Exploring Avignon, France: The 10 Must-Visit Places and 5 to Avoid
Avignon, located in southeastern France, is a charming city that’s full of history and culture. Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities or some time to relax, Avignon has something for everyone. Here is a guide to the 10 must-visit places and 5 to avoid when exploring Avignon.
1. Palais des Papes (Pope’s Palace)
The Palais des Papes is the largest Gothic palace in Europe and was once the seat of the papacy during the 14th century. Today, the palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and open to the public. Visitors can explore the grand halls and courtyards, as well as admire the stunning views from the top of the tower.
2. Pont d’Avignon
The Pont d’Avignon is a famous bridge built in the 12th century that crosses the Rhone River. The bridge is best known for the popular children’s song “Sur le Pont d’Avignon” and the annual festival held each summer. Visitors can take a stroll across the bridge and admire the stunning views of the river and city.
3. Cathédrale Notre Dame des Doms
Cathédrale Notre Dame des Doms is a beautiful Romanesque cathedral located on the highest hill in Avignon. The cathedral is renowned for its ornate sculptures and stained glass windows. Visitors can explore the interior of the cathedral and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
4. Place de l’Horloge
Place de l’Horloge is a lively square located in the center of Avignon. It is surrounded by a variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops. The square is also home to the iconic clock tower, which is a popular spot for photos. Visitors can spend the afternoon exploring the square and its surrounding area.
5. Rocher des Doms
Rocher des Doms is a large park located on the hill overlooking the city. It is a great spot for picnics and offers stunning views of the city and surrounding countryside. The park is also home to a variety of plants and animals, making it a great spot for nature lovers.
6. Musée du Petit Palais
The Musée du Petit Palais is a museum located in the former papal palace. The museum houses a collection of Renaissance art and sculptures, as well as artifacts from the Middle Ages. Visitors can explore the museum and learn more about the history of Avignon and the papacy.
7. Théâtre Antique d’Orange
The Théâtre Antique d’Orange is an ancient Roman theatre located in the nearby city of Orange. The theatre was built in the 1st century AD and is one of the best preserved Roman theatres in Europe. Visitors can explore the theatre and attend performances at the annual opera festival.
8. Les Halles d’Avignon
Les Halles d’Avignon is a covered market located in the heart of the city. The market is full of fresh produce, seafood, cheese, and other local specialties. Visitors can explore the market and sample some of the delicious food.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a small village located just outside of Avignon. The village is home to some of the best wineries in the world and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors can explore the vineyards and sample some of the delicious wines.
10. Jardin des Doms
Jardin des Doms is a beautiful garden located next to the Palais des Papes. The garden is full of lush greenery and is a great spot for a relaxing stroll. Visitors can admire the stunning views of the city and explore the various pathways.
Places to Avoid
1. La Tour Philippe le Bel
La Tour Philippe le Bel is an old tower located near the Palais des Papes. The tower is in poor condition and not safe to enter. Visitors should avoid this area and instead explore the nearby Palais des Papes.
2. Quartier des Teinturiers
The Quartier des Teinturiers is a historically important area of Avignon, but is now known for its crime rate. Visitors should avoid this area and instead explore the nearby Palais des Papes and Place de l’Horloge.
3. La Porte de l’Oulle
La Porte de l’Oulle is an old gate located on the outskirts of the city. The area is known for its high crime rate and should be avoided by visitors.
4. Fort Saint-André
Fort Saint-André is a fort located on the outskirts of the city. The fort is in a state of disrepair and is not open to the public. Visitors should avoid this area and explore the nearby Palais des Papes instead.
5. Place de la Comédie
Place de la Comédie is a square located in the city center. The square is known for its high crime rate and visitors should avoid this area and instead explore the nearby Place de l’Horloge.
Avignon is a charming city that’s full of history and culture. From exploring the Palais des Papes to strolling across the Pont d’Avignon, there are plenty of must-visit places in Avignon. However, there are also some places to avoid, such as La Tour Philippe le Bel and Quartier des Teinturiers. With this guide, you can explore the best of Avignon and have an unforgettable experience.