Top things to do

Top Choice Palace in Avignon

Palais des Papes

The largest Gothic palace ever built, the Palais des Papes was erected by Pope Clement V, who abandoned Rome in 1309 as a result of violent disorder following his election. It served as the seat of papal power for s…
Top Choice Bridge in Avignon

Pont St-Bénezet

Legend says Pastor Bénezet had three saintly visions urging him to build a bridge across the Rhône. Completed in 1185, the 900m-long bridge with 20 arches linked Avignon with Villeneuve-lès-Avignon. It was rebuilt s…
Top Choice Museum in Avignon

Musée du Petit Palais

The archbishops' palace during the 14th and 15th centuries now houses outstanding collections of primitive, pre-Rennaissance, 13th- to 16th-century Italian religious paintings by artists including Botticelli, Carpac…
Top Choice French in Avignon

Restaurant L'Essentiel

Snug in an elegant, caramel-stone hôtel particulier, the Essential is one of the finest places to eat in town – inside or in the wonderful courtyard garden. Begin with courgette flowers poached in a crayfish and tru…
Top Choice French in Avignon

Christian Etienne

One of Avignon’s top tables, this much-vaunted restaurant occupies a 12th-century palace with a leafy outdoor terrace, adjacent to Palais des Papes. Interiors feel slightly dated, but the refined Provençal cuisine r…
Top Choice Performing Arts in Avignon

Festival d'Avignon

The three-week annual Festival d’Avignon is one of the world’s great performing-arts festivals. Over 40 international works of dance and drama play to 100,000-plus spectators at venues around town. Tickets don't go …
Bakery in Avignon

Maison Violette

We simply defy you not to walk into this bakery and not instantly be tempted by the stacks of baguettes, ficelles and pains de campagnes loaded up on the counter, not to mention the orderly ranks of eclairs, millefe…
French in Avignon

Au Jardin des Carmes

There's one standout reason to lunch at this lovely little restaurant, and that's the delightful courtyard garden, shaded by sails, tall bamboo and climbing plants. Starters are €10, mains €20, desserts €9, plus the…
Gallery in Avignon

Musée Angladon

Tiny Musée Angladon harbours an impressive collection of impressionist treasures, including works by Cézanne, Sisley, Manet and Degas – but the star piece is Van Gogh's Railway Wagons, the only painting by the artis…
Gastronomy in Avignon

Les 5 Sens

Chef Thierry Baucher, one of France's meilleurs ouvriers (top chefs), reveals his southwestern origins in specialities such as cassoulet and foie gras but skews contemporary-Mediterranean in gastronomic dishes such …