Palace of the Popes (Palais des Papes) Tours

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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.
 
The Basics
The seat of the Roman Catholic Church moved from Rome to Avignon in the South of France in 1305, under the orders of Pope Clement V. Some 30 years later, construction of a huge papal palace began under Pope Benedict XII, on the site of the former Bishop’s Palace. The enormous scale of the fortified building can only really be appreciated in person. The interiors were equally grand, decorated with rich tapestries, frescoes, and carved wooden ceilings.
 
In later years, the palace served as a military barracks for Napoleon’s army, a prison, and even used as stables. It was restored as a museum in 1906. Highlights of the construction include the 170-foot-long (52 meter) Grand Chapel, and the central courtyard, which now plays host to theater and music performances. The palace draws visitors from all over the world who come to see the palace, often as part of a guided tour. Tours often combine the museum with visits to the nearby Chateauneuf-du-Pape winery and Provence.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Entry to the palace is via paid ticket.
  • Children under 8 enter for free.
  • An interactive Histopad guide device is included in the admission price.
  • Prebook a guided tour to skip the entry line.
  • The palace is not suitable for wheelchair users.
  • Visitors can stop for a drink at the rooftop cafe.
 
How to Get There
The palace is located in central Avignon and is accessible on foot or as part of a walking tour from other central locations, including the St. Benezet bridge. Guided tours with transport included depart from towns including Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, and Paris.
 
When to Get There
The Palais des Papes is open every day of the year. Most people spend around two hours exploring the museum. Opening hours are seasonal: From April to June, it is open 9am–7pm. In July, 9am–8pm. In August, 9am–8:30pm. From September to February, 9:30am–5:45pm. In March, from 9am–6:30pm. Last entry is one hour before closing.
 
Experience the Avignon Jazz Festival
For one week every summer, the town of Avignon comes alive to the sound of jazz music. The Avignon Jazz Festival has operated since 1992 and welcomes some of the top names in jazz music to the Provencal city. Restaurants and cafes fill with music enthusiasts and there’s a celebratory atmosphere that all visitors will enjoy.
Location
Address: 6, rue Pente Rapide, Avignon 84000, France
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Admission: Varies
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Best of Provence Day Trip from Marseille: Avignon, Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Les Baux de Provence

Soak up the bounty, beauty and history of Provence on a full-day trip from Marseille. In Avignon, the ‘City of Popes,’ you’ll discover ancient and medieval art and architecture on a guided, small-group tour. Pop into the Popes’ Palace (own expense) before continuing to Châteauneuf-du-Pape to sample fine Provençal wines in an elegant château. Finish with a visit to the medieval hilltop village of Les Baux de Provence.
  • Duration: 10 hours 30 minutes
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US$150.36
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  • Duration: 10 hours 30 minutes
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US$150.36

Avignon Walking Tour Including Skip-the-Line Entrance to the Pope's Palace

See the best of beautiful, medieval Avignon on this 3-hour walking tour with skip-the-line access to Popes’ Palace. Learn the history of this exquisite UNESCO-listed city with ancient Roman roots and celebrity as the 14th-century seat of the Papacy. Admire hilltop views of the Rhône River, breeze into Popes’ Palace to tour the ornate chambers and chapels, and enjoy a glass of Côtes du Rhône wine near the Place de l’Horloge.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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US$63.61
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
US$63.61

Avignon and Provence Day Trip from Paris by TGV Train

Take the high-speed TGV train from Paris to Provence on this day trip that includes visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites in Avignon and more. As you soak up the beauty of one of France’s most loved regions, learn about its historical significance at places like St Rémy de Provence, Les Baux de Provence, the Pont du Gard and Avignon’s famous Popes’ Palace. See Roman runs, have free time for lunch and enjoy interesting commentary from an informative guide.
  • Duration: 1 day
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US$461.49
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  • Duration: 1 day
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US$461.49

Avignon and Provence Independent City Tour

Discover Avignon, an UNESCO World Heritage Site that once served as the seat of papal power. Embark on an independent tour of the city and its surrounds with this unique package, which includes fast-track entry and an audio tour of the Popes' Palace, Europe's largest Gothic palace. Enjoy the same for Pont d'Avignon, a stunning bridge that's been immortalized in the French children's song, 'Sur le Pont d'Avignon.' In addition, your ticket offers a choice of 4 half-day minivan tours within Provence. Themes include 'Culture and Wine' and 'Van Gogh.'
  • Duration: 12 hours
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US$115.66
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  • Duration: 12 hours
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US$115.66

Discover Provence including Avignon and Luberon Villages from Avignon

Get to see the highlights of Provence region with a very scenic and full of diversity itinerary covering the city of Avignon and the Luberon regional park hilltop villages featuring Gordes on board a minivan with your national guide and driver. This is a door to door private tour that can be fully customized acording to your wish and expectations.
  • Duration: 8 hours
From
US$809.63
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  • Duration: 8 hours
From
US$809.63


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