Welcome to your only list you will need for the best things to do in Avignon, France. Oh, what a GORGEOUS city. Seriously. Avignon is packed with great things to do, whether it is sightseeing, day trips, culture, nightlife. This fairly small city has a lot to offer.
In this travel guide, we will share with you the TOP things to do in Avignon with a big plus. We took the liberté to share more than just the main sights and top attractions.
Besides the Pope’s Palace and the world-famous Bridge (and its own song), we wandered around to have a closer look at things.
There are a few unusual things to do in Avignon, the classics, and plenty of opportunities to end the day with a wine in your hand.
What to do in Avignon, France?
Let’s start our list for Avignon activities with the most famous one…
1. Palais des Papes
This the Must-Do, and is on top of all lists for the BEST Things to do in Avignon: Palais des Papes.
It is one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in all of Europe. That tells you quite something. Avignon became the residence of the Popes from 1309 until 1394 (14th Century).
It is a massive building, very well preserved, stately, and monumental. This sight goes by the official name “Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge”. You will find it in Lonely Planet as #1 and every single guide for what to see in Avignon.
When it comes to sightseeing, I always try to see if it worth it the time and money to visit.
So, is it worth it to visit Palais des Papes?
A big YES!
The monument is already impressive from the outside and keeps impressing you with every step you take inside. With your entrance comes a free tablet to take a tour around the palace. When I visited, there were as well families, couples, and solo travelers alike. Everybody really enjoyed it, even the children.
This was surprising to me – read below why a tour of Palais des Popes is also interesting for families with children.
How to get tickets: You can purchase a single entrance ticket to Palais des Popes. Yet, I would recommend getting the combined ticket of Palais de Popes and Pont de Avignon (the bridge). It is cheaper as a package and trust me, you do want to visit the bridge as well (see #2 on this list!)
Here you can get the Skip-The-Line Combo Ticket for both Palais de Popes and the bridge.
We got the ticket I just mentioned. It is perfect since you can skip the line directly and go to the entrance. The same goes for the bridge.
Buy your tickets for Palais des Papes here
Skip the line tickets for Palais de popes is worth it
Good to know: The Audio Guide is free and included in the price. It is a tablet with a headphone. It works location-based. Meaning, when you enter a room, the device detects the room and starts the audio. On top of that, you can scan a coin to get a virtual tour of the room.
For nerds and kids: There is a game included in the tour. In some rooms, you can virtually collect coins. Keep an eye open and let your children now. This way they will have fun and you can learn the story behind the Palais de Papes.
2. Dance at the Avignon Bridge
The Avignon Bridge, also known as Pont Saint-Bénézet, is the #2 on your absolute Avignon must-see’s.
The half-bridge goes halfway above the river of Rhone. It looks odd at first. You will learn more about the history of the bridge with the free audio guide included in your ticket.
Again, I recommend getting the Skip-The-Line Combo Ticket for both Palais de Popes and the bridge.
Just so you know: The bridge was actually longer.
Much longer, you probably won’t believe it. The tour includes a 3D video reconstructing the form and history of the bridge.
The song of the Over the Bridge in Avignon: “Sur le Pont d’Avignon” is a French song for children about the Pont d’Avignon. The song dates back to the 15th century. Of course, there were many songs about this spectacular bridge, however, all trace of these songs has disappeared, with the exception of this one.
Fun fact: Sur le Pont d’Avignon was sung at weddings in Normandy.
The original lyrics of Sur le pont d’Avignon:
Sur le pont d’Avignon,
L’on y danse, l’on y danse,
Sur le pont d’Avignon
L’on y danse tout en rond.
Les belles dames font comme ça
Et puis encore comme ça.
Sur le pont d’Avignon
L’on y danse tout en rond.
Here is a fun Youtube video of the song. You can practice already and sing along.
3. Place de l’Horloge
No worries, I don’t expect you to know this square. It is simple: Place de l’Horloge is located around the corner of Palais de Popes. Here you will find many restaurants, bars, street artists and even a carousel for children.
It is a great place to have lunch or dinner, although it goes without saying the prices here are usually a bit higher (still okay though!).
So if you are after a few nice things to do in Avignon for families, you just found one!
