Thanks to different yet powerful women Chenonceau to this day remains one of the best-known castles in the Loire valley. The remarkable one-of-a-kind châteaux built over the River Cher and the exquisite gardens complimenting it has withstood the turbulent history and is a sight to see. Here’s how to plan a visit to the Chenonceau Castle with kids.
About Chenonceau Castle
- I might be wrong but I don’t think there’s another castle quite like it.
- Even Catherine de Medici thought so. That is why upon her husband’s (Francis I, the King of France) death, she took the castle back from Diane de Poitiers, the king’s mistress.
- You can still see the influence both women had on the castle. The best way to admire them is to stroll through their gardens, the garden of Diane and Catherine’s garden.
- It was Catherine de Medici who ordered a gallery built over the river and giving the castle its uniqueness.
- Masterpieces by Rubens, Tintoretto, Corregio, Van Dyck … and many other great painters are on display in the castle among other items giving you a glimpse of the lavish royal life.
- It’s one of the most visited castles in France and one of the most romantic ones.
It’s also referred to as the Castle of the ladies, because of the influence women had on it.
Why visit the Chenonceau Castle?
There are more than 300 castles in the Loire valley. The time we had on hand allowed us to visit one, which is terrible I know. How did we choose?
When I was 14 my parents took me and my brother to Paris and we spent one day visiting a few castles in the Loire valley. I couldn’t recall a single one except this unique castle spanning over a river. The image of this castle stayed with me for many years. So, there was no doubt which among the 300 castles to chose from.
Chenonceau with kids, because I was there as a kid and the memory stayed with me to this day.
Plan your visit
Being such a popular castle, planning a visit is essential.
Bear in mind that you have to book a time to visit the castle.
You can buy your ticket online and also book a slot for your visit. At the moment that is mandatory if you want to visit the inside of the castle. And you should. It’s too good to miss. You’ll want to admire the royal beds, library, portraits, armoires, and chairs.
My tip would be to first check the available times then buy the ticket.
If you are like us, terrible at sticking to a schedule when traveling, you can also buy the tickets on-site. It’s a tactic I don’t recommend using during busy months, like in August.
More information on planning the visit to the Chenonceau Castle with the kids or without is available on the castle’s official website.
Visiting Chenonceau with a stroller?
While our kids no longer need a stroller, I still check to see how easily places can be navigated with one.
You can use the stroller throughout the castle grounds but not in the castle itself.
Don’t forget the food
If you are traveling with kids you know food is essential. You can bring some and have a picnic royal style or try the restaurant in the vicinity of the castle. They offer tasty meals at affordable prices.
How much does it cost to visit Chenonceau Castle with kids?
Adult tickets with a leaflet guide cost 15 euros, while the entrance fee for kids ages 7 to 18 is 12 euros.
So, for a family of four, 2 adults and 2 kids (ages 9 and 12) the total cost is 54 euros.
Where to park at Chenonceau Castle?
There’s an enormous free-of-charge parking place in front of the castle. On our visit, in the middle of August, it was busy yet we didn’t have a problem finding a spot.
Will the kids like Chenonceau Castle?
They will love the variety of things to see. I am not just talking about the castle, which would be enough to inspire and light up kids’ imagination. There are also incredible gardens you rarely have a chance to see anywhere else. Our daughters loved running around exploring the different flowers and plants.
Their favorite thing inside the castle was the kitchen.
Outside we had fun getting lost in the Italian maze designed by Catherine de’ Medici.
Did you know there were 2,000 yew trees and covers more than a hectare?
How much time should you plan for a visit?
You could be here all day. We spent around 3 hours, well over an hour in the castle itself, because we took our time and I had to read everything the leaflet you receive at the entrance explains.
Then we also explored the surroundings and ran in the maze.
There are also adjacent buildings to visit, such as the Queen’s Apothecary, but we were knackered and we skipped them. Instead, we spent more time in the gardens and admiring the river and the castle.
More castles around the world? Here are ten more to visit.