Avignon travel guide

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Introduction to Avignon

Avignon, known for its incredible Palais des Papes, Pont Saint-Benezet (Le Pont d'Avignon), and Jardin des Doms, is a travel destination everyone should visit once in their lifetime. This commune in Vaucluse, France has plenty of experiences to offer curious travelers. Home to a variety of natural beauty and architecture, a unique historical background, and a culture as rich as its population of more than 90.3 thousand people, Avignon is truly one of the main highlights of France.

The official language of Avignon is French. For a deeper understanding of the city's history, culture, and local events, the official website of Avignon is a treasure trove of knowledge.

Travelers looking to experience the best of France often choose to stay in Avignon. Easily accessible, Avignon is the perfect base for a memorable and unique vacation in France.

History of Avignon

Avignon, often referred to as the 'City of Popes,' boasts a rich history that stretches back to the Neolithic period.

Situated on the left bank of the Rhône river, Avignon became a Roman colony in the 1st century BC. Its strategic location made it an important trade and communication hub.

During the Middle Ages, Avignon's significance rose dramatically when it was chosen as the seat of the papacy. From 1309 to 1377, seven successive popes resided in Avignon, marking a period known as the Avignon Papacy.

The city's historic centre, encompassing the Pope's Palace, the cathedral, and the Pont d'Avignon, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995, testifying to its historical importance.

Today, Avignon remains a symbol of medieval grandeur, attracting travellers from around the world who wish to soak in its rich cultural heritage.

Local culture and customs in Avignon

Avignon is a city steeped in history and culture, with a tangible air of Provencal charm. The locals, known as 'Avignonnais', are proud of their heritage and often express this through art, music, and theatre. The city is renowned for its annual Avignon Theatre Festival, which attracts performers and spectators from around the world, turning the city into a vibrant cultural hub.

French is the primary language, but don't be surprised to hear the melodic tones of the local Provençal dialect. A simple 'Bonjour' when entering a shop or restaurant is an appreciated local custom. The city's cuisine is heavily influenced by the Mediterranean, with local dishes often featuring olives, tomatoes, and local herbs. Try the region's signature dish, 'daube provençale', a slow-cooked beef stew with red wine.

Religion plays a significant role in the city's customs, with the historic Popes' Palace standing as a testament to its religious past. When visiting churches or religious events, appropriate attire is expected. Don't forget to explore the local markets to immerse in the city's culture and meet the locals. Remember, it's polite to exchange pleasantries before diving into transactions.

Currency information for travelers in Avignon

The local currency in Avignon, like the rest of France, is the Euro (€). Banknotes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500, while coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 cent and 1, 2 Euro denominations.

Credit cards, particularly Visa and MasterCard, are widely accepted in most shops, restaurants, and hotels. Note that American Express is less commonly accepted. ATMs are easy to find, and they offer a convenient way to access cash. Remember to notify your home bank about your travel plans to avoid card suspensions.

It's also worth noting that tipping is not a common practice in Avignon as service charge is typically included in the bill. However, it is customary to leave small change for good service. Budget wisely, keeping in mind the average cost of meals and transportation in the city.

Language tips for travelers in Avignon

When traveling in Avignon, you'll find that French is the main language spoken, with regional variants and accents. It's recommended to learn a few basic French phrases, like 'Bonjour' (Good day), 'Merci' (Thank you), and 'Où est...?' (Where is...?). English is understood by many, especially in tourist areas, but not everyone is fluent, so having a translation app on hand can be helpful. Remember, it's considered polite to start any conversation with 'Bonjour' or 'Bonsoir' (Good evening), even when entering shops. Lastly, the French appreciate efforts to speak their language, so don't be shy to try out your French, even if it's not perfect.

Best time to visit Avignon

The best time to explore Avignon, France is during the late spring (May and June) and early autumn (September and October). These periods offer mild, pleasant weather ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing, while avoiding the peak summer crowds of July and August. The city is particularly vibrant in July when the annual Avignon Festival, a renowned arts event, takes place. However, it also attracts large numbers of visitors, so advanced booking is recommended for this time. If you prefer a quieter visit, consider the gentle warmth of May or the mellow autumn in September. Both periods promise lower tourist numbers, making it easier to appreciate Avignon's historic charm and cultural richness. Whether you are wandering through the Palais des Papes, basking in the beauty of the Pont Saint-Bénezet, or strolling through the local markets, choosing the right season will enhance your Avignon experience.

