2 women walking along the Rhône River near Pont d'Avignon France

Are you looking for a relaxing getaway with the perfect mix of art, culture and history? Do you love scenic locations, with river views and snow capped mountains in the distance? Look no further than the city of Avignon in southern France. In this Avignon destination guide, we’ll provide everything you need to know to plan the perfect French escape!

Short on time? Here are our Avignon France top recommendations:

Highlights: admire the views from Rocher des Doms, enjoy the many free museums and admire the historic Pont d’Avignon,

Activities: book your Avignon France Tours with Get Your Guide.

Accommodation: we use Booking.com to find the best hotels.

Transport: TrainLine for trains and FlixBus for intercity buses.

Flights: find cheapest flights with cashback on WayAway.

Airport Lounge Access: start your holiday the right way with Priority Pass.

Travel Medical Insurance: SafetyWing Nomad Insurance is the ideal choice for long-term travellers and digital nomads.

What is Avignon famous for?

Avignon is famous for its iconic bridge, the Pont Saint-Bénézet (also known as Pont d’Avignon). This medieval bridge dates back to the 12th century and was the inspiration for the song Sur le pont d’Avignon. Due to its cultural and historical significance, this bridge has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Avignon is also known for being a papal capital in the 14th century. The Avignon Papacy lasted from 1309 to 1376 and seven different popes resided in Avignon during this time. Remnants of this period still exist in the city, including the Palais des Papes, or Palace of the Popes.

Why you should visit Avignon France

Avignon is a beautiful and historic city set on the banks of the Rhône river in southern France. This charming French city is enclosed by medieval walls which date back to the 14th century. During this time, Avignon not Rome was the residence of the Pope. It remained that way for close to 70 years, and this period left a lasting mark on both the city as well as the Catholic church. Avignon’s architecture and historical significance has resulted in its listing as a UNESCO world heritage site.

A major feature of the city is its importance as a centre of art and culture. In particular, all of Avignon’s municipal museums are free to enter. Additionally, the city is host to a number of festivals and events throughout the year. This includes the Jazz Festival in summer and the traditional Christmas market in December.

Musée Du Petit Palais Avignon France
Musée Du Petit Palais Avignon France

Avignon Destination Guide: Know before you go

Basic info about Avignon France

View of Fort Saint-André from Jardin des Doms Avignon France
View of Fort Saint-André from Jardin des Doms Avignon France

  • Language – French, although the Provençal dialect of the regional language Occitan is still spoken by a small portion of the population. English is spoken to some extent, particularly in hotels and tourism businesses. However not everyone you meet will be able to speak English. We find that if you at least attempt to speak a bit of French, you will get a warmer reception than if you just assume everyone speaks English. In our experience, most people we’ve spoken to start speaking English as soon as they hear our feeble attempts at speaking French.
  • Currency – euro (EUR). This has been the official currency of France since 2002. Currency exchanges can be found in Avignon and ATMs are widely available.
  • Population – 92,000 (2015)
  • Area – 65 km2
  • Department – Vaucluse. Avignon is the capital of this department.
  • Region – Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Utilities in Avignon France

  • Electricity – France uses Types C and E power plugs. The country operates on a 230v supply voltage at 50Hz. Power outages are not common in France.
  • Water – the tap water in Avignon is safe to drink. In cafes and restaurants, you can ask for a “caraffe d’eau”, and the waiter will bring you a pitcher of water that is free and safe to drink.
  • Toilets – sit-down flushing toilets are the most common type of toilet in France. You can flush your toilet paper directly into the bin. Public toilets are common in France. Many public toilets are free to use, but some charge anywhere from 50 cents to 2 euros to use.
  • Telephone country code: +33

Where is Avignon France?

Avignon is the capital of the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of southern France.

The closest major French cities to Avignon are Nîmes, Aix-en-Provence, Montpellier and Marseille. Avignon is half an hour by train from Nîmes as well as Aix-en-Provence and one hour by train from Montpellier and from Marseille.

