Avignon: from Popes to performers
Perhaps most famous for being home to the Popes in the Middle Ages, Avignon has today embraced the avant-garde and is a vibrant destination with a respect for culture, the arts, and a long-standing tradition of exceptional wines.
Home of Heritage
Avignon abounds with history and heritage, and can boast several UNESCO World Heritage Sites (not only the Palais des Papes and the Pont d’Avignon) including the large square in front of the Papal Palace, a section of the ramparts, Avignon Cathedral and other local churches and chapels – which are all unique to the city.
Middle Age Magnificence
Step back in time with a visit to see the Palais des Papes (Papal Palace). Built in the 14th century it stands overlooking the city today as a reminder of its historical importance and influence across Christendom. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Palace tour takes in the Pope’s Chambers, along with depictions of historical events, and during the summer it becomes a cultural and artistic hub, with an annual art exhibition in the Great Chapel, and performances from the Avignon Festival taking place in the Courtyard.
Sur le Pont d’Avignon…
Whilst the full structure of the famous Pont d'Avignon, is no longer complete, the remaining 4 arches and chapel are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Originally said to have been built in the 12th century, it was for some time the only crossing between the Rhône River and the Mediterranean Sea, making it of pivotal importance.
Home to a prestigious contemporary theatre festival, and the European city of culture in 2000, despite its long-standing history Avignon has a taste for the avant-garde.
The Avignon Festival turns the city into a theatre for 3 weeks in July. 600 participating theatre companies turn the town into a vast stage for an artistic showcase that brings culture-vultures to the city from around the world.
Every year 50 performances are invited to attend the festival, and roughly half are from France, giving audiences the chance to explore other cultures and languages. The festival includes theatrical performances, but also exhibitions and concerts – a real celebration of the arts.
Must-see in Avignon:
- The Palais des Papes
- The St Bénézet Bridge (Pont d'Avignon)
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Ramparts, Palais, Bridge, Square…
- The old town with its cardinal liveries and church towers
- The museums: Petit Palais, Musée Calvet, Musée Angladon, Lambert Collection , Palais du Roure, and Jean Vilar’s House (the founder of the Avignon Festival)
- Place de l’Horloge and its shady café terraces
- The Rhône River, and the promenade on the island of La Barthelasse
- Provençal gastronomy and Côtes du Rhône wines
The Avignon Passion Pass:
The pass includes discounted prices on entry to monuments, museums and excursion operators.
Pay full price in the first location you visit, then the rest of your visits and excursions are discounted for the whole family (5 people maximum).
Avignon TGV station: Direct TGV (high-speed trains) to Paris (2 hrs 40 mins), Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, Lille, Lyon, Geneva, Brussels and more.
Avignon Centre station: high-speed trains, Eurostar to London in the summer
Avignon Caumont airport: 8 km from Avignon: direct flights to Paris Orly Ouest 4 times per day. To Southampton (Flybe) from May to October 3 times a week.
Motorways A7 and A9 Major roads RN 7 and RN 100
Avignon Tourist Office
41 cours Jean Jaurès 84000 Avignon
Tel: +33 (0)4 32 74 32 74