Château Royal d'Amboise
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and classified French Historic Monument, the grand Château Royal d'Amboise impresses with its opulent architecture as well as its panoramic views overlooking the Loire. Once the location of the French court, the palace was one of the first in the Loire Valley to feature Italian Renaissance design, owing to Charles VIII’s influence. One of the Châteu d’Amboise’s most famous former visitors was Leonardo da Vinci, who was invited by François I to Amboise, and who is now buried in its chapel. Today, visitors can admire its balconies, its restored interiors, and its terraced gardens.
For a seamless visiting experience, book tickets to the Château Royal d'Amboise online in advance of your visit. A variety of itineraries are also available: visit the castle alongside neighboring châteaux like Chambord and Chenonceau when you book a guided day trip, or bring your camera along for a photography tour of the landmark.
Things to Know Before You Go
- All general admission tickets to the Château Royal d'Amboise now include a Histopad—an interactive tablet that offers augmented-reality elements and other features.
- If you’ve worked up an appetite, head to the on-site Orangery café, which serves breakfast and lunch on the castle’s pretty terraces.
- Visitors with disabilites receive discounted admission to the château, and children under seven can visit for free.
How to Get There
The Château Royal d'Amboise is just over an hour from Paris by the TGV (plus a 5-minute taxi trip or 20-minute walk from the Amboise train station), or two-and-a-half hours away by car (take the A10). Note that, given its hilltop position, the walk up to the castle is steep at points.
When to Get There
The Château Royal d'Amboise is open daily throughout the year, except on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. From January–May, the castle is open from 9am–4:45pm; from May–December, it is open from 9am–12:30pm and 2–4:45pm.
Château du Clos Lucé
Though the Château Royal d'Amboise is the most prominent castle in Amboise, it’s not the only one: the Château du Clos Lucé is located just a 10-minute stroll away, and is also worth visiting. Though it is comparatively small in size, the Château du Clos Lucé has the distinction of being Leonardo da Vinci’s former residence for several years. The château is open daily throughout the year, and includes period interiors, elegant gardens, and an exhibition and series of art installations devoted to da Vinci’s life and inventions.
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