If you are passionate about French history or architecture, you must visit the castles of the Valley of Loire. Having lived in this region for a long time, I have seen most of these castles.
Among them, the Château d’Amboise enjoys a privileged location. In a beautiful small town, it offers an interesting and pleasant visit.
The Royal Castle of Amboise: a wonderful castle with the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci
The Royal Castle of Amboise is a jewel of French architecture located in the charming town of Amboise.
Built in the 11th century, the Château d’Amboise has witnessed many important events in French history.
Property of the crown for several centuries, it has hosted many kings and queens, including Charles VIII, Louis XII and François I. As François I loved the castles of the Loire, you can find him in many castles, including Amboise and Chambord.
The French Renaissance left its mark on this royal residence, notably with the presence of Leonardo da Vinci who stayed at the nearby Clos Lucé and whose tomb is today in the castle’s chapel.
The architecture of the castle of Amboise harmoniously mixes medieval and Renaissance styles, with splendid sculpted facades, slender turrets and carefully tended gardens. The Saint-Hubert Chapel, where Leonardo da Vinci is buried, is a masterpiece of flamboyant Gothic art.
What can be seen at the Château d’Amboise?
At the Château d’Amboise, you can discover several remarkable things, such as:
- The Saint-Hubert Chapel: A masterpiece of Gothic art where the artist Leonardo da Vinci is buried.
- The Royal Apartments: Richly furnished rooms decorated with period furniture.
- The Châtelet: A medieval building which houses the Minimes Tower. It was once used as an access point between the castle and the city.
- French gardens: It is always a pleasure to walk in the magnificent gardens of French castles.
- The underground passages and the ramparts: These medieval remains of the castle allow you to explore the underside of the building and admire the fortifications that once protected the royal residence.
What is the entrance fee for the Château d’Amboise?
The entrance fee for a visit to the Royal Castle of Amboise with an audio tour is:
- 15€ for adults
- 9.30€ for children from 7 to 18 years old.
- Free for children under 7 years old.
You can also take a ticket called “Behind the Scenes.” A few euros more expensive than a classic ticket, it includes a guided tour.
How long does a visit to the Royal Château of Amboise last?
The Château d’Amboise can be visited in about 1h30. Of course, you can extend the visit by staying in the gardens or by admiring the details of the exterior architecture.
Where is the Château d’Amboise located?
The address of the Château d’Amboise is Mnt de l’Emir Abd el Kader, 37400 Amboise.
How to get to the Château d’Amboise?
By car, the Château d’Amboise is at 2 hours and 40 minutes from Paris using the A10.
By train, the nearest major train station is the TGV station Tours-St-Pierre-des-Corps (near Tours and 20 kilometers from Amboise).
During peak periods, shuttle buses are available between the station and the castle.
What are the opening hours of the Château d’Amboise?
The opening hours of the Château d’Amboise depend on the month:
- January: 10:00 to 12:30 / 14:00 to 16:30
- February: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- March: 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- April, May and June: 9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
- July and August : 9h00 – 19h00
- September and October: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- November and December: 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. / 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The hours can be different during school vacations in France.
I visited the Château d’Amboise: discover my opinion!
I visited the castle of Amboise a few years ago. I had coupled its visit with an overnight stay at the magnificent Hôtel Le Manoir Les Minimes.
The castle of Amboise is a place full of history that invites you to a walk-in time. The historical wealth of the place is impressive. You can feel the imprint of the historical figures who stayed there, from Louis XI to François I, through the fascinating Leonardo da Vinci.
The chapel of Saint-Hubert, where Leonardo da Vinci is buried, is my favorite place.
I found the royal apartments more austere than those of other Loire castles. Nevertheless, they give an idea of the life of the monarchs of the time.
However, I was somewhat disappointed by the lack of furniture in some rooms of the castle. I am rather a visitor who loves places loaded with furniture, costumes, letters, portraits… This is not the case of the castle of Amboise and this is the reason why the visit is short.
If you only want to visit Amboise once, I recommend seeing the Clos Lucé. But, if you spend one or two days, visit the Clos Lucé, this castle and the mini-castles park.
What other activities can I do near the Royal Castle of Amboise?
In addition to visiting the Château d’Amboise, here are some interesting activities to do in the area:
- Le Clos Lucé: Located a few minutes’ walk from the Château d’Amboise, the Clos Lucé is the last residence of Leonardo da Vinci.
- La Pagode de Chanteloup: This 18th-century Chinese pagoda offers a panoramic view of the Loire Valley from its top.
- Visiting other Loire Valley castles: The region is famous for its many castles, including Chambord, Chenonceau, Cheverny and Azay-le-Rideau.
- The ZooParc de Beauval: This zoo that I love is one of the most famous in France.