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Things to do in Avignon

Things to do in  Avignon

Welcome to Avignon

The riverside city of Avignon in the Provence region of southern France entices travelers with stone architecture, a storied religious past, and close proximity to other Provencal towns. The city's UNESCO-listed historic center served as the home of the Avignon Papacy for nearly 70 years, and many of the medieval stone structures related to this time remain, including the enormous Palais des Papes (Pope's Palace). Other notable monuments in central Avignon include the 12th-century cathedral and the Hotel d'Europe (one of France's oldest hotels), and a stroll along the Rhone River will take you to the remnants of the Medieval Pont d'Avignon bridge, which inspired a song in the late 19th century.

Top 15 attractions in Avignon

#1
Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard

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Reaching a height of almost 160 feet (49 meters), the three-tiered Pont du Gard bridge was part of a 31-mile (50-kilometer) Roman aqueduct network that carried water from a source at Eure to bathhouses, fountains, and patrician villas in Nîmes. Constructed in the first century, the ancient engineering marvel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.More
#2
Gordes

Gordes

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Made famous by Peter Mayle’s bookA Year in Provence, the Provençal village of Gordes boasts an idyllic setting atop the Vaucluse plateau. With its maze of cobbled lanes, honey-colored stone buildings, and medieval chateau, it’s easy to see why Gordes is hailed as one of France’s most beautiful villages.More
#3
Roussillon

Roussillon

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While Provence is more a state of mind than a place – you can't actually point to Provence on a map – the hilltop village of Roussillon is exactly what visitors think of when they say they want to visit Provence. Picturesque, compact, colorful and with astounding views of the countryside, this village in the Vaucluse couldn't be more charmingly Provençal if it tried.The almost candy-like colors of the buildings come from the surrounding earth; Roussillon lies on one of the largest ocre deposits in the world and has prehistoric origins. After a stroll around the village, take the Giants' Causeway (Sentier des Ocres), a cliffside trail loop that features the bright orange sands and plenty of forest to explore.More
#4
Camargue

Camargue

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Located in southwest Provence, the Camargue is one of France’s wildest and most scenic landscapes. Protected as a regional natural park, the expanse of wetlands, beaches, salt pans, and rice paddies is known for its herds of white Camargue horses and Camargue bulls, all tended to by localgardians (cowboys).More
#5
Orange

Orange

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The French town of Orange is a popular destination known not only for its sunny, picturesque charm, but also for its long history. Visit to see it’s impressive Roman architecture, which include some of the world’s most notable examples outside of Rome itself.More
#6
Senanque Abbey (Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque)

Senanque Abbey (Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque)

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The 12th-century Sénanque Abbey outside of Gordes is run by a small community of Cistercian monks who fastidiously grow, harvest and process lavender from the surrounding fields. Come June, thongs of visitors arrive to lay witness to the enormously beautiful and fragrant landscapes and the abbey’s impressive botanical production.More
#7
Palace of the Popes (Palais des Papes)

Palace of the Popes (Palais des Papes)

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The largest Gothic palace in the world, Avignon’s Palace of the Popes (Palais des Papes) was home to the heads of the Roman Catholic Church in the 14th century. Visitors can tour the grand rooms, landscaped gardens, and secret passages used by members of the clergy, and see special exhibitions and concerts held at the palace.More
#8
St. Benezet Bridge (Pont d'Avignon)

St. Benezet Bridge (Pont d'Avignon)

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The Saint Benezet Bridge, better known as the Pont d’Avignon is Avignon’s most famous landmark, immortalized in the popular French children’s song. Only a small section of the original bridge across the Rhone river remains.More
#9
Nimes

Nimes

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With a history dating back to the Bronze Age, Nimes is one of France’s oldest cities. Its Roman ruins—which include the UNESCO-listed Pont du Gard aqueduct and Colosseum-inspired Arènes de Nîmes—still take centerstage in the modern city.More
#10
Uzes

Uzes

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With its white-stone buildings, Renaissance architecture, and traditional French market, Uzès is a picturesque pocket of Languedoc that’s all-too-often overlooked by visitors. The city’s Roman roots link it to the region’s most memorable monument, the UNESCO-listed Pont du Gard aqueduct, which delivered water from Uzès to Nîmes in ancient times.More
#11
Les Halles Market

Les Halles Market

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Across dozens of aromatic stalls, Avignon’s famous Les Halles Market offers a cornucopia of Provençal culinary delicacies including cheeses of all kinds, meats, fruits, vegetables, breads, tapanades, olives, oysters, foie gras, and sea salt perfumed with lavender or rose petals. Look for the wine bar whose facade is covered in a frothy vegetable garden designed by botanist Patrick Blanc.More
#12
Avignon Cathedral (Cathedrale Notre-Dame des Doms)