How to get to Avignon France

Avignon destination guide: Arriving by land

Avignon France intercity land transport

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The main transport options for travelling overland to Avignon France are:

  • Private vehicle
  • Private transport operator
  • Navette (Shuttle Bus) – there are no navettes from Avignon airport, but you can get from Avignon airport to the city using bus line 3 or 21. The closest airport navette to Avignon is the navette between Nîmes airport and Nîmes train station. From Nîmes train station you can catch a train to Avignon.
  • Train
  • Bus
  • Bike
TER Train from Nîmes to Avignon France
TER Train from Nîmes to Avignon France

Driving to Avignon from within France

If you are driving to Avignon from within France, here are the travel times and distances:

  • Nîmes – 42 minutes (45km) with tolls or 47 minutes (46km) without tolls
  • Aix-en-Provence – 1 hour 8 minutes (91km) with tolls or 1 hour 42 minutes (78km) without tolls
  • Montpellier – 1 hour 21 minutes (96km) with tolls or 1 hour 56 minutes (121km) without tolls
  • Marseille – 1 hour 12 minutes (103km) with tolls or 1 hours 48 minutes (125km) without tolls
  • Paris – 6 hours 37 minutes (690km) with tolls or 10 hours 19 minutes (749km) without tolls

Intercity trains to Avignon France

Train station Gare d'Avignon France
Gare d’Avignon France

Trains are a cheap and efficient way to get to Avignon France. The main train station in Avignon is Avignon Centre train station. This station is located in the heart of Avignon. There is also a secondary train station, Avignon TGV train station, which is located 6km south the city of Avignon.

The following train brands service Avignon:

  • TGV train – this is France’s intercity high speed rail service.
  • TGV Ouigo – this is France’s low-cost high speed rail service.
  • AVE train – this is Spain’s intercity high speed rail service. The AVE line which services Avignon runs from Marseille France to Madrid Spain.
  • Eurostar – this is the UK’s intercity high speed rail service. The Eurostar line which services Avignon runs from London England to Marseille France.
  • Thalys – this is the French/Belgian high speed rail service. The Thalys line which services Avignon runs from Rotterdam Netherlands to Marseille France.
  • TGV/ICE – this is the French/German high speed rail service. The TGV/ICE line which services Avignon runs from Frankfurt Germany to Marseille France.
  • TER (Transport Express Régional) – the TER rail service is run by the regional councils of France

The French national railway company that operates these services is called SNCF.

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We recommend using the app and website TrainLine to book intercity train tickets in France. This is the app we used. We found it very easy to use with great functionality. Another great feature is that you can see days ahead to see what times of the day were the cheapest rates. The TrainLine app was much easier to use than the SNCF website and app, which we found really cumbersome and difficult to use.

Intercity buses to Avignon France


A common way to get around France is by using intercity buses. These are a budget friendly alternative to trains, but are generally a slower option. Intercity bus companies operating in Avignon France include FlixBus. Popular bus destinations from Avignon include:

  • Nîmes France – travel time 50 minutes. Tickets start from 3 euro one way.
  • Marseille France – travel time 1.5 hours. Tickets start from 20 euro one way.
  • Toulouse France – travel time 3.5 hours. Tickets start from 20 euro one way.
  • Nice Airport France – travel time 4 hours. Tickets start from 15 euro one way.

Avignon destination guide: Arriving by air

The nearest airport to Avignon France is Avignon-Caumont (Airport code ANV). This international airport is also known as the Avignon-Provence airport and is 9km from the city.

Other nearby airports include:

  • Nîmes Airport (Airport code FNI). This is 38km away.
  • Marseille Airport (Airport code MRS). This is 66km away.
  • Montpellier Airport (Airport code MPL). This airport is 80km away.
  • Béziers Airport (Airport code BZR). This airport is 136km away.
  • Toulon Airport (Airport code TLS). This airpoirt is 144km away.
Entrance to Hall B at Toulouse Airport, People in masks with luggage
Toulouse Airport France

The national airline of France is Air France.

