Destination Guide - Pau.



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An unmistakable air of Englishness hovers over this elegant town in the foothills of southwest France’s Pyrénées. Wellington and his troops were among the first Britons to fall for the mild climate of the Béarn region’s ancient capital, swiftly followed by countless others. At times you feel you’re in a Victorian seaside town – but with snow-capped mountains as an enchanting backdrop. Pau is also the birthplace of one of France’s most popular kings, Henri IV, who steadied the country through the Wars of Religion in the 16th century. It’s at once lively and laid back, helped by its large student population.

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Our top five sights

Chateau de Pau

There are nine centuries of history to explore in this imposing castle and birthplace of Henri IV set in beautiful Renaissance gardens.
2 rue du Château, 05 5982 3800

Boulevard des Pyrénées

Cafés and hundreds of palm trees line this sweeping boulevard on the escarpment overlooking the Gave de Pau River. Helpful markers on the guardrail show which majestic Pyrenean peak is in the distance.

Palais Beaumont

This 1900 former winter palace is now the town’s casino and conference centre, surrounded by Parc Beaumont’s large expanse of inviting gardens.
Parc Beaumont, 05 5911 2000

English villas circuit

Those 19th-century English visitors who fell in love with Pau left behind their sumptuous villas and elaborate gardens, both of which make for an atmospheric walk through the town.

Musée des Beaux Arts

Pau’s premier art collection is housed in this handsome 1930s building, where works spanning five centuries include paintings by Degas, Rubens and El Greco.
Rue Mathieu Lalanne, 05 5927 3302

Our top five activities


Pau is home to the first golf course in continental Europe, and has been attracting golfers since 1856 to its agreeable surroundings.


Relax in warm waters at the Calicéo complex, where Jacuzzis and water jets ease tired muscles and water bikes get you moving again.Boulevard du Cami SaliéMore


Henri IV was baptised with a few golden drops of Jurançon wine, one of the first in France to receive an appellation d’origine contrôlée. Try either the crisp dry white or the sweet dessert wine.


Head to the riverside Stade d’Eaux Vives, where you can go white-water rafting in the man-made rapids or kayaking in the gentler waters of the sports complex.
39 avenue de l’Yser, 05 5940 8544


The ski resorts and cross-country ski trails of the Pyrénées National Park are just 50km from Pau, the nearest one being Gourette in the Ossau valley.

Our top five events

February: Carnaval Béarnais

The Palois really let their hair down during their February pre-Lent carnival, with seven days of wild spectacles, dancing, quite a bit of cross-dressing and street parades.

May: Grand Prix de Pau

Every May, the city is deafened by the roar of racing cars zooming through its streets. Vintage racing cars have their own event the weekend before.

June: Urban Session

This festival celebrates street culture, hip-hop and dance, with gigs, breakdance sessions and a chance to show off your DJing skills.

August: Festival Hestiv’Oc

Pau’s Occitan heritage is highlighted in this lively festival of all things southern French. The streets fill with musician, dancers and performers, and the cinemas host an Occitan film festival.

December: La Poule au Pot est Reine!

Henri IV’s birthday is celebrated every year with a sound-and-light show at the chateau. Chefs then spend a week trying to perfect the chicken dish the king declared no family should be without.


Fashion and interiors boutiques line rue Louis Barthou, which turns into rue Henri IV. You’re certain to see a wide selection of berets, which, although they epitomise neighbouring Basque region, were first commercially produced in Béarn. The dozens of food stalls at Les Halles, the immense indoor market in Place de la République, offer irresistible charcuterie and Pyrenean cheeses; its adjacent Carreau is the place to buy seasonal produce from local farmers. Pop into Boutique Francis Miot (48 rue Joffre, 05 5927 6951) and try a Paloise sweet speciality, coucougnette, a delicious combination of chocolate, almonds and marzipan.

Food & Drink

Not surprisingly, given Pau’s location in the southwest, duck features prominently, as do the sheep’s milk cheeses of the Pyrénées. Refined dishes are served in Le Jeu de Paume at the Parc Beaumont hotel (1 avenue Edouard VII, 05 5911 8400), including flash-fried foie gras and fish fresh from the market. The convivial Le Bistrot d’à Côté (1 place Gramont, 05 5927 9808) does exquisite things with beef cheeks and keeps it simple with the catch of the day. Have a sweet Jurançon for an aperitif on one of the café terraces on the boulevard des Pyrénées.


