The airport shuttle bus parks outside the arrivals gate, and is a useful way to get to Carcassonne. It costs 5 euro one-way, and goes up to La Cite. The driver will ask for your hotel name and will drop you at a nearby stop. The bus times link in with the Ryanair flights, but the bus back is a bit late if you want to check-in really early (it arrives about an hour before take-off).
The only way to visit all these places and more is by car. You can reach the main cities like Carcassonne or Narbonne by public transport but the other places are too off the beatten path.
There is no public transport between Fontfroide Abbey and Narbonne (the nearest city).
Foix is the nearest city to Montségur. You can arrive to Foix by train.
The best way to get to Carcassonne is by Ryanair. There are flights from Londen (Stasted) and Charleroi (in Belgium; south of Brussels). If you are a lucky (or patient, or just fast enough), you should be able to find a very cheap flight.
The airport is not very far from the city center. You can take a shuttle (for 5 euros at the time), but we shared a taxi for the same price per person - and got comfortably delivered right at the front door of the hotel...
The best way to get from the train station to Carcassonne is by taxi. We were staying in a hotel within the citadel, and the taxi delivered us right to the door of the hotel. It was an interesting ride, with the taxi winding its way through the narrow cobblestone roads.
The lady at the tourist booth in the airport forgot it was sunday, gave us a bus schedule, and circled the time for the next bus and pointed out to the place to wait, half and hour later, we were told by other passengers the bus don't run on sundays. The wait for the taxi was quite long, maybe also due to Sunday? A nice ride to our hotel next to the Cite from the airport was 14 Euro.
"Le Petit Train" takes you around the outside of the Cite walls, and through the small, ancient village of Carcassonne, just outside it's gates, it slowly moves it's way round, giving some great views of the Fortress. You can get a true feeling of just how magnificent a fortress it is, it's amazing how anyone managed to penetrate it's walls. Some of the paths are quite steep at times so hold on.
2009 prices for an adult was €7 €4 for children.
You can catch the train, just out side the main gate.
If you are visiting Carcassonne to go to the Cité Médiévale, don’t worry about transport…..it only takes 20 minutes from the Gare de Cracassonne to the Cité Médiévale by foot….
If you insist on taking a taxi, there are some outside the train station (Gare) but I really saw many at the Bd Omer Sarraut, one block down from the station.
Taxis from the train station:
There is a taxi spot marked just outside the entrance to the train station. If you are willing to wait, a taxi will eventually show up.
Taxis from the old city:
There is a taxi spot marked just outside the entrance to the old city (near the bus stops). I got the ladies at the information booth (just inside the main entrance) to call me a taxi, and then waited at the taxi spot.
Some road distances to Carcassonne from:
- Madrid (Spain): 900 kms.
- San Marino: 1.076 kms.
- Varna (Bulgaria): 2.633 kms.
- Moscow (Russia):3.664 kms.
Checking the website, you’ll find more road distances together with the driving times and the best routes.
There is a parking area in front of the main entrance of the Cité but you have to pay. However, it is free after 8 p.m. (at least it was in October '09), so, if you want to visit the Cité in the evening, you can wait until that time.
Obviously, if your accommodation is far from it and you need to go by car.
On Sundays the regular shuttle bus does not run between the train station and the old city.
To get a taxi from the old city go to the information desk near the entrance and they will happily call one.
Get the bus from the airpot into Carcassonne it's quick and cheaper than a taxi. Because it's not a very busy airport the bus timetable is tailored to fit in with most arrivals/departures.
The best stop to get/on off at is probably Square Gambetta right in the centre of town.
One of the best possible bargains you can imagine!
If you are exploring the area known as Cathar Country on public transport, you will have plenty of money left over for other things. The train line between Carcassonne-Limoux-Quillan will cost you a grand total of 1 Euro. Yes folks, ONE EURO, you are reading it correctly.
Are there catches or hidden fees?
For that price they must be crappy old trains..
Actually the trains are modern, comfortable with big windows and great seats
The route is:
Carcassonne, Couffoulens - Leuc, Verzeille, Pomas, Limoux-Flassian, Limoux, Alet-les-Bains, Couiza-Montazels, Espéraza, Campagne, Quillan.
It will take you about half an hour from Carcassonne to Limoux, another 40 minutes to the end of the line in Quillan. Part of the portion from Limoux onwards is being replaced with bus service, but the trip was great just the same.
Halte Centrale - Square Gambetta (plans, horaires, tarifs)
Service navette gratuite (en été uniquement)
- Au départ de la Cité vers la Bastide Saint-Louis
- Au départ de la Bastide Saint-Louis vers la Cité.
- Départ toutes les 15 minutes de la Cité ou de place Carnot. A chaque point d'arrêt, vous pourrez monter ou descendre à votre guise.
Tous les jours de 9h30 à 12h30 et de 14h à 19h30 (sauf les dimanches)
Service des Toucs (véhicules électriques)
- de la place Carnot vers le portail des Jacobins, la place Davilla, le square Gambetta et le square Chénier.
Du mardi au samedi de 8h30 à 12h30 et de 14h à 18h
Av. A. Mullot goes over Pont Neuf, is a major street, with all kinds of buses, local and long distance, all stop and connect at the bus junction at Square Gambetta, a short block west of pont Neuf, with a nice visitors center.