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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.

While Avignon itself offers plenty of things to do, many travelers use it as a jumping-off point for a Provence tour. Arles and Nimes are each less than an hour's drive away. Gorges du Verdon, with its massive ancient Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard, is another nearby spot. And for a taste of the outdoors, the wild landscapes of the Luberon and the world-renowned wineries of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape region are relatively accessible from Avignon.

Top 10 attractions in Avignon



Visitors to Provence understandably concentrate on Avignon, Arles, and the charming towns, villages and vineyards in the region. And if you stick to that, you'll have a great time! But just as understandable is that while beautiful, these towns can all seem to blend together after a while. If that's the case, then you should head to the Camargue. Located in the southwest corner of Provence, the Camargue is a stretch of wetlands that also include salt fields and rice paddies as well as vineyards. The main town and jumping-off point for exploring the Camargue is Aigues-Mortes, a medieval walled town that is a great lunchtime spot – and you'll want to fuel up, as the Camargue is largely untouched. Although it is protected land, there are pockets of population that tend to the lands and work hard to protect its pristine geographical features. These include the famous wild horses of the Camargue, white horses largely allowed to roam free, although French cowboys.More

Pont du Gard

The Pont du Gard is a 50 kilometer (31 miles) aqueduct that stretches between Uzès and Nîmes. It is located in Vers-Pont-du-Gard commune in the South of France, and UNESCO made the aqueduct a World Heritage Site in 1985. The famous aqueduct was constructed by the Roman Empire in the mid first century, before the dawn of the Christian era. The bridge is almost 50 meters high (164 feet) and has 3 levels, the longest being 275 meters (902 feet). Its first level carries a road and its third level carries a water conduit. The Pont du Gard is currently one of the most visited attractions in all of France.More

Senanque Abbey (Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque)

The 12th-century Sénanque Abbey, which to this day is the home and worshiping place of Cistercian monks, has no great history. There are no iconic frescoes or statues to see, and while pretty, it isn't especially notable architecturally. So why is it on every visitor's must-see list when visiting Provence? One word: lavender. The monks here grow, harvest and process lavender from the surrounding fields, which means that come June visitors have a front-row seat to one of the most gorgeous photo ops of all time. Whether passing by in a car or stopping to smell the flowers, the Sénanque Abbey, near Gordes, is a summertime treat.More

Palace of the Popes (Palais des Papes)

The Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) is one of the largest Gothic buildings in all of Europe and was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995. Avignon became the residence of the Popes in 1309 during the period of the Avignon Papacy. It was then expanded and grew to occupy an area of 11,000 m² (2.6 acres). The papacy spent a large amount of money on the building during construction. The interiors are no less grand than the exteriors; the rooms were luxuriously decorated with expensive frescos, tapestries, paintings, sculptures and wooden ceilings. The palais deteriorated for the next couple of hundred years despite restoration efforts and was then sacked during the Revolutionary period. The Palais was eventually taken over by the Napoleonic government for military use during which time it further deteriorated. It finally became a national museum in 1906, and most of the Palais is now open to the public.More

Lavender Museum (Musee de la Lavande)

The Lavender Museum in Coustellet is at the farm where this brilliantly colored, fragrant plant is grown, harvested and processed into all kinds of products. But far from being a factory or simply a museum, it's a family-run business dating back five generations, and the pride in their work is immediately apparent to visitors. Included in the museum is a large collection of vintage distilling machines and other implements used as far back as the 17th century; this was the hobby of one of the Lincelé sons. There is also a film about the distilling process and guided tours as well. It's a wonderful, in-depth look at how lavender is used, and even better, it's open even when the fields are not in bloom!More



St. Benezet Bridge (Pont d'Avignon)

The St. Benezet Bridge - known as the Pont d’Avignon - is a famous bridge located in Avignon. The 12th century bridge originally spanned 900 m (2,950ft) across the Rhône River. The bridge collapsed frequently and was reconstructed multiple times. Today, only 4 of the original 22 arches remain complete.More

Rhone Valley Region

The lands on either side of the Rhone River in western Provence have some of the most fertile terroir in France, giving rise to the prestige of the Rhone Valley Region of over 1,000 vineyards. If you're visiting France and want to explore a wine region that also has plenty of history and beautiful villages to boot, then you want to come to the Rhone Valley. Because the long region runs north to south along the river's path, there are two separate sub-regions. The northern of the two are greatly affected by the Massif Central mountain range, and this the soil is tougher and the temperature swings are greater from season to season. The southern sub-region, on the other hand, is generally more mild throughout the year, but daily temperature swings are a factor in the terroir; its pebbly soil helps to retain the heat of the day to protect the vines at night.More