4. Eat away at Les Halles Market Avignon
Local markets are always a highlight, especially in France. And so in Avignon. Walk-in and take your time. You will find many foods to go such as Quiche, salads and of course, lots of cheese.
Especially in Spring and Summer, the facade of the market itself is worth taking a photo of. Have a look at my photo below.
5. Join the Theatre
When in Rome, do as Romans. When in Avignon, go to the theater.
Avignon is one of the cities in France with more Theaters per person. The hard task will be deciding which play to see, as there are so many.
Even though most plays are in French, worry not. There are plenty of plays where only gesture and mimics are used.
6. Hipster Things? Have a coffee at Café Tulipe
If you’re looking for someplace to get caffeine and just chill, you better check out Café Tulipe in No. 7, Rue Des Trois Faucons which is also good for catching up work.
They also have chairs and tables available outside if you want to feel more of the vibe of the street. The menu is great from breakfast to lunch, brunch, or just an afternoon snack, they got it.
Not to mention the wonderful coffee which many have come to try during their visit to the area. And aside from the hot beverages, they also offer fresh juices and teas.
So if you’re willing to try Café Tulipe, you can check them out at their Facebook account here.
Address: 7 Rue Des Trois Faucons, 84000 Avignon, France
7. More Hipster? Have a coffee at Le Bistro du Cabestan
The tiny corner coffee Le Bistro du Cabestan offers creamy coffee and yummy cakes and croissants.
Address: 13 Rue Collège de la Croix, 84000 Avignon, France
8. Smell the Lavender
Avignon is located in the Provence Region, known for its Lavender fields.
The beautiful and sweet-smelling lavender fields bloom from June to August in the area of the hilltop villages of Luberon, a region of Sault, and Valréas.
There is a lot of Lavender stores dotted around Avignon, you will run into a few for sure. You can buy anything with Lavender. From Soap to Towels and closet fresheners.
It is also worth it to consider a day trip to the beautiful Lavender fields located just outside of the city.
9. Cathedrale Notre-Dame des Doms
You will be able to find Cathedrale Notre-Dame des Doms in between Cathedrale Notre-Dame des Doms which is a very ancient structure.
Built during the 12th century, the cathedral is made with pure Provençal Romanesque style and was topped with a gargantuan Virgin Mary lantern. The cathedral is a perfect place to visit if you are into history and art.
Aside from this, the entrance is free of charge.
Address: La Cathédrale Notre Dame des Doms, place du Palais, 84000 Avignon
10. Get around with the small Train
The by far easiest and fastest way to get around Avignon is by taking the tourist train.
It stops at the main sights in Avignon. You can save your energy for actually spending your time inside the palace, for instance.
11. Wine Tasting
Personally, I love wine. And since France is big in the wine world, a wine tasting is a great idea for cities like Bordeaux, Avignon, Marseille, Lyon…
Actually all cities!
12. Boat Cruise on the Rhone
Avignon is located directly at the river Rhone, one of the major rivers of Europe. It goes all the way from Switzerland, passing through the famous Lake Geneva, to Avignon and divides in Arles into two branches.
Hop on a cruise around the river.
It gives you a beautiful view of the landscape, the Palais des Papes and obviously, you will pass by the bridge very closely.
If you have not heard about Aperitif, it is a French custom called l’heure de l’apéritif. The time transition between the day’s activities and the evening meal that comes with a beverage and a few nibbles.
It came from the Latin word “Aprire” which means “to open”. It is the perfect way to end the day with a few drinks and snacks with your friends and family. And match with good laughs and happy conversations to set up the mood.
14. Rocher des Domes
The Rocher des Doms is the cradle of Avignon.
It has always been a popular spot for a promenade – and it still is!
You reach Rocher des Domes by the steps leading from:
Enjoy the walk and the views!
Unusual Things To Do in Avignon
Okay, we have covered the absolute MUst-DOs in the city. If you are only 2 days in Avignon, this answered your question of what to see in Avignon in 2 days.
If you brought a bit more time (or if you want to explore the city from a different perspective), here are a few ideas on unusual things to do in Avignon.
