Avignon

Avignon is where the popes pontificated in mediaeval times and people danced on (or under) the famous bridge. Once the majestic centre of church power, today it's an intimate, provençal walled city. Great historic sights, mellow bars and fashionable shops, quaint cobbled streets made for strolling, an exciting theatre festival and a spectacular riverside location: it all adds up to a beguiling package.

Our gallery takes you on an armchair tour through Avignon's main attractions. Click on each image or scroll down the page to read more about them.

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Avignon bus iconAvignon's walled city is compact: the Palais des Papes and Pont d'Avignon can be visited on foot (wear comfortable shoes as streets are cobbled). If you tire of walking, here are some alternatives.

Restaurant Christian EtienneAvignon offers an array of dining right across the spectrum, from superb Michelin-starred haute cuisine to budget brasserie cooking.

Facade, Palais des Papes, AvignonThe Popes' Palace, is the star attraction in Avignon, a monumental structure which briefly transformed a sleepy provincial town into a glittering centre of European power.

Tapenade stall at Les Halles, AvignonWith around 40 stalls selling a cornucopia of regional produce, Les Halles is a must for any dedicated foodie in Avignon.

Avignon Bridge viewed from Barthelasse islandThe Pont d'Avignon - or Pont Saint Bénézet - stops suddenly half-way across the Rhône river. But this dramatic, broken bridge remains an iconic landmark, inspiring a famous song.

Wind Rose, AvignonAvignon's peak tourist season - boosted by its important theatre festival - is in July, but the climate is agreeable - if not as clement as in Aix or Marseille - for much of the year.

The Garden at Epicurium AvignonSteeped in art and history, serious and monumental Avignon is often seen as a rather family-unfriendly city. But we have ideas for an enjoyable activity or three if you are staying with children here.

Young Woman Holding a MaskThere's something for everyone in Avignon's museums, from a Tyrannosaurus Rex skull and avant-garde art to the Countess du Barry's adorable travel tea service and the only painting by Vincent van Gogh on permanent view in Provence.

The Rocher des Doms, AvignonA gentle five-minute stroll up a small hill, the Rocher des Doms offers a welcome refuge from Avignon's heat and bustle on a summer's day and panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside.

Hotel du Palais des papes, AvignonAvignon's historic walled city is very compact and during the peak season accommodation is in short supply. We offer some tips for finding a bed at busy times and the best places to stay all year round.

Pope Clement VIThe Avignon Popes' private quarters in the Palais des Papes have long been closed to the public. But now this tour gives a fascinating insight into the pontiffs' secret daily lives.

The rue des Teinturiers, AvignonThe rue des Teinturiers is one of the prettiest, most historic spots in the walled city of Avignon - and also one of the most fashionable.

La Cathedrale Notre Dame des Doms, AvignonAvignon's cathedral sits in the mighty complex of buildings on the Rocher des Doms overlooking the city.

Vintage telephone circa 1921The region's popularity with tourists and large anglophone community ensure modest but adequate English-language resources. Our checklist includes the nearest embassies, consulates, doctors, lawyers and emergency phone numbers.

Railway Wagons by Vincent van Gogh at the Angladon Museum, AvignonOne of Avignon's most delightful galleries, the Angladon Museum has a discerning collection, including one of the very few paintings by Vincent van Gogh on view in Provence.

barges moored barthelasse avignonSet on the Rhône river between Avignon and Villeneuve lès Avignon, Barthelasse Island is a relaxing haven of peace and greenery just a few minutes' walk from these two cities.

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