Top-Rated Things to Do in Avignon


By Laurie Baratti

If you’re planning a trip to Avignon, you’re in for a treat. This charming city in the south of France is known for its rich history, impressive architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. Whether you’re a history buff, a lover of art, or simply looking to soak up the atmosphere of this picturesque city, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

One of the must-see attractions in Avignon is the Palais des Papes. This massive, fortress-like palace was built in the 14th century as the residence of the Popes during the Avignon Papacy. Today, it stands as a testament to the city’s powerful past and offers visitors a glimpse into the life of the Papal court. Exploring the grand halls, chapels, and gardens of the palace is a truly awe-inspiring experience.

Another top-rated activity in Avignon is a visit to the famous Pont d’Avignon, also known as Pont Saint-Bénézet. This iconic bridge dates back to the 12th century and spans the Rhône River. Although only four of its original 22 arches remain, it’s still an impressive sight to behold. Take a stroll across the bridge and enjoy stunning views of the city and the river below.

Avignon is also home to a number of world-class museums that art lovers won’t want to miss. The Musée du Petit Palais houses an impressive collection of medieval and Renaissance art, including works by Botticelli and Carpaccio. The Collection Lambert is another must-visit museum, showcasing contemporary art in a beautifully restored mansion.

For those who prefer to explore the city at a slower pace, Avignon offers charming cobblestone streets lined with shops, cafes, and boutiques. Don’t forget to sample some of the local cuisine, such as the famous Provençal dishes like ratatouille and bouillabaisse. And of course, a trip to Avignon wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of the lively street markets, where you can browse for fresh produce, local cheeses, and handmade crafts.

With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant cultural scene, Avignon is a destination that shouldn’t be missed. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, or simply looking to immerse yourself in the beauty of southern France, Avignon has something for everyone.

Explore the Historic Palais des Papes

The Palais des Papes, or Palace of the Popes, is one of the most iconic and historic landmarks in Avignon.

Constructed in the 14th century, the Palais des Papes served as the residence of the popes during the Avignon Papacy. It is the largest Gothic palace in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Visitors to the Palais des Papes can explore the various chambers and halls, including the Grand Chapelle, where papal ceremonies were held, and the Saint Martial Chapel, which features beautiful frescoes.

One of the most impressive features of the Palais des Papes is the massive Tour des Anges, or Tower of the Angels, which offers panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside.

Throughout the year, the Palais des Papes also hosts exhibitions and cultural events, providing visitors with a unique and immersive experience.

Exploring the historic Palais des Papes is a must-do when visiting Avignon, allowing visitors to step back in time and marvel at the grandeur and significance of this incredible architectural masterpiece.

Visit the Beautiful Pont d’Avignon

The Pont d’Avignon, also known as the Pont Saint-Bénézet, is a famous medieval bridge located in Avignon, France. Built in the 12th century, the bridge originally spanned the Rhône River and played a vital role in the city’s transportation system.

Today, the bridge is only partially standing, with four of its original arches still intact. Despite its incomplete state, the Pont d’Avignon remains a major tourist attraction and offers visitors a glimpse into the city’s rich history.

One of the highlights of visiting the Pont d’Avignon is the opportunity to explore the bridge’s chapel, which was built in the 13th century. The chapel is dedicated to Saint Nicholas and features beautiful stained glass windows and intricate stonework.

While you’re there, make sure to take in the stunning views of the Rhône River and the city of Avignon. The bridge offers a unique vantage point and is a great spot for taking photos.

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the Pont d’Avignon, you can visit the Musée du Pont d’Avignon, which is located nearby. The museum houses a collection of artifacts and exhibits that provide insights into the construction and significance of the bridge.

Before leaving, take a moment to imagine the bustling scene that once took place on the bridge, with merchants, travelers, and locals going about their daily lives. The Pont d’Avignon is not only a beautiful structure but also a tangible reminder of Avignon’s fascinating past.

