Provins has been synonymous with roses for centuries. In medieval times, Provins was the central town for fairs where merchants from around the world would sell their wares.
Getting there is very easy from Paris.
Trains to Provins leave from Paris-Gare de l'Est, served by metro lines 4, 5, 7, close to RER B, D, E. The trains, named "XIBU" heading to Provins, leave on tracks 13-22, the exact track number will be shown 20 minutes before departure. There is 1 train per hour leaving at :46 from Paris, between 6:46am and 10:46pm, with additional departures at :16 between 4:16pm and 7:16pm on Monday-Friday. On Sunday, there is no 7:46am train. The journey takes 1 hr 24 minutes.
On the way back, trains from Provins, named "PIBU", leave every hour to Paris at :46, between 5:46am and 9:46pm, with additional departures on Monday-Friday at 5:16am, 6:16am, 7:13am. On Sunday, there is no 6:46am and 8:46am train. The journey takes 1 hr 26 minutes.
Provins is in fare zone 5: if you already have a pass covering zone 1-5, you can use it on the trip. If you're doing a day trip, buy Mobilis zone 1-5 day pass ((€17.80), it will also be valid in Paris (RER, metro, bus, tram). Don't forget to write your name and date of use before using it! If you're staying more than a day in Provins, a one-way ticket costs €11.35, it can be used on either way no matter the order of the departure and arrival station written on the ticket. Don't forget to validate it before getting on board!
At Gare de l'Est, tickets should be purchased to the destination Provins from the green, blue or grey colored Billet Île-de-France machines (these are the same machines from which you buy Paris metro tickets) and *not* from the yellow colored SNCF machines. Many of these machines accept only coins or a chipped debit card, so if you have only bills and are traveling with a non-chipped card, be prepared to find a ticket office. You can buy your ticket from a station other than Gare de l'Est, just make sure that "Paris" is set as the departure station if you're buying a one-way ticket.
- Pass Provins. Valid for a year from purchase. A pass that includes single entry to the 4 sites below. €12/adult, €8.50/child, €35.50/family, free/children under 4.
- 1 [formerly dead link] Caesar's Tower (La Tour César), Rue de la Pie. Nov-Mar: 2PM-5PM; Apr-Dec: 10AM-6PM. €4.30/adult, €2.80/child free/children under 4.
- [formerly dead link] Tithe Barn, 2, rue Saint-Jean. Nov-Mar: 2PM-5PM; Apr-Dec: 10AM-6PM. Dating from the 13th century the Tithe Barn was used as a covered market. €4.30/adult, €2.80/child free/children under 4.
- [formerly dead link] Underground Galleries, 3, rue Saint-Thibault. Access by guided 1hr tour only. Limited English tours, but you can tag along during the French-speaking tours that are daily. While the galleries are all empty now, there is writing carves in the walls of some of the galleries of former owners who stored wine there. €4.50/adult, €3/child free/children under 4.
- [formerly dead link] Museum of Provins and Surroundings, 7, rue du Palais. Winter/holidays Noon-17:30; Summer 11:00-18:30; Fall Noon-17:30. €4/adult, €2/reduced.
- [formerly dead link] Ramparts and Fortified Gates. free.
- Provins Rose Garden.
- [formerly dead link] Saint-Quiriace Collegiate Church, Place Saint-Quiriace (in the Upper Town). Erected in the XIIth century, it has never been completed due to the French kingdom's financial difficulties under the reign of Philippe le Bel. free.
- 1 [formerly dead link] The Eagles of the Ramparts (Les Aigles des Remparts), Théâtre des remparts, Ville haute (Near Jouy Gate, within the walls), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily shows from 26 March to 1 November, hours depends on season, generally at 14:30 and/or 17:00. Falconry show €12/adult, €8/child, free/children under 4.
- 2 [formerly dead link] The Legend of the Knights (La Légende des Chevaliers), 1 Vieux Chemin de Paris (Near Saint Jean's Gate, just outside the walls), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Shows most days from 26 March to 1 November, hours depends on season, generally at 14:30 or 15:45. Adults €12, children (4-12 years) €8.
- 3 [formerly dead link] The Age of the Ramparts (Au Temps des Remparts), 1 Vieux Chemin de Paris (Near Saint Jean's Gate, just outside the walls), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. From 18 April to 1 July, weekdays and public holidays at 11:00. Adults €8, children (4-12 years) €5.50.
- Rose goods. small shops all over Provins sell rose-based gifts such as perfume, soap, candy, etc.
- Rose. Many of the small restaurants near the main square of upper Provins serve rose in varying forms, ice cream, jam, syrup, etc.
- Brie. Provins is part of the brie region of France and thus has their own brie cheese. You'll find it in most restaurants and can have it on burgers or in crepes.
- Beer with Rose syrup. As roses are a specialty of Provins, most restaurants and bars serve beer with rose syrup which is quite refreshing on a hot day.