15. Festival d’Avignon
One of the most significant festivals in the world about contemporary performing arts events is Festival d’Avignon.
It all started way back in 1947 and from then has continued to be celebrated every year in July. During this time, you will be amazed at how Avignon transforms into a city theater. Venues of performing arts can be found almost everywhere and thousands of tourists and theater lovers come to witness and participate in the festival.
The performances include shows, films, exhibitions, readings, and debates. And with this much activity the runs throughout the month of July, it opens great opportunities for artists all over the world.
Check them out at this link.
16. WAVE Island – Water Park
Looking for the best place perfect for the whole family? Then that would be Wave Island. The water park with 17 water-based attractions. Aside from this, it also has Europe’s largest lazy river and the world’s biggest surf simulator.
And with this, the kids and the whole family will surely have an amazing water experience. What good about Wave Island is that they also have River adventure for people with disabilities. Plus, Children’s play areas which are suitable for all ages.
Moreover, when the clock strikes to 7 PM, you can head up to the Wave Corner where you and the whole gang can dine, listen to music, or just have a sip of your favorite cocktail.
Address: 800 Allée de Beaulieu, 84170 Monteux, France
17. The Tiny “London Eye”: Ferris Wheel
When I approached the city for the first time by car, I was surprised. There was a Ferris wheel on the right and the majestic Palais de Popes on the left. Two worlds clashed here.
Anyway, the tiny “London Eye”, let’s call it “Avignon Eye” is a Ferris wheel. Come here for a ride and wonderful views from the top.
18. Les Grottes De Thouzon
Be amazed by beautiful stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, rim stone dams, and cave pearls at the foot of the Thouzon hill, in the Vaucluse in Provence which was discovered in 1902.
The cave is not entirely huge with more or less 230 meters long and fistulous stalactites can reach up to 2 meters with a 3-millimeter diameter. And sometimes they call this macaroni since they are hollow.
Caves may not be everyone’s interest but the formations inside the cave are preservation of an exceptional heritage that brings you back in time. And As you walk in the fossil bed of an old underground river, you will appreciate the richness and beauty of nature.
Address: 2083 Route d’Orange, 84250 Le Thor, France
19. Panoramic View from Pausenpaleis and Jardins des Doms
How about some cool free things to do in Avignon?
Walk the gardens of the Palais des Popes, called Jardins des Doms. Here you can get a panoramic view over the bridge and the surroundings like:
At Jardins des Doms you will find those beautiful horses with pedals. A beloved things to do in Avignon with kids.
20. Taste the Culture – Cooking Class
A visit to France would not be complete without tasting the wine and French cuisine. Take a step further and join a cooking class. There are several cooking classes in Les Halles.
You will be handling several spices and herbs from La Provence.
Good to know: Herbs from La Provence are a perfect souvenir to bring back home.
21. McArthurGlen – Designer Outlet for the Shopping-Lover
Shop at one of the leading designer outlet retail in Europe at their first branch in Avignon. Find your favorite brands in their outlet and enjoy shopping.
It is open from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
22. Petit Palais de Avignon
Petit Palais de Avignon is also called the Palace of the archbishops and museum since archbishops used to reside in this place in the 14th and 15th centuries.
And today it stands as an outstanding museum with remarkable collections of Middle Ages and the Italian Renaissance.
It has primitive, pre-Rennaissance, 13th- to 16th-century Italian religious paintings by artists including:
Address: Palais des archevêques, Place du Palais, 84000 Avignon, France
23. Escape Room
Step up your visit to Avignon and engage yourself in a mission escape game where you play with 3-5 players and lasts for one hour. They have three themed rooms you can choose from and each offers a different kind of adventure to unlock.
They also have other types of games that are worth trying.
Check them out at their website here.
24. Bike Tours
Avignon is really walkable. The inner city, everything within the walls, is fairly small. It takes you around 15 minutes to cross the city once.
Anyway, a bike tour is an even better option.
It is really flat and easy to cycle.
With a bike tour, you can go all around in no-time.
You can also cross the bridge or take the ferry to the Barthelasse Island. Here’s a link to rent a bike.
