Are you passing through Île-de-France, in the Val d'Oise department? Don't miss visiting Écouen, the best kept secrets of Val-d'Oise near Paris CDG Airport, a small town of 7000 inhabitants with a rich heritage and incomparable nature. Located just 20 minutes from Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, it is the perfect stopover between two flights. Follow the guide to discover the unmissable hidden treasures ofÉCOUEN !

1) Visit of the National Museum of the Renaissance

How about an immersion in the XNUMXth century? In fact, management the castle of Ecouen to visit the National Renaissance Museum located in the heart of the fortress. No need to go all the way to Italy to contemplate Milan's most iconic work... 

Here you will find a reproduction of the Last Supper, one of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpieces. Thus, the museum also hosts various decorative arts, ceramics, sculptures, stained glass, tapestries and goldsmithery.

👉 Admission to the museum costs €5! To learn more about the treasures of the National Museum of the Renaissance, we advise you to opt for the guided tour. 

👀 The story : We owe the construction of the Écouen castle to the wealthy Duke Anne de Montmorency, friend of Kings François I and Henri II (just that!).

2) Forest walk in the Château d'Écouen estate

Once your visit to the museum is over, set off to explore the exteriors of the Château d'Écouen. The estate overlooks the Plaine de France and reveals a simply magnificent panoramic view! 

By the way, get the booklet “A castle, a forest” to obtain a map of the estate and learn more about the flora and fauna around you. Indeed, the route takes you beyond the borders of the castle to the forest of Ecouen, which borders the domain. The perfect spot for a timeless game of hide-and-seek!

A real breath of fresh air, that's what awaits you if you go to forest walk in the Château d'Écouen estate. You did not suspect such a green setting a few kilometers from one of the largest airports in France, did you?

The stages of your walk in the Château d'Écouen estate:

🍃 The Forest House

🍃 Alley of Luat

🍃 Hortense Fountain and Princess Alley

🍃 The Calvary and the Théâtre de Verdure

3) Privileged access to the Saint-Acceul church

Below the Château d'Écouen, opposite the town hall, discover the Saint-Acceul church. Erected on behalf of Duke Anne de Montmorency, this XNUMXth century building displays a flamboyant Gothic style. It is one of the only churches in the Val-d'Oise department to have kept all of its original stained-glass windows! 

👉 If you want to visit it, contact the Friends of Saint-Acceul, an association in charge of the restoration and maintenance of the building. They are the only key holders!

👀 The story : A mystery hovers around the Saint-Acceul church because it is the only one in France to be placed under the patronage of this saint. On the one hand, there are those who believe that Saint-Acceul and Saint-Andéol du Vivarais are one and the same saint, and on the other, those who believe in the existence of two saints. Finally, no one really knows the truth!

4) Semi-gastronomic Italian meal “Il Maestro”

After admiring the Last Supper at National Renaissance Museum d'Écouen, Italy is also on your plate at semi-gourmet restaurant : Il Maestro. Nestled in a period villa in the heart of a wooded park, the restaurant offers exceptional Italian cuisine: beef carpaccio, sea bream ceviche, rigatoni with truffles, pavlova with seasonal fruits... Something to regain your strength before continuing your visit to the essentials of Écouen!

📍 Il Maestro, 22 Rue Paul Lorillon, Ecouen

5) Permanent exhibition at the Manoir des Tourelles

Moreover, between the castle and the town center of Écouen, you will certainly pass the Manor of the Turrets, a cultural place that houses the Ecouen Tourist Information Office, a tea room, galleries for permanent and temporary exhibitions as well as rooms for artistic practice (stained glass, painting, etc.). Regarding the permanent exhibitions, there are 2:

(I.e. Theophile Hingre space : a space dedicated to this XNUMXth century artist who lived in Écouen. At the same time sculptor, poster artist, painter or even illustrator, Théophile Hingre left many works sometimes unknown to the general public. The opportunity to discover the work of a local artist!

🖼 The Chappe Telegraph : A great invention of the XNUMXth century, it was Claude Chappe who carried out the world's first optical telegraph experiment between Ménilmontant and Saint-Martin-du-Tertre via the Butte d'Écouen. The experiment was a great success and while France was threatened by its neighbors, the Revolutionaries were able to install a real telegraph network!

6) Playful visit of the town of Écouen with Baludik

Are you visiting Écouen with your family? Opt for a fun visit to the city by downloading the Baludik application. This digital treasure hunt turns your children into little investigators to solve “The mystery of the false painting”. Along the way, come to the aid of the famous Pierre-Edouard Frère, founder of the school of painters. Thus, retrace the history of the various painters linked to the town of Écouen!

👉 Good to know : Allow 1h30 to complete the entire route (approximately 2 km).

Do you have any questions?

How to reach the town of Écouen from Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport ?

To reach the city ofÉCOUEN from Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, we strongly advise you to take the car (20 minutes via the N104), the journey being much longer by bus. 

What to visit around Écouen?

Extend your getaway in Val-d'Oise and discover other towns you absolutely must visit in the region:

  • Ezanville (24 km from Ecouen)
  • Luzarches (12km)
  • Montmorency (22 km from Ecouen)
  • Roissy-en-France (22 km from Ecouen)
  • Sarcelles (15 km from Ecouen)
  • Gonesse (6 km from Ecouen)