What to do in Avignon?
This is a question that comes up often. In this article, vegan restaurants, all of the suggestions have been tested and validated.
1-The Palace of the Popes: the must visit in Avignon.
I know it is not very good to advise to visit the Palais des Papes. But we can not make a list of things to do in Avignon without talking about it.
Since 2017, the Palace has a process quite original for the visit. Now with the entrance fee of the palace, you have a tablet that lets you see how was the palace in the 14th century. Thanks to augmented reality, the beauty and richness of the building which is unveiled.
In the above picture, you can admire the big Tinel’s room with augmented reality. I visited the Palais des Papes many times. But this visit with the tablet was a revelation. We understand better the power and wealth of the Avignon papacy.
If you have visited the Palace before installing the tablet, I recommend you to visit again.
Opening hours: The Palace of Popes is open every day, all year round. The last admission to the crates is open till 1 hour before the closing of the monument.
September 1st> November 1st: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
November 2> February 29: 9:30 – 17:45
March: 9:00 – 18:30
April 1st> June 30th: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
July: 09:00 – 20:00
August: 9:00 – 20:30
Rates: 12 euros. possible to buy a ticket coupled with the visit of the bridge of Avignon
2-The rock of the doms
The rock of doms is a rock formation. It was the cradle of the city from the Neolithic. The base of the rock of the doms is occupied by the Palace of the Popes while the upper part hosts the garden of the rock of the doms.
It was in the 19th century that it was decided to create a garden in this space. At that time, it was necessary to destroy the garden of the plants to be able to build the street of the Republic. The garden of the rock of the Doms was thus enriched with trees and lawns. A pond is also created with water tanks. In the 60s, new developments are made.
The garden of the rock of the Doms is one of the green lungs of the city centre. This is the best place to organize a picnic, to wander and to relax. It is also the best place to see the city and the surrounding area of Mont Ventoux.
Sainte Anne stairway
The stairway Sainte Anne is the north access to the garden. If you climb up this staircase, you will have a view of the old prison.
Opening hours: 7h30.
Closing: December and January at 17:30; February 18h, March 19h; April and May 20h; June, July and August 9 pm; September 20h; October 18h30; November 18h. Everyday
3-The halls: discovery of regional flavours
The hall market has an old history. Since 1624, there is a vegetable market. Although the current building dates from 1972.
Every day, except Mondays, it is the ideal place to enjoy dishes, buy vegetables and share recipes. From 6 am, a bubbling activity animates this place. The Avignonnais have their habits. I myself go there often to buy olives, garlic confit or olivade. You will also find fresh bread and good quality. You can eat there with menus that are made the same day with the products of the market. An ideal place to discover the local gastronomy.
Opening hours: from Tuesday to Friday: 6 am to 1h30 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 6 am to 2 pm
4- Walk along the Rhone to Barthelasse
Right in front of the city centre is Barthelasse, one of the largest river islands in Europe.
You can access it either by the Daladier bridge or by the river shuttle. A bicycle path and a pedestrian path have been built. From here, you have a breathtaking view of the city, the ramparts, the bridge and the Palace. The many green spaces also allow you to rest or have a picnic. If you are cycling, you can follow the route that is here to explore this island to the fullest.
If you are patient in the evening when the night takes place and the walkers leave, you will have the chance to see European beavers out of their hiding place. For the record, the hunting of European beavers is prohibited in France since 1909. At that time, the species was threatened with extinction.
Opening time: outdoor activity
5- Visit the municipal museums
For the more assiduous of this blog, another time talking about museums? Well! yes, we have the chance to have beautiful collections in Avignon and since few weeks we can visit them for free.
If you want to visit only one, I recommend the Calvet Museum. It is the most beautiful because of the building and has the superb collections.
All about opening time and collections are here
Calvet museum main door
6-Live the festival
Avignon has two faces. Throughout the year, it is a peaceful town in the province, where not much happens. It is good to live, enjoy its nature or the beauty.
Then comes the moment of the festival. And there, the city is transformed, it bubbles, it reveals itself, it becomes cultural.
I always tell my friends to come few days before the festival to see the difference between the two periods.
The Avignon Festival is the perfect time to watch new plays, see famous actors and fill up with theatre.
In recent years, the festival of Villeneuve on stage is developing. It allows enjoying plays in a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere. Villeneuve is after all a village.
Avignon festival: http://www.festival-avignon.com
Villeneuve en scène: http://www.festivalvilleneuveenscene.com/
7- Discover local beers in a magical place
Trust on us, the expo bar has all the qualities to be declared as the best bar in Avignon.
Let’s start with the location. The bar is located at the corner of the street of the dyers (la rue des teinturiers) and the street of the lice( la rue des lices). Its terrace is at the foot of the belfry of the Cordeliers and the Sorgue flows down. In summer, it is a quiet place, historically charged and the starting point of a good evening. On weekends, concerts are held on this terrace, which makes it even more enjoyable.
The products on offer: you will discover a large selection of beers. Their common point is that they are all craft and from the region. For people who do not drink beer, you have a large selection of artisanal fruit juices and lemonade.
The staff: you will always be welcomed with a smile. Their service, professionalism and advice will make your evening a delight.
Opening time: 5 pm to 1 am
For more information click here
8- Visit Avignon with the little train
To be quite honest, this entry is cradled with nostalgia.
Since I was little, I have always seen the little train in the streets of Avignon. I remember the Sunday when we took it with my mother and my sister to go up to the garden of the Doms.
But it’s not just nostalgia. The small train allows you to visit the city without effort and at a gradual speed. You will discover the small streets of the city with their history and their particularity.
The same agency that sells tickets for the small train also sells tickets for the tourist bus. I recommend the train but advises against the tourist bus. Indeed, with that, you will stay outside of the city and can enjoy the history of Avignon.
The small train of my childhood
Opening time: start every 30 minutes between 10 am to 6 pm
Rate: from 6 to 9 euros, free for kids under 4 years old
The best way to visit the city and its surroundings.
No need to be a great sportsman to enjoy a discovery of the city by bike. The creation of Line 8 of Eurovélo has allowed the construction of many bike lanes. It is now possible to cross the Daladier bridge on a bike path, separated from the cars. You can also go to Montfavet by taking the path of the canals. In the city centre, the bike is the best way to circulate between the small streets and that works very well.
10- The Nights owls of Avignon
I could not finish this ranking without talking about the nocturnal ballads that I lead. As for the festival, Avignon is very different in day and night. What I try to bring you during these walks is a historical introduction of the city but also discovering of small streets where history is also written. I propose 4 different night owls with unique themes:
The night owl of Pope: this tour focuses on the papal period of Avignon with the main changes which has been done years back.
The night owl between past and present: this one looks at the vestiges of the past and puts them in perspective in relation to the present.
The night owl between Christians and Bourgeois: we’ll see what each and every one has brought to the city since the 14th century.
The night owl of squares: this night tour will pass through the most emblematic places of the city.
Opening time: first departure 9h30 pm, second 00h30 am
Rate: 15 euros
Calendar and reservation: Here