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Vichy, the Lac d’Allier and all the other must-sees

Source des Celestins Vichy

You can visit Vichy on foot using the public streets, with the thermal quarter, Old Vichy and the circuit around the Lac d’Allier with its 12 must-sees. Across 27 km, discover natural spaces, buildings, historic neighbourhoods and lively personalities.

The Palais des Congrès-Opéra, a real gem of architectural heritage is made up of the former Grand Casino (which became the Palais des Congrès, or conference centre, in 1995) and the opera house, modernised by Jean Guilhem de Castelbajac. The original building (Casino-Théâtre) was created by the architect Charles Badger in 1865 at the request of Napoléon III, containing a ballroom, a theatre, games rooms and recreational lounges.

The Hall des Sources, a glass and cast-iron atrium built in 1903 to match the Parc des Sources, is where you can try 5 of the waters that claim to have healing properties - Célestins, Lucas, Hôpital, Chomel and Grande Grille.

Built between 1899 and 1903 and extended in the 1930s, the Grand Établissement Thermal boasts stunning neo-Moorish architecture. The wing of the building overlooking the Boulevard des États-Unis today features the Centre Thermal des Dômes. A stone’s throw away, the Callou thermal baths also offers traditional remedies.

The Napoleon III Chalets, chalets in a Swiss or Colonial English style, were built by decree of the Emperor between 1863 and 1864 to welcome him, his imperial entourage and dignitaries of the Empire.

The Source des Célestins is the natural source of the most famous of Vichy’s waters, and the only one to be bottled. The spring gets its name from a 15th century convent built on the rock, of which the only remnant left today is a section of the wall. The spring’s pavilion was built in a neo-Louis XVI style in 1908. Tasting is free.

The promenades and beaches of the Lac d’Allier are perfect for relaxing.

Enjoy the Napoleon III parks, the developed banks, the waterside bars and leisure activities, with 1.5 km between the Rotonde and the Plage des Célestins.