Avignon destination guide: Arriving by boat

Rhône River Viking Cruise, Viking Heimdal River Boat France
Rhône River Viking Cruise

The city of Avignon is set on the Rhône River. This river flows from the Alps in Switzerland, al the way to the Mediterranean Sea. River boat cruises through companies like Viking Cruises offer multi-day cruises along the Rhône stopping at many towns and cities along the way. Alternatively you can rent your own boat and go at your own pace. There are also shorter boat rides available and even a restaurant boat. At certain times of year there’s also a free shuttle boat that will take you from one side of the river to the other. If you prefer a Mediterranean cruise, Avignon is only an hour drive from the port of Marseille on the Mediterranean Sea.

Cruise Critic

Avignon destination guide: How to get around Avignon France

Remparts d'Avignon France
Remparts d’Avignon France

Avignon has an extremely well developed public transport system which has a wide range of options available to get you around the city. The Greater Avignon transit system is known as Orizo. You can find more information about their services here: https://www.orizo.fr/

Walking in Avignon France

By far the easiest and cheapest way to get around Avignon is to walk. Avignon is a very walkable city. It is also very scenic, so walking is a very pleasant way to get around.

Local buses in Avignon France

Local buses service Avignon.

Chronohop in Avignon France

Chronohops are articulated buses which are part of Avignon’s public transport offering. There are 2 Chronohop lines in Avignon.

Trams in Avignon France

Trams service Avignon. The Avignon tram network currently has 3 tram lines. Work is underway to expand the network, with an additional 6 stations due to be added by 2025.

Métro trains (subway or underground) in Avignon France

Avignon does not have a metro train system. There are however 2 train stations which connect Avignon to other cities and towns in France – Avignon Centre train station and Avignon TGV train station.

Vehicle hire in Avignon France

A wide variety of vehicles can be rented in Avignon France. This includes:

  • Bicycles – There are self-service bike share services available in the city from companies such as Velopop’. Alternatively you can hire a bike from a bike hire shop such as South Spirit Bike.
  • Electric scooters
  • Motorcycles
  • Cars
  • SUVs
  • Campervans
  • Boats

The French drive on the right side of the road.

Navettes (shuttles) in Avignon France

Baladine Navette Avignon France, Electric Vehicle, Public transport France
Baladine Navette Avignon France

Navettes make short repetitive journeys between two destinations or on a set route.

There are 3 different city centre navettes that operate in Avignon:

  • Baladines are minibus electric vehicles that follow a circular route through some of the popular destinations in the city. You can hail them down anywhere on their route. These Avignon city centre shuttles are free to use and operate from Monday to Sunday. In 2022 the Baladine fleet was being upgraded and the new vehicles have ramps for passengers with reduced mobility. For more information about the Baladines in Avignon, see this website.
  • Cityzens are shuttle buses that take passengers between car parks and the passenger’s place of work or leisure. This service operates in the University, Italian district, Places des Carmes, Halles d’Avignon and some other areas.
  • The Piot Navette is a free shuttle bus that runs every 10 minutes Monday-Saturday at Porte de l’Oulle. It allows passengers from Piot Navette to connect to other lines in the Avignon public transport network.

Allobus (on demand minivans) in Avignon France

The Allobus on demand transport service allows you to book a trip in advance. You catch the allobus from the stop that you nominate at the agreed time.

PMR Disabled person shuttle service in Avignon France

This is an on demand shuttle service for disabled passengers.

Navette fluviales (shuttle boats) in Avignon France

From March to November each year there is a free shuttle boat that crosses the Rhône River every 20 minutes. This scenic river crossing goes from the base of the Avignon bridge to Barthelasse Island. The journey time is approximately 5 minutes.

Parking-Relais (Relay car parks) in Avignon France

There are 4 free secure relay car parks around the edges of the city. Commuters can park here for free and then take a shuttle or public transport to their final destination. This reduces traffic congestion in the heart of the city.

Taxis in France

Taxis are common in France. Fares are regulated and are usually metered. The exception to this will be standard journeys such as airport trips. In this case the fare will be a fixed price. However in general your fare will include the following costs:

  • The pickup fee or minimum fee – this is charged as soon as you get into the vehicle
  • There may also be an additional fee for extra people or heavy luggage
  • A reservation fee – this will be higher if you book in advance compared to if you want a taxi immediately
  • Price per kilometre – this price can vary depending on the time of day
  • Price per hour – this is a price that gets charged when the taxi is stuck in heavy traffic. The price also varies depending on the time of day

Ride-share services in France

There are many rideshare services operating in France. These include Uber, Lyft, InDriver and Carpool.

