Avignon - a great base for exploring

Avignon Travel Blog

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Palais des Papes

We spent the next few days in Avignon, and used it as a base for exploring the area. Having said that, the town itself was a very pleasant place to wander around, with narrow streets and old stone buildings. The almost complete lack of traffic within the old walled town made it a very relaxing place to stroll around.

We were staying in a hotel just inside the old city wall, from where it was around a ten minute walk to the Palais des Papes and the rest of the old centre. The hotel had a garage where we could leave our hire car and therefore not worry about it.

The main sights in Avignon are the Palais des Papes and the famous Pont d'Avignon. The popes' palace is a large and impressive structure right in the centre of the old town.

The famous Pont d'Avignon
The interior however is largely bare, and so was slightly disappointing. We spent a while wandering around and reading about the history, and felt quite weary by the end of it. The audio tour of the bridge was a pleasant experience. There's not that much to actually see, but it completes the experience to wander out onto what's left of the bridge.

We had contrasting experiences when it came to evening meals. One evening we went to a restaurant on the main square in the old town. There's a series of touristy-looking restaurants, so we tried to pick the one that looked like it would have the best food. I don't know whether we managed, but it wasn't particularly good. I got a massive steak, which didn't taste of a great deal. In contrast, another night we went to a fantastic restaurant called le Petit Bedon, on rue Joseph Vernet (see review).

We bought a bottle of wine from a wine shop just near the Palais des Papes. I can't tell you how good it was because we haven't had it yet.

After three days we dropped off the hire car at the TGV station (outside town) and hopped on the TGV to Paris. This would have all been an expert piece of planning were it not for the fact that we'd got tickets to travel on the only TGV that departed from Avignon central station (right next to our hotel!), so we had to get the shuttle bus back into the centre of town.

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Palais des Papes
Palais des Papes
The famous Pont dAvignon
The famous Pont d'Avignon
A view over Avignon
A view over Avignon
Avignon
photo by: LensTravels