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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


Renowned for its full-bodied reds, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is one of the breakout stars of the Rhône Valley wine region and a firm favorite among wine lovers. The hilltop village is undeniably picturesque, with its imposing castle, atmospheric medieval streets, and magnificent views over the vineyards below.More

Pont du Gard

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


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


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

Senanque Abbey (Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque)

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

Palace of the Popes (Palais des Papes)

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

St. Benezet Bridge (Pont d'Avignon)

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


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


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


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

Les Halles Market

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

Les Baux-de-Provence

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

Avignon Cathedral (Cathedrale Notre-Dame des Doms)

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

Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

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

Church of St. Trophime (Eglise St-Trophime)

The Church of St. Trophime, or Eglise St-Trophime in French, is a masterpiece of 12th-century Romanesque architecture in the Provençal city of Arles, which is located on the banks of the River Rhône and on the doorstep of the wild, marshy Camargue. Along with the city’s many Roman remains, the church was UNESCO World Heritage-listed in 1981; it was constructed from pale-hued stone in the 11th and 12th centuries and dedicated to Trophime, who was an early bishop of Arles and later its patron saint.Its magnificent, colonnaded Romanesque portal was restored in the late 20th century; its carvings depict the Last Judgment, with Christ overseeing anguished sinners being dragged down into Hell and the righteous ascending to Heaven. Statues of lions, the Apostles and other saints guard the entrance to the church, which is austere and symmetrical on the inside. The adjoining cloisters surround a tranquil garden and are a combination of Romanesque and late- Gothic architecture, with ornate columns and pillars covered with sculptures of biblical scenes and figures of saints.The church’s chapter house has a long medieval hall with a vaulted ceiling and displays some Gobelin tapestries alongside occasional temporary exhibitions.More
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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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Chateauneuf-du-Pape Prestige Wine Tour from Avignon
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Half-Day Van Gogh Tour of Provence from Avignon
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Provence Cru Wine Small-Group Half-Day Tour from Avignon
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Chateauneuf du Pape wine tour

Chateauneuf du Pape wine tour

Nimes, Uzes & Pont du Gard Small Group Half-Day Tour from Avignon
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Half day private tour for 2-3 person
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Half day private tour for 2-3 person

per group
Full Day Best of Provence Tour from Avignon
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Half-Day Provence Pont du Gard and Wine Tasting Tour from Avignon
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All about Avignon

When to visit

More than 100,000 visitors attend the Avignon Festival—one of France’s most prestigious arts festivals—each July. If you can handle the crowds, July and August are also the months to admire Provence’s lavender and sunflower fields in bloom, and the balmy temperatures are ideal for leisurely wine-tasting tours in the surrounding vineyards. Spring and autumn see fewer crowds and lower accommodation prices, and the cooler weather is better suited for hiking and outdoor activities.

Getting around

The sights of Avignon’s Old Town can be visited on a walking tour, or you can hop on one of the self-service Velopop’ bikes—day or week passes are available. For longer journeys, take the tram or catch one of the Baladines, electric shuttle buses that run around the Teinturiers and Halles d’Avignon districts. If you’re arriving by car, you might prefer to park at the Parking-Relais just outside of town and catch the free shuttle to the city center.

Traveler tips

Barthelasse Island lies just north of the city center along the Rhone River. Not only is it one of the largest river islands in Europe, but it’s also home to patchwork farmlands, scenic towpaths, riverside parks, and a campground. Rent a bike and pedal along the riverside, stopping to admire views of the Pont d’Avignon, the Rocher des Doms and the Palace of the Popes. You’ll get a nice view of Avignon from the island too.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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”).

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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