Destination Guide - Avignon.




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Awesome pale stone ramparts, poised dramatically beside the wide Rhône River, encircle ancient Avignon. Broken arches of its famous nursery-rhyme bridge, the Pont d’Avignon where on y danse, still march half-way across the swirling waters. Just over 700 years ago, Avignon was the capital city of the Popes. The grim, massive walls of their Papal Palace, largest Gothic building in the world, rises above the heart of the Old City. Yet despite the town’s intoxicating aura of history, today Avignon’s tree-shaded old lanes and squares teem with energy, creativity and the good life – especially during summer’s month-long arts extravaganza, the Avignon Festival.

Our top five sights

Palais des Papes

Outwardly, the Popes’ palace is a powerful fortress, built on a giant scale. Inside are grandiose, impressively frescoed rooms. Place du Palais, 04 3274 3274

Pont St Bénezet

This picturesque remnant of the medieval Pont d'Avignon, adorned with an exquisite chapel, reaches straight from the ramparts into the river. Boulevard Rhône, 04 9027 5107

Musée Calvet

Outstanding fine art and decorative crafts spanning 500 years, and archaeology collections, all attractively displayed inside an 18th-century mansion. 65 rue Joseph Vernet, 04 9086 3384

Rocher des Doms

A steep climb through this shaded park, site of the original Avignon, gives views far across the Provence place du Palais

Musée Angladon

Great names of early modern art (especially Degas) imaginatively displayed in a grand 18th-century mansion. Some rooms have been preserved in period style.5 rue Laboureur, 04 9082 2903

Our top five activities


Travel on your own or join a guided tasting tour (ask at the tourist office) to big-name Côte du Rhône wine villages. One of the nearest is the great Châteauneuf du Pape.


Visitors are welcome to pay a one-day green fee to enjoy top-quality 9- and 18-hole golf at the agreeable Garden Golf club on the edge of the city (near Montfavet). 1596 route de Châteaublanc, 04 9033 3908


Enjoy horse-riding on the big river island, Ile de la Barthelasse, just minutes from the city centre. Avignon Riding Centre offers afternoon courses on Wednesday and Saturday. Chemin du Mont Blanc, 04 9085 8348


See the Rocher des Doms from below and pass beneath the Pont d’Avignon on a thrilling kayaking outing on the Rhône River. The starting point is Barthelasse Island.

Cookery courses

Some Avignon chefs share their secrets, giving short courses on Provençal cuisine. On summer Saturdays, informal cookery lessons take place in the bustling covered market (Place Pie). 

Our top five events

January: Cheval Passion

The annual equestrian festival at Avignon Exhibition Park offers elegant riding shows and competition, along with information and sales displays dealing with every aspect of riding and horses.

February/March: Les Hivernales d'Avignon

A winter week devoted to latest developments in contemporary dance, with performances (and classes, too) at venues all over around the city.

July: Festival d'Avignon

The long-established Avignon Festival (and also its newer fringe, Festival Off) is France’s exuberant, world-leading showcase of theatre, dance, music and other performance arts. Book well ahead for the top shows.

July-August: Choregies d'Orange

The summer opera festival that includes a mixture of opera and classical music concerts offers amazing new productions in a unique setting. The acoustics are part of the reason this music festival has become so successful helping to attract over 10,000 classical fans each year. With the last performance on 6 August, make sure you book your tickets now for July/August shows.

September-October: Avignon Blues Festival

Expect some well-known international performers on the bill of this popular annual event. Despite the name, it ventures into other music genres, including country rock.

Party on down at the Festival d’Avignon from 5th-26th July which features more than 40 different works in 20 different venues ranging from small chapels seating 150 to the legendary Honour Courtyard in the Palace of the Popes which holds audiences of 2000. In addition to theatre and the performing arts, the Festival is also brimming with debates, installations, exhibitions, conferences, readings and plenty more. And if that’s not enough, the ‘Off’ festival from 8th-31st July brings together everything from theatre, readings, circus, dance, music, classical authors and modern authors – something for every age, every taste, every audience.


Rue de la République, the Old Town’s busy main street, is the place to find fashion chains, Monoprix and FNAC department stores and many tempting gourmet food shops. There are classy little boutiques on the side turnings, especially Rue Joseph-Vernet and Rue St Agricol. Les Halles, the city’s traditional indoor produce market, is open daily (except Sunday) on Place Pie. Outside, it has a spectacular green ‘living wall’. Inside, discerning locals pick and choose the best of regional food and wine at dozens of stalls. At weekends, colourful street markets spring up at Rempart St Michel and place des Carmes.

