5 hrs 55 mins from St Pancras Int’l, with no need to change during the summer.
Perfect for Sun seekers, wine lovers and architecture buffs.
With its rich heritage, friendly atmosphere and balmy summer evenings, Avignon's hard to beat if you're in need of a change of pace and some fresh perspective.
For such a small city, Avignon boasts some impressive architecture, thanks to its role as the papal seat in the 14th century. The imposing Palais des Papes, perched above the city, is the largest Gothic palace in Europe and the 20 or so rooms now open to the public are a must-see, with their elaborate frescoes and stunning views.
A stroll a little further uphill will bring you to Rocher des Doms via Notre Dame des Doms, Avignon's 12th-century cathedral. At the top you'll find a pretty park with duck ponds, fountains and caves to explore, and spectacular views of the city below.
From this vantage point you'll spot the Pont Saint Bénezet, made famous by the children's song. Just be careful if you do decide to have a dance sur le pont d'Avignon, as only four of the original 22 arches are still standing, thanks to the power of the Rhône in flood.
During spring and summer, the city comes alive with festivals, the highlight of which is the Avignon Festival in July. Ballet, music and theatre performances take over almost every public space, while the Avignon Off festival which runs alongside the main event offers jazz, folk and avant-garde alternatives.
When all the walking, dancing and culture gets too much, settle into a bistro in the Place de l'Horloge or on Rue des Teinturiers with a glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape to watch the world go by and the sun go down.
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