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The city of Limoges is a hidden gem. This western-central French city was built on the back of local enamel and porcelain production, which continues to inspire and entice visitors to the National Porcelain Museum. Manufacturing aside, Limoges also radiates a timeless landscape of medieval structures, such as the 13th century cathedral, the Chappelle Saint-Aurelien, the 17th-century Chateaux de la Borie and the Crypt of Saint Martial. The town is also surrounded by the incredible natural beauty of Massif Central, which is accessible with car hire in Limoges.
Who to Book With
Europcar and Avis are the largest companies providing rent-a-car services in the downtown area of Limoges. In addition to these international suppliers, there are also several locally-operated car hire firms, such as Ada and Arvel. Rates are generally competitive, but discounts are more easily found when booking vehicles online.
Best Time to go
Between October and February, high winds and heavy rainfall are common in Limoges. Couple that with cold temperatures of 8°C, and you might understand why it is best to avoid this period for holidaying. Limoges is best experienced during the warmer months of June through to September. Motorists need to be wary of sudden thunderstorms in August, however.
Need to Know Essentials
Tourists need to present a variety of documents when hiring vehicles in Limoges:
- A national driving permit, held for more than one year
- Passport identification
- A booking authentication number
- The driver’s credit card
Tourists should steer clear of driving in the town centre, especially during the summer months the town is at its busiest. Traffic congestion is not uncommon in Limoges, and parking can be difficult to find. However, outside of the heart of town, the streets are generally in good condition. Motorists should be careful when driving during summer thunderstorms, as heavy rain creates hazards on the roads in the region.
This beautiful city is a great place to explore on foot, especially in the medieval centre. However, in addition to car rental, tourists can also use the public transportation networks to uncover the many landmarks around town. Options include taxis, buses and a trolley bus system operated by STCL (Societe de transports en commun de Limoges Metropoles). Limoges boasts a large train station in the middle of town, but this is a hub for domestic and regional rail links, not intra-city transportation.
Taxis are recognised in Limoges by the yellow signs on their roofs. Fare calculations are done on the meter, but rates depend on the distance travelled, journey time and the time of day. Night time rates tend to be higher than daytime fares. Limoges Taxis can be pre-ordered by phone, hailed on the street or found at one of the many ranks around town.
Even though there are regular buses and mini-buses operating within Limoges, the trolleybus system is growing in popularity. Altogether, STCL runs five different lines with more than 30 different vehicles each day, accounting for more than half the city’s public transportation options. Tickets for both regular buses and trolleybuses can be purchased on board, but pre-purchasing tickets is recommended.
The breathtaking region of Limousin and the greater region of Massif Central surround Limoges. With dozens of wondrous sites sprinkled throughout these regions of France, car rental is a necessity if you want to spend a day or two uncovering these gems. The Regional Natural Park Perigord Limousin, boasting plenty of natural and manmade landmarks, is just 10 miles west of Limoges.
Chalus - Sitting about 20 miles southwest of Limoges, Chalus contains several historic highlights that will dazzle tourists. The main castle, still proudly standing, is known as Chateau de Chalus-Chabrol, while the other, Chateau de Chalus-Maulmont, lays in ruins. Interestingly, this is where Richard the Lionheart was killed in action by a cross-bow.
Chateau de Montbrun - Located in the commune of Dournazac, this is now a privately-owned hotel, although it is still a popular attraction for tourists. It is a classic example of 15th-century chateau architecture, but its smaller intriguing keep gives the castle a more unique shape.
Brantome - With its historically-rich culture this is a must-visit destination when holidaying in Limoges. The commune, which sits beside the beautiful River Dronne, includes several magnificent attractions, such as the captivating Abbey of Brantome and the tranquil botanical gardens. The Benedictine Abbey dates back to the 8th century, making it one of the oldest abbeys in France.