25. Eat out at the River Bench: Restaurant Le Bercail
Located across the city, on the other riverside, you find the Barthelasse Island. You find nature here, a camping site and the perfect spot to go for a morning run, cycling and taking photos (check my next top item on the list)
Address: 162 Chemin des Canotiers, 84000 Avignon, France
26. Take the most beautiful Photos of Avignon
We all want to bring home memories. And in times where Instagram is more popular than ever, a beautiful photo is always appreciated.
Anyway, I think, I found the perfect spot to take memorable photos of your trip to Avignon:
Take a free shuttle ferry crossing the river to Barthelasse Island, right from the foot of Avignon bridge.
Find the schedule for the free shuttle ferry here.
27. Boulangerie/ Patisserie
If you’re looking for a place to catch different kinds of food including the best patisserie in Avignon, then you should head to Les Halles Market.
You will see more than 40 vendors in Les Halles Market or also know as Les Halles d’Avignon in French. Satisfy your appetites with amazing French food and wines offered to you as early as 6 AM.
Expect big crowds during your visit especially during peak hours. But I am sure you will love the amazing food that varies from fruits to pastries to spices and fresh fishes. And there are even small restaurants where you can sit and catch a quick meal or snack.
Not to mention, it’s only a 7-minute walk from the incredible Palace of the Popes.
28. Pass Through the Port de la Republique
Around the “Port de la Republique” there is always a local market that sells various items. It is always fun to get around local markets and see what they do sell, locals walking around…
They even speak English! -with French accent .
We did not say that. That’s a fun pun we found walking around the market.
29. Hunt down the tiny Books Shops for a Book Swap
A bit outside the box: Book swapping!
What is a book swapping? It means you leave a book you no longer need or want and swap it against a new 2nd hand one. Some places offer this so-called book-swap.
Things to do in Avignon at Night
Hurray, you are still here. This means you might be interested in going out for a drink in Avignon.
Here we list a few simple fun things to do in the evening in Avignon.
30. Have a drink at the Coolest Street in Town
Considered as one of the most fashionable and most historic streets in Avignon is Rue des Teinturiers.
This is one pretty place you can nicely spend your afternoon or evenings with friends or even on your alone time. You can enjoy walking along the cobbled pathways, check on amazing shops, or simply have a perfect meal or drink.
And when you visit in July, the whole street becomes a mini-theater during Avignon’s Off Festival.
Address: Rue des Teinturiers, 84000 Avignon, France
31. Clubbing? Check Bokao’s
A visit to Avignon would not be complete without enjoying the exciting clubs. One of our favorite clubs to crash is Bokao’s Nightclub.
Open from Thursday to Saturday, your party spirit will surely love it at Bokao’s. They have the best dance non-stop party in Avignon.
Offering not only the nightclub and bar, but they also have a private jacuzzi and restaurant where you can get group menus during your stay at the party.
So if you’re looking for a fun experience and great music, Bokao’s is a place to go.
Address: 9B Boulevard Saint-Lazare, 84000 Avignon, France
32. Vintage Cinema: Cinema Utopia
Located at the foot of the Pope’s Palace, you will find Cinema Utopia. Featuring more than 340 films from all nationalities are played all throughout the year, every day.
You can choose among 24 screenings per day and experience Avignon’s cultural beacons. Fall in love with their films played in original versions with subtitles.
There are also a bistro and restaurant where they serve local produce from organic farms and organic wines.
Address: 4 Rue des Escaliers Sainte-Anne, 84000 Avignon, France
Day Trips from Avignon, France
I love Avignon, it is a really wonderful city. I also love day trips and traveling.
Therefore, let us have a look at things you can do near Avignon. There is actually plenty of great full day/ half day trips from Avignon. You might be surprised.
33. Day Trip to Le Pont du Garde
A wonderful place for families to visit and maybe have a picnic is Le Pont du Garde.
Pont du Garde is one of the most visited monuments in Provence and was built by the Romans as a stone aqueduct to supply Nimes with water.
You can also join day trip tours that include visits to Saint Remy & Les Baux which will take you back to the Roman period.
34. Day Trip to Nimes
If you want to go back in time, Nimes is one of the amazing places to visit.