Wander through the Charming Old Town

One of the top-rated things to do in Avignon is to explore the charming old town. With its narrow cobblestone streets, quaint cafes, and historic buildings, the old town is a delight to wander through. As you stroll through the winding streets, you’ll come across beautiful squares, picturesque courtyards, and hidden alleyways.

Be sure to visit the famous Palais des Papes, a grand palace that was once the residence of several popes. The palace is an architectural masterpiece, with its towering walls and stunning Gothic design.

Another must-see attraction in the old town is the Pont Saint-Bénézet, also known as the Pont d’Avignon. This iconic bridge spans the Rhône River and offers breathtaking views of the city.

Don’t miss the chance to explore the vibrant local market, Les Halles, where you can find an array of fresh produce, cheeses, meats, and more. This is the perfect place to sample local specialties and indulge in a bit of people-watching.

As you wander through the old town, take the time to pop into the charming boutiques and artisan shops that line the streets. From handmade jewelry to local artwork, you’ll find unique souvenirs to take home with you.

End your day with a visit to one of the many lovely cafes or restaurants in the old town. Sit outside on a terrace and enjoy a glass of wine or a delicious meal while soaking in the atmosphere.

Exploring the charming old town of Avignon is a must-do experience that will transport you back in time and leave you with memories to treasure.

Experience the Vibrant Les Halles Market

One of the top-rated things to do in Avignon is to visit the vibrant Les Halles Market. This bustling market is a food lover’s paradise, offering a wide variety of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other delicious treats.

The market is open every day and is a hub of activity, with locals and tourists alike shopping for their daily groceries or simply enjoying the vibrant atmosphere. Stroll through the aisles, take in the sights and smells, and immerse yourself in the local culinary culture.

One of the highlights of the market is the abundance of fresh Provencal products. Try some of the region’s famous olive oils, lavender-infused products, or the renowned Côte du Rhône wines. You will also find an array of local specialties such as truffles, sausages, and artisanal chocolates.

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday: 6:00am – 1:30pm
  Sunday: Closed
Location: 18 Place Pie, 84000 Avignon, France

Make sure to arrive early to experience the market at its liveliest and to secure the best deals and freshest produce. Don’t forget to bring a tote bag or two to carry your purchases!

Visiting the Les Halles Market in Avignon is not only a culinary experience but also a cultural one. It provides a glimpse into the local way of life and showcases the vibrant and diverse food scene of the region. Whether you’re a foodie or simply looking for a unique shopping experience, a visit to Les Halles Market is a must when in Avignon.

Discover the Fascinating Musee du Petit Palais

One of Avignon’s top-rated attractions, the Musee du Petit Palais offers a fascinating journey through the art and history of the region. Located within a beautiful medieval palace, this museum showcases a remarkable collection of religious artworks and masterpieces from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

The museum’s impressive collection includes exquisite sculptures, exquisite paintings, intricate tapestries, and delicate stained glass windows. As you explore the museum’s various rooms and galleries, you’ll have the opportunity to admire works by renowned artists such as Botticelli, Carpaccio, and Simone Martini.

One of the highlights of the museum is the collection of Avignon School paintings, which provides a unique insight into the local artistic heritage. These paintings depict religious scenes and portraits of important figures from Avignon’s past, offering a glimpse into the city’s rich history and cultural significance.

In addition to its permanent collection, the Musee du Petit Palais also hosts temporary exhibitions that feature different aspects of art and culture. These special exhibits provide visitors with the opportunity to discover new works and gain a deeper understanding of a specific artistic movement or period.

After exploring the museum, you can relax in the museum’s peaceful courtyard, which offers a serene atmosphere and stunning views of Avignon’s skyline. The courtyard is also home to a charming café, where you can enjoy a refreshing drink or a light snack while taking in the beauty of your surroundings.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply interested in learning more about Avignon’s heritage, a visit to the Musee du Petit Palais is a must. The museum’s exceptional collection, beautiful setting, and cultural significance make it a top-rated attraction that should not be missed during your time in Avignon.