Avignon Cathedral (Cathedrale Notre-Dame des Doms)

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Perched between the magnificent UNESCO-listed Palais des Papes and the hilltop Rocher des Doms, the Avignon Cathedral (Cathedrale Notre-Dame des Doms) is somewhat eclipsed by its neighboring tourist magnets. While the Cathedral’s comparatively demure façade fails to incite the same gasps as the castle-like Palais, its iconic bell tower, capped with a 4.5-tonne gold statue of the Virgin Mary, still demands attention from the passing crowds.The cathedral has a history dating back to the 12th century, but the majority of the present-day building dates from the 15th and 17th centuries. Most notable are the richly decorated Romanesque-style interiors, where highlights include a 12th century marble throne, a beautiful gilded organ and a chapel dedicated to John XXII, housing an array of artifacts and religious icons.More
#13
Lavender Museum (Musee de la Lavande)

Lavender Museum (Musee de la Lavande)

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In the heart of Provence, the Coustellet Lavender Museum is a showcase, educational center and production facility promoting the beauty and medicinal benefits of the fragrant purple plant. Run by the Lincelé family for five generations, lavender is grown and harvested in their farm and distilled in an old factory into various products for purchase in the boutique.More
#14
Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

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Within the Camargue region in the South of France, Les Saintes Maries de la Mer is located where the Rhône river meets the Mediterranean Sea. This popular summertime beach destination is a great base from which to explore the outstanding natural beauty of the coastline and natural reserve.More
#15
Les Baux-de-Provence

Les Baux-de-Provence

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Perched on top of a huge rock, Les Baux de Provence is one of the region’s most popular destinations. It’s a must visit for many people traveling to Provence, and has been named as one of France’s most beautiful villages. Aside from the impressive location and panoramic views, visitors to the village can enjoy the unique Carrières des Lumières art installation, where images of famous artworks and photography are projected onto sheer walls of rock.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Avignon

How to Spend 1 Day in Avignon

How to Spend 2 Days in Avignon

How to Spend 2 Days in Avignon

How to Spend 3 Days in Avignon

How to Spend 3 Days in Avignon

Top activities in Avignon

Châteauneuf du Pape Wine Day Tasting Tour including Lunch from Avignon
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Luberon, Roussillon & Gordes Half-Day Tour from Avignon
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Rhone Valley Wine Tour with Chateauneuf-du-Pape & Tavel from Avignon
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Chateauneuf du Pape wine tour
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Chateauneuf du Pape wine tour

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Provence Highlights Full-Day Tour from Avignon
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Provence Cru Wine Small-Group Half-Day Tour from Avignon
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Half-Day Provence Pont du Gard and Wine Tasting Tour from Avignon
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Nimes, Uzes & Pont du Gard Small Group Half-Day Tour from Avignon
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Morning Wine Tour To Chateauneuf du Pape
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Full Day Best of Provence Tour from Avignon
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Recent reviews from experiences in Avignon

