Carcassonne Culture & history

Our most recommended Carcassonne Culture & history

Carcassonne: Castle and Ramparts Skip-the-Line Ticket

1. Carcassonne: Castle and Ramparts Skip-the-Line Ticket

Carcassonne was settled as early as the 6th century BC and later became an important Roman town. It was fortified in the 4th century and was a strategic site in the Middle Ages. It took on its definitive shape in the 13th century with the king’s decision to construct the distinctive double-walled ramparts and extend the castle. The city was restored by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century and is a testimony to 1,000 years of military architecture and 2,500 years of history. Left in ruins after the the Cathar Crusade (1209-1229), the Inquisition and exile of the Trencavel family, Eugène Viollet-le-Duc was commissioned by the French state in 1844 to restore the city of Cathar. Completed in 1911 under the direction of his pupil Paul Boeswillwald, the royal city was returned to its original splendor, finally being inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1997. In a new, self-guided addition to this tour, guests are invited to see the magnificent views from the medieval western ramparts. 

Cité de Carcassonne: Guided Tour

2. Cité de Carcassonne: Guided Tour

Come along on this guided tour and learn all about the history of this fascinating city.  Enter through the main entrance, known as Porte Narbonnaise, to the medieval city. Learn about the fortifications built by the Romans. Cross the main street, Rue Cross Mayrevieille to the castle. Discover the museum inside the castle and develop a better understanding of the Trencavel family that defended the Cathars during the Albigensian Crusade.  Walk along the top of the wall, crossing both medieval and Roman towers as you head towards the church. Hear an explanation about the architecture of the gothic church and see the beautiful stained glass windows, built between the 13th to 16th centuries. Walkthrough the streets of the ancient religious quarter and learn about the inquisition in Carcassonne and Toulouse. The tour will conclude next to the Castle where you'll hear about the restoration work that happened in the 19th century.

Cité de Carcassonne: Private Guided Group Tour

3. Cité de Carcassonne: Private Guided Group Tour

Come along on this tour and learn all about the history of this fascinating city.  Enter through the main entrance, known as Porte Narbonnaise, to the medieval city. Learn about the fortifications built by the Romans. Cross the main street, Rue Cross Mayrevieille to the castle. Discover the museum inside the castle and develop a better understanding of the Trencavel family that defended the Cathars during the Albigensian Crusade.  Walk along the top of the wall, crossing both medieval and Roman towers as you head towards the church. Hear an explanation (in English, French or Italian) about the architecture of the Gothic church and see the beautiful stained glass windows, built between the 13th and 16th centuries. Walk through the streets of the ancient religious quarter and learn about the inquisition in Carcassonne and Toulouse.

Carcassonne: Medieval Citadel Exploration Game

4. Carcassonne: Medieval Citadel Exploration Game

Explore medieval France through the bustling streets and imposing city walls of Carcassonne with this city exploration game for your smartphone. Book the game, use the access code e-mailed to you and then head to Gambetta Square to start your quest. Go at your own pace to solve the clues and see the city at the same time. Finish your quest at Chateau Comtal.

2-Hour Private Walking Tour of Carcassonne

5. 2-Hour Private Walking Tour of Carcassonne

The walled city of Carcassonne in Languedoc is world renowned as a spectacular fortified medieval city. But this rocky spur has been occupied since the 6th-Century BC, first as a Gallic settlement and later as a fortified Roman city. The Visigoths seized the city in the 5th-Century, and were followed by the Saracens, who remained in control for a mere 30 years before the Francs expelled them. Restored by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th-Century, the city fortress was consecrated in 1997 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while the former military enclosure of the lower town’s "La Bastide Saint-Louis" is listed as a conservation area. Take a 2-hour private walking tour, personalized to your own schedule and rhythm, visiting the sights you would like to visit. Explore medieval architecture and discover the rich culture that has inspired poets and writers, including William Faulkner. The city is divided into 2 parts; the town and the famous Cité de Carcassonne. Typically we pay more attention to the Cité, but if you would like to visit the town the tour can be customized to suit. Discover the castle and ramparts at the heart of the medieval city; explore the Cathedral and the Basilica of Saint Nazaire; and visit la porte Narbonnaise, which was the principal entrance to the Cité. A dream like destination with a romantic ambience, the tour is tailor-made to enchant you.

Paris: Fly Over France Virtual Reality Experience

6. Paris: Fly Over France Virtual Reality Experience

From the center of Paris, travel across the most emblematic and beautiful places that France has to offer thanks to a flight simulator and a high-technology headset ! Thanks to exceptional aerial images and spectacular moments of free flight, the experience allows you to rediscover the most beautiful places and landscapes of France: the village of Gordes in the heart of the Luberon, the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, the impressive cliffs of Etretat, the needles and glaciers on the Mont Blanc route... At the end of an unforgettable journey, from the sea-spray of Normandy to the roof of Europe, you will cover more than 10,000 kilometers without leaving Paris!

Frequently asked questions about Carcassonne

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What people are saying about Carcassonne

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 117 reviews

This was a really nice tour that fit well into our day visit to Carcassonne. We learned lots about the history of the cité (crusades, inquisition, architecture, secret treasure, etc.) before exploring on our own. The guide was great and had a good level of English. She also recommended nice lunch and coffee spots for us to visit in the cité after the tour. Merci beaucoup et à bientôt!

Very heartwarming!! This place will enchant you. We rode the train around the outside and got lots of history on the castle. Thenwe walked the inside of the castle. Then we ate and drank in the court yard, then we walked the outside perimeter when the lights lit up the castle at dusk. It was the best! On our stroll we walled over the bridge and enjoyed the castle some more!

My wife and I were very fortunate to have our guide, Natalie, to ourselves for the walking tour of Carcassonne. We learned so much more from her (about the history of The City, its peoples, and the surrounding area from pre Roman times to the present day) than we could ever have done without her extensive knowledge. Well recommended.

Incredible experience! the places overflown in France are magnificent! At times, we take control of our flying machine to pilot ourselves, it's super fun and we're full of sensations! I highly recommend.

Small group tour with a local. Relaxed pace as we talked about the Medieval City and placing it within history. Great balance of information and humour. The recommendation for dinner was much appreciated.