Top Ten things to do in Avignon Provence

Written by on August 11, 2017 in Provence-Alpes

Historic, gastronomic and beautiful – the top things to do in Avignon Provence to make the most of your time in this fabulous city.

Palais des Papes

The UNESCO listed Palace of the Popes is quite simply awesome in its immensity and sheer presence. It’s not hard to imagine the effect seeing it must have had on the peasant populace when it was built in the 14th century. It takes your breath away today to see it today. Allow two – three hours to see it in its entirety and take in the ambience.

Pont d’Avignon

Famous around the world, the Bridge of Avignon is known locally as Pont Saint Bénezet, the name of a 12-year-old shepherd who in 1177 heard a divine voice telling him to go to Avignon and build a bridge. There’s not much left of it, it is after all quite ancient, but the remains are iconic and make for a perfect selfie spot especially if you’re dancing à la famous nursery rhyme!

The old city of Avignon

The French have a word for strolling and enjoying the sights – flâner. I don’t think there’s a much more gorgeous city to be a flâneur than Avignon. Wear your comfy shoes and get lost climbing hills and wandering round cobbled stone streets filled with historic buildings.

Boat ride on the Rhone

Take the free shuttle boat from a pier by the famous Pont d’Avignon across to the Ile de Barthelasse. It’s the largest river island in France. From here you’ll have breath-taking views of the city and it’s a beautiful place for a ride, walk or picnic. You can also take a half day or full day boat trip.

Take a break in Avignon

You’re absolutely spoiled for choice here with the famous strip Place de l’Horloge. Or take a short walk to discover the locals’ favourite spots in Places des Corps, an elegant square lined with restaurants. Rue des Teinturiers in the former dyers district with a pretty little stream running along one side is also popular with those in the know.

Aperitif time in Avignon

There are numerous shady squares, elegant terraces and pavement cafes to tempt you to enjoy a sundowner. Why not enjoy a pastis – after all it was invented in Avignon! The name pastis comes from the Provencal word “pastisson” – mixture. It was invented in 1918 by Jules-Francois Pernod of the Pernod distillery.

Market Les Halles Avignon

The covered market is a feast for the senses and a must see if you love food and let’s face it most of us do! Olives, charcuterie, cheese and cakes, bread, fruit and veg, fish and flowers. This place is full of scents and colour. You can buy a tasty baguette and filling and sit outside on the tables and chairs to enjoy your market banquet. Daily (except Monday).

Flea Market Place Pie

On Tuesdays and Thursday opposite Les Halles and spreading across Place Pie you’ll find a fabulous flea market. It’s a great place to seek a souvenir of your trip.

Jardin des Doms

Head for the hill where this English style park is perched. From here you’ll have tremendous views over the surrounding countryside. And, on a clear day you can see as far as Mont Ventoux. It’s a lovely spot to sit and relax surrounded by cool water features under the shade of the trees.

Let the Tourist Train take the strain

You’ll either love the little trains that you get in most French cities and tourist towns – or you’ll not! Personally, I think they’re a terrific way to get your bearings. They enable you to see the sights so you can figure out which of them you want to spend time at. These Petit Trains are especially helpful when you don’t have much time and the tourist train in Avignon takes in all the major sites.

Where the locals eat out in Avignon
Family activities in Avignon
10 great restaurants and bars in Avignon

Related Articles

Oppède le Vieux Provence

Oppède le Vieux Provence

Written by on July 1, 2020 in Provence-Alpes

As you wind your way across the plains of the Vaucluse in Provence (all olive groves, lavender and vineyards), you see Oppède le Vieux hanging above you on the north face of the Petit Luberon. It looks haunting and beautiful… The rise… Oppède le Vieux dates back to at least the 12th century. At the […]

Continue Reading

What to see in Fontvielle, Provence

Fontvieille is a charming Provençal village in the Bouches-du-Rhône department in the far south of France, close to Arles and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. This quaint old town has a lovely old lavoir (wash house), a shady central square, and a bustling open-air market on Monday mornings. It is a delightful place to spend a few pleasant hours […]

Continue Reading

A local’s guide to wandering in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

What do the Romans, Nostradamus and Van Gogh have in common? Give up? For a time, they all bunked down in the enticing Provençal enclave that we know as Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Here, the Romans built Glanum. The renowned seer entered the world. And the Dutch artist created his masterpiece, Starry Nights. Fast forward to the 21st […]

Continue Reading

When’s the best time to visit the south of France?

We asked Julia Girard-Gervois of TripUSAFrance who has run brilliant tours of the south of France for many years – when’s the best time to visit the south of France in the summer? “The last week of August is pretty good” she said, to our surprise. We asked her to tell us more… Why the […]

Continue Reading

What to see and do in Carpentras, Provence

The town of Carpentras in the department of Vaucluse, Provence, is spectacular. At the foot of Mont Ventoux, it has a rather exotic feel, almost Roman with its terracotta roofs and fabulous fountains. The market in Carpentras is one of the best in Provence – no strike that. It’s one of the best in France. […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top