Best spots in Limoges

Given that I’ve been living in Limoges for 2 months now and I have gotten to know the city during this short time period, I thought I could give you the round up of its best spots. So that if you find your way here, which I hope is not unlikely, you can go somewhere nice. Since France doesn’t really have a big coffee culture I’ll just mention the best places to grab a bite/ eat/ drink and take a stroll:

Where to eat:

Le Bistrot de la femme à barbe: Don’t miss this classic bistrot, with delicious plates all week. Hidden in the quartier de la Boucherie, it’s a gem. And you can tell, since you have to make a reservation before 9 am. Don’t be a fool like me and forget to make the call, you’ll regret it. It closes a bit later than a lot of the other bistrots around, so you will actually eat when you’re hungry. (Be careful, it’s closed on Sundays.)

Le Bistrot Gourmant: Go to this Place Churchill and eat until you’re suffering from a food coma.The atmosphere is pretty great and the staff as well, even the decoration is modern. The menu is very big and a bit more pricey but there is always the plat du jour, which is much cheaper than a lot of the other options. If you want to taste french cuisine at its best, you can keep this place in mind.

Where to grab a coffee:

La fabrique du café: La place d’Aine is all you need to know to go to la fabrique du café. You’ll notice the place from the red facade and the students hanging out in the entrance outside.You get good coffee and a great atmosphere, which for Limoges is quite rare if you ask me. Also, it’s one of the most popular student hang-outs. That’s why we end up there almost two times a week.

Sugar tree: Boulangerie, patisserie, café. Sugar Tree is great all in all. If you fancy a desert, a coffee, a hot chocolate or a cup of tea this is the place to be. The service is great, the pastries and the cakes delicious and the ambiance chic and sophisticated. Right in the city centre, it’s ideal for a coffee break in between a walk and a film at Grand Ecran.

Where to get a drink:

Le Duc Etienne: There is no better place to drink a beer or, even better, a vin chaud than the oldest bar of Limoges called the Duc Etienne. Head down the rue de la Boucherie and get in the old bar that makes a great first impression. It’s going to be very lively, except for Sundays, when you can play a round of darts without anyone walking over you on their way upstairs.

Chez Michard:  If you like beer, you need to get there (as soon as possible). Rumour has it that it’s the best bar in Limoges. They make the beer themselves. Make sure you taste their cocktails. I do have to warn you though that they are quite strong. (But worth the try). It’s a good looking bar, no wonder that everyone goes to Michard.

L’irlandais: Almost next to the cathedral, this pub is great if you’re looking for a lively atmosphere. It’s definitely going to be amazing during spring and summer time, when everyone is going to be sitting outside, in the square. Full of students and 20 somethings, it’s a change from the tranquility of Limoges.

Zic zinc: If you want to dance on a week-night this is the place to go. Or better put, this is the only place to go. There is a ground floor and a basement playing different types of music from each other. There is not much to say about zic, you definitely have to go and see for yourself. It’s definitely different.

Where to take a stroll:

The banks of Vienne and the botanical gardens: If it’s sunny you can take a long walk and enjoy the rare occurrence. The river itself makes a great scenery and the view of the Cathedral is stunning. Make sure you find the pictures of Limoges that are scattered around the banks of Vienne and its surrounding streets. They can give you an idea of what the city looked like in the past.

If it’s rainy, don’t worry. You can still walk. If you’re not the type that walks in the rain, you can go to the cathedral instead and see the gardens from the windows of the Musée des Beaux Arts. The building is beautiful and you will still get to enjoy the great view to the gardens that surround it. The gardens are one of the most beautiful places you can find in the city so make sure to breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the view.

Limoges might be small but there are definitely cool things to do if you want to find them. If you find your way here, make sure to walk, speak with the locals, ask them what they do and you’ll get the real feeling of the city. Now that spring is coming (it’s not always apparent given that it rains a lot), you’ll likely to experience some great things.