Food & Drink

Avignon’s local cuisine is richly favoured with garlic, oil and fresh Provençal herbs like thyme and rosemary. Succulent meat and fish stews are popular, with plenty of local vegetables, among them green peppers, aubergines, courgettes and large, juicy tomatoes. Try savoury fougasse bread, sweet candied fruits and ‘Papalines d'Avignon’ liqueur chocolates. La Mirande (4 place de l’Amirande, 04 9014 2020) and Christian Etienne (10 rue de Mons, 04 9086 1650) are two of Avignon’s clutch of gastronomic restaurants known for skilful and imaginative Provençal haute cuisine, both in luxurious historic settings close to the Papal Palace. 


Late-night bars and clubs are mainly around the busy city-centre squares and the Old Town’s eastern side. There’s also a full programme of opera, ballet, drama and classical concerts in atmospheric historical venues. Pub Z (58 rue de la Bonneterie, 04 9085 4284) plays a wide range of music until 1.30am. Club Les Ambassadeurs (27 rue Bancasse, 04 9086 3155) offers a stylish alternative. AJMI Jazz Club (4 rue escalier Sainte Anne, 04 9086 0861) hosts live modern jazz. Opéra d'Avignon (place de l'Horloge, 04 9082 8140) is the elegant 19th-century theatre.

Accommodation in Avignon

Avignon has a huge range of accommodation across all budgets. It’s slightly pricier within the walled Old Town, but this is where you’ll find the city’s sights, attractions and entertainment. Central avenue Rue de la République, leading to main square Place de l’Horloge, are the heart of things. Avignon’s legendary luxury hotel is the elegant, palatial Hotel d'Europe (12 place Crillon, 04 9014 7676), in the top spot for more than a century. For comfort at a good price, try the ideally located Hotel de l'Horloge (Place de l’Horloge, 04 9016 4200), overlooking the vibrant square. 

Our favourites

 Le Prieur, Villeneuve lez Avignon

Le Prieuré - 7 Place du Chapitre, 30400 Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, France, 
Email:, Web:

It welcomes all those who seek authenticity and elegance, for a relaxing stay flavoured with refined cuisine and scented by flowers, just minutes from Avignon, on the road to the vineyards of Châteauneuf du Pape. Five star hotel – Gastronomic Restaurant – Lounge Bar - Relais & Châteaux

Hotel La Magnaneraie

Hotel La Magnaneraie - rue du Camp de Bataille, 30400 Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, France ,
Tel: +33 (0)4 90 25 11 11,, Web:

Hotel La Magnaneraie is located in the historical burg of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, 3 km (1.8 miles) away from Avignon, the Papal city, and offers a haven of peace, surrounded by a park. This 15th century building blends the charm of an ancient mansion-house with all the modern hotel amenities. With its elegant interiors and finely decorated public areas, this cosy hotel offers great value for money accommodation in Provence.

Hotel La Suite, Villeneuve lez Avignon

Hotel La Suite - 65-67 Rue de la République - 30400 Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, France 
Tel +33(0)490215107,  Email:,  Web:

A place with a soul. A perfect blend of modern and authentic materials creates a unique atmosphere in each room or suite. Time stands still in the large garden around the swimming invitation to serenity and well being. Enjoy a drink or breakfast on the terrace, it's a real blessing to be so close to « la Chartreuse».

Avignon Airport is 10km southeast of the city centre on highway N7. There’s a shuttle bus into town, or taxis waiting. If there’s no cab, Radio Taxis Avignon (04 9082 2020) are always on call; the 10-minute taxi journey costs about 22€ (day) or 30€ (night). 
The main terminus for Avignon’s extensive city bus network is in front of the train station, but almost everything in the walled Old City is within a walkable distance, with most sights close to another. The city’s Vélopop bike-hire scheme allows 30 minutes’ free cycling – enough to get anywhere in town. 

Avignon Airport Information

Avignon - Caumont Airport (AVN)


General information
Tel.: +33 (0) 490 71 51 51

Tourism Office Website

Tel.: +33 (0) 432 74 32 74

Check-in generally closes 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time.

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Car parking
Avignon Airport car parking is situated directly in front of the airport terminal.

Public Transport
There are no bus or coach services direct from Avignon airport. TCRA operates buses in Avignon city centre from Avenue de Lattre de Tassigny.

Maps are available from the tourist office. You can find out more about routes and timetables at or telephone + 33 (0) 4 32 74 18 32.

You can get an Avignon airport taxi very easily from the taxi rank just outside the terminal building.

CityJet offer flights to Avignon in the summer months.

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