Is the pont d’Avignon the only attraction the city has to offer?
« Back to Articles - Date Posted: 04/02/2014 1:25pm by French Maison
Probably best known for the famous children's song "Sur le pont d'Avignon", the city of Avignon in southeastern France is a popular tourist destination. With trains travelling directly from London to Avignon, this chic and stylish medieval city boasts a wealth of attractions for visitors all year round.
The famous Pont d'Avignon, the Pont St. Bénezet, was originally 3,000 feet long and crossed the river. Now, only half of the bridge remains, after having been rebuilt multiple times. Visitors can either enjoy a paid visit with an audio guide, or simply view the bridge from afar.
A must-see when in the city is the UNESCO World Heritage Site, le Palais des Papes (The Palace Of The Popes). Built in the 1300s, is it the largest Gothic palace in Europe and offers visitors the chance to explore more than 20 rooms, including the pope's private chambers with their fantastic frescoes. The palace is home to a number of cultural events throughout the year and, if you don't fancy paying to visit, is just as impressive on the outside as on the inside.
If the weather is suitable, then pay a visit to the Parc des Rochers des Doms: beautiful gardens that offer a fantastic panoramic view of the whole area, including the bridge. Relax by the pond, take in the scenery and enjoy the fresh air - or, if you are feeling more energetic, head up to the top of the city walls and take in the view.
The Place de l’Horloge is the perfect city centre square in which to sit and watch the world go by, lined with cafés and buildings such as the city hall and opera. A great place to enjoy a bite to eat - and the focal point for the many festivals and other events that take place in Avignon throughout the year.
If you have the chance to travel in July, then you will be in Avignon for the Avignon Festival, which begins in the second week of the month and lasts for three weeks. The focus of the festival is predominantly theatre, and it's a great chance to take in some truly breathtaking street theatre all over the city.
Foodies will love Les Halles: a huge covered food market that boasts around 40 stall holders from Tuesday to Saturday every week. It's a haven for local produce, with cheese, charcuterie, fruit and vegetables, bread, tapenade and more - grab yourself a picnic and head up to the Parc des Rochers des Doms to enjoy it. And a top tip: if you make it over there for 11am on a Saturday, you'll have the chance to see cookery demonstrations from one of the region's top chefs, in a specially dedicated area.
Finally, one of the best things to do in Avignon is simply to go for a walk. The city is full of beautiful tree-lined streets, intriguing alleyways, stunning squares and all manner of places to eat, drink and shop. Avignon is a must-visit for those who want culture and history with style.