Address Rue du Rempart Saint-Lazare, 84000 Avignon, France
Opening Hours Tuesday to Sunday: 10am – 1pm, 2pm – 6pm
Admission Regular: €6
Reduced: €4

Take a Stroll in the Picturesque Jardin des Doms

Avignon’s Jardin des Doms is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful escape. Located in the heart of Avignon, this picturesque garden offers stunning views of the city and the Rhône River.

The Jardin des Doms is famous for its beautiful flower beds, meticulously manicured lawns, and shady groves of trees. It is an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or simply to relax and soak in the tranquil atmosphere.

As you wander through the garden, you’ll come across several points of interest. The Rocher des Doms, a rocky hilltop at the center of the garden, provides breathtaking panoramic views of Avignon and the surrounding countryside. It is also home to the Saint-Bénézet Bridge, also known as Pont d’Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You can also explore the garden’s various sculptures, including a statue of Jean Althen, the pioneer of cultivating the madder plant in Avignon. The garden is also dotted with charming fountains and water features that add to its allure.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Jardin des Doms during the summer months when it hosts various cultural events and concerts. It becomes a lively hub of activity and is the perfect place to experience the vibrant energy of Avignon.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or want to immerse yourself in the history and beauty of Avignon, a stroll in the Jardin des Doms is a must-do activity. Lose yourself in the beauty of nature and discover the hidden treasures of this enchanting garden.

Attend a Performance at the Avignon Opera House

One of the top-rated things to do in Avignon is attending a performance at the Avignon Opera House. Located in the heart of this historic city, the opera house offers a variety of musical and theatrical performances throughout the year, making it a must-visit destination for art and culture enthusiasts.

The Avignon Opera House, also known as the Opéra Grand Avignon, is housed in a stunning historical building that dates back to the 19th century. The architecture alone is worth admiring, with its grand façade and intricate details. Inside, the opera house features a beautiful auditorium with excellent acoustics, ensuring that every performance is a truly memorable experience.

From classic operas and ballets to contemporary theater productions and musical concerts, the Avignon Opera House offers a diverse program that caters to different tastes and preferences. Whether you are a fan of classical music, dance, or modern theater, you are sure to find something that captivates your interest.

Purchasing tickets for a performance at the Avignon Opera House is relatively easy. You can visit their official website to check the upcoming shows and book your tickets in advance. It is recommended to plan your visit ahead of time, especially during popular events and festivals, as tickets tend to sell out quickly.

Attending a performance at the Avignon Opera House is not just about enjoying the arts, but also about immersing yourself in Avignon’s vibrant cultural scene. The opera house attracts both local and international talents, creating a stimulating environment for artists and spectators alike.

After the performance, you can explore the charming streets of Avignon, visit local cafes and restaurants, or simply take a leisurely walk along the Rhône River. The city’s rich history and cultural heritage can be felt in every corner, making it a delightful destination for both locals and tourists.

Location Place de l’Horloge, 84000 Avignon, France
Phone +33 4 90 82 81 40

Enjoy the Spectacular Views from Rocher des Doms

If you’re looking to take in the breathtaking sights of Avignon, a visit to Rocher des Doms is an absolute must. Located in the heart of the city, this beautiful park offers panoramic views that will leave you in awe.

Perched high above the Rhône River, Rocher des Doms provides a vantage point like no other. As you make your way to the top, you’ll be treated to stunning vistas of the historic cityscape, the impressive Palais des Papes, and the peaceful river below.

Take a moment to sit back and relax in this serene setting, surrounded by lush greenery and colorful flowers. The park offers plenty of benches where you can unwind, soak up the sun, and watch the world go by.

If you’re visiting during the summer months, don’t miss the chance to witness the mesmerizing sunset from Rocher des Doms. As the sun dips below the horizon, the sky comes alive with a spectacular array of colors, creating a magical atmosphere you won’t forget.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful escape, Rocher des Doms is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Prepare to be captivated by the breathtaking views and the tranquility that surrounds you.