Avignon France destination guide: Is Avignon France worth visiting?

Yes, Avignon is certainly worth visiting. This beautiful and historic city is filled with architectural wonders, fascinating museums, gorgeous views and delicious culinary delights. As a centre of culture and art, there is plenty to see and do. Additionally, Avignon is the gateway to Provence and provides a great base for exploring the region.

Avignon destination guide: How long to spend in Avignon France

Avignon is a great place to come for a weekend. You can explore most of the major sites in the city in a day. We spent a week in Avignon and enjoyed taking time to enjoy the various activities available in this beautiful city.

Avignon destination guide: What to do in Avignon France

Avignon is a beautiful French city with many activities on offer. It has a range of great free activities as well as paid activities.

Avignon destination guide: Free things to do in Avignon France

Musée Lapidaire Avignon France
Musée Lapidaire Avignon France

Avignon is one of the few cities in France where the main museums are free. There are enough free activities in Avignon France to keep you entertained for a few days or even a leisurely week:

For more details, see our Avignon travel guide on the 18 Best Free Things To Do in Avignon France.

Avignon destination guide: Paid activities in Avignon France

Pont d'Avignon France
Pont d’Avignon France

A number of attractions in Avignon France charge an entry fee:

  • Palais des Papes – entry fee is 12 euro for adults (as at 2024)
  • Pont d’Avignon – entry fee which includes an audio guide is 5 euro for adults (as at 2024)
  • Petit Train Avignon – cost per ride is 10 euro for adults (as at 2024)
  • Collection Lambert – entry fee is 10 euro for adults (as at 2024)

Weather in Avignon France

Avignon enjoys a warm temperate climate. Its climate is heavily influenced by the nearby Mediterranean area. It has cold winters, with average temperature range between 2°C and 10°C in the coldest month of January. Summers last from June to September and are hot and sunny, with the average temperature range between 19°C and 31°C in the hottest month of July. It is a windy city and experiences frequent and sometimes powerful winds. Snow is rare but not unheard of in Avignon. The month with the most rainfall is October with 8.3 days of rain on average and the driest month is July with an average of 3.1 rainy days.

Rhône River from Pont Édouard Daladier Avignon France
Rhône River from Pont Édouard Daladier

Best time to visit Avignon France

Avignon is a great place to visit during the warmer weather months of April to October. This is when the weather is most pleasant and outdoor activities can be enjoyed to their fullest. Additionally, Avignon’s peak season is from June to August.

Internet and mobile phones in France

Since June 15th, 2017, Roam Like at Home (RLAT) rules came into force for European Union countries. As such, people with European Union mobile numbers are no longer charged temporary mobile roaming fees if they travel within the European Union. This means that if you have a European Union mobile number, you can use that number anywhere within the European Union and you will be charged for calls, texts and data in the same way as if you were in your home country. There are limits to this in order to prevent abuse of these rules.

The main internet and phone companies in France include Orange, SFR, LeFrenchMobile, Bouygues Telecom, Lebara, Lycamobile and Free.

5G has been in France since November 2020. However 2G is expected to continue in France until 2030.

Cell phone SIM cards can be bought in many places throughout France. These include phone stores, some supermarkets, newspaper kiosks as well as online.

How much to budget for Avignon France?

Is Avignon expensive?

Avignon is a reasonably inexpensive place to visit by European standards. Accommodation costs are reasonable, the city is very walkable and many of the museums and attractions are free. However if you do have a larger budget, Avignon also has plenty to offer for those with deeper pockets.

Avignon destination guide: Daily spend for a couple travelling in Avignon France

As a rough guide, we recommend the following budgets for a couple:

  • Low-budget daily spend – 100 euro per day for a couple will get you hostel accommodation, self catering and bakery meals, walking throughout the city and free or cheap activities such as relaxing in the parks and squares around the city.
  • Mid-range daily spend – 300 euro per day for a couple will get you mid-range accommodation, walking or hiring a bike to get around the city, dining at reasonably priced cafes and restaurants and some paid activities such as entry to the coliseum.
  • Luxury spend – 1000 euro per day for a couple will get you a premium experience in France, staying at luxury hotels, travelling by private transport, doing a range paid activities and eating at high end restaurants.

