Top French Cities - Avignon at a glance

Press release

For more information, visit Avignon Tourisme at

City region: Provence / Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Population & what they are called: 94,087 inhabitants (2016 census), called Avignonnais

Access from Paris:

  • by road: about 6 h 45 min (435 miles) via A6 and A7 autoroute du Soleil

  • by train: about 2 h 40 min by TGV from the Gare de Lyon; 30 min by train from Marseilles Provence Airport

Famous native daughters & sons:

  • Pierre Boulle, writer

  • Bernard Kouchner, politician

  • Mireille Mathieu, singer

Most distinctive and/or unique fact or trait (or little known fact):

  • The bridge of Avignon is the one referred to in the famous children's song.

Notable sites:

  • Palais des Papes – the largest Gothic palace in Europe, former papal residence during the 14th century, now a World Heritage site (

  • Pont d’Avignon – the surviving four arches (of the original 22) of the 13th-century Saint-Bénézet bridge (

  • Carré du Palais – a palace for Côtes-du-Rhône wines and all things related to wine tourism related (

Top annual events:

  • Festival d'Avignon – major arts festival during three weeks in July (

  • Festival Off d'Avignon – in parallel with the main Festival, one of the largest festivals for independent theater companies in the world (

  • Festival Résonance – bands and DJs performing in heritage monuments (

Most notable museums:

  • Musée du Petit Palais – Italian paintings from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance (

  • Musée Calvet – a fine arts collections from the 15th to the 20th centuries, set in a magnificent 18th-century mansion (

  • Musée Angladon – located in a private mansion, a museum notable for works of art by 20th-century masters (

Culinary specialties:

  • papaline d'Avignon – fine chocolate with sugar and oregano liqueur

  • asparagus – it's a seasonal vegetable, but in that season it is revered in soups, roasted, grilled and lightly sautéed

  • daube avignonaise – the traditional lamb stew from the city, where the meat is marinated in white wine

Local wines & spirits:

  • Côtes-du-Rhône wines – Avignon is the capital of the appellation, which includes famous vintages like Châteauneuf du Pape

  • Distillerie Manguin – fruit-based eau-de-vies and liqueurs distilled on Ile de la Barthelasse


  • city center – Rue Joseph Vernet and Rue St Agricol feature trendy creators and chic boutiques, antiques shops and other designers in the pedestrian area

  • markets – Les Halles d'Avignon (Place Pie) is the most famous of the city

Most popular night spots:

  • 83 Vernet – a restaurant and bar set in former school buildings

  • La Cave des Pas Sages – small wine bar situated in a typical cobbled street (Rue des Teinturiers)

  • L’Opéra Café – one of the standout cafes on the Place de l’Horloge

Local population’s favorite activities (or hangouts):

  • Rocher des Doms – the cradle of civilization in Avignon and now a lush hilltop garden with amazing views

  • Ile de la Barthelasse – the biggest river island in France and a great places for a stroll, jog, cycle or skate

  • Ramparts – enjoy leisurely time walking along one of the finest examples of medieval fortification in existence, one of the few to have been preserved in France

Local industries:

  • French Tech – the Avignon-Arles economic basin includes 600 companies working in digital technology

  • Technopôle Pégase Avignon – brings together more than 300 actors in the aerospace industry

In Pop Culture:

  • The Avignon Quintet, by Lawrence Durrell – a five-volume series of celebrated metafictional novels, set partly in Avignon


Marion Fourestier
Atout France-The France Tourism Development Agency
New York, 10022
United States