travelgrove Reviews

Brioude - the best place to visit in Auvergne, France

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erato's pictureby erato review
added on 16th of August, 2009

Brioude is a very nice French town with 7000 inhabitants, located 500 km south from Paris, in Central France, Auvergne region, Haute-Loire department.

We went from Paris, Gare de Lyon to Cermont-Ferrand first by TGV and there changed the train to Brioude. The whole journey lasted less than 5 hours. It is cheaper if you buy a round-trip ticket and it is better to buy the tickets in advance on the internet or earlier at the station because there are long queues in front of the ticket offices.

Brioude - Overview of the town

Brioude is just like you would imagine a lovely French town; colored shutters on the narrow, two floored houses and cobbled streets. The central part is the most beautiful, there is located the Basilica Saint Julien. The church was built in the 11th-14th century and is an amazing example of the roman architecture (with gothic nuances), the largest in Auvergne region made of colorful ashlars, with numerous frescoes and patterned floor in the inside. We have visited it every day while we were in Brioude (it is also for free).

The locals are very calm, very kind people, willing to give any information, a poet, whom we met in a bar even wrote us a recommendation to his friend’s restaurant. The owner of the bar, a kind lady offered to cook for us some traditional French food and also gave us cheese to taste for free. The home made food seems a better choice now, after visiting some local restaurants, it might be cheaper and better as well. You should ask the barman of your bar if he/she knows someone who would cook for you.

Brioude - Specialities

There are some very tasty cheeses typical from the region, like the exceptional goat cheese, the Saint Nectaire, the Bri, the famous Bleu d’Auvergne (this last one is with green mushrooms inside) that really worth to be tasted. They are not very expensive and you can buy them in a cheese shop but in the supermarket as well, they cost from 8 to 15 Euro per kilogram – but you don’t need that much.

The wine is also very good here, by our surprise, it was rather cheap as well. I would recommend Cotes d’Auvergne and Saint-Pourcain - among others, of course. One bottle in the supermarket costs from 4 to 12 Euros and they are all of good quality.

Brioude also has a parking place for mobile homes, so if you happen to go on a caravan tour across France, don’t miss Brioude, you will surely love it.

And one more thing: do not get confused if you hear that everything is called Saint Julien (the school, the church, a restaurant, a street). Use the map!


Things about Brioude you may be interested in

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France - City and Countryside - overview

1. Aug 6, 2009 Public transportation in Paris (Paris)
2. Aug 7, 2009 Brioude - the best place to visit in Auvergne (Brioude)
3. Aug 10, 2009 What to see in Blesle (Blesle)

Start from beginning1 - 3          Journal overview

Nice people and good cheese in Brioude

Recommended Lyon Guide

Lyon Sights

 Lyon’s Architecture    In Lyon the many ancient buildings are a haven for students of architecture and well worth a visit.  •The Palais Episcopal Saint-Jean in Lyon is a mixture of architecture, mainly inspired by religious and Gothic art, but the building has been added to at different times since the 15th century. •The Maison du Soleil at 2 Rue Saint Georges was the home of the Barou du Soleil family during the 1700’s.  This beautiful building, with its elaborate courtyards, is a very popular destination for tourists to Lyon.... Read more »


Recent reviews for Brioude

Nice people and good cheese in Brioude - Aug 31, 2009, by erato
Brioude is a perfect example of everything you would expect from the French countryside. People are kind, everything is calm and there are a lot of bars. If you stay in the center of the town, you can reach everything important very easily... Read more »


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