Avignon, a jewel in the Provence region of France, offers an intriguing history, the magnificent Palais des Papes, charming streets, vibrant arts, and delicious Provençal cuisine. Don’t miss it!
Whether you’re a lover of history, culture, or looking to immerse yourself in the local ambiance, Avignon has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the city’s most popular attractions.
So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable journey in Avignon! With its rich heritage, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture, this Provençal gem is sure to enchant and captivate you.
7 Must-Visit Places When in Avignon
- Palais des Papes
- Pont Saint-Bénézet
- Rocher des Doms
- Avignon Cathedral
- Petit Palais Museum
- Rue des Teinturiers
- Les Halles Market
1. Exploring the Grandeur of Palais des Papes
Visit Palais des Papes, Avignon’s majestic Gothic palace, showcasing France’s papal history, exquisite architecture, and panoramic city views.
Tour around Palais des Papes: Explore the fascinating history with a self-guided walking tour and treasure hunt. Though the palace dates back to the 14th century, it retains much of its original grandeur and allure. Today, as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s a favorite tourist destination due to its captivating past and breathtaking beauty.
Uncover the Chapelle Saint-Martial, marvel at the Great Audience Hall, appreciate intricate frescoes, explore vast chambers, and relish views of Avignon.
Palais des Papes symbolizes architectural mastery, encapsulating Avignon’s rich history and diverse culture as a fortress, papal residence, and epicenter of Christian Europe.
2. Pont Saint-Bénézet
Known as the bridge of Avignon, Pont Saint-Bénézet offers picturesque views of the Rhône River and the city. Built in the 12th century, its partial ruins tell a story of medieval engineering, warfare, and legendary tales.
Today, visitors walk its preserved arches, appreciate the Chapel of Saint Nicholas, and sing the famous song “Sur le Pont d’Avignon.”
3. Rocher des Doms
A hilltop park providing breathtaking views of the city and surrounding landscapes. This oasis of peace is perfect for picnics and leisurely strolls, featuring ponds, sculptures, and local flora.
4. Avignon Cathedral
Avignon Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Doms is a striking Roman Catholic cathedral located in Avignon, France. It’s situated on the Place du Palais, next to the Palais des Papes, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The architecture of Avignon Cathedral exhibits predominantly Romanesque characteristics, though some Gothic elements can be found as well. One of the most prominent exterior features is the gilded statue of the Virgin Mary, which was added in the 19th century, perched atop the western tower.
5. Petit Palais Museum
The Petit Palais Museum is situated in a stunning 14th-century building, that was once the residence of the archbishops of Avignon. It is located near the Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) and forms an architectural ensemble with the nearby Musée Calvet.
The museum houses an extensive collection of Christian art, mainly from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The collection includes around 390 paintings and 600 sculptures, many of which were created between the 13th and 16th centuries.
6. Rue des Teinturiers
Stroll down this charming cobblestone street with ancient water wheels, theaters, and cafes. It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in Avignon’s lively arts scene.
7. Les Halles Market
Indulge in the flavors of Provence at this bustling market. From cheeses and wines to pastries and fresh produce, it’s a culinary adventure you don’t want to miss.
3-Day Itinerary for History, Architecture, and Culture Lovers
1st Day: Avignon’s Historic Heart
- Morning: Explore Palais des Papes and Avignon Cathedral.
- Afternoon: Wander through Petit Palais Museum.
- Evening: Dine at a traditional Provençal restaurant.
2nd Day: Cultural Discovery
- Morning: Walk across Pont Saint-Bénézet.
- Afternoon: Explore Rue des Teinturiers and enjoy lunch at Les Halles Market.
- Evening: Attend a local theater performance.
3rd Day: Natural Beauty and Relaxation
- Morning: Visit Rocher des Doms.
- Afternoon: Take a Rhône River Cruise or explore nearby vineyards.
- Evening: Enjoy a farewell dinner at a riverside bistro.
With this itinerary, you’ll experience the best that Avignon has to offer. From its rich history and stunning architecture to the vibrant local culture and Provençal flavors, this beautiful city in the heart of France’s Provence region is sure to leave a lasting impression.