Avignon destination guide: Accommodation in Avignon France

Living room of Airbnb Avignon France, grey couch with yellow and red cushions, Salvador Dali poster, painting of man in vineyard
Airbnb Avignon France

There is a good range of accommodation to suit most budgets in Avignon France. However we couldn’t find any dorm accommodation in the city. Airbnb operates in Avignon and we were impressed with the range of options available.

Where to stay in Avignon France?

We recommend the following accommodation in Avignon France:

  • Best bed & breakfast in Avignon France – Mas de Capelou is set in a beautiful estate close to Avignon. It has a really nice swimming pool and nicely decorated rooms. Breakfasts are delicious and the hosts are delightful.
  • Best 4 star hotel in Avignon France – Hotel De Cambis is right in the heart of Avignon. The rooms are spacious and have very comfortable beds. The breakfast buffet is delicious. Additionally, the staff are very friendly and ensure you have a great stay.
  • Best luxury 5 star hotel in Avignon France – La Mirande is a cosy and charming hotel in the historical centre of Avignon. Dating back to 1309, the hotel was once a Cardinal’s palace and overlooks the Palais des Papes. The rooms are sumptuously appointed and there is a Michelin star restaurant on-site.

How much is accommodation in Avignon France?

For short-term accommodation, a general price per night is as follows:

  • Budget accommodation – we couldn’t find any dorm accommodation in Avignon
  • Mid-range accommodation – 30-150 euro for a private room
  • Luxury accommodation – 250-900 euro a night for a luxury hotel
  • Rental property – 90-700 euro a night for a fully furnished 3-5 bedroom home

Avignon destination guide: Food in Avignon France

Tartines from L'Épicerie de Ginette - Bistrot à Tartines Avignon France
Tartines from L’Épicerie de Ginette – Bistrot à Tartines Avignon France

Avignon has a good selection of cafes and restaurants on offer as well as high quality patisseries and chocolateries and charming local butchers and bakers.

How much does food cost in Avignon France?

Our price guide for your food budget in Avignon France is as follows (prices as at 2022):

  • Restaurant meal – 15-20 for a main dish
  • Bakery food – 1-2 euro for a croissant or baguette, 5 euro for a sandwich
  • Glass of wine – 4-6 euro
  • Coffee – 3-4 euro

Regional dishes and specialities in Avignon France

  • Les Papalines d’Avignon
  • Steamed allis shad
  • Avignonesische Daube
  • Papeton d’aubergine
  • Crespeou
  • Navarin en avignonaise
  • Nougat
  • Pieds et Paquets
  • Asparagus
  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape Wine

Cheap Eats in Avignon France

Man looking excited and holding 2 Crêpes from Jean Le Gourmand Crêperie Avignon France, Rhône River and Pont d'Avignon
Crêpes from Jean Le Gourmand Crêperie Avignon France

  • Boulangeries (French bakeries) are a great place to get cheap and delicious food. Baguettes are typically around 1 euro. Croissants and pain au chocolat are around 1 euro. Other common food that can be found in boulangeries include quiches, pastries, sandwiches and pizzas.
  • Crêpes are a great cheap eat option in France. They are made fresh to order and are a delicious local food. Expect to pay 1-5 euro per crêpe, depending on the filling.

Fine dining in Avignon France

Michelin Star Restaurant La Mirande Avignon France
Michelin Star Restaurant La Mirande Avignon France

Avignon is home to a number of Michelin Guide restaurants.

