Excursion Avignon, Things to do in Avignon
Things to do in Avignon : the must-sees !

Things to do in Avignon : The must-sees

Avignon is a historic city located in the Provence region of southeastern France. It is situated on the left bank of the Rhône River and is known for its rich cultural heritage, architectural beauty, and vibrant arts scene.

One of the city’s most iconic landmarks is the Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes), which served as the residence of the popes during the 14th century. It is the largest Gothic palace in Europe and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The palace is open to visitors and offers guided tours, allowing you to explore its grand halls, chapels, and impressive architecture.

Avignon is also famous for its medieval ramparts, which encircle the old town. The walls stretch for about 4.3 kilometers and provide fantastic views of the city and the surrounding countryside. Walking along the ramparts is a popular activity among visitors.

Another notable attraction is the Pont Saint-Bénézet, also known as the Pont d’Avignon. This partially ruined bridge was originally constructed in the 12th century but suffered significant damage over the centuries. Today, only four of the original 22 arches remain, but it remains an important symbol of the city.

Avignon is renowned for its annual performing arts festival called the Avignon Festival (Festival d’Avignon). Held every July, the festival attracts artists, theater companies, and performers from around the world. The city comes alive with numerous theatrical performances, dance shows, music concerts, and exhibitions.

Excursion Avignon, Things to do in Avignon
Avignon Walking Tour

In Avignon, two of the most prominent landmarks are the Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) and the Pont Saint-Bénézet, also known as the Pont d’Avignon.

  1. Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes): The Palais des Papes is a magnificent Gothic palace that served as the residence of the popes in the 14th century. It is one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. The construction of the palace began in 1335 and was completed in less than 20 years.

The palace consists of two main parts: the Old Palace and the New Palace. The Old Palace is the oldest section and features austere architecture, while the New Palace is more elaborate and ornate. The complex includes grand halls, chapels, private apartments, courtyards, and gardens.

Visitors can explore the palace through guided tours, which provide insights into the history, architecture, and the papal court. Inside, you’ll find beautifully decorated rooms, stunning frescoes, and impressive views from the terraces. The palace also hosts temporary art exhibitions and cultural events.

  1. Pont Saint-Bénézet (Pont d’Avignon): The Pont Saint-Bénézet, commonly referred to as the Pont d’Avignon, is a famous bridge that spans the Rhône River. Built in the 12th century, the bridge initially had 22 arches and served as a vital river crossing. However, over time, the bridge suffered damage from floods and war, leaving only four arches standing today.

Despite its partial ruin, the Pont d’Avignon remains an iconic symbol of the city. Visitors can explore the surviving arches and stroll along the bridge, which offers panoramic views of the Rhône River and Avignon’s skyline. The bridge is also celebrated in the popular children’s song “Sur le Pont d’Avignon” (On the Bridge of Avignon).

In addition to these landmarks, Avignon’s old town, enclosed by medieval ramparts, is filled with charming streets, squares, and historical sites. Exploring the city, you’ll encounter other notable attractions like the Place de l’Horloge, the Cathedral of Notre-Dame des Doms, and the Rocher des Doms park, which provides beautiful views of the city and surrounding countryside.

Avignon’s rich history, architectural wonders, and cultural events make it a captivating destination for visitors interested in exploring the heritage of Provence.

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Shopping in the Rue de la République
Avignon Tour Guide, The Avignon bridge, Avignon Tour Guide

The Rue de la République is one of the main shopping streets in Avignon. It stretches from the Place de l’Horloge, the central square of the city, to the Place de la Reine Jeanne. Along this vibrant street, you’ll find a variety of shops, boutiques, and department stores, offering a range of products to cater to different tastes and interests.

The Rue de la République features both local and international brands, as well as specialty stores and artisan shops. Here are some types of shops you can expect to find:

  1. Fashion and Clothing: The street is lined with fashion boutiques offering clothing for men, women, and children. You’ll find a mix of well-known brands, independent designers, and trendy boutiques. From high-end fashion to affordable options, there’s something for everyone’s style.

  2. Accessories and Jewelry: Look out for shops specializing in accessories such as handbags, shoes, scarves, and hats. You can also find jewelry stores offering a selection of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and more.

  3. Home Decor and Gifts: Several shops along the street focus on home decor items, including furnishings, decorative pieces, and unique gift ideas. These stores often feature a blend of contemporary and traditional styles.

  4. Bookstores and Stationery: Avignon has a rich literary culture, and you’ll find bookstores and stationery shops offering a range of books, magazines, and writing materials. It’s a great place to browse for literature on local history, art, and culture.

  5. Specialty Shops: Rue de la République also hosts specialty shops catering to specific interests. You might come across stores specializing in gourmet food products, wine and spirits, beauty and cosmetics, or regional products like lavender-based goods, olive oils, and local handicrafts.

In addition to the shops, the street is also dotted with cafes and restaurants where you can take a break from shopping and enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee.

As with any shopping street, it’s advisable to explore the side streets and adjacent areas as well, as you may find hidden gems and unique shops tucked away in the smaller lanes of Avignon.

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Taste local wines Chateauneuf du Pape
Young friends having genuine fun outdoor toasting red wine at open air bar-b-q party - Happy people eating grilled food in farmhouse vineyard winery - Youth friendship concept on warm contrast filter
Guide Châteauneuf du pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a renowned wine appellation located in the southern Rhône Valley of France, near the town of Avignon. It is widely recognized for producing high-quality red wines that are highly regarded worldwide.

Here are some key features and information about Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines:

  1. Grape Varieties: The wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are typically blends, although some producers may make single varietal wines. The primary red grape varieties used in the blends are Grenache, Syrah (Shiraz), and Mourvèdre. Other authorized red grape varieties include Cinsault, Counoise, and several others. For white wines, the main grape varieties are Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, and Clairette, among others.

  2. Terroir: The terroir of Châteauneuf-du-Pape is characterized by its stony soil, known as galets, which are large round pebbles that store heat during the day and radiate it at night, aiding in the ripening process of the grapes. The region’s Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and strong Mistral winds, also influences the wine’s characteristics.

  3. Wine Style: Châteauneuf-du-Pape red wines are typically full-bodied, rich, and complex. They often exhibit flavors of dark fruits, such as blackberry and black cherry, along with notes of spices, herbs, and hints of earthiness. These wines are known for their ageability and can develop further complexity with proper cellaring. White wines from Châteauneuf-du-Pape are generally aromatic, full-bodied, and can offer a range of flavors including stone fruits, citrus, honey, and floral notes.

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