So next time you’re in Avignon, make sure to carve out some time to visit Rocher des Doms. Trust us, the views alone are worth it!

Explore the Ancient Roman Ruins of the Pont du Gard

The Pont du Gard is a remarkable ancient Roman aqueduct bridge located in the town of Vers-Pont-du-Gard, near Avignon. It is considered one of the most impressive Roman monuments in France and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Constructed in the 1st century AD, the Pont du Gard was part of a larger aqueduct system that supplied water to the city of Nîmes. Its three-tiered structure spans over 275 meters and stands at a height of 49 meters, making it one of the tallest Roman aqueduct bridges ever built.

Visitors can marvel at the sheer engineering prowess of the Romans as they explore the ruins of the Pont du Gard. The aqueduct’s finely fitted stones and intricate arches are a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of ancient Roman builders.

The site offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. One can take a leisurely stroll along the river and admire the bridge from different angles, or even go for a refreshing swim in the clear waters of the Gardon River that flows beneath it.

In addition to exploring the bridge, visitors can also visit the museum located on-site. The museum provides in-depth information about the history and construction of the Roman aqueducts, as well as interactive exhibits that bring the ancient world to life.

For those interested in getting a closer look at the Pont du Gard, guided tours are available. Knowledgeable guides offer insightful commentary on the historical significance of the site and its remarkable architectural features.

Address: Vers-Pont-du-Gard, 30210, France
Opening Hours: Open daily from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Admission: Adults – €9, Children (6-17) – €5, Under 6 – Free

A visit to the Pont du Gard is a must for history enthusiasts and anyone interested in the marvels of ancient Roman engineering. The bridge’s grandeur and its picturesque surroundings make it a truly unforgettable experience.

Indulge in Wine Tasting at Chateauneuf-du-Pape

One of the top-rated things to do in Avignon is to indulge in wine tasting at Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Located just a short drive from Avignon, Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a renowned wine-producing village in the Rhône Valley.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape is famous for its red wines, which are made primarily from Grenache grapes. These wines are known for their bold flavors, rich aromas, and high alcohol content. The village is home to numerous wineries and tasting rooms, where visitors can sample a variety of wines and learn about the winemaking process.

During a wine tasting at Chateauneuf-du-Pape, you can expect to experience the unique terroir of the region. The soil in Chateauneuf-du-Pape is diverse, with a mixture of clay, sand, and limestone, which contributes to the complexity of the wines.

As you sip on different wines, knowledgeable sommeliers will guide you through the tasting, explaining the characteristics and nuances of each wine. They will educate you on the different grape varietals used in winemaking, the aging process, and the specific techniques employed at each winery.

In addition to tasting red wines, you will also have the opportunity to try white and rosé wines. Chateauneuf-du-Pape produces a limited quantity of these wines, but they are equally delicious and worth exploring.

After the wine tasting, you can explore the charming village of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Take a stroll through the narrow streets lined with historic buildings, and visit the ruins of the ancient château that once stood as the summer residence for the Popes of Avignon. Don’t forget to pick up a few bottles of your favorite wines to enjoy later!

Indulging in wine tasting at Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a must-do activity for wine enthusiasts visiting Avignon. The experience allows you to discover the renowned wines of the region, learn about the winemaking process, and immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Discover the Gothic Architecture of the Cathedrale Notre-Dame des Doms

When visiting Avignon, one of the top-rated things to do is to explore the stunning Cathedrale Notre-Dame des Doms and experience its Gothic architecture. Situated in the heart of the city, this magnificent cathedral is a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the medieval builders.

The Cathedrale Notre-Dame des Doms is known for its imposing presence, with its tall spires and intricate detailing that is characteristic of Gothic architecture. As you approach the cathedral, you will be awe-struck by its grandeur and beauty.

Inside, the cathedral is equally impressive. Take a moment to admire the soaring ceiling and the ornate stained glass windows that fill the space with a warm, colorful glow. The attention to detail in the carvings and sculptures throughout the cathedral is truly remarkable, showcasing the talent of the artisans who created them.

