Things to do in
Palais des Papes

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Palais des Papes: Our most recommended tours and activities

Avignon 3-Hour Walking Tour & Wine Tasting

1. Avignon 3-Hour Walking Tour & Wine Tasting

Climb up to the top of the fortified medieval city walls and discover Avignon in all its beauty. Explore the rich past of Avignon where the papacy was established in the early 14th-century. Enjoy skip-the-line access and follow your guide inside the Pope's Palace, the largest Gothic palace in Europe. Immerse yourself in this maze of galleries, chambers, and chapels. Walk on the cobbled streets to the Place de l'Horloge and find out about the secret of the painted windows. See the town hall with its clock tower and the theater. Your tour will conclude with a glass of Côtes du Rhône wine served in a restaurant.

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Private Walking Tour of Avignon

2. Private Walking Tour of Avignon

Walk through one of the most charming cities in southern France on this 2-hour tour of Avignon. See the impressive Palace of the Popes and the famous bridge at Pont St. Bénezet as you explore the city's sidewalk cafes, elegant squares, and delightful tree lined boulevards. Surrounded by imposing medieval walls, Avignon was the capital of Christendom in the 14th century, with seven successive popes making the city their home. In an attempt to rival Rome's Papacy, Avignon's architects designed many of the city's magnificent features, including the superbly preserved defensive walls and the monumental Palace of the Popes ̶ one of the most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. From lesser-known attractions in Avignon to its most renowned sites, you will be accompanied by an expert local guide who will share with you the history and secrets of this UNESCO World Heritage listed city.

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From Marseille: Full-Day Avignon, Gordes and Roussillon Tour

3. From Marseille: Full-Day Avignon, Gordes and Roussillon Tour

Head to the wonderful papal city of Avignon. Enjoy your free time to explore the historic center and admire the Avignon Cathedral (Our Lady of Doms), the battlements, Saint-Bénézet Bridge, the Doms Rock, St Peter’s Basilica, and the Clock Tower Square. Take the road to the charming classified villages of Lubéron. Your first stop is Isle sur la Sorgues. Continue to Gordes, listed as one of the most beautiful villages of France. Take advantage of the lunch break in Gordes to explore the village, its church and castles. Move on to the village of Roussillon, surrounded by cliffs of ochre. Enjoy some free time to wander about the village to discover the craft shops or take a 30-minute walk on the Ochre Trail to see the Fairy Chimneys. You’ll then begin the return journey to Aix-en-Provence.

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From Marseille: Provence Sightseeing Tour & Wine Tasting

4. From Marseille: Provence Sightseeing Tour & Wine Tasting

Explore some of the historic sites of Provence on a full-day minibus tour from Marseille, starting with the medieval city of Avignon. Drive along the docks between the Rhône River and historic city walls, looking at the Saint-Benezet Bridge made famous by the children's song, “Sur le Pont d'Avignon.” Go to the impressive Palais des Papes (Popes' Palace), site of the Papacy in the 14th century before their return to Rome. The largest Gothic palace in Europe, the austere Palais dominates the city (entrance tickets not included). Sample the wines of the Rhône River valley in the legendary village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, boasting a castle ruin that overlooks the vineyards of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation. You will visit the cellar of a winery for a complimentary wine-tasting session. Next, drive to the Pont du Gard to see the remains of the Roman aqueduct that supplied water to the city of Nîmes. The tour then continues towards the Alpilles Mountains to the lofty village of Les Baux de Provence, located on a rocky spur overlooking the valley. Take an unforgettable journey back to the Middle Ages at Les Baux, before your return journey to Marseille.

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From Aix en Provence: Provence Full-Day Tour

5. From Aix en Provence: Provence Full-Day Tour

One of the first stops on your day of discovery is the village of Les Baux de Provence. The narrow streets and the imposing castle ruins date to the Middle Ages – a time of proud lords and troubadours. From the rocky spur you’ll enjoy exceptional scenic views. See the Pont du Gard, a fascinating UNESCO World Heritage site that is the best-preserved part of the Nîmes aqueduct. Designed by architects and engineers during the Roman era, it is considered a technical and artistic masterpiece. You’ll continue on to Avignon, the 14th century City of the Popes. See the medieval walls, the Pont d’Avignon that crosses the Rhone River, and the Popes’ Palace, which is the largest Gothic palace in Europe. (Note that entrance fees are not included.) Next on your itinerary is a visit to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, surrounded by its world-famous vineyards. Wine tasting at one of the numerous cellars is included. Please note that you’ll have free time for lunch on your own during the tour, and that the cost of lunch is not included in the tour price.

