Chambord Castle has long opening hours and free admission for young visitors and children. Restaurants are unexcited but picnicking is allowed.
Château de Chambord is open throughout the year with long opening hours. Tickets are sold at the castle itself with reservations only possible for some of the guided tours. The shear size of the chateau makes visiting pleasant even during busy periods. Restaurants focus on one-off visitors and large bus parties in a rush – fine for a snack but full meals are better enjoyed elsewhere in the Loire Valley.
Opening Hours for Château de Chambord
Château de Chambord is open every day, year round except December 25 and January 1.
Opening hours are 10 am to 5 pm from October to March and 9 am to 6 pm from April to September.
Last admission to the chateau is half an hour before closing time but visiting the building takes at least an hour and easily a lot longer.
Château de Chambord is the closest major Loire chateau to Paris. As a result it is often the last castle visited by day-trip bus parties before returning to Paris.
The best time to visit Chambord is thus usually in the early morning rather than late afternoon. Even when visiting on busy weekends or summer vacations, the sheer size of Chambord never makes it the unpleasant scrum that a visit to the Palace of Versailles can turn into.
Tickets for Château de Chambord
Admission to Château de Chambord is a bargain for families and young people. Adults over 25 pay €11 while all European Union resident under 25 enter for free. Other young people between 18 and 25 pay €8. All visitors under 18 enter for free.
Tickets for Château de Chambord are sold at the entrance to the castle grounds near the parking and restaurants area, as well as in the castle itself. The ticket office at the castle is always open.
Wheelchair access: most of the paths near the chateau and the first floor of the chateau itself are accessible to wheelchair users. Admission is free for wheelchair users.
Pick up a free map – in various languages – of the castle and grounds. The information is limited but the floor plan is useful. Information plaques in the various parts of the chateau give more details of the palace architecture and history.
Audio guides are €5 for adults and €2.50 for the children’s version. Guided tours of 1 / 2 / 3 hours are also available in English.
Admission is only charged for entering the chateau building itself – the park and forest may be entered for free.
Toilets (paid) are available at the restaurant / parking area or free (but crowded) on the ground floor of the chateau.
Dogs on a leash are allowed on the estate but not in the chateau itself.
Restaurants and Eating at Chateau de Chambord
Several restaurants are clustered between the parking area and Chateau de Chambord. Not surprisingly, these restaurants focus on day-trip visitors who are hardly likely to return to the area any time soon. It is probably better to just have a snack or drink here and to dine somewhere else in the Loire Valley region.
Picnicking is allowed in most parts of the gardens and forest with dedicated areas well signposted. No food or drink is allowed inside the chateau building itself, other than at the Café d’Orleans restaurant that is open in the ground floor and courtyard during the summer season.