While exploring the interior, don’t miss the chance to climb to the top of the cathedral’s tower. From here, you will be treated to breathtaking views of Avignon and the surrounding countryside. It’s a perfect spot to capture some stunning photos and take in the beauty of the city.

Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply appreciate great architecture, a visit to the Cathedrale Notre-Dame des Doms is a must-do when in Avignon. Prepare to be captivated by the Gothic masterpieces that await you and immerse yourself in the rich history of this remarkable cathedral.

Step back in time at the Musee de l’Avignon Medieval

Immerse yourself in the rich history of Avignon at the Musee de l’Avignon Medieval. This fascinating museum is housed in the historic Palais des Papes, making it the perfect place to learn about the medieval period in this picturesque city.

As you step through the museum’s doors, you’ll be transported back in time to the 14th century, when Avignon was the center of the Catholic Church and the Palais des Papes was the residence of the Popes. The museum is home to a vast collection of artifacts from this era, including religious artworks, decorative objects, and ancient manuscripts.

One of the highlights of the museum is the chance to explore the Palais des Papes itself. You’ll have the opportunity to wander through the grand halls and chambers of this magnificent palace, learning about the daily lives of the Popes and the people who lived and worked here.

Another must-see exhibit at the Musee de l’Avignon Medieval is the stunning collection of medieval frescoes. These intricate paintings adorn the walls of the museum, offering a glimpse into the artistic and cultural heritage of the time.

After exploring the exhibits, be sure to visit the museum’s gift shop, where you can purchase unique souvenirs and mementos of your visit. You can also relax at the museum’s café, which offers a selection of delicious French pastries and refreshments.

Opening Hours Ticket Prices Location
9:00am – 6:00pm Adults: €10 Palais des Papes, Place du Palais, 84000 Avignon
(Closed on Tuesdays) Children (under 18): Free
Seniors (over 65): €8

Visiting the Musee de l’Avignon Medieval is a journey through time that shouldn’t be missed. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply interested in exploring Avignon’s past, this museum offers a captivating experience that will leave you with a deeper understanding of the city’s medieval heritage.

Experience the Provençal Cuisine at a Local Restaurant

One of the must-do activities in Avignon is to savor the delicious and authentic Provençal cuisine at a local restaurant. Provençal cuisine is known for its fresh and vibrant flavors that are derived from local ingredients such as olive oil, garlic, herbs, and vegetables.

When dining at a local restaurant, you can expect to find traditional dishes like ratatouille, bouillabaisse, and daube, which are all representative of the Provençal culinary heritage. These dishes are prepared with great skill and attention to detail, ensuring that every bite is a burst of flavor.

Many local restaurants in Avignon also offer a variety of regional wines to accompany your meal. Provençal wines, such as Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, are highly regarded for their quality and are the perfect complement to the rich flavors of the cuisine.

Not only will you be able to indulge in delectable food and wine, but dining at a local restaurant allows you to immerse yourself in the vibrant Provençal culture. The warm and inviting ambience of these restaurants, coupled with the friendly service, will make you feel right at home.

So, if you want to truly experience the essence of Provençal cuisine, head to a local restaurant in Avignon and treat yourself to a memorable dining experience. Your taste buds will thank you!

Take a Boat Ride on the Rhone River

When visiting Avignon, taking a boat ride on the Rhone River is a must-do activity. The Rhone River flows through the city and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Embark on a scenic journey along the Rhone River and witness the beauty of Avignon from a different perspective. As you cruise along the river, you’ll be captivated by the picturesque scenery, including the stunning Pont Saint-Bénézet, also known as the Avignon Bridge.

During the boat ride, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the rich history and culture of Avignon. Listen to fascinating stories about the city’s past as you float along the tranquil waters of the Rhone River.

Whether you choose a daytime or evening boat ride, the experience is truly magical. During the day, you can enjoy the warm sunlight and see Avignon’s landmarks in all their glory. At night, the city lights up, creating a romantic ambiance that is perfect for couples.