Known as the “Rome of France’, immerse yourself in fascinating history and travel back in time with its amazing infrastructure which ages more than 2000 years old.
You can walk through the beautiful Fountain Gardens and check out Diane’s Temple which is dedicated to the goddess of the hunt and the Moon. Nime’s Arena is also a wonderful structure similar to the Colesseum.
What to see: Pont du Gard, Maison Carree, Jardin De La Fontaine, Arena of Nîmes
35. Day Trip to Uzes
Renowned for its Renaissance architecture, Uzes played a vital role as a trading center of silk, linen, and liquorice.
Every Wednesday and Saturday, Place aux herbes, hosts farmers market where you can buy freshly harvest goods. There are also cafes and restaurants you can eat and buy drinks.
Sites to visit also include the ducal palace and the cathedral.
36. Day Trip to Orange: Roman Old Theater
Considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981, the Roman old Theater has 9,000 capacity with a magnificent facade and the first in France.
And according to King Louis XIV, it was the finest wall in his kingdom. The facade measures 103 meters long, 1,80 meters thick, and 37 meters high.
With its well-preserved structure, you will marvel at how beautiful and how old the structure is.
37. Day Trip to Marseille
France’s second city is Marseille, the center life of the South. You cannot miss going to Provence without dropping by at Marseille.
Visit the harbor and walk through the ramshackle streets. You will see the rich diversity of the place that can be seen in its houses, cafes, and port.
This is also the best place to buy freshly caught fish from the local fishermen.
38. Le Carbet Amazonien
Le Carbet Amazonien is a farm of butterflies in a 500 m2 breeding greenhouse. Kids will love this place since they feature 44 tropical species of butterflies from different places.
Literally see how they reproduce and how they grow from egg to butterfly. You will see the different colors of these butterflies flying around you.
So don’t forget to ready your cameras because you might even get a wonderful butterfly in your hands.
Address: Route de Pernes Quartier Saint-Paul Départementale 938, 84740 Velleron, France
39. Lavender Museum
Located in Provence, Lavender Museum welcomes you to one of the longest producers of Lavender in the world.
In this museum, you will witness the biggest collection of red copper stills from the 16th century to today including two documentaries about the grower’s work from the lavender’s cutting, distillation, to the plantation.
They also have a boutique that offers different kinds of products from lavender. From relaxing massage oil, pure plant soaps, bubble bath, body lotion, eau de toilette, moisturizing face cream, shower gels to herbal tea & honey, and flowers in sachets or bags, lucky charm.
Address: 276 Route de Gordes, 84220 Cabrières-d’Avignon, France
40. Day Trip to Arles
Arles is very famous since it was where Vincent Van Gogh spent his time completing his masterpieces that include scenes taken from the places in the city.
Its amphitheater is also a wonderful highlight that you must-see. It was modeled on Rome’s coliseum and has been standing for more than a hundred years and still holds events and concerts.
41. Chateau de la Barben
Hidden between Salon de Provence and Aix en Provence is the natural medieval fortresses of Chateau de la Barben.
It welcomes one-hour tours to guests accompanied by professional guides. The place has also continued to be a wonderful venue for events all throughout the year. While its gardens remain open to the public on certain days.
42. Chateau d’Estoublon
Live in luxury inside a palace in Chateau d’Estoublon for a day or more. You can rent this place and invite up to twenty guests.
Take your time to pamper yourself in 500 acres of manicured grounds and verdant forest. There is also a pool and a garden. Villas also offer features the same as a private luxury resort which includes a fitness room, home theater, and games rooms to a hammam. There is also a bar and wine cellar.
Address: Route de Maussane, 13990 Fontvieille, France
43. Day Trip to Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence is a little college town that offers peaceful gardens, art galleries, and beautiful shops. It also remains cool during the summer since the streets are mostly shaded by trees and buildings.
Sites to see in Aix-en-Proven include:
EXTRA: Guided E-Bike Tour in Provence
Take a guided tour by e-bike around Provence. Cycle past farmlands, medieval villages, and the countryside. Stop to admire the stunning Pont du Gard aqueduct – also included in the great day trips above.
Find more information for the e-bike tour here.
All Activities in Avignon put on a Map
Alright, that is a lot of activities and sights to cover.
