Located in the heart of Provence, Avignon has everything needed to enchant you with its art de vivre and rich architectural heritage. Thelargest Gothic palace in Europe and epicenter of the city, the Palais des Papes was the residence of pontifical sovereigns during the 14th century.
Towards the edges of the city, the Pont d'Avignon - celebrated across the world - is also an amazing must-see witness to the city's history.
Avignon, surrounded by its ancient ramparts, is very suitable to explore on foot. Through its narrow streets, you can discover many old monuments: chapels, churches, buildings from the Middle Ages, and eighteenth and nineteenth century hôtels particuliers; art can be found on every corner, a veritable open-sky museum.
Discover elegant fashion boutiques, antique dealers, regional products, Provençal gourmet cuisine and Côtes du Rhône wine, all for moments of pure pleasure. During the summer, thanks to its annual festival, the city shines with a unique atmosphere, transforming into one giant concert and theater hall.
Not to be missed in Avignon
Palais des Papes
The Palais des Pales, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is an exclusive witness to the time when the papal seat moved to France. It contains 25 tourist sites: staterooms, chapels, cloisters, private papal apartments with incredible frescoes, and more.
The famous St Bénézet bridge
Also known as the Pont d'Avignon: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the bridge carries quite a bit of history, known across the world through the famous song, Sur le Pont d'Avignon. Built in the 12th century, the bridge was moved several times by the flooded Rhône and abandoned for public use in the 17th century.
The city's rich museums
The Musée du Petit Palais
Bringing together an exceptional collection of over 300 Italian and Provençal paintings dating from the end of the thirteenth century to the start of the sixteenth century, as well as a collection of Roman and Gothic-style Avignonnais scultpures.
The Musée Calvet
Located in a magnificent hôtel particulier, this museum contains a rich collection of paintings and scultpures from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries, including:
Donation Marcel Puech: furniture, earthenware, bronzes
Victor Martin gallery of modern art: Soutine, Manet, Camille Claudel, and more
The Musée Angladon
This old hôtel particulier, located in the heart of old Avignon, allows you to discover great artists from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, like Degas, Daumier, Manet, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Vuillard, Picasso, Modigliani, Foujita, and more.
The Collection Lambert en Avignon
This contemporary art collection reflects the greatest art movements of our time, including:
- Conceptual art
- Land art
- 1980s paintings
- 1990s videography and photography
The museum also brings together top names like Cy Twombly, Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, Niele Toroni, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anselm Kiefer, Christian Boltanski, Nan Goldin, Douglas Gordon and Jenny Holzer, whose works are on permanent exhibition.
The Musée Louis Vouland
Located in a charming hôtel particulier, this museum brings together a rich collection of arts décoratifs from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: Parisian furniture, earthenware (from Midi, Moustiers, and Marseille), goldsmithery, tapisseries, paintings, and a new collection of Provençal and Avignonnais paintings from the 19th century.
Cruises on the Rhône
La Compagnie des Grands Bateaux de Provence offers several routes on the Rhône from Avignon to Châteauneuf-du-Pape or Arles. Aboard the MIREIO, a boat-restaurant with a panoramic view, visit the region during lunch or with dinner and a show.
From April to September, the La Saône boat offers mini-cruises around Avignon: discover the famous bridge, the Palais des Papes, the Villeneuve-lez-Avignon and the Philippe le Bel Tower.
Les Halles and the "Little Kitchen"
Decorated with an astonishing plant wall created by Patrick Blanc, Les Halles, an authentic Provençal-style market, offers fresh seasonal products and regional specialties.
Each Saturday at 11 in the morning, the area's top chefs come to run the "Little Kitchen" to share their art, advise chefs-in-training, reveal their secrets, and initiate visitors into Provençal cuisine. Taste recipes prepared with products from the market! (Les Halles d'Avignon is open each morning from Tuesday to Sunday).
La Bouteillerie in the Palais des Papes
Located in the heart of the Palais des Papes, the Bouteillerie is a space dedicated to wines from the Vallée du Rhône, with about 60 designations.
Get the Best Out of Your Trip to Avignon
Guided Tours of the City: Avignon in the Time of Popes
A tour that allows you to walk in the footsteps of medieval Avignon, through chapels, public squares, and narrow alleyways, recalling the architecture and everyday life in the Middle Ages.
The tour includes a visit to the Palais des Papes, retracing the lives of pontifical sovereigns, their political and religious power, their habits, their court - even their kitchen and gardens!
An exclusive tour of the pope's residences: private apartments, saunas, wardrobes, chapels, and gardens. Hidden staircases and hallways carry you from the basement to the rooftops. An unusual tour including lunch and a tasting of the Côtes du Rhône wines on the terrace of the Grands Dignitaires.
The Pope's Pets
Painted, sculpted, featured in illuminated manuscripts, or trimmed into the gardens' menageries, discover the pope's pets.
During state banquets, the most prized pets were even presented to visitors to demonstrate the pope's power.
Why would the pope want to work under the watchful eye of a deer painted on the wall of his study? Why does a lion have any place in the Palace - in the decorations or in reality? What does the monkey looking in the mirror at the exit of the Grande Chapelle mean? So many questions asked by these "beasts" of the pope! Find out the answers during your tour.
Avignon Passion: Visit More, Spend Less
The Avignon Pass allows you to visit more and spend less in the sites and museums of Avignon and Villeneuve-les-Avignon. Pay the full price in the first place you visit, then the rest of your visits and excursions are discounted for the whole family (5 people maximum).
41 cours Jean Jaurès BP 8
84004 Avignon Cedex 1
Tel: 33 (0)4 32 74 32 74
Fax: 33 (0)4 90 82 95 03