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Aix-en-Provence: Avignon and Roussillon Small Group Tour

6. Aix-en-Provence: Avignon and Roussillon Small Group Tour

Depart Aix-en-Provence and travel to the historic city of Avignon to learn about its papal heritage and marvel at architecture that dates back to the 14th century, such as the impressive Palais des Papes. Take a 1-hour walking tour of the city center to visit the 12th-century cathedral of Notre Dame des Dom. Spend your free time to discover the iconic pope city. Soak up the medieval atmosphere of the narrow streets and pretty squares, and find a host of attractive gardens, churches, and much more. Continue to L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and get some time at leisure to explore the historic riverside village, known for heritage water wheels and antique dealers. Enjoy lunch at your own expense before going to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gordes. Drive through the regional park of Luberon to admire the landscapes and get a panoramic view of the hilltop village before arrival. Get some free time to explore the village of Roussillon or go for a nature walk along the colorful Ochre trail.

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From Marseille Cruise Port to Avignon & Châteauneuf du Pape

7. From Marseille Cruise Port to Avignon & Châteauneuf du Pape

Meet your tour guide at the exit of the cruise terminal at Marseille seaport then drive to Avignon, the majestic city of the Popes, located on the bank of the Rhône River. Take a look at Saint-Benezet bridge, famous for the children's song Sur le Pont d'Avignon, and admire the Popes' Palace, which is the biggest Gothic-styled Palace in Europe. Do not miss the opportunity to purchase your ticket to visit it inside. Have free time for lunch then take a sightseeing trip to the vineyards around Châteauneuf du Pape. Listen to explanations about terroir, grape varieties, vinification, and aging cellars. Stop at a winery for wine-tasting before returning to Marseille.

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From Nice: Churches of Provence Private Tour

8. From Nice: Churches of Provence Private Tour

Start with pickup from your hotel in Nice, where you will meet your private guide. Travel to the first site of religious significance on the tour, Thoronet Abbey. Known as the jewel of Cistercian abbeys, it was constructed between 1160 and 1230. Discover the beauty of the abbey's architecture, the cloister, and the perfectly preserved conventual buildings from the 12th century.  Drive to St Maximin and visit the famous Basilica of Saint Mary Magdalene. Explore the largest Gothic church in Provence, which hosts the relics of Mary Magdalene. These relics received official recognition from the Catholic church in 1281. Charles II of Anjou, Count of Provence, decided with the approval and encouragement of Pope Boniface VIII, to build a magnificent basilica in the honor of the saint. Continue towards the city of Avignon and discover the amazing Palace of the Popes. The wealth and the glitter of the pontifical court vanished a long time ago, but the palace still is a monument to papal power in centuries past. Wander through the large halls and rooms of the Palais vieux, the Grand Tinel, the Consistoire, as well as the private rooms of the Popes who were resident here. Enjoy some free time for a lunch at your own expense before driving back to Nice.

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From Marseille: The Best of Provence Day Tour

9. From Marseille: The Best of Provence Day Tour

Discover the 14th century seat of the papacy, as you spend some time walking around Avignon. Wander the Palais des Papes, an austere-looking fortress that dominates the city. See for yourself outstanding examples of Gothic architecture in the Petit Palais and the Romanesque Cathedral of Notre-Dame-des-Doms. These complete an exceptional group of monuments that testify to the leading role played by Avignon in 14th-century Christian Europe.  Heading to the small village of Les Baux de Provence in the Alpilles mountain range, see some of the most dramatic scenery in the region. Located on a rocky outcrop, Les Baux de Provence provides a spectacular view of the surrounding valley. Take time at the Senanque Abbey in the middle of the fields of lavender and enjoy visiting the lavender museum in Coustellet where you can learn everything about this relaxing plant.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Palais des Papes

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What people are saying about Palais des Papes

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 148 reviews

Our guide, Gaelle, was wonderful. Very informative and very personable. The itinerary was great though I would have liked a bit more time in Les Beaux. Walking out to the Esplanade and back took all the designated time (and we don't walk slow). The other stops had sufficient time allowed. Great recommendations for restaurant in Avignon.

it was our first tour using this site, so we didn't know what to expect, but the guide was very nice, trip destinations were better than expected and it is a good way to get to know provance in a short period of time

Claude was a very knowledgeable guide who showed us the highlights of the old city in Avignon. We got some interesting history plus information about local and current highlights.

It was wonderful to have a local guide teaching us about the area! She was patient with our teenagers and kept them as engaged as possible:).

Great scenery,good tastes.Our guide was really with information about the city and the region of Provence,their way customs,way of life etc.