1 star Michelin restaurants in Avignon France (2024)
  • Pollen
  • La Mirande
  • La Vieille Fontaine
Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurants in Avignon France (2024)
  • Italie Là-Bas
  • Avenio (we’ve dined here)
  • Bibendum
  • L’Agape
Michelin Plate restaurants in Avignon France (2024)
  • Hiély-Lucullus
  • Sevin
  • La Fourchette
  • Acte 2
  • Le Goût du Jour
  • Numéro 75

Avignon France culture

Monument Du Comtat Avignon France, Statue and blue sky
Monument Du Comtat Avignon France

France national holidays

  • New Year’s Day – 1 January
  • Good Friday – the Friday before Easter Sunday, typically in March or April. This is only observed in Alsace and Moselle.
  • Easter Monday – the Monday after Easter Sunday, typically in March or April.
  • Labor Day – 1 May
  • Victory Day – 8 May
  • Ascension Day – this is celebrated 40 days after Easter
  • Whit Sunday – this is the Christian holiday of Pentecost. It is celebrated 50 days after Easter, typically in May or June
  • Whit Monday – it is the day after Whit Sunday, typically in May or June
  • Bastille Day – 14 July
  • Assumption Day – 15 August
  • All Saints Day – 1 November
  • Armistice Day – 11 November
  • Christmas Day – 25 December
  • St Stephen’s Day – 26 December. This is only observed in Alsace and Moselle.

National symbols of France

  • France flag – a tricolour flag featuring three vertical bands coloured blue, white and red from left to right.
  • France coat of arms – this features a lictor’s fasces (a bundle of wooden rods with an axe protruding from the top). This symbol rests on branches of laurel and oak. There is also a ribbon with the national motto “Liberté, égalité, fraternité”. The lictor’s fasces represents magisterial power, law and governance. The oak is the national tree of France and symbolises strength and endurance. The laurel is a symbol of triumph.
  • National flower – fleur-de-lis (also known as the lily flower)
  • National bird – Gallic rooster

France pastimes

  • National dish – Pot-au-Feu
  • Popular drinks – Pastis, wine
  • National sport – football
  • Religion – 41% Catholic, 40% non-religious (as at 2019)
Pont d'Avignon from l'ile de la Barthelasse
Pont d’Avignon from l’ile de la Barthelasse

Famous people from Avignon France

  • Noteworthy people born in Avignon France – Nobel prize winning writer Henri Bosco, author Pierre Boulle, black metal musician Famine, historian René Girard, operatic tenor Albert Guille, politician Bernard Kouchner, singer Mireille Mathieu, composer Olivier Messiaen, Jesuit missionary Alexandre de Rhodes
  • Sports stars from Avignon France – racing driver Jean Alesi, Olympic rower Jérémie Azou, footballer Alexandre Barthe, Olympic archer Marie-Josée Bazin, footballer Cédric Carrasso, Olympic swimmer Céline Couderc, Olympic equestrian Jacques Dulcy, Olympic judoka Philippe Pradayrol, golfer Astrid Vayson de Pradenne, Motocross World Champion Tom Vialle, Olympic cross country skiier Balázs Latrompette Yann, professional poker player Fabrice Soulier

Is Avignon France Safe?

Office de Tourisme d'Avignon France
Office de Tourisme d’Avignon France

France travel guide: Safety in France

We travelled through France for two months and found the country to be extremely safe. As with any country, there are good areas as well as bad areas. Watch out for pickpockets particularly in Paris, Marseilles, Nice, Lyon, Cannes as well as Strasbourg. Also, make sure no-one is watching whenever you are entering pin codes and never lose sight of your credit card when making a purchase.

General safety considerations in France

Other general safety considerations for travel in France:

  • Drinking water – The tap water is safe to drink in Avignon.
  • Mosquitoes – the tiger mosquito has been present in France since 2004. This type of mosquito spreads diseases such as Zika, dengue and chikunguya.
  • Road safety – French motorways are the safest in continental Europe. However the National and Departmental roads are much less safe. Additionally, roads are the leading cause of violent death in the country. Take care on the roads in France.
  • Water safety – If you visit any of the lakes or waterways near Avignon take care when swimming as currents and waves may be stronger than you expect.
  • Sun safety – Exposure to the sun can have adverse short-term and long-term effects on the skin, eyes and immune system. Sun protection such as sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses is very important to ensure you don’t get burnt.

As with any destination, take all of your normal safety precautions.

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