With just one day in Avignon, you’ll get to experience the city’s medieval ramparts, go on a short trip out to the lavender fields of Provence, and make it back in time for dinner and drinks in the city’s main square. Here’s how to make the most of your day.
Morning: Avignon Highlights
Spend your first morning visiting Avignon's most important attraction, the 14th-century Palais des Papes (Papal Palace). This is the largest Gothic palace in Europe and features everything from tapestries to carved wooden ceilings; highlights include the Saint-Martial Chapel, filled with old frescoes, and the Grand Chapel. Walking tours provide a great way to orient yourself in Avignon’s historic centre, with some including a skip-the-line admission ticket to Pope’s Palace. Other likely stops include Avignon Cathedral, which dates to the 13th century, the medieval St. Benezet Bridge, aka Pont d'Avignon).
Afternoon: The Countryside of Provence
In the afternoon, grab a quick lunch in the city center before heading out to the countryside to see some of Provence's famous lavender fields, which bloom in the summer months. While you could rent a car, you can save time and avoid navigating unfamiliar roads by joining a lavender tour. Some tours stop in Coustellet to check out the Lavender Museum, while most give you free time to explore the villages of Gordes and Roussillon—both of which are well worth visiting even outside of lavender season.
Night: Place d’Horloge
In the evening, make your way back to Avignon for dinner and drinks. While there are great places to dine and drink all over the city, you'll find the most activity around the main city square of Place de l'Horloge, where most bars, cafes, and restaurants have terraces for alfresco dining. You may even be able to catch a performance at the city's opera house, which sits right on the square—book tickets in advance to secure your seat. There's also a movie theater around the corner that screens a variety of French and international films; English-language films marked VO (version original) won’t be dubbed.