140km (87 miles) E of Paris; 26km (16 miles) S of Reims
Although it has 1/6 the population of Reims, Epernay produces nearly as much champagne, with an estimated 322km (200 miles) or more of cellars and tunnels. Day-trippers also find it more doable, as the town center and major champagne houses are within walking distance of the train station. Unlike urban Reims, it has a quieter, yet monied, atmosphere.
Epernay's main boulevards are the elegant residential avenue de Champagne, rue Mercier, and rue de Reims, all radiating from place de la République. Two important squares in the narrow streets of the commercial district are place Hughes-Plomb and place des Arcades.
Invading armies have destroyed or burned Epernay nearly two dozen times—this explains a somewhat disappointing lack of architectural character. The stately 1km-long avenue de Champagne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, helps make up for it though, with neoclassical villas housing the headquarters of Mercier, Moët et Chandon, Perrier-Jouet, and Pol Roger, among others.