Practical Information

Know the essentials: practical information

Opening times and periods, Friday, April 1 to Sunday, September 29, 2024

Guided tours of the castle interior.

The gardens and the Musée d'Art et Traditions Populaires are free to visit.

Friday, March 29 to Sunday, April 28 : 

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: open from 10 am to 12 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm*.
  • Tuesday: closed
  • Weekends and/or public holidays: open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday, April 29 to Sunday, September 1 :

Open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.* without interruption

Monday, September 2 to Sunday, September 29 : 

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: open from 10 am to 12 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm*.
  • Tuesday: closed
  • Weekends and/or public holidays: open from 10 am to 6 pm* .

* last access 30 minutes before château closes

** opening from 10am to 7pm for the European Heritage Days on Sunday September 22, 2024.

    Contacts / for groups :
    It is preferable to book in advance to ensure the availability of the guide:

    Parking under video surveillance (closed at night):
    Google Maps link

    • 2 places to recharge an electric vehicle
    • 2 spaces for people with reduced mobility
    • 2 motorhome spaces

    Coaches are not allowed in the château parking lot, but can be parked next to the town hall.

    Payment methods 

    Credit card (except American Express), Holiday vouchers, Culture vouchers, Clarc vouchers

    Gardens :

    Downloadable map of the gardens in pdf

    Animals :

    Yes, only in gardens and on a leash.

    Languages:

    • French 🇫🇷
    • English 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (guided tours available on request or via an app downloadable from the store)
    • Flamand 🇳🇱 (via an application downloadable from the store)
    • Spanish 🇪🇸 (via an application downloadable from the store)

    Labels and rankings :
    See "Labels & Rankings" tab

     

    * according to the health regulations in force at the time of the visit

    Guided tour times (duration approx. 1 h 30), season 2024 :

    NEW: Theatrical tours for children on request*.

    These times are subject to change, so please check the château's website before your visit.

    April / May / June :

    • Monday to Friday: 10.15 a.m. / 10.45 a.m. / 2.15 p.m. / 4 p.m.
    • Saturday and Sunday: 10:15 / 10:45 /11:45/ 14:15 / 15:00 / 16:00 / 16:30

    July/August :

    • Monday to Friday: 10:15 /10:45 /11:45 /14:30 /15:00 /16:00 /17:15
    • Saturday and Sunday: 10:15 / 10:45 /11:45 / 14:00 / 15:00 / 16:00 / 16:45 /17:15

    September :

    • Monday to Friday: 10.15 a.m. / 10.45 a.m. / 2.15 p.m. / 4 p.m.
    • Saturday and Sunday: 10:15 / 10:45 /11:45/ 14:15 / 15:00 / 16:00 / 16:30

    * Dramatized tours are organized on request and subject to availability.

    * according to the health regulations in force at the time of the visit

     

    2024

    Castle*, parc and gardens
    *guided tour

    Visit
    park and gardens
    European Heritage Days 2024
    ADULT* 11 € 8,50 € 7,50 €
    CHILDREN* aged 12 to 18
    (upon presentation of card)
    STUDENT under 27,
    UNEMPLOYED,
    LARGE FAMILY*, PASS
    8,00 € 7,00 € 6,00 €
    CHILDREN* (ages 5 to 11) 7,00 € 6,00 € 4 €
    CHILD* under 5 years Free of charge Free of charge Free of charge

    ADULT GROUP
    (from 20 people)

    8,50 € 7,00 € NC

    SCHOOL GROUP

    7,00 € 6,00 € NC

    Persons with reduced mobility
    (free companion)

    5,00 € Free of charge

    PRIVILEGE PASS
    Route Jacques Cœur*
    (Pass purchase: €5)

    11 €
    € 7.50
    NC

    PASSPORT de la DEMEURE HISTORIQUE
    Free and does not give rise to a preferential rate (simply, after 8 stamped visits, the visitor is offered a 1-year subscription to the DH magazine).

    RHS members
    Visit the gardens free of charge from June 1 to August 31 on presentation of your membership card.

    Free of charge NC

     

    Payment methods :
    Cash, Cheque, Credit card (except American Express), Holiday vouchers, Culture vouchers, Clarc vouchers, etc.

    * Large family rate: on presentation of card

    * Take advantage of the Jacques Coeur PRIVILEGE PASS to visit the Route Jacques Coeur sites and Route Jacques Coeur and some 50 partner sites. Obtain the PASS on the Route website or ask for it at the site reception desk.

    Languages:

    • French 🇫🇷
    • English 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (guided tours available on request or via a Wivisites app downloadable from the store)
    • Flamand 🇳🇱 (via an application downloadable from the store)
    • Spanish 🇪🇸 (via an application downloadable from the store)

    A specially equipped parking area

    Parking under video surveillance :
    Google Maps link

    • 2 places to recharge an electric vehicle
    • 2 spaces for people with reduced mobility
    • 2 motorhome spaces

    Coaches are not allowed in the château parking lot, but can be parked next to the town hall.

    Closed at night

    An organized welcome for cysclists

    • Bicycle parking
    • Electric bike recharging facilities (ask at reception)
    • Free luggage storage available (ask at reception)
    • Repair kit available

    People with disabilities

    Due to the architecture of the building, certain areas within the château are narrow, making it impossible for wheelchair users to get around (access stairs to the ramparts and the Renaissance dwelling). However, the entire park and gardens remain accessible (lawn and sand).

    For further information, please contact reception on 02 48 63 02 88

    Your pets are welcome

    They are only allowed in gardens and must be kept on a leash.

    A "doggie bar" is accessible from the store.

    For further information, please contact reception on 02 48 63 02 88

    A landscaped area

    In the château grounds, there is a special area for visitors wishing to picnic (see garden map).