It's a history that stretches back to pre-Roman times, with various evidence of Bronze Age settlements. But with the Romans came more permanent colonization; soldiers were often given tracts of land in the area as payment for battles. The original Roman gates are still there, as is the Colosseum-style arena. Check the city's entertainment schedule before visiting, and catch a concert inside – something you can't do in Rome! Throughout the city are various ruins that have been preserved as best as possible, but the jewel of Nimes is without a doubt the temple Maison Carrée. Built just before the turn of the millennium, its near-perfect condition makes it one of the finest examples of Roman architecture found anywhere in the world. Thomas Jefferson was so taken with it, in fact, that he has the statehouse in Virginia built in its likeness! Today Nimes is a fairly large and bustling city, with great restaurants and gorgeous parks and other public green spaces.More


When you stand at the precipice of the precariously perched Gordes in Provence and look into the valley below, you'll see a road leading away towards Apt. See it? That road is thousands of years old, built by the Romans. So in case the town itself doesn't knock your socks off – and if it doesn't, check your pulse – then the sight of that road should make you realize just how much history there is in this area of France. And the history of Gordes doesn't stop with the Romans; from fortifications against Arabs in the first millennium to the 12th century Sénanque Abbey surrounded by lavender to its eventual addition as a French royal provence in the Middle Ages and a Resistance stronghold during WWII, this is not your run-of-the-mill charming village.More

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Top activities in Avignon

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Recent reviews from experiences in Avignon

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.
It was an amazing excursion...
Svetlana33, Oct 2017
Marseille Shore Excursion: Private Tour of Avignon and Chateauneuf-du-Pape
I highly recommend this excursion for people who want to visit Avignon and learn/taste great wines of Chateauneuf-du-Pape in one day.
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!
Our guide was exceptionally...
Rog, 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).
Our guide Julien was very helpful...
Cristina B, Jul 2016
Provence Lavender 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.
Anais was our tour guide and driver...
Mariane P, Oct 2011
Private Day Trip to Nice and Monaco
She communicates well in both English and French.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The rain couldn't ruin the day!
aminahbharadia, Jul 2019
Provence Lavender 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.
Fabulous Guided Tour Of Lavender Fields And Villages East Of Avignon
DaveK2447, Jul 2019
Lavender Route Small-Group Day Trip from Avignon
The restaurant recommendations and places to see in Avignon were also very helpful and added to our enjoyment of the town.
What a full and exciting day! Anne...
jcrowley, Sep 2018
Full-Day Highlights of Provence Tour from Avignon
Anne's English was excellent - so easy to talk with her.
Our guide was very knowledgeable...
David S, Sep 2017
Luberon, Roussillon & Gordes Half-Day Tour from Avignon
Time spent at each stop was well balanced with maximizing a generous number of sites and towns to see on the tour.
My son and I booked a tour with...
Marjorie M, Apr 2018
Arles and Camargue Small-Group Half-Day Tour from Avignon
We did not get to view all that many animals as you would in the spring and summer, but nevertheless it was a study in nature.
This tour was excellent. It is...
namienana, Jul 2016
Small-Group Day Trip to Arles, the Alpilles and Pont du Gard from Avignon
It is nicely planned so we can see the highlights of Provence in a day in relaxing manner, and it was all done through great transportation and guide - adding that much more comfort to a hot summer day!
The tour was completely as...
Margaret A, Mar 2016
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Small-Group Wine Day Tour from Avignon
She used perfect English and also was very patient in letting us practice our French.
This was a wonderful tour. Our...
surferjoe13, Nov 2015
Châteauneuf du Pape Wine Day Tasting Tour including Lunch from Avignon
His English was perfect, he was very personable, and we enjoyed his company.
Marie-Laure was a great guide, very...
Dina F, Aug 2015
Marseille Shore Excursion: Private Tour of Avignon
Avignon was a very charming town to visit.
Due to the festival it was not...
Julie W, Aug 2015
Rhone Valley Wine Tour with Chateauneuf-du-Pape & Tavel from Avignon
The actual tour was really enjoyable and our guide was extremely knowledgeable about the wine and the area and as we had not hired a car during our stay in Avignon, this tour gave us the opportunity to see some of the countryside on the other side of

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