Avignon

Avignon is where the popes pontificated in mediaeval times and people danced on (or under) the famous bridge. Once the majestic centre of church power, today it's an intimate, provençal walled city. Great historic sights, mellow bars and fashionable shops, quaint cobbled streets made for strolling, an exciting theatre festival and a spectacular riverside location: it all adds up to a beguiling package.

Our gallery takes you on an armchair tour through Avignon's main attractions. Click on each image or scroll down the page to read more about them.

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The grand sweep of the Rhône river, with Avignon's famous bridge, viewed from the Rocher des Doms on a beautiful autumn day

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Les Halles: Avignon's Gourmet Food Market Print E-mail
Avignon - What To See

Tapenade stall at Les Halles, AvignonWith around 40 stalls selling a cornucopia of French regional produce, Les Halles is a must for any dedicated foodie in Avignon.

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The Secret Tour of the Palais des Papes Print E-mail
Avignon - What To See

Pope Clement VIThe Avignon Popes' private quarters in the Palais des Papes have long been closed to the public. Now, however, you can take a tour, available in English, which gives a fascinating insight into the secrets of the pontiffs' daily lives.

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The Rue des Teinturiers Print E-mail
Avignon - What To See

The rue des Teinturiers, AvignonAvignon's rue des Teinturiers is not just one of the prettiest, most historic spots in Avignon, it's also one of the most fashionable.

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The Rocher des Doms Print E-mail
Avignon - What To See

The Rocher des Doms, AvignonA gentle five-minute stroll up a small hill, the lush oasis of the Rocher des Doms offers a refreshing refuge from the heat and bustle of Avignon on a summer's day and a perfect spot to relax and enjoy superb panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside.

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La Cathédrale Notre Dame des Doms Print E-mail
Avignon - What To See

La Cathedrale Notre Dame des Doms, AvignonAvignon's cathedral forms part of the mighty complex of buildings clustered on the Rocher des Doms and overlooking the city.

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How To Get Around Avignon: Bikes, Baladines, Buses, Boats, Petits Trains Print E-mail
Avignon - Practical Information

Avignon bus iconThe walled city of Avignon is compact and major sights like the Palais des Papes and the Pont d'Avignon (Pont Saint Bénézet) can easily be visited on foot. Be sure, however, to wear comfortable, flat shoes as many areas are cobbled. And, when you tire of walking, here are some alternatives.

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Avignon: The Climate Print E-mail
Avignon - Practical Information

Wind Rose, AvignonAvignon's peak tourist season - boosted by its important theatre festival - is in July, but the climate is agreeable - if not as clement as in Aix or Marseille - for much of the year.

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Useful Contacts in Avignon Print E-mail
Avignon - Practical Information

Vintage telephone circa 1921Avignon's popularity as a tourist destination - and the large anglophone community in the surrounding area - means that it boasts a modest but adequate array of English-language resources. Here's a checklist, plus contacts for the nearest embassies, consulates, doctors, lawyers and emergency phone numbers.

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Avignon-Provence Airport: The Complete Guide Print E-mail
Avignon - Practical Information

Avignon airport facadeJust nine km / six miles outside the wallled city, Avignon-Provence airport (sometimes called Avignon-Caumont or just plain Avignon) is perfectly positioned for such tourist attractions as L'Isle sur la Sorgue, Roussillon and the lavender fields of northern Provence, as well as other cities such as Orange and Carpentras. Click here for a full guide to Avignon-Provence airport.

 
The Palais des Papes Print E-mail
Avignon - What To See

Facade, Palais des Papes, AvignonThe Palais des Papes, or Popes' Palace, is the star attraction in Avignon, a monumental structure which transformed what might have otherwise been a sleepy provincial town into a glittering centre of European power.

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The Museums of Avignon Print E-mail
Avignon - What To See

Young Woman Holding a MaskThere’s something for everyone in the museums and galleries of Avignon, from a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex skull and avant-garde art by the Turner prize-winner Douglas Gordon to the Countess du Barry’s adorable travel tea service and the only painting by Vincent van Gogh on permanent view in Provence.

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The Pont d'Avignon Print E-mail
Avignon - What To See

Avignon Bridge viewed from Barthelasse island

The Pont d'Avignon - or Pont Saint Bénézet, to give it its formal name - might be a truncated version of its former self, but the dramatic medieval bridge remains one of the city's iconic, instantly recognisable landmarks, and the subject of a famous song.

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The Musée Angladon Print E-mail
Avignon - What To See

Railway Wagons by Vincent van Gogh at the Angladon Museum, AvignonLike Cézanne, van Gogh was a prophet without honour in Provence: just one of his paintings remains on permanent view in the region. Luckily it's a superb one, and you can see it in the Angladon Museum, one of the most delightful galleries in Avignon.

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The Festival d'Avignon Print E-mail
Avignon - What To See

The Festival d'Avignon at the Palais des PapesDance, mime, theatre and more all come together in an annual extravaganza that turns the entire city into a stage for three weeks in July. Click here for a full guide to the Festival d'Avignon.

 
Avignon: The Best Restaurants Print E-mail
Avignon - Practical Information

Restaurant Christian EtienneAvignon offers an impressive array of dining across the spectrum, from superb Michelin-starred haute cuisine to budget brasserie cooking. Beware, though: it also has its share of tourist traps and you need to seek out the very best spots.

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Where to Stay in Avignon Print E-mail
Avignon - Practical Information

Hotel du Palais des papes, AvignonHere is our guide to the best places to stay in Avignon. The historic walled city is very compact and during the peak season accommodation is in short supply. We offer some tips for finding a bed at busy times.

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Rail Travel to and from Avignon Print E-mail
Avignon - Practical Information

Avignon TGV stationThere are two train stations in Avignon, the TGV station in the suburbs 9 km (5.5 miles) south-west of the city and Avignon Centre near the centre of town. This is a guide to both of them. Click here for a full guide to Avignon's two rail stations.


 


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