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Amboise

(3.5/5 based on 10,000+ reviews for top 20 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, fun & games, sightseeing
Amboise is a commune in the Indre-et-Loire department in central France. It lies on the banks of the Loire River, 17mi east of Tours. Today a small market town, it was once home of the French royal court. The town of Amboise is also only about 11mi away from the historic Château de Chenonceau, situated on the Cher River near the small village of Chenonceaux. Its former name was Ambacia, from the old name of the river and marsh Amasse.SightsThe city is famous for the Clos Lucé manor house where Leonardo da Vinci lived (and ultimately died) at the invitation of King Francis I of France, whose Château d'Amboise, which dominates the town, is located just 500m away. The narrow streets contain some good examples of timbered housing.Just outside the city is the Pagode de Chanteloup, a 44m tall Chinese Pagoda built in 1775 by the Duke of Choiseul. The Pagoda is seven levels high, with each level slightly smaller than the last one. An interior staircase to reach all levels is open to the public.The Musée de la Poste (in the Hôtel Joyeuse) is a museum tracing the history of the postal delivery service.
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Where to stay

You can easily explore the area in and around Amboise from a comfortable base in the much larger town of Tours. If you do choose to stay in Amboise itself, consider booking your rooms at a private B&B on the outskirts of town. Located in park-like settings with horses and fields, these family-run establishments offer good food and insider tips to the area's tourist attractions. You can also choose a luxurious private villa in the countryside between Amboise and Tours, an area famous for its restaurants and sweeping views of the river Loire.
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