    However, picnicking is not permitted in the rose garden or the chartreuse trees.

    For further information, please contact reception on 02 48 63 02 88

    Free and reduced rates

    • Admission to the Château and gardens is free for children under 5.
    • Reduced rates apply for children aged 5 to 11 (park and garden tour OR guided tour of château + park and gardens: see Rates tab).
    • Reduced rates apply to children aged 12 to 18 (park and garden tour OR guided tour of château + park and gardens: see Rates tab).

    Costumed tour

    • More magic on your castle tour! Children are invited to don a beautiful costume that will transform into knight or a beautiful lady of the Middle Ages with whom with whom they will passionately follow the tour of the ramparts and castle.! Welcome knights and ladies!

    NEW: dramatized tour

    Learning while having fun: that's the project our guides have been working on since the beginning of May, organizing theatrical tours. To find out more

    * according to the health regulations in force at the time of the visit

    Groups are welcome at Ainay-le-Vieil castle!

    From a richly furnished and decorated castle to its gardens and green park, you will discover an exceptional site at the Château d'Ainay-le-Vieil.

    We can advise and assist you in developing your programme, for a visit adapted to the needs of everyone: tourism professionals, associations, local authorities, etc.

    Reservation:

    For schools,

    Here you can find the workshops available during a "Discovery Day at the Castle" for school children and college students.

    A 100 square metre area dedicated to welcoming visitors and selling souvenirs and gifts.

    On the programme, decorative objects, delicatessen, books for adults and children, toys, not forgetting a charming flea market for bargain hunters and picnic baskets for gourmets. A great way to start or end your visit to the castle, its park and gardens.

    A new must-visit address for discovering the expertise of local artisans and producers, as well as a selection of products created exclusively for Château d'Ainay-le-Vieil.
    Highlights include our excellent Château d'Ainay-le-Vieil cuvée, created in association with the Bourgeois family, duck rillettes, lentils from Berry, honey from the château's bees...
    But also tablecloths by Thevenon, filament lamps, slate trays, a selection of Opinel knives, Casa Lopez tableware, Le Creusetcasseroles...

    A shop of art craftsmen

    In this space dedicated to local crafts, you'll find the work of a cabinetmaker, a ceramist and a jewelry designer. Materials, shapes, unique skills...

    The restaurant "La Volière

    The restaurant of La Volière offers traditional and regional cuisine for lunch under an aviary in the park facing the castle and for dinner in the covered "Lavoir".

    Details

    Fresh, local and French produce.
    Weekly menu from €16 to €25.

    Where?

    "La Volière" is located at the entrance to the rose garden. The "Lavoir" is accessible via the store entrance.

    Read more :

    In the grounds of a 17th century farmhouse, the castle has set up a museum of "Arts and Popular Traditions".

    A permanent exhibition depicting daily life in the village of Ainay-le-Vieil before the 1914 war.
    Discover,
    the rural world, its customs, daily life and the wealth of trades that existed at the time: a shop, a classroom, a clogmaker's workshop, a blacksmith's workshop, old beehives, or the typical interior of an early 20th-century farming family.

    Free admission.
    Free admission in high season.

    The Château is pleased to present its fun activities!

    Come and experience a unique moment within the walls of the Corps de Logis Féodal.
    Find out more...

     

    Travelling by bike :

    Flyer accueil vélo - Walks on the banks of the Canal de Berry

    F50 kilometers of hiking and cycling trails between Saint-Amand-Montrond and Montluçon.

     

     

     

     

    Activities for schoolchildren :

    Prepare your stay in Berry...

    From the medieval streets of Bourges to the Sancerrois vineyards and gardens, Berry celebrates nature and heritage. Get ready for some amazing discoveries...

    Berry province

    Other remarkable gardens...

    Le Prieuré d'Orsan, Maisonnais

    Château and park of Jussy-Champagne, Jussy-Champagne

    Apremont-sur-Allier Floral Park, Apremont-sur-Allier

    Marie's gardenNeuilly-en-Sancerre

    Château and park of Pesselières, Jalognes

    Le domaine de Poulaine, Poulaine

    Other friendly addresses

    Château de Meillant, Meillant

    Château de Peufeilhoux, Vallon-en-Sully

    Donkey and horse center, La Celle Condé

    Noirlac Abbey, Noirlac

    Musée des arts et traditions paysannes, Château du Plaix, Saint-Hilaire en Lignières

    Grand Meaulnes school house, Épineuil-le-Fleuriel

    House from "Jour de fête" (Jacques Tati), Saint-Sévère

    Nearby cities

    Bourges,

    The capital of the Berry region, with its Unesco World Heritage Cathedral, the Palais Jacques Cœur, the marshes and timber-framed houses of its historic center, and much more.

    Sancerre,

    Its hilltop town and world-famous vineyards, such as those of Menetou-Salon, Quincy, Reuilly, etc., make it an ideal place to visit.

    Saint-Amand-Montrond,

    Its ancient fortress, gold town and Gallo-Roman site.

    Greenways

    The Berry Canal

    Labels and ratings :


    The château and gardens are listed as a "Monument Historique".
    The gardens have been awarded the"Jardin Remarquable" label.

    The site is a member of theAssociation des Châteaux de la Loire, the Demeure historique, the Route Jacques Coeur, the Jardins secrets en Berry, theAssociation des Parcs et Jardins de la région Centre (APJRC) and the Royal Horticultural Society.

    The site has also been awarded the Nouvelles Renaissances and Accueil vélo labels.

    The château is a member of the Qualité Tourisme initiative in the Centre Val de Loire region and is committed to the "Together for sustainable tourism" project.

    The château's accommodations are members of the Gîtes de France and Charme & Traditions networks.

     

    * according to the health regulations in force at the time of the visit