The historic metropolis of Avignon, France, is an iconic gem within the coronary heart of Provence. Its medieval metropolis partitions, previous church buildings, and Twelfth-century bridge make any customer really feel like they’ve simply stepped again in time. It even served because the papal residence within the 1300s.
However don’t let this city’s medieval seems to be idiot you – this can be a fashionable metropolis filled with well-known sights, vigorous folks, and wonderful cafes and eating places. Avignon seamlessly blends old-world attraction with fashionable life. It’s additionally a handy location and base to discover extra of France’s charming Provence area –from huge lavender fields to hilltop villages and different iconic websites with fascinating chronicles.
Avignon could be visited year-round, however you actually ought to go to in early summer season. It will can help you get pleasure from superb climate and different attractive websites close by. The lavender fields in Provence are in bloom from mid-June till mid-July earlier than they’re harvested.
In case you are visiting Paris and wish to prolong your journey to Avignon, take a look at Eurail to search out the most effective prepare offers from inside France and throughout Europe to attach you to Avignon. With out additional ado, let’s get into the enjoyable and greatest issues to do in Avignon, France!
|Most important landmark||Palais des Papes|
|Greatest park||Jardin des Doms|
|Greatest free exercise||Musée Calvet|
|Greatest exercise for youths||Taking the vacationer prepare round Avignon|
|Greatest exercise for adults||Avignon Cathedral|
|Greatest meals||Restaurant SEVEN|
|Greatest place to remain||La Mirande|
Enjoyable And Greatest Issues To Do In Avignon, France
1. Palais des Papes
Handle: Place du Palais, 84000 Avignon, France
When you solely have time to go to one place whereas in Avignon, it needs to be the Palais des Papes. This former papal palace is the biggest Gothic palace on the earth and by far essentially the most well-known landmark in Avignon. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Web site and was the pope’s official residence from 1309 to 1377.
The beautiful historic constructing we see as we speak combines two palaces, the primary constructed on the instruction of Pope Benedict XII in 1335 and the second by Pope Clement VI. Although, Avignon had been the pope’s official residence since Pope Clement V in 1309.
Admission tickets to the pope’s palace could be purchased on their very own or mixed with the Pontifical Gardens, Pont Saint-Bénézet, or all three. If you wish to study much more about Avignon’s fascinating historical past, be a part of a walking tour like this one. It’s a high choose as a result of it consists of admission into the Palais des Papes in addition to a neighborhood wine tasting.
Add to the palace expertise by staying close by at La Mirande, a luxurious lodge courting again to 1309. The chateau-like lodge overlooks the Palais des Papes and contains a Chef’s desk expertise, continental breakfast, and cooking classes.
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2. Avignon Cathedral
Handle: Place du Palais, 84000 Avignon, France
The Cathedral Notre Dame des Doms, identified in English because the Avignon Cathedral, is the church counterpart of the Palais des Papes. It’s straight subsequent door and homes the tombs of the Avignon popes, making it a simple and attention-grabbing cease.
The cathedral’s building dates again to the Twelfth century. The bell tower, one in every of its most well-known attributes, needed to be rebuilt within the early 1400s. The well-known gilded Virgin Mary statue that crowns it was added within the 1800s and has been its most outstanding function since.
Inside, the gorgeous mixture of Gothic, Roman, and Baroque structure come collectively to show the centuries of adjustments and updates to the church. Many artworks are on show, together with some very previous items that had been solely revealed by opening partitions for restoration works. Avignon Cathedral will not be a spot to overlook.
3. Pont Saint-Bénézet
Handle: Boulevard de la Ligne, 84000 Avignon, France
Pont Saint-Bénézet, often known as the Avignon Bridge, is without doubt one of the oldest landmarks within the metropolis. Inbuilt 1177, this medieval bridge stretched throughout the Rhone River to Île de la Barthelasse and Villeneuve-lès-Avignon.
Lower than half of the unique bridge nonetheless stands as we speak. Nonetheless, it exhibits exceptional engineering and craftsmanship that was potential within the Twelfth century.
Although a lot of the bridge had been destroyed in a big flood, it nonetheless stays a symbolic monument of Avignon and the whole area, cemented in French popular culture by the well-known French tune “Sur le Pont d’Avignon.” When driving on the outskirts of town partitions, it’s simply one of the recognizable landmarks.
There’s a small entry payment to go to the bridge, or you should buy a mixture ticket for the bridge and the Palais des Papes. It’s notably the primary absolutely handicap-accessible web site from the Center Ages.
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4. Rue des Teinturiers
On the southern fringe of the previous city lies the charming Rue des Teinturiers, an previous cobblestone avenue alongside a small canal with a exceptional historical past. This picturesque avenue will get its identify from Avignon’s silk-spinning and textile trade that flourished throughout the 14th to nineteenth centuries.