Head to the bars in Le Triangle, where rue Lespy and rue Emile Garet converge south of rue Castelnau. Le Garage (47 rue Emile Garet, 05 5983 7517) has been enticing people with its live music and friendly atmosphere since 1993. There’s a buzzing Mexican ambience at La Fiesta Latina (6 rue Etigny, 05 5983 7008), near the chateau. Some of the bars along the boulevard des Pyrénées open late on the weekend, including The Galway (No 20, 05 5982 9466). Zénith (20 boulevard du Cami Salié, 05 5980 7744) is the place for concerts, theatre and dance, featuring everything from Swan Lake to French rocker Johnny Hallyday.

Accommodation in Pau

Pau’s most luxurious hotel is the sleek five-star Parc Beaumont (1 avenue Edouard VI, 05 5911 8400), whose airy contemporary rooms have balconies overlooking the park. The other five-star option, Villa Navarre (59 avenue Trespoey, 05 5914 6565), is in unattractive 19th-century building about 20 minutes’ walk from the town centre. Budget options include the three-star Hotel de Gramont (3 place Gramont, 05 5927 8404), near the chateau, and the two-star Hotel le Bourbon (12 place Georges Clemenceau, 05 5927 5312) in the centre.

Our favourites

Destination Pau

Hotel Mercure Palais Des Sports 6 Avenue de l Europe 64000 - PAU, FRANCE
Tel : +33(0), Email :, Web :

Mercure Pau Palais des Sports In a nice green setting, 15 minutes from Pau Airport and 10 minutes from railway station and city center. During summer the hotel opens a pleasant and shady terrace, close to the swimming pool.

Destination Pau

Palais Beaumont - Historic Conference Centre, Parc Beaumont 64000 PAU FRANCE
Tel : +33 (0)559 112 005, Email :, web

In Pau, your conferences are in a real Palace. Winter Palace of the English Aristocracy in the 19th Century, Casino in the 20th Century, Le Palais Beaumont has been renovated and opened in 2000. Located in the city center of Pau, inside a 12-hectare park, it offers 8500 sqm of exotic meeting rooms facing the mountains, adapted to all kind of events from 5 to 750 people.
2 auditoriums of 196 and 540 seats, 10 meeting rooms with day-light, 3 halls facing the pyrenees, wireless & high speed debit Inrternet equipment.

Le Clos des Mirabel

Clos Mirabel – 276 av des Freres Barthelemy, 64110 Jurancon, France
Tel: +33 (0)559 063 283, Email:, Website:

Clos Mirabel is a beautiful 15-acre estate between coast and mountains. Its 18th century manor house is set in private parkland amidst the gentle hills of Jurancon with magnificent uninterrupted views out over vineyards to the chain of the Pyrénées Atlantiques. Stay in elegant bed and breakfast or self-catering accommodation.

Pau airport is only 7km north of the city. Hourly shuttle buses take 30 minutes to reach the central railway station for €1 each way. If time is short, take a taxi to the centre for about €25. A free funicular takes you up the steep hill from the SNCF railway station to the Boulevard des Pyrénées.

Once you’re in Pau’s compact centre, everything you want to see is within easy walking distance. There is a small bus network, or you can hop on one of the IDECycles you can rent from 20 stations scattered around the town.

Pau Airport Information

Pau Pyrénées Airport (PUF)


General information

Getting to Pau
CityJet flights from London City LCY to Pau.
For the full timetable click here.

The airport is situated 10km (6 miles) northwest of Pau and the popular holiday resort of Biarritz is just a short 60 minute drive away. 

For departures from Pau to London City LCY check-in will close 40 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time.

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Car Rental
For exclusive discounts of up to 15% and up to 800 Flying Blue Miles, rent from our exclusive car rental partner Hertz at Pau Pyrenees Airport.

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Hertz Car Hire

Car parking
There are two car parks at your disposal with a total of 1,300 spaces. Long-stay car park P2 is better value for money if you are leaving your vehicle for more than 24 hours.

The complete list of approved Airport taxis is available from the Information Desk. It is also on display at the entrance to the terminal.

Public transport
The "Proxilis 20" bus route links Pau-Pyrenees Airport to Pau town centre and Pau train station. The journey time is about 30 minutes.

Chauffeur service
Magellan Global offer premium quality transport to and from the airport with a free 'meet and greet' service included in the price. You can book anything from a standard saloon to an S class Mercedes.
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