 7. Explore the Musée Tavet-Delacour
- 8. Enjoy a Meal at a Traditional French Bistro
- 9. Attend a Performance at the Théâtre des Louvrais
- 10. Discover the Jardin des Lavandières
- 11. Visit the Maison de Camille et Lucien
- 12. Explore the Musée Tavet-Léger
- 13. Take a Day Trip to Auvers-sur-Oise
- 14. Explore the Cathédrale Saint-Maclou
- 15. Go Shopping at the Marché de Pontoise
- 16. Visit the Musée Archéologique du Val-d’Oise
- 17. Take a Guided Tour of Pontoise
- 18. Attend a Concert at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional
- 19. Explore the Parc de Marcouville
- 20. Visit the Musée de la Batellerie
- 21. Explore the Musée des Métiers d’Art
- 22. Take a Cooking Class
- 23. Visit the Chapelle Saint-Louis
- 24. Explore the Parc de la Préfecture
- 25. Attend a Wine Tasting
- 26. Visit the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de Pontoise
- 27. Take a Bike Ride along the Oise River
- 28. Attend a Festival or Event
- 29. Visit the Musée Camille Pissarro
- 30. Relax at a Café Terrace
1. Visit the Musée Pissarro
Start your exploration of Pontoise by visiting the Musée Pissarro, dedicated to the works of the famous Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro. The museum houses an impressive collection of his paintings, providing a unique insight into his life and artistic journey.
2. Explore the Historic Old Town
Take a stroll through the historic old town of Pontoise and admire its well-preserved medieval architecture. The narrow cobbled streets, charming houses, and picturesque squares will transport you back in time.
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3. Climb the Bell Tower of Saint-Maclou
For panoramic views of Pontoise and its surroundings, climb the bell tower of the Saint-Maclou Church. The climb may be a bit challenging, but the breathtaking views from the top are definitely worth it.
4. Wander through the Parc des Larris
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in nature at the Parc des Larris. This beautiful park offers walking trails, picnic areas, and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
5. Visit the Château de Pontoise
Step into the past and explore the ruins of the Château de Pontoise. This medieval castle was once a royal residence and played a significant role in the history of the region.
6. Take a Boat Ride on the Oise River
Experience the beauty of Pontoise from a different perspective by taking a boat ride on the Oise River. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere as you glide along the water, taking in the scenic views.
7. Explore the Musée Tavet-Delacour
Art lovers shouldn’t miss a visit to the Musée Tavet-Delacour, which houses an impressive collection of contemporary art. From paintings to sculptures, the museum showcases the work of both local and international artists.
8. Enjoy a Meal at a Traditional French Bistro
No visit to France is complete without indulging in some delicious French cuisine. Pontoise offers a variety of traditional French bistros where you can savor classic dishes such as escargots, coq au vin, and crème brûlée.
9. Attend a Performance at the Théâtre des Louvrais
Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene of Pontoise by attending a performance at the Théâtre des Louvrais. From theater plays to dance performances, the theater offers a diverse program for all tastes.
10. Discover the Jardin des Lavandières
Escape to a tranquil oasis at the Jardin des Lavandières. This beautiful garden is filled with fragrant lavender fields, colorful flowers, and peaceful water features, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind.
11. Visit the Maison de Camille et Lucien
Step into the world of Camille Pissarro at the Maison de Camille et Lucien. This charming house was once the residence of the famous painter and now serves as a museum dedicated to his life and work.
12. Explore the Musée Tavet-Léger
Discover the works of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, a renowned landscape painter, at the Musée Tavet-Léger. The museum showcases a collection of his paintings, providing insight into his artistic style and techniques.
13. Take a Day Trip to Auvers-sur-Oise
Just a short drive from Pontoise, you’ll find the picturesque village of Auvers-sur-Oise. This charming village was once home to several famous artists, including Vincent van Gogh. Visit the Musée de l’Absinthe and follow in the footsteps of the artists who found inspiration in this idyllic setting.
14. Explore the Cathédrale Saint-Maclou
Marvel at the stunning architecture of the Cathédrale Saint-Maclou. This Gothic masterpiece is known for its intricate stained glass windows and impressive vaulted ceilings.
15. Go Shopping at the Marché de Pontoise
Indulge in some retail therapy at the Marché de Pontoise. This bustling market offers a wide range of products, from fresh produce to clothing and accessories.
16. Visit the Musée Archéologique du Val-d’Oise
Explore the rich archaeological history of the region at the Musée Archéologique du Val-d’Oise. The museum displays artifacts dating back to prehistoric times, providing a fascinating glimpse into the past.
17. Take a Guided Tour of Pontoise
Learn more about the history and culture of Pontoise by taking a guided tour of the town. Knowledgeable guides will take you to the most important landmarks and share interesting anecdotes along the way.
18. Attend a Concert at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional
Experience the beauty of classical music by attending a concert at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional. The conservatory hosts regular performances by talented musicians, showcasing their skills and passion for music.
19. Explore the Parc de Marcouville
Escape the city and enjoy some outdoor activities at the Parc de Marcouville. This expansive park offers walking trails, sports facilities, and a large playground for children.
20. Visit the Musée de la Batellerie
Discover the history of river navigation at the Musée de la Batellerie. The museum showcases the boats and equipment used for transporting goods along the rivers of France.
21. Explore the Musée des Métiers d’Art
Learn about traditional crafts and trades at the Musée des Métiers d’Art. The museum displays a collection of tools and objects used by artisans throughout history.
22. Take a Cooking Class
Learn the secrets of French cuisine by taking a cooking class in Pontoise. Professional chefs will teach you how to prepare classic dishes using fresh, local ingredients.
23. Visit the Chapelle Saint-Louis
Admire the beautiful stained glass windows of the Chapelle Saint-Louis. This small chapel is a hidden gem known for its intricate artwork.
24. Explore the Parc de la Préfecture
Enjoy a leisurely walk or a picnic in the Parc de la Préfecture. This peaceful park offers lush green spaces, colorful flower beds, and a serene atmosphere.
25. Attend a Wine Tasting
France is famous for its wines, and Pontoise is no exception. Visit a local winery and indulge in a wine tasting experience, where you can sample a variety of delicious wines.
26. Visit the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de Pontoise
Discover the history and art of Pontoise at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire. The museum houses a collection of paintings, sculptures, and historical artifacts, providing a comprehensive overview of the town’s heritage.
27. Take a Bike Ride along the Oise River
Explore the scenic beauty of Pontoise by taking a bike ride along the Oise River. The flat, well-maintained paths make it easy to enjoy the picturesque views at your own pace.
28. Attend a Festival or Event
Pontoise hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, ranging from music and dance to food and wine. Check the local calendar to see what’s happening during your visit.
29. Visit the Musée Camille Pissarro
Pay homage to the famous painter at the Musée Camille Pissarro. This museum showcases a collection of his works, allowing visitors to appreciate his talent and contribution to the art world.
30. Relax at a Café Terrace
After a day of exploring, take a moment to relax at a café terrace in Pontoise. Enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine while soaking up the lively atmosphere of the town.
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Pontoise is a destination that offers a perfect blend of history, art, nature, and gastronomy. Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, an outdoor lover, or a foodie, this charming town has something to offer. From exploring its rich heritage to indulging in delicious French cuisine, Pontoise will leave you with unforgettable memories. So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on an adventure in Pontoise, the hidden gem of Île-de-France.