Avignon is a small town located in the region of Provence, in the south of France. The ancient town was for some time capital of Christendom in the Middle Ages and it still retains its mark of its grandiose destiny: the Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) and the stunning Saint-Benezet bridge, also known as the Pont d’Avignon.
Avignon was the birthplace of contemporary theatre and also has many museums, an opera house, and an exhibition hall. Not only is Avignon a stunning artistic hotspot, famed for wine and seasonal cuisine, you’ll also be spoilt for choice with UNESCO World Heritage sites in the ancient south-eastern town.
- Did you know that Avignon was named the European Capital of Culture in 2000?
TO SEE AND DO IN THE CITY
- Le Pont Saint-Bénéze: the construction of this cathedral lasted from 1273 to 1888, and the six centuries of history which unfurled throughout the project are evident in the style of the building itself. When walking around, you will be able to see features from a variety of architectural movements, including Romanesque and Gothic. (see below)
- Le Palais des Papes: The medieval Gothic “Palace of the Popes” was once the seat of Western Christianity during the 14th century. Today, it hosts artistic and theatrical events, and you can even visit the palace in augmented reality to see how it used to look. Whatever your interests, this top 10 French attraction is not to be missed.
- La Place de l’Horloge: Just a stone’s throw from the Palais des Papes, this lively and reasonably-priced square in the heart of Avignon buzzes with restaurants and brasseries. It’s the perfect stop for a coffee or a bite to eat on a terrace with a view.
- Musuems: The city boasts some wonderful art museums and galleries. Don’t miss the Musée du Petit Palais to see some Italian paintings, the Collection Lambert for more modern art, and the Musée Calvet for some fascinating Egyptian art, situated in a beautiful building.
- Around Avignon: There are excellent deals to be found for hotels in the city centre, so if you have more than a day in Avignon, why not take a trip west to walk over the Pont du Gard, the extraordinary 2000 year-old, three-level Roman aqueduct, or head north to the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape to taste some of France’s best wine.
- Le Festival d’Avignon: If you’re looking to visit in the summer, Avignon hosts one of the world’s biggest contemporary performing arts festivals. Every year in July, the city and its landmarks become theatres, welcoming tens of thousands of visitors to see 3,500 performers throughout the day and summer evenings. Find out more HERE.