Avignon

Avignon is one of the major cities of Provence, in Southern France. It is the main city of the département of Vaucluse, and is on the banks of the Rhône river.

30 things to do

All Places



Theatre Festival

Avignon is famous the world over for its annual theatre festival. For three or four weeks in July the city is virtually swollen with street performers, actors, musicians, and of course the ubiquitous tourists. The festival is an excuse to turn any room with enough seating into a 'salle de spectacle' and the city is host to a wide variety of entertainment. The gem of this festival are the performances which take place inside the Pope's Palace itself. Tickets are expensive, but this is considered by many French and European thespians to be a crowning achievement of a career. The vast majority of performances are, of course, in French but a number of foreign companies perform in (eg) English. Even without attending any events, the atmosphere and street theatre give the city a marvellous feeling.

DO   —  Map

esclavebar

The best gay and straight friendly club in town, open 7/7, full every night with shows, house and cruising area. Entrance is free of charge all year except July (5€ including a drink) alcohol:8€ soft drinks:5€ beers:7€ frequented in summer by most of theatre festival artists and celebrities. The place is small but on two floors with a smoking area inside. Second floor there is a backroom, first floor a small bar (mostly gay male) with videos. Ground floor dj's, main bar, and a small dance floor. Most people arrive after bars closing hour (1:30AM) so come here later, it's a must! Very friendly staff (1st floor bartender speaks good English)

DRINK   —  +33490851491 —  10 rue du Limas


Auberge-Camping Bagatelle

This Hotel/ Hostel and Camp Site is situated on Ile de la Bathelasse in the centre of the Rhone . This is perhaps the best place to stay on a budget. It has great facilities and offers perhaps the best view of the center of Avignon. Carries a basic menu restaurant. Another benefit is that is placed directly between Avignon and the opposite town Villeneuve-les-Avignon, both begin within 10 minutes walk.

SLEEP   —  Île de la Barthelasse

Papal Palace

This is the palace where the Popes of Avignon ruled, during a period when the Papacy was divided, with a Pope in Rome and another in Avignon. Most of the artwork inside (statues, frescoes) was destroyed during the French Revolution, but the impressive building still stands, and little bits of artwork, such as those that were too high to be convenient to ruin, remain.



Le Vin Devant Soi

This wine shop has a permanent tasting machine set up with 32 wines. You purchase tasting credit for however much you like, they give you a card that you can put in the tasting machine to select the wine you want to taste. Tastes come in three different sizes, with different prices for different wines. The staff is very friendly, and there is a nice atmosphere.


Le Pont Saint-Bénezet

It is a ruined bridge not far from the Palais des Papes. The bridge was built in the Middle Ages — before the arrival of the Papacy — perhaps partly to allow the local bishop to cross the river to Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, where the church authorities had installed themselves because of Avignon's then-infamous dirt and lawlessness.

SEE   —  Map


Terre de Saveurs

Mixed vegetarian and meat menu using fresh local ingredients to produce food highlighting Mediterranean flavours. Main dishes with meat, €14.50, without €13.50. Starters at €8.50 and desserts €6.50. Sit outside on the terrace, or inside in the dining room. They also sell locally made jams and tapenades.


Gare d'Avignon TGV

Avignon lies on the [http://www.tgv.com/ TGV] line from Paris (2.5h) to Marseille. It is also served by numerous local and regional services. [http://eurostar.com/ Eurostar] operates several services a week from London St. Pancras International, with a journey time of around 6 hours



Avignon Hotel Monclar

Family run hotel overlooking a flowered garden, within a private carpark. Internet wi-fi available in the whole building. Recently renovated rooms with the typical Provencal style. 7 languages spoken. Private taxi service.


Restaurant l'Orangerie

This is a small restaurant and the style is Provençal/Corsican. In Summer it has tables on the Square, the rest of the year it has four tables and bar on the ground floor and a few more upstairs.


Food Market

Local specialties like olive oil, tapenade, local wines, cheeses, and pastries can be found at the market along with fresh local produce. Cooking classes are available on Saturday mornings.


Hotel d'Angleterre

some rooms with bathroom. Small hotel located within the city walls. Has a small private car park. Its use is free of charge if you can find a place for your car.

SLEEP   —  29 Boulevard Raspail

L'Epicerie

Try the ''Assiette Epicière'' for a plate full of provençal specialities such as tapenade, ratatouille, with a salad and some ham.


The International Congress Center

Was created in 1976 within the outstanding premises of the Palace of the Popes and hosts many events throughout the entire year.

DO   —  Map

Restaurant Christian Etienne

A well known Provence chef, his restaurant is right next to the Palais des Papes. An excellent vegetarian menu is available.


Gare d'Avignon Centre

Local and regional trains call at the central station, just outside the walls on the southern edge of the old town.

OTHER   —  Boulevard Saint-Roch

Aéroport d'Avignon-Caumont {{IATA|AVN}}

''[http://www.cityjet.com Cityjet]'' and ''[http://www.flybe.com Flybe]'' operate flights from the United Kingdom.

OTHER   —  Map

Office de Tourisme d'Avignon

In the season there is also an information point at the TGV Station


Pure Lavande

This boutique specializes in lavender and lavender products.


Hotel Danieli

very centrally with air conditioning and a good breakfast.

SLEEP   —  Rue de la République

'La Mirande Hotel

5 star hotel housed in a 700 year old converted townhouse


Flea Market

browse the tables looking for your hidden treasure.

BUY   —  Place des Carmes

Fou de Fafa

quality French food with an international twist.


Hotel Boquier Avignon

A charming hotel in a XVIIIth-century house.


Au Saint Roch

Nice hotel with a very quiet garden.


D'Ici et d'Ailleurs

"fresh products on a sunny terrace."


About Avignon

Avignon is famous as the city to which the Popes fled when leaving the corruption of Rome in the 14th century. Le Palais des Papes (Palace of Popes) which was built then is the world's largest Gothic building. It was largely emptied over the centuries, and its vast stone rooms are filled with little more than old frescos, but it is still an imposing building. The Ramparts themselves were erected to keep the plague and invaders out during the turbulent Middle Ages, when Avignon belonged to the papacy and not the French crown.

Its early history is much older than the popes, however. Avignon occupies a strategic location for several reasons - it is at the confluence of two once-mighty rivers: the Rhône, still one of the biggest rivers in France, and the now largely-dammed Durance. Both were important routes of trade and communication even in prehistoric times. In addition, there is a long island in the Rhone that made it possible to ferry people and goods across, and later bridge the river, more easily than in other places.

It is estimated that about 200,000 people live in Avignon, 16,000 of which live 'intra-muros,' or within the ramparts built in the 14th century.

The city is now sprinkled with buildings and monuments ranging from the new to the old, the very old, and the ageless.


Source: wikivoyage