Don’t forget to bring your camera along, as the boat ride provides countless photo opportunities. Capture the beauty of Avignon’s skyline and the reflections of the historical buildings on the Rhone River.

So, if you’re looking for a unique and memorable way to explore Avignon, hop on a boat and set sail on the Rhone River. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss!

Visit the Contemporary Art Collection at the Collection Lambert

If you are a fan of contemporary art, a visit to the Collection Lambert in Avignon is a must. This modern art museum houses an impressive collection of contemporary art from around the world.

The Collection Lambert was established by Yvon Lambert, a renowned art collector and gallery owner. Over the years, Lambert has built up an extensive collection of contemporary art, including works by internationally acclaimed artists such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Cy Twombly.

The museum is housed in a beautiful 18th-century mansion, known as the Hôtel de Caumont. The combination of the historic setting and the modern artwork creates a unique and intriguing atmosphere. As you explore the museum, you will discover a wide range of art forms, including paintings, sculptures, installations, and multimedia works.

One of the highlights of the Collection Lambert is the exhibition of works by artist Christian Boltanski. His thought-provoking installations often explore themes of memory, identity, and mortality. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, so there is always something new and exciting to see.

During your visit, make sure to take advantage of the museum’s audio guide, which provides insightful commentary on the artwork and the artists behind it. The guide is available in multiple languages, ensuring that visitors from all over the world can fully engage with the collection.

Located in the heart of Avignon, the Collection Lambert is easily accessible and makes for a perfect cultural outing during your visit to the city. Whether you are an art enthusiast or simply curious about contemporary art, this museum offers a captivating experience that should not be missed.

Opening Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11am-6pm

Admission: Adults €10, Concessions €8, Free admission for children under 18

Note: The museum may have special opening hours or closures due to temporary exhibitions or events, so it is advisable to check the website or contact the museum in advance.


What are the top attractions to visit in Avignon?

The top attractions to visit in Avignon include the Palais des Papes, Pont Saint-Bénézet, and the Avignon Cathedral.

What is the best time of year to visit Avignon?

The best time to visit Avignon is during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is mild and there are fewer tourists.

How long does it take to visit the Palais des Papes?

It usually takes about 1-2 hours to visit the Palais des Papes, depending on how much time you spend exploring the different rooms and exhibitions.

Are there any day trips from Avignon?

Yes, there are several day trips you can take from Avignon, including visits to the nearby towns of Arles and Nîmes, as well as the beautiful Provence countryside.

Is it necessary to book tickets in advance for the Pont Saint-Bénézet?

It is not necessary to book tickets in advance for the Pont Saint-Bénézet. You can simply purchase tickets at the entrance of the bridge.

What are the top attractions to visit in Avignon?

There are several top attractions to visit in Avignon. Some of the must-see places include the Palais des Papes, which is a grand medieval palace that served as the residence of the popes during the 14th century. The Pont d’Avignon, or the Avignon Bridge, is also a popular attraction, known for its historic significance and beautiful views. Additionally, the Avignon Cathedral, Rocher des Doms Park, and Musée du Petit Palais are worth visiting.

What is the history behind the Palais des Papes?

The Palais des Papes, or the Palais of the Popes, has a rich history. It was originally built as a fortress in the 14th century and became the seat of the Catholic popes during a time when the Papacy was divided. The construction of the palace was motivated by the political events of the time, including the conflict between the French monarchy and the Papacy. Today, the Palais des Papes is one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Avignon France Travel Guide: 10 BEST Things To Do In Avignon

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Laurie Baratti

Laurie Baratti, a renowned San Diego journalist, has contributed to respected publications like TravelAge West, SPACE, Modern Home + Living, Montage, and Sandals Life. She's a passionate travel writer, constantly exploring beyond California. Besides her writing, Laurie is an avid equestrian and dedicated pet owner. She's a strong advocate for the Oxford comma, appreciating the richness of language.

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