Exploring Avignon in the South of France
Avignon is a city full of history. It is located on the South of France right by the Rhone River. In the 14th century it was the Capital of Christianity, nine popes called Avignon their home, in the majestic Palais des Papes. Avignon should definitely be on your must-list if you’re planning a vacation to the South of France. Avignon’s city center is enclosed by ramparts that date back to the medieval ages. The ramparts that surround the city center (everything inside is called “intramuros” literally inside the walls) were recently named classified as part as UNESCO’s World Heritage. Avignon is also famous for its theatere Festival created in 1947 by Jean Vilar, the summer meeting place for the performing arts. In the year 2000, Avignon was named European City of Culture.
Here are some fun things you can do while costing, all inspired by my time and wedding events in Avignon.
Palais des Papes
Every year over half a million people visit the Palais des Papes and the Pont d’Avignon each year! When you’re planning your trip to the South of France, you must include these two sites!
Inside the Palace… truly outstanding. It’s hard to believe this was built so long ago.
Cruising on the Rhone: When I got married we took a cruise on the Rhone on Le Mireio, which I highly recommend.
Place de l’Horloge: In the city center, a beautiful carousel is the delight of children here. Have a coffee (but SKIP the restaurants!) During the holidays, there is a Christmas market there.
Pont du Gard: A great site to visit outside Avignon is Le Pont du Gard. It is a roman aqueduct that was built in the first century AD!
Questions about visiting Avignon (and answers!)
Where should I stay? There are many hotel options for all budgets! There is even a campground!
How’s the weather? It’s Provence, so there is a lot of sunshine but it can get very windy due to the Mistral (very strong winds). While it can get hot, it’s not humid.
When should I visit? Avignon is a beautiful city to visit year round (I know, I’ve been there year round! But if you’re a theater lover, you should go in July for the Festival d’Avignon . Christmas is also a great time to head over.
What is the best way to see the sites? Make sure to pick up the Avignon Passion Pass! It is given free of charge at the Tourism Office and in tourist and cultural sites (monuments, museums). The Pass gives you discounted rates after you have paid the first visit in full. (The first visit is full rate, the rate drops for all the following visits: from 10% to 50% off. It is good for 15 days and for the whole family (5 members).Use it at all the tourist sites in Avignon and Villeneuve lez Avignon as well as for excursions.
How do I get there? Marseille airport is the closest airport, there is also a TGV train station.
Have you been to Avignon? What are your favorite activities? Share with us below!
For more information about visiting Avignon, visit the Avignon Office de Tourisme website.
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