As we speak, Rue des Teinturiers is shaded by massive sycamore bushes and is a cool and nice place to take a stroll by means of the previous city. It extends from town’s ramparts to Rue des Lices. Through the Avignon Pageant held each July, you may typically discover reveals or performances on this avenue at a number of theaters.
Alongside Rue des Teinturiers, you’ll discover many incredible bars, cafes, and eating places. Cease by Le Zinzolin for a incredible ambiance or Le Cave Des Pas Sages for superior native beer and wine choices.
5. Jardin des Doms
Handle: 2 Mount des Moulins, 84000 Avignon, France
Jardin des Doms, additionally referred to as the Rocher des Doms, is an unimaginable expansive backyard set on a hill. Not solely does it function beautiful panoramic views of the previous city and the Rhone River, but it surely’s additionally near lots of Avignon’s high sights, together with the close by Palais des Papes.
This English-style public backyard first opened in 1830 and has been a preferred strolling spot since then. All through the backyard, you’ll discover paved strolling paths, tranquil ponds, statues, and flower gardens. There are additionally two youngsters’s play areas and a small seasonal restaurant.
From the gardens, you may also entry some sections of the ramparts that encompass Avignon through stairs. These iconic metropolis partitions have been torn down and rebuilt a number of occasions over town’s historical past however stay one in every of its outstanding symbols.
Contemplate the Mercure Pont d’Avignon Centre if you need a spot to remain near this lovely spot. The world is resplendent.
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6. Les Halles Market
Handle: 18 Place Pie, 84000 Avignon, France
On the lookout for an incredible place to pattern native produce and buy some incredible souvenirs? Look no additional than Les Halles Market! This native market options many craft and produce stalls, a vertical backyard, and meat and cheese merchandise from throughout the area.
The native spices and condiments you’ll find on the market make the greatest souvenirs and items to convey dwelling. When you want provisions for a highway journey or picnic, there are distributors who concentrate on pastries, wine, regional dishes, and flowers.
Attempt to get to the market within the early morning, whereas you’ll find the most effective number of all merchandise. The market is open each morning and early afternoon besides on Mondays and could be discovered close to Place Pie, one of many metropolis’s squares, which additionally options an out of doors market.
7. Musée du Petit Palais
Handle: Palais des Archevêques, Place du Palais, 84000 Avignon, France
The Musée du Petit Palais is without doubt one of the most visited of Avignon’s museums and one of the well-known artwork museums within the area. It was as soon as the residence of the Archbishop of Avignon and sits simply subsequent to the Palais des Papes.
The primary collections at this museum embody Italian work, sculptures made in Avignon, and an artwork gallery that options work from the Avignon College of Artwork again within the 14th century. The museum additionally has short-term exhibitions that spotlight well-known artworks and native artists.
The Musée du Petit Palais could be visited every single day besides Tuesdays. When you’re feeling brief on time and need to get an environment friendly guided tour of all of Avignon’s high landmarks and sights, think about taking the vacationer prepare.
The included audio information on the vacationer prepare is available in ten languages and consists of stops just like the museum, Palais des Papes, Musée Calvet, and the Jardin des Doms. It’s additionally a enjoyable means for youths to see all of the sights this metropolis has to supply!
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8. Place de l’Horloge
Place de l’Horloge is town’s principal sq. and is positioned in its historic middle. Surrounding this sq., you’ll discover Avignon’s opera home, metropolis corridor, and lots of cafes and eating places. It will get its identify, which interprets to Clock Sq., from the big clock tower that sits on the middle of metropolis corridor.
Whereas the clock tower was inbuilt 1354, it wasn’t till 1497 that the precise clock was put in. From then, the sq. served as a principal gathering place for town’s residents and guests alike. It then served because the central market and now serves as a principal location throughout the Avignon Pageant in July.
Restaurant SEVEN is the place to go for essentially the most mouthwatering, superb French meals with a up to date take. It’s a bit expensive however options native, seasonal substances with plating that’s completely Instagram-worthy.
With its superior location within the metropolis middle, Hôtel de l’Horloge is a incredible base whilst you go to Avignon. It options conventional French design, and lots of rooms have an unbeatable view of the Palais des Papes.
9. Musée Calvet
Handle: 65 Rue Joseph Vernet, 84000 Avignon, France
The very best museum in Avignon is certainly the Musée Calvet. This antiquities and tremendous arts museum is positioned within the western a part of the historical past middle in two separate buildings just a few blocks aside.
Each buildings home completely different items of the gathering of Espirit Calvet, an artwork lover from Avignon who died in 1811 and left all of it to the state for preservation and appreciation. There’s a substantial quantity of work by French, Italian, Spanish, and different European artists, Greek and Roman sculptures, and all types of antiquities from historical society.
