With 100 bedrooms, three architectural styles and almost 800 years of history, the Château de Blois is a favorite of travelers to the Loire Valley. Although the French Revolution left it in a looted and rundown condition, its use as a military barracks helped save it from being razed and today stands fully restored with period furniture and all of its gilded glory.
In addition, there is a fine arts museum within the castle. And across the street is the House of Magic, a museum dedicated to hometown magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, which is a favorite with kids. Château de Blois is also a popular nighttime destination from Easter through September, with a fantastic light and sound show on the castle's facade. It's popular among the town's residents as well as those who are looking for a different kind of Loire castle experience.
Unlike the majority of the great castles in the Loire Valley, Château de Blois is just a 10-minute walk from the Blois train station. It is closed only on Christmas and New Year's Day; otherwise, it opens at 9 a.m. with closing times varying throughout the year from 5:30 p.m. in the winter months to 7 p.m. in high season. Note also that from November through March, the castle is closed between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. The base price is €9.80, with discounts for seniors, students, children under 17 and groups. There are additional fees for the light show and the House of Magic.