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Great way to see Avignon!
Megan_M, Sep 2021
Luberon, Roussillon & Gordes Half-Day Tour from Avignon
Best way to see Avignon!
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Great conversation, sites, and wine!
Kristi_K, Aug 2021
Half-Day Provence Pont du Gard and Wine Tasting Tour from Avignon
To visit Avignon and not take a tour with her or a colleague would be a disservice to yourself!
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Great tour in the Avignon area!
Deirdrecoit, Jul 2018
Private Provence Tour: In the Footsteps of Van Gogh
Remy, so glad we got to see that.
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Loved our private tour with Gordana...
rachelsatterfield, Nov 2017
Nimes, Uzes & Pont du Gard Small Group Half-Day Tour from Avignon
She is a lovely woman with tons of information and great English!
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This was a great tour. Melanie...
kevin_o, May 2017
Van Gogh in Arles & St Remy, Wine Tour in Chateauneuf du Pape from Avignon
Melanie was very conversant in English and extremely knowledgeable about all of the areas that were toured.
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Our guide was exceptionally...
Roger_S, Jul 2016
Avignon Walking Tour including Skip-the-Line Entrance to the Pope's Palace
What made this trip were the stories about previous figures and landmarks and it's a terrific way to see Avignon (as it's quite small).
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Our guide Julien was very helpful...
Cristina B, Jul 2016
Lavender in Luberon Small Group Half-Day Trip
He was also very helpful in giving tips about other places to visit in Avignon and the tour was very agreeable.
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Our guide Emanuel gave us an amazing...
Anne S, Mar 2016
Highlights of Provence : Chateauneuf du Pape & Luberon
I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone wanting to see places outside Avignon.
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This particular tour was not...
Catherine, Oct 2012
Van Gogh in Arles & St Remy, Wine Tour in Chateauneuf du Pape from Avignon
So much to see outside Avignon, a great place to visit.
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The Avignon tour was comprehensive and...
Janet S, Aug 2009
Provence in One Day Small Group Day Trip from Avignon
Avignon is a fascinating place to visit!
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Great scenery, great guide. A chance to...
Craig H, Aug 2008
Small Group Provence and Lavender Museum Day Trip from Avignon
A chance to see a Provence village, take great photos, enjoy a market stop all in one day.
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Fabulous cooking class
David_S, Oct 2021
Cooking workshop with an exceptional chef in Avignon
John taught our course in English, but he is also fluent in French and obviously has cultivated great collegial relationships with shop owners throughout the market.
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Amazing day around Provence
Neal_T, Aug 2021
Provence Highlights Full-Day Tour from Avignon
This was an awesome way to see a lot of Provence in a short time.
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Wonderful views and great guide!
Stephanie_Y, Jun 2021
Full day lavender tour Luberon and Sault
Because of the cooler spring, we were a little early to see full blooming lavender south of Avignon, but our guide quickly shifted and gave us the option to stay on the original course and see the early blooms or head north and see full blooms.
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Excellent tour
Nithesh_Erakkara, Jul 2020
Lavender Route Small-Group Day Trip from Avignon
We had a chance to visit a private field and we had entire field to just 4 persons.
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Highly recommended!
Sehrish_D, Mar 2020
Nimes, Uzes & Pont du Gard Small Group Half-Day Tour from Avignon
This is a wonderful half-day trip from Avignon with adequate time to see the sites and towns.
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Excellent ++ tour of Luberon area of Provence
Patricia_T, Nov 2019
Best of Luberon in an afternoon from Avignon
The itinerary was to see the town of Roussillon, Gorde, Les Baux and Pont du Gard.
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Excellent Day Tour
Karen H, Oct 2019
Châteauneuf du Pape Wine Day Tasting Tour including Lunch from Avignon
He spoke English so we had not communication issues.
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A good overview of the region
Angela_S, Aug 2019
Provence in One Day Small Group Day Trip from Avignon
All in all, a lovely day and great way to see the area when you have limited time.
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The rain couldn't ruin the day!
Aminah_B, Jul 2019
Lavender in Luberon Small Group Half-Day Trip
Late July maybe wasn't the best time to go as much of the lavender was harvested but the guide made sure we still got to see great fields.

People Also Ask

How many days do you need in Avignon?

Avignon is often visited as a day trip during longer excursions through Provence. But it also makes a great base for exploring surrounding towns and villages, including Arles (where Van Gogh created many of his paintings) and the salt marshes of the Camargue, famous for its wild horses and pink flamingoes.

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What can you do in Avignon in one day?

A full day is just enough time to visit the 14th-century Palais des Papes, or Papal Palace, once the seat of Christianity before the Vatican; stroll down or photograph the remains of the medieval-era Pont de l’Avignon (Avignon Bridge); and explore the winding, café-and-boutique-filled streets of the historic center.

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Which festival is Avignon famous for?

The Festival d'Avignon, or Avignon Festival, has been an annual showcase for contemporary European theater, dance, and art since 1947, when it was founded by French actor Jean Vilar. Held for several weeks each July, the festival uses iconic sites like the Palais des Papes (Papal Palace) for its stages.

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Is Avignon worth visiting?

Yes. With its sunny, southern climate, unique medieval heritage, charming historic center, and enviable transport links (it’s reachable in under three hours by TGV from Paris), Avignon is a destination well-worth spending one or several days. Have any longer, and you can explore the surrounding countryside as well.

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What is Avignon in English?

“Avignon” is a French place name with origins in ancient Greek and Latin, a testament to the city’s millennia-long heritage. The famous pont de l’Avignon remains especially iconic owing to a popular French song dating back to the 16th century, “Sur the pont de l’Avignon” (“On Avignon Bridge”).

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Is Avignon dangerous?

No, Avignon, like the rest of Provence, is one of the safest parts of France. Keep in mind, though, that it’s still a city, albeit a very small one. Minor thefts and pickpocketing can still occur, so carry only a photocopy of your passport and consider keeping valuables in your hotel safe.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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