How to make a successful trip to Allier?

Comment réussir votre voyage dans l’Allier ?

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You are looking for a new region of France to discover for your next vacation. Why not visit Allier? Located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, Allier is a department rich in historical, cultural and architectural heritage. It is also a place where you can practice many sports and leisure activities, in winter as well as in summer. Whether you are in couple for a romantic stay, with friends or family, we will give you all the answers to the question: what to do in Allier?

What to do in Allier?

Whatever your interests, you’ll find activities or tourist attractions that will please you:

Tours for history lovers

Before the revolution, Allier was the province of Bourbonnais. Moulins was then the capital of the dukes of Bourbon. During your visit, you will be able to admire the typical of the master of Moulins in the cathedral or admire the unique creations of the CNCS, National Center of the stage costume and the scenography. Visit also the city of Vichy and its thermal baths or Montluçon. Lovers of castle visits will discover, among other wonders, the Tour Qui Qu’en Grogne, the Bourbon-l’Archambault, the château des Aix or the château d’Avrilly. Charroux is also one of the most beautiful villages in France.

Activities to do with family or friends

If you want to do fun activities with your family or friends, we can only advise you to visit the PAL, the zoological park which also includes an amusement park for young and old. Paleopolis is a place dedicated to dinosaurs. From bones to interactive attractions, there is something for everyone. From the hill on which the park is located, there is a breathtaking view of the mountains of Auvergne.

Nuggets to see in Allier

If you like unusual visits, we advise you to visit the museum of popular music in Montluçon. If you are a street art lover, go to Lurcy-Lévis to visit the “Street Art City”.

When to go in Allier?

If you think that Allier is only pleasant to visit in summer, you are wrong:

In spring and summer, you will discover a magnificent landscape and a preserved nature. It is the ideal place for green tourism. On the program of your days: cultural visits, swimming, canoeing, kayaking and rafting in the rivers and in particular in the Gorges de la Sioule. You will also enjoy pleasant walks or bike rides along the banks of Allier. La Loge des Gardes offers a magnificent playground in summer (with its zip line) and becomes a ski resort in winter. You can practice skiing, cross-country skiing or sledging. Nature lovers will find beautiful walks to do in all seasons in Allier, especially in the forest of Tronçais which is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe.

Allier has many other charms in store for you, and above all some very nice surprises. You will taste its gastronomy and appreciate the conviviality of the place.

Top 10 sites not to be missed in Allier!


Amusement park and animal park, the Pal is a French zoological park located in Saint-Pourçain-sur-Besbre in the department of Allier. A unique place of relaxation for the whole family in the heart of the Auvergne.

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CNCS | National Center of Stage Costume

The National Center of Stage Costume is a unique and unmissable site in the Auvergne region. It is a French museum located in Moulins and dedicated to the material heritage of the performing arts.

It is considered as the first conservation institution entirely dedicated to the material heritage of theaters, with notably the conservation, the study and the valorisation of a heritage collection of 10 000 theater, opera and ballet costumes.

Learn more about the National Center of Stage Costume

The Grand Marché of Vichy

Looking for inspiration for your lunch? The Grand Marché de Vichy brings together more than a hundred local artisans, merchants and organic producers, making it an ideal stopover for a convivial gastronomic break.

Learn more about the Grand Marché de Vichy

The Paleopolis park

Located in Gannat in the department of Allier, the Paleopolis park is an educational leisure park on the theme of paleontology.

Learn more about the Paleopolis park

The Celestins Spring

Classified as a historical monument, the Célestins spring pavilion houses the famous Célestins spring, a true jewel of the Vichy spa.

Learn more about the Celestins Spring

The Loge des Gardes

Located in the heart of the Montagne Bourbonnaise, the Loge Des Gardes is a family ski resort in winter and a leisure park open to all in summer.

Learn more about the Loge des Gardes

The Vichy Opera House

Unique in France with its Art Nouveau architecture and its gold and ivory tones, the Vichy Opera House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an exceptional place located in the heart of the spa town of Vichy.

Learn more about the Vichy Opera House

The Saint-Blaise Church

Located in the Old Vichy district, the Saint-Blaise church is remarkable for its originality. Built in the 17th century, the Saint-Blaise church became in 1931 the chapel of a new larger church, in Art Deco style.

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The castle of Bourbon-l’Archambault

The castle of Bourbon-l’Archambault, an ancient fortified castle of the XIIIth century, is located in the French department of Allier on the commune of Bourbon-l’Archambault and constitutes an invaluable witness of the history of Bourbonnais. The castle of Bourbon-l’Archambault offers free or guided tours and educational activities.

Learn more about the castle of Bourbon-l’Archambault

The MuPop – Museum of Popular Music

Located in the heart of the medieval city of Montluçon, in the Charnisay and Méchain mansions, MuPop is a French museum of popular music. Tracing the history and evolution of music from the 13th century to the present day, MuPop offers an original concept based on a sensory experience in which the visitor becomes a real actor.

Learn more about the MuPop – Museum of Popular Music