France 2017 – Exploring Provins, a UNESCO world heritage medieval village in the Île-de-France region

Having been to UNESCO heritage villages before, I really wanted to see what Provins was like.

Getting there

I bought a return ticket from Gare d’Est station and waited almost an hour for the train to arrive.  The trip in itself will stop at a few villages before arriving at Provins.

Walking to the village centre

Outside the station, you’ll be on the edge of the village which is both retail and residential.  Cross a small brook and walk along its narrow streets and you’ll eventually make your way to the village centre.

There is an option to take a taxi or to catch a small tourist bus.  But I think that this ruins the experience of walking through the small town.

I didn’t have a chance to walk around the village that much.  But, there is an amazing French patisserie place that’s opposite the city hall.  They have this amazing chocolate dessert that had chocolate ‘pop rocks’, and inside some chewy caramel bits and just full-on chocolate.

Getting your bearings

Eventually, you’ll notice the towering cathedral and keep.  There is also a bell tower near the village centre which I used as a visual guide to get my bearings.

Making your way to the medieval church and keep

Eventually, you will see some signs alluding to this area.  Just follow them.  There is a steep uphill walk though.  When it’s time to walk down, it’s worth walking downhill from the road that runs around the church (not the road leading out from the keep).  In this way, you will see some wonderful sights above the village.

Medieval church and keep

The church is free to enter, but the keep has an entrance fee. After some exploring, there is a small business from one of the side streets between the keep and the church.  It’s catered to tourists, but has the best local Provins rose jam!