Weather in Avignon

Avignon enjoys a Mediterranean climate characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The average temperature in summer, from June to August, ranges from 20°C to 30°C. However, heatwaves exceeding 35°C are not uncommon. Winter, running from December to February, sees temperatures typically between 3°C and 12°C.

Spring, between March and May, and autumn, from September to November, are transitional seasons with mild and generally pleasant weather. Rain is more frequent during spring and autumn but typically light and brief. Avignon can experience the Mistral, a strong, cold wind coming from the north, especially during the winter and spring. It can be particularly intense and chilly, so it's recommended to pack some warm and windproof clothing if you're visiting in these seasons. Despite this, Avignon boasts 2800 hours of sunshine a year, making it a bright and inviting destination most of the time.

Local tip for visiting Avignon

One insider tip for visiting Avignon is to explore the city's vibrant markets. While most tourists know about the famous Les Halles market, locals recommend the smaller, lesser-known Marché de la Place Pie. It's a charming outdoor market that operates every Tuesday through Sunday from early morning until 1:30 pm. Here, you'll find a variety of local products including fresh produce, bread, cheese, and meats. In addition to food, there are also vendors selling flowers, local crafts, and antiques. It's an authentic experience that allows you to enjoy Avignon like a local. Plus, it's an ideal place to pick up picnic provisions if you plan to enjoy a day out in the Provençal countryside. Remember, the key to a successful visit is to arrive early before it gets too crowded, just like the locals do.

Top services in Avignon

On this page, you'll find all the top travel services in Avignon, France. Enjoy the convenience of planning and booking every detail of your trip to Avignon, including flights, accommodations, activities, and more, in one place.

Discover the cheapest and most popular flights offered by a variety of airlines that fly to France. Check out the best things to do in Avignon by browsing over 93 top-rated tours available to you in the city. Compare the rates and services of the stays and 10 car rental companies offering CDW insurance coverage.

Experience the best of Avignon with an expertly curated and fully customizable itinerary. Get answers to questions about the routes and services offered in Avignon from our free 24/7 customer support. We make it easy for you to find and book every detail of your trip to Avignon with this travel guide.

Continue reading this Avignon travel guide to learn how you can enjoy a stress-free and memorable vacation in the city of Avignon!

Learn more about France

With destinations such as Avignon, a trip to France needs no further explanation. Spanning over 643,801 square kilometers, France is an expansive playground of discovery, offering a wealth of diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and captivating experiences awaiting exploration. From bustling metropolises to historic towns and modern urban hubs, France has something to enchant every traveler.

In Avignon alone, travelers are spoiled for choice with an array of experiences and world-famous attractions such as Palais des Papes, Pont Saint-Benezet (Le Pont d'Avignon), and Jardin des Doms. Thus, a trip to France becomes essential. Whether you're drawn to historical sites, natural wonders, or vibrant cultural experiences, France offers an abundance of treasures waiting to be discovered.

There's so much to explore and uncover in France. Click or tap the link below to discover more about France and its offers.

What to see in Avignon

Expect an exhilarating journey through Avignon, a haven brimming with attractions to suit every traveler’s taste. From historical landmarks to natural wonders, and delectable cuisine, Avignon offers an abundance of experiences waiting to be discovered. Dive into this ultimate Avignon travel guide to uncover must-visit spots and get the scoop on what makes the city so special.

Top attractions in Avignon

With its blend of traditional and modern culture, Avignon is more than just a wonderful city in France. It's a hub for diverse experiences, boasting top attractions that range from historical landmarks to modern marvels, offering a glimpse into France's rich heritage and innovative spirit.

One popular place to visit in Avignon is the unforgettable Palais des Papes. Considered one of the most well-known attractions in the city, a visit to this spectacular travel destination is something you shouldn't miss on your trip to Avignon. This remarkable attraction is located at Pl. Du Palais, 84000 Avignon, France, and is open for visitors Monday - Sunday, between 10:00-17:00.