We put all the best places on a map of Avignon, France.
You can check the different layers, zoom in and out for your comfort.
The categories on the Avignon Map are:
I also included the hotel and apartments on the map so you can plan your trip better.
Where to stay in Avignon
Looking for a place to stay in Avignon? I am sure after the list you are convinced Avignon is not only one of the most beautiful cities in France, but also a great place to include in your holidays.
Luckily for me (and for you too), one of my best friends worked many years in Avignon.
She knows the hospitality industry there very well. Therefore, here you have the best places to stay in Avignon:
Jardins de la baracane
Mi favorite place in the city center! A small accommodation located in a 17th century property. Les Jardins de Baracane is a small guest house within the city walls in Avignon. Even thought its central location, it is extremely quiet.
The terrace is gorgeous, with a swimming pool so you can cool off if you are traveling in Avignon in summer. The breakfast is served in the garden and it is delicious.
Note: All rooms have garden views and air conditioning.
Tip: contact them in advance if you are vegetarian/ vegan so they can know and prepare your food/ breakfast accordingly.
O’Dreams Avignon is quite special. Featuring a different design on each room, you can choose to spend your night with on a room with :
This accommodation is not an hotel. It is a mix between an apartment and an Airbnb. You will have to arrange the check-in with a host. But the locations is great.
A nice apartment that comes with:
Good to know: there is a terrace on the top. Do not forget to check it.
Apartment at Place des Saints
A simple apartment in Avignon center. The apartment is located near bars, restaurants… It is located in an historic building. Therefore, there is no lift and it is located on a second floor.
The apartment has one room with a double bed, a toilet, and a salon with an open kitchen with coffee machine and cooking utensils, as well as washing machine. It does not have air conditioning, as the building rules does not allow the owners to install it.
Tip: Do not book this apartment if you have lots of luggage! Bringing your suitcase to a second floor in an historic building is not fun.
Hotel de l’Atelier
Located in an old building, L’Atelier is a charming hotel in a quiet area. Avignon city center is around 20-30 minutes walk from the hotel.
Nevertheless, the hotel is very charming and lovely decorated.
There is a beautiful terrace in the garden, and also a nice rooftop terrace for chilling out. In the lounge area, you will find pastries, coffee and tea available for free almost all day long.
Don’t wanna walk to the city center? Worry not, there is a bus that will bring you to Avignon for less than 2€/ ride.
Note: there is free parking nearby.
Looking for a Central Airbnb? This Airbnb apartment is located on a busy street in the heart of the centre historique (Avignon old quarter)
It is inside an historic building. The building has been refurbished and inside you will find modern decoration and services. Also, there is:
Even though it is centrally located, you will have quietness. It is on the second floor but worry not, it has a lift. Also good to know, the price includes:
A supermarket (which opens until 10pm) is just next to the apartment.
Hotel La Suite
For those looking to be in a quite and peaceful location out of the city center, Hotel La Suite is your choice.
Going to Avignon city center is either a small ride in a bus or a 40 minutes walk. I do not recommend you to take the car to the city center, as parking is quite though to find.
Relax in the garden or get in the swimming pool. Rooms are very comfortable, with a modern design and artsy decorations throughout.
Note: breakfast is served in the garden.
Summary things to do in Avignon
Avignon is a very interesting city that has a rich history and amazing architecture. Home to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Avignon definitely deserves to be on your to-go list.
Structures bring us back in the time of the Romans and make us appreciate how they have maintained these sites through the years. Aside from its amazing culture, festivals and good people are also what makes it worth visiting.
Nearby areas can also be easily accessed and therefore easy to visit. As interesting as Avignon, other places in Provence are also worth to see.
If you happen to travel around France, we also collected the most beautiful cities around France.
I seriously love Avignon, I hope it glimpsed through a bit. I wrote this guide to help you to fall in love too with the coolest things to do, fun activities and unusual things you can find around.
Do you have any questions?
Your question can help me to improve this article, so everyone benefits from your questions: You, me, and all the other travelers exploring the city.
Therefore, don’t be shy. Write your question as a comment below and leave your email. I will get back to you with a hopefully detailed answer.
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