Holidays to Avignon
The ancient and glorious city of Avignon is home to magnificent architecture and imposing stone ramparts that are over 800 years old. Its rich and dramatic history has seen popes flee to the safety of its walls and the bustling trade of two mighty rivers. The cobbled streets and colourful squares are now filled with students and visitors to the internationally renowned performing arts festival. Holidays in Avignon are the perfect time to soak up the culture and explore the fascinating history of this significant French town.
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Arts and culture
The centre of Avignon is car-free, generating a relaxed ambience and allowing visitors to explore at their own pace. Art lovers should start their Avignon holiday with a Van Gogh tour through the painted Provencal landscapes before visiting the fine-arts collection at Museé Calvet. The ornate Opera House dates from 1847 and offers a varied programme of operas, plays, ballet and chamber music concerts. In summer, thousands of people come for the Festival d’Avignon which celebrates the best of international performing arts.
Eating and drinking
An integral part of any holiday to Avignon is the food, and there are many restaurants and cafes to relish during your stay. From the contemporary 83.Vernet to the leafy, romantic surroundings of Christian Etienne, there is fine food wherever you turn. Traditional French bistros are also abundant, offering a more relaxed dining experience.
The Les Halles market showcases the best of Provencal cuisine, with over 40 food stalls in the heart of the city. Hone your skills with live cooking demonstrations every Saturday at 11am.
Many of Avignon’s best-loved drinking establishments are multi-taskers, with cultural centre La Manutention and the all-day venue Balthazar both worth a visit. Most bars spill outdoors during summer, when music and laughter float into the balmy night from leafy squares and candlelit tables.
Nightlife and entertainment
The student hangouts are the best place to dance into the small hours, and Red Zone and Le Cid Café both offer good vibes all night long. With its strong tradition of performing arts, Avignon has many unique cultural offerings to keep you occupied after dark. Cinéma Utopia is an art-house cinema with four screens showing films in their original language. There are also many theatres, and the Théâtre du Chêne Noir is one of the best and most popular in the city.
The Festival d’Avignon has a fringe equivalent in the form of the Festival Off. The eclectic programme features experimental work from new and emerging artists, and the shows are often much cheaper than those of the main festival.