For more information about what you can expect during a vacation in Avignon, check out our list of top attractions below. Discover the best places to visit in Avignon, including the fascinating Palais des Papes, Pont Saint-Benezet (Le Pont d'Avignon), Jardin des Doms, Grottes de Thouzon, and Collection Lambert Avignon.

Map of attractions

Take a closer look at the city map below for the exact locations of all the top attractions in Avignon.

Things to do in Avignon

Photo of Avignon, France

You've explored Avignon's top attractions and marked them on your map. So now, it's time to delve deeper and discover the top things to do in Avignon. These activities not only offer excitement and adventure but also provide unique insights into the city's culture and heritage. Take your experience to the next level by checking out the best sights with a knowledgeable guide, embarking on fun adventures unique to Avignon, or learning more about the city's rich history and traditions.

Discover the most popular tours and experiences in the city below.

Most popular experiences in Avignon

A visit to Avignon gets more exciting with memorable experiences. And the city is just perfect for that, with plenty of fun activities. Bus Tours, Guided Day Trips, Full-day Tours, and more are just some of the options you could explore to fully immerse yourself and make the most of your time.

In this travel guide, we've included some of the best things to do in Avignon, adding a special touch to your journey in this vibrant city. Explore bustling markets, embark on scenic hikes, sample local delicacies, or immerse yourself in the rich history and heritage of Avignon. Browse this diverse array of unforgettable experiences Avignon offers and let your adventures begin!

Top tours & tickets starting in Avignon

In Avignon, travelers are spoiled for choice with a dazzling array of 22 categories of top-rated tours and tickets. But among this sea of options, one category reigns supreme: Trips & Excursions.

Trips & Excursions offer an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the heart and soul of Avignon. For example, the fantastic Lavender Route - Small-Group Day Trip from Avignon.

Avignon also offers plenty of budget-friendly tours and activities that promise travelers a unique experience. Wine tasting in Sablet, for example, is the cheapest Lunch Experience option in the city. This experience costs around 3 EUR.

Elevate your upcoming Avignon adventure with unforgettable experiences by booking top-rated tours in the city. Uncover the finest tours, activities, and tickets awaiting you in Avignon right below.

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Discover the best things to do in Avignon. Choose from 93 fantastic tours and activities available in the city.

Select your dates and number of travelers in the search bar below to receive the best recommendations for your vacation in Avignon. Click the green button to view your options and discover a variety of exciting things to do in Avignon.

What to eat in Avignon

Embark on a culinary journey in Avignon, a city known for its rich cuisine and fine dining culture. The best places to eat in Avignon range from bustling food markets, such as Les Halles, to high-end restaurants like La Mirande. In these establishments, traditional Provencal dishes, such as Daube Provençale (a red wine stew) and Ratatouille (a vegetable medley) are a must-try. Street food, like the iconic French crepes and fougasse (a type of bread), are also a testament to Avignon's gastronomic diversity. For a more refined experience, head to Rue des Teinturiers, a dining district renowned for its upscale restaurants offering delicacies like truffles and foie gras. Don't miss out on Avignon's sweet treats either, particularly the papalines, a local chocolate delicacy. Pair your meals with the region’s famous Côtes du Rhône wine for a truly authentic Avignon dining experience. No matter your culinary preferences, Avignon's vibrant food scene promises an unforgettable gastronomic adventure.

Best shopping in Avignon

Shopping enthusiasts will delight in Avignon, known for its delightful blend of historic charm and contemporary chic. Rue de la République, the city's main shopping artery, is the best place to go shopping in Avignon. Here, you'll find a variety of shops, from high-street fashion brands to quaint boutiques offering unique finds.

Don't miss the Les Halles market, a food lover’s paradise filled with fresh, local produce and gourmet treats. For an authentic shopping experience, explore the smaller streets around Place de l’Horloge, where artisans sell handmade jewelry, ceramics, and textiles, reflecting Avignon's rich cultural heritage.