The very best a part of the Calvet Museum is that entry is completely free! You can too cease on the Muséum Requien, in between the 2 buildings of the Musée Calvet, to get pleasure from some pure historical past reveals. It’s additionally free, however this one is usually geared in the direction of French audio system.
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10. Assortment Lambert Avignon
Handle: 5 Rue Violette, 84000 Avignon, France
A newer collector named Yves Lambert made an analogous reward to town within the yr 2000, making his artwork assortment obtainable to the general public on the Assortment Lambert. Nevertheless, you gained’t discover very previous work, sculptures, and artifacts on this one; relatively, this can be a assortment of latest artwork from latest many years.
It accommodates greater than 1,200 items by well-known American and European artists of the 1900s, together with Jean-Michel Basquiat and Cy Twombly. A few of the artists represented are nonetheless round as we speak. There are fairly often particular exhibitions with different works from around the globe, and you may take a look at the museum’s website to see if something catches your eye.
11. Day journey: Pont du Gard
Pont du Gard is without doubt one of the best day journeys from Avignon you can take. This beautiful three-tiered stone aqueduct bridge throughout the river was constructed within the first (!) century by the Romans. It’s amazingly nonetheless standing as we speak, and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Web site.
It’s lower than a 30-minute drive west of Avignon to Pont du Gard. Park within the massive lot on the left financial institution, the place you may also discover the ticket workplace; purchase a ticket prematurely to skip the road. When you aren’t renting a automobile, there are many guided Pont du Gard day trips that can do much more, similar to wine tasting and different Provence area sightseeing.
From the doorway, it’s a stunning stroll down a paved path alongside the river with nice views of the bridge. Little grime paths throughout the rocky financial institution can take you to even higher picture factors and river seashores beneath the bridge. You’ll be able to even stroll throughout the two-thousand-year-old bridge for much more views from the opposite aspect.
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12. Day journey: Aix-en-Provence
One hour down the freeway within the different course is one other lovely, small metropolis referred to as Aix-en-Provence. Locals typically simply name it Aix (pronounced: Ex). Together with Avignon, this is without doubt one of the hottest locations to remain when exploring the Provence area, and each cities are properly value a go to.
Aix has a big however very walkable historic middle with slender, cobblestone streets lined with previous stone buildings. I cherished the truth that there was an ice cream store nearly anyplace you turned! Lavender is an enormous theme right here, and also you’ll see loads of locations to purchase the plant’s oil, fragrance, and even flavored treats.
That is additionally the place well-known painter Paul Cézanne was from, and guests can tour his childhood dwelling and his studio to see a few of his work. When you’d relatively spend an evening or two right here to discover town and this aspect of Provence, the Hôtel Aquabella & Spa needs to be the most effective place on the town to remain, due to its central location and delightful spa.
13. Go to Native Small & Stunning Villages Close by
Do you know that there’s an official list of essentially the most lovely villages in France? We additionally made our personal ViaTravelers model. Fortunately, just a few of those tiny, picturesque locations are inside straightforward attain of Avignon, they usually’re full of historical past, heritage, and surroundings.
Certainly one of them is Les Baux de Provence, simply 40 minutes south of town, among the many peaks of the Alpilles Regional Park. It’s one of many hilltop villages of the area which are a photographer’s dream. There are previous stone homes on the smaller peaks under the ruins of a medieval fortress you can discover.
Mix a visit with a cease in Saint Rémy de Provence, which is the subsequent village to the north of Les Baux. Saint Rémy is the place that impressed Vincent Van Gogh to color a few of his most well-known works, due to its lovely surroundings.
He spent a few of his most troublesome years right here as he checked right into a psychological hospital close to the village. You’ll be able to see a few of that and stroll in his footsteps within the village as we speak.
Once more, in case you aren’t driving, it’s straightforward to discover a guided villages tour from Avignon that takes you to those two plus extra. If you’ll do it your self, think about studying some primary French on Babbel – you’ll be within the countryside and would possibly want it!
Is it value visiting Avignon?
Avignon is completely value a go to. It’s filled with historical past and unimaginable sights whereas additionally offering fashionable facilities and a vigorous environment. There are many actions for the entire household to get pleasure from, wonderful eating places, and loads of lodge choices.
What’s Avignon greatest identified for?
Avignon is greatest identified for the Palais des Papes. This unimaginable palace was the official residence of the pope from 1309 to 1377 and is the biggest Gothic palace in the whole world!
What number of days in Avignon is sufficient?
You’ll be able to see all of Avignon’s principal sights in simply someday. This can be very walkable and straightforward to get round. On an prolonged journey, you’ll have extra time to discover the close by villages and different close by vacationer sights.
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