Lourdes is said to be the second most visited city after Paris. That's not surprising...what's surprising is how such a small town with no high-rise hotels could accommodate so many pilgrims and tourists. The Lourdes is so small, it has no local airport, there's hardly any road traffic during the day but when evening comes, you get amazed by the sheer number of people who seem to come out of nowhere to attend the candlelight procession.
It happened to be the 150th anniversary of the apparitions, and the Pope was in town just the week before we did. On that occasion, pilgrims are asked to "jubilate" by going to the different sites around town that were significant to the story of the local saint, Bernadette Soubirous.
Every evening at 9, the sanctuary holds a rosary and candlelight procession. The crowds come from many countries and march around the sanctuary plaza, praying and singing in unison. It is a very solemn event that one can't forget.
Apart from the Sanctuary, Grotto and procession, the only other local attraction not connected with religion is the hilltop fort and castle that has a commanding view of the town.