Avignon's distinct fashion scene is a blend of classic French elegance and Provencal charm. Look for locally designed clothing, lavender-scented soaps, and crafted souvenirs to take a piece of Avignon back home.

Most stores open around 10 am and close by 7 pm, with a break between 12 and 2 pm. Remember to carry cash as some smaller shops do not accept cards. Shopping in Avignon is not just about buying, it’s about immersing yourself in the city's unique artistry and craftsmanship.

Best Free Things to Do in Avignon

Immerse yourself in the charm and history of Avignon without spending a dime. One of the best free things to do in Avignon is to stroll through the Place de l'Horloge, the city's bustling main square, where you can enjoy the vibrant café culture and street performers. Don't miss the Rocher des Doms, a beautiful park offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Rhone river and the famous Pont d'Avignon. Explore the medieval walls that encircle the old city, taking you back to the 14th century when Avignon was the seat of the Catholic papacy. The Petit Palais Museum offers free admission on the first Sunday of the month, showcasing an impressive collection of Renaissance paintings and sculptures. Lastly, immerse yourself in local culture by visiting the Les Halles market; while not technically free, as you might be tempted by the mouthwatering local produce and foodstuffs, it provides a rich sensory experience that's well worth it. Avignon's rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning views can all be enjoyed without reaching for your wallet.

Car rentals in Avignon

Photo of Papal palace on Avignon, France.

To navigate Avignon effortlessly, renting a car is an excellent choice. With your own wheels, you can explore every nook and cranny of the destination without relying on public transportation and even venture off the beaten path. On our website, you'll discover a selection of over 10 car rental companies in Avignon, ready to provide you with the perfect vehicle for your travels.

Automatic cars for rent in Avignon start at 69 EUR per day or 484 EUR per week. The cheapest automatic rental car is a Fiat 500E Electric. If you prefer driving a manual car, you'll find multiple options for rent in Avignon, starting at 55 EUR per day or 383 EUR per week. The cheapest manual rental car is a Super Eco Fiat 500.

Learn more about the different types of cars you can rent in Avignon, France below.

Popular types of cars for rent in Avignon

Renting a car in Avignon is a popular choice among travelers who want to explore the city at their own pace. A wide variety of popular car rentals are available to choose from in Avignon, ensuring you find the best car for your travel plans.

Check out all the options available and book your car rental in Avignon for your upcoming adventures in France below. All car rentals come with CDW insurance for added protection throughout your trip.

Search for car rentals in Avignon

Get ready to hit the road and explore the beautiful city of Avignon. Find the best deals on a variety of popular car rentals in Avignon, France, or any other destination in Europe by using the search tool below.

Enter your pick-up and drop-off location, driver's age, and dates. Click the green button to view your options.

Popular destinations to visit after Avignon

Photo of Avignon France

The city of Avignon is just one of the many unique and scenic destinations you can visit in France. So if you're itching for another cultural adventure, a relaxing road trip, an action-filled city break, or a memorable weekend getaway, know that France has it all.

Each destination in France offers something unique to experience! Take the opportunity to visit other captivating places in France that are as magical as the city of Avignon. The most popular travel destinations in France are listed below. Click on the name of the place you want to explore next to learn more about it.

All the best destinations in France

When unsure about where to go next, use the map below. This map shows the locations of all the best destinations in France. Use the map to plan your trip and find the best routes.

Transportation in Avignon

Avignon, a city in southeastern France, offers a range of transportation options. The city's public transit system, operated by Orizo, includes bus lines that serve the city and its suburbs. It is a cost-effective and efficient way to explore the city. There's also a free shuttle, the Baladine, that operates in the city center.

For those who prefer a more private mode of transportation, taxis are readily available. You can hail one on the street or book one in advance. There are also several car rental companies located in the city, offering a variety of vehicles to suit different needs and budgets. This gives visitors the freedom to explore Avignon and its surroundings at their own pace.

For a unique local transportation experience, consider renting a bike. Avignon is a bike-friendly city with numerous cycle paths and routes. Another unique mode of transportation is the river shuttle, which operates between Avignon and Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, offering a scenic way to travel across the Rhone river.

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