Discover Avignon
The mysterious corner of Provence
The city of historical monuments, theatrical festivals, and winemaking

Districts of Avignon

Avignon occupies a relatively small area on the map of France, so there is no strict administrative division into areas or districts in the city. Traditionally, the historic center is the most popular among tourists, especially the neighborhoods near the Papal Palace. In this area are concentrated the city's main historical and cultural attractions: cozy parks, cafes, restaurants, and a large number of stores. Among the advantages of this part of the city are a variety of leisure activities, developed infrastructure, a sufficient number of public transport, a good choice of hotels, and safety. The main drawback of the central districts is the crowds of tourists in the streets, which are rarely quiet and calm.

In Avignon, the Banastere district, east of the Papal Palace, deserves special attention. The beautiful architecture of the neighborhood, dating back to the XXVll-XXVlllth centuries, is a highlight. After a walk around the quarter, the tourists should head toward the Piazza Carmelites, where the visitors will find a string of narrow streets on which almost no cars drive. It is ideal for a quiet walk and dinner in one of the cozy restaurants.

If you want to taste French cuisine while walking around Avignon, look for places around the Place de la Clock, Rue de la République and Place du Change or Place des Corps Saintes. If you want a good meal and save money, go to Rue Teinturiers or look for a café between Place des Palais and Place du Quillon.

It is worth noting that there are also many decent hotels outside the historic center of Avignon. Moreover, living on the outskirts will allow you to spend less money on the hotel and food. In this case, transport links in the city are well-established, so you can easily get to the major attractions and entertainment.


The ethnic composition of Avignon is quite diverse. The vast majority of local residents are French by nationality. The percentage of this group is about 75%. The second largest is the group of natives of North Africa - just over 10%. The national composition also represents Italians, Portuguese, Turks, and Asians.

History of Avignon

Avignon is called one of the oldest cities in the world. According to various sources, its history began in the IV-VI centuries B.C. The city was founded by the Greeks of Phocaea, making it a trading faction. It was later settled by the Gallic tribe of the Cavari, who named the city Avenio and made it their capital. Excavations show that Avignon was already a major trading center at this time and even produced its own coinage.

In 120 B.C., Rome conquered the area. The city became part of Narbonne Gaul. It grew and developed, often mentioned in historical documents, but after the decline of the Roman Empire, Avignon was in a period of regular wars and devastation. Goths, Franks, Burgundians, and even Arabs - the change of rulers lasted until 1003, when Avignon became part of the Holy Roman Empire. From 1290, the Counts of Provence ruled here, and in the XII-XIII centuries, the city enjoyed communal self-government.

In 1303, one of Europe's first universities was founded in Avignon, and in 1309 the city's history began the period of the "captivity of the popes in Avignon," which lasted until 1378. The famous Papal Palace and several churches were built during the popes' stay in Avignon.

As a result of the French Revolution of 1791, Avignon became part of France. During this period, deposits of sand of excellent quality were found in the area of the city, and its active export and the general growth of prosperity began. In the XIX century, however, Avignon became a provincial town, gradually losing its importance on the world stage. The situation changed somewhat after the construction of the railroad. The city developed agriculture, significantly changed its appearance, and noticeably expanded. In the XX century, immigrants came here en masse, and the population grew. In 2001, a high-speed railroad station was built in Avignon, which contributed to the development of both tourism and the city as a whole.

The best time to visit Avignon

Since you have to walk a lot to get to know Avignon, choosing the right time to go is important. Locals recommend planning your vacation during the summer months. During this period in Avignon is mostly hot and sunny weather; it rains very rarely, and the air temperature rises to 27-30°C. In September, the weather gradually turns nasty. Although temperatures are still around 25°C, it still rains a lot, and hiking will not always be comfortable. Precipitation peaks in October and November. In winter, the temperature stays between +8-10°C, and in March begins to rise gradually to +14-18°C.

Travelers who dream of seeing Avignon during the holidays should definitely come here in July. At the height of summer, the city hosts an annual theater festival that transforms the streets into mini-scenes. Disguised actors, performances in the squares, music, and unbridled merriment - this show in Avignon is impossible to miss!

Useful notes

Things to do in Avignon

A trip to Avignon means long walks around the city, historic sites, excursions, gastronomic delights, and many other activities that make up the perfect trip. For a memorable trip, all you need to do is follow the plan below:

  • Visit the Papal Palace, the most famous and significant landmark, the hallmark of Avignon, which begins any sightseeing tour of the city. Before you visit it, you should at least learn a little about the palace's history or use a guide's services. It is striking in its scope and grandeur. Just look at the wonderful frescoes, which can be viewed endlessly.
  • Take a walk on the bridge of St. Benezet. It is another popular tourist spot that is impossible to ignore. A beautiful legend is associated with it, which visitors are sure to be told by a guide. Here you have beautiful views of the city, and its main feature is that it breaks off in the middle of the Rhône River. It looks very unusual and even a little mysterious.
  • Enjoy the beauty of the park Dome du Rocher. One of the coziest and quietest places in the city is near the Papal Palace. Shady alleys, a beautiful pond with swans and ducks, small grottos with fountains, secret romantic spots, and a huge range of activities for children - not only tourists but also locals love to relax in the park. Another advantage of the park Dome du Rocher is the availability of viewing platforms from which you can admire not only the main sights of Avignon but also picturesque views on the other side of the Rhone.
  • Evaluate the exposition of the best museums in the city. Most exhibit art in all forms, from classical painting to modern art. It is noteworthy that many collections can be seen for free. Travelers with children should pay attention to the museum Epicurium, where you can learn more about how everything grows in the wild and even make your own dish.
  • Take a tour by tourist train. A special tourist train leaves regularly from the Papal Palace, which allows you to admire the city without wasting time and energy walking. One of the advantages of this trip is that the train stops at points that offer incredible views of Avignon. Moreover, during the tour, you can select the most interesting places in the city to return to them later on foot.
  • Buy a ticket to the Opera Grand Avignon. Modern and classical theatrical productions, concerts, choreographic performances, exhibitions, and various events for children and young people - Opera Grand Avignon knows how to please and surprise its guests. You may even see a performance with Alain Delon if you are lucky.
  • Take a boat ride or a cruise on the river, during which travelers have stunning views of Avignon. The city looks completely different from the water, and from here, you can take the most beautiful photos, not to mention the pleasant emotions of such a walk.
  • Attend a master class in winemaking. To visit Avignon and not taste the local wine is simply unacceptable. Moreover, in this city, you will not be able to limit yourself to a tasting because Provence is famous for producing the most delicious and popular wines. Every traveler has the opportunity to take part in a master class and learn the secrets of the best winemakers of Avignon and the surrounding area.
  • Go to the town of Villeneuve-les-Avignon. The so-called "little brother" of Avignon is on the other side of the Rhône River. You can get here by bus; the road takes no more than 10 minutes. Wandering through the streets of Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, climbing to the observation deck, and seeing Avignon from the side is a very pleasant and relaxing walk.

Map Avignon

Hotels in Avignon

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