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

About Top French Cities -

Top French Cities is an association of 29 cities, from regional capitals like Bordeaux to important towns like Avignon and Versailles. They are perfect for young travelers, families and anyone else looking for fun and authentic French experiences that will fit their budget. Most of these cities are university towns with a youthful atmosphere, but all of them reflect the heritage and distinctive flavors of the regions to which they belong. Many are forward-looking too, with historic buildings repurposed to house contemporary art and activity centers like Les Docks in Marseille. Many have created or integrated new, modern museums to contrast with their classical, architectural heritage, like in Nimes, where the cutting-edge Museum of Roman Civilization (Musée de la Romanité) is located across from the historic Roman amphitheater, or in Nantes, where whimsical mechanical creatures are being created, or in the UNESCO World Heritage Site concrete city of Le Havre.


Marion Fourestier
Atout France-The France Tourism Development Agency