Top things to do

Top Choice Provençal 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 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 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 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 …
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…
Patisserie in Avignon

La Tropézienne

St-Tropez’ famous cream-and-cake tarte tropézienne, plus other treats.
Modern French in Avignon

Numéro 75

The chic dining room, in the former mansion of absinthe inventor Jules Pernod, is a fitting backdrop to the stylised Mediterranean cooking. Menus change nightly and include just a handful of mains, but brevity guara…
Cinema in Avignon

Cinéma Utopia

Four-screen art-house cinema at cultural centre La Manutention; shows films in their original language.
Gay in Avignon


Avignon’s inner-city gay bar rocks well into the wee hours, pulling a clientele that is not always that quiet, based on dozens of neighbour-considerate 'be quiet' signs plastered outside.