Carcassonne Travel Guide

  • Carcassonne
    by J_Antunes
  • Carassonne old town walls.
    Carassonne old town walls.
    by kenliverpooluk
  • Abbaye de St Hilaire (France)
    Abbaye de St Hilaire (France)
    by Redang

Carcassonne Things to Do

  • La Cité - Medieval City

    Wander round the narrow streets inside the fortress of Carcassone in southern France,which is uphill from Carcassone city centre.--This fortified fortress is on UNESCO heritage list.. -Entrance is through the medieval gate in the high walls.

  • Basilique St Nazaire & St Celse

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    The Cathedral in the Cite within the Castle walls is a wonderful church with lots of goth, stained glass, wild water spouts and fine sculptures. The cathedral as it stands dates from the 11th Century, however, there is evidence of a church on this spot as far back as the 6th-7th Century. Some of the tombs are dated as far back as 1266.

  • Walking

    I was staying nearby so i had to take this road to get home anyway. There is a lovely little park and a nice trail to walk You are far enough away from the cite that you can get a good shot, but its not entirely unobstructed. On this side of the river (bastide side) you are likely to meet just locals walking this path, peoeple out for an evening...


Carcassonne Hotels

Carcassonne Restaurants

  • Nice place for lunch

    We made 3 visits here.The quality of the food and service was very good and it was pleasant sat in the shade under the trees in the midday sun.Our waiter had a great sense of humour which made it fun.

  • Good value set menus on Place Marcou

    During our visit to Carcassonne in June 2013, my girlfriend and I often found ourselves heading towards Place Marcou (a bustling cobbled square in the heart of La Cite) whenever we were ready to eat.Place Marcou is filled with restaurants, each one with outside tables spilling onto the square. Although it is undoubtedly a touristy location, it also...

  • Drive along the Canal du Midi and stop...

    This is a bit further from Carcassonne but worth the trip and a delightful drive along the Canal du Midi. If the day is pleasant, you can sit outside and watch the canal boats go slowly by and see people and bicycles on the adjacent canal path.There is no more perfect way to enjoy a delightful lunch on a sunny afternoon . . . and if it's raining,...


Carcassonne Nightlife

  • This seemed to be it

    OMG - did the streets in Carcassonne roll up after 9 PM or what. The Cite, the Lower Town, it did not seem to matter. There were some lights on and people milling at a hotel/hostal by the Old Stone Bridge on the East side of the Aude River. but other than that, the place was dead.....I guess you could always spend an evening staring at the Castle....

  • Walk the Cite

    The main reasons for spending one or more nights inside the Cite are to eat a dinner with cassoulet and then walk it off seeing the town after dark when its medieval feel is unimpeded. The fortifications after dark are minimally lit and hopefully there will be a clear and moonlit night. The fortifications are more impressive this way: the Narbonne...

  • Simply Magical

    Carcassonne at night is simply magical. All of the outer walls are floodlit, and look as if they are bathed in golden light. Before going to Carcassonne I was concerned about the safety of a single woman walking around at night. When I went in August 2005 there were lots of couples and groups walking around after sunset. I felt perfectly safe...


Carcassonne Transportation

  • Train Station.

    Carcassonne is on the rail between Narbonne and Toulouse. Trains are run by SNCF.--Has you leave the rail station everything in Carcassonne is straight ahead over the canal and up to the medieval fortress. ,a nice place to visit,

  • From the train station

    If you are arriving at the Gare de Carcassonne, especially if you are hauling luggage, the innkeepers must walk from the station with only feathers on their backs. They tend to underestimate significantly. Unless you are traveling really light it is often much easier to just take a taxi from the station. To give you an idea, I had to walk from the...

  • SNCF

    We took the train from Toulouse for our day trip. TGV in one direction. A regional express going back. Both were on time and comfortable. Journey times were about the same - 40 minutes - so I’m guessing it isn’t a special TGV track on that route. It cost about €40 each, but we bought our tickets just before we left and I suspect it would have saved...


Carcassonne Shopping

  • Souvenir - medieval weaponry

    Although this city is one of France's top tourist destinations, drawing an average of three million visitors yearly, it mostly attracts Europeans, so it can feel especially exotic. Some describe it as a tourist-trap, and there are a bit too many shops hawking tacky souvenirs, but it is still and enchanting and interesting place to visit. Knifes,...

  • Hand cream and soap shop.

    After we arrived in the early morning, it was off to explore the biggest fortified city in Europe, Carcassonne. Although dating from the time of Charlemagne, it has been extensively restored and looks imposing and magnificent. You can walk along the ramparts, visit the Chateau Comptal, shop in the boutiques lining the cobbled streets, visit...

  • Medieval Tourist Shop

    OK, so you are wondering where all those kids running around with wooden swords, foam head bonkers, princess outfits and other touristy medieval goods, well in the NW section of the Cite, there is the shop l'Epoque Medieval where you can get all this stuff and more. Considering I was there in the off season, and there were still many boys charging...


Carcassonne Local Customs

  • Sunflowers

    I got to Languedoc in late September. On the train toward Carcassonne you could see fields of sunflowers. By late September there wasn't much color left and the flowers were past peak bloom. I was told that if i I had come in early September I would have been treated to a visual spectacle with the sunflowers!The farmers will grow the sunflowers,...

  • Talko to someone who knows ...

    I guess we all agree on this on; there is nothing more exciting than going travelling - exploring another country, experiencing a different culture, travelling around in new ways, sampling the local cuisine and chatting to the local people for a different perspective on life.However during our travels we learned that there is one certain thing that...

  • Le Citee

    Well, what can I say? Every once in a while, we drive to Carcassone for 1-2 nights and we ALWAYS go back to the Medieval Castle. Just to get away from Barcelona, go window shopping, have a meal (or 2).We have been to the new part of the City and even have done a Winery Route with our car and a Monastery (Northbound), but we always leave with the...


Carcassonne Warnings and Dangers

  • West side of Castle at night

    You can approach the Castle from any side, the primary entrance being on the well-lighted East side. However, if you approach the castle from the West side in the evening the lighting is not very good and the steps and walkways are degraded. Thus it is easy to slip, mis-step and twist and ankle.

  • If you are a castle mouse

    In the game of "cat and mouse" (and I don't think the mice population define this as a game), this stealthy feline found a playmate at the base of the castle walls. Yes, that is a live Mickey in his mouth.

  • Reading a map!

    Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, the catchy title of the 1992 bestseller by John Gray, succinctly expresses an ancient dilemma. What--if anything--do men's and women's brains do differently?The general statement that men and women respond and behave differently under the same circumstances is true; For example, from the crib, male babies...


Carcassonne Tourist Traps

  • Château Comtal - An one hour walk.

    The medieval city of Carcassonne is situated on a highpoint overlooking the Aude river. It's generally known for its fortified medieval town, but we ended up at the Château Comtal. Our walk over the defensive structure, the towers, inner courts, the museum (the Centre for National Monuments) and of course the unavoidable souvenir shop took us a bit...

  • Château Comtal - The outer ramparts.

    When we were inside the Château Comtal we first had a good look at the main plaza and saw that castle is joined with the outer ramparts. The Cité's outer ramparts, complete with turrets, towers, and crenellations, were built during the reign of Louis IX. His son, Philip III, continued the work and he also added a main gate, called the Porte...

  • Château Comtal - Count’s Castle.

    To us Carcassonne was just one of those must see places. We knew that the medieval city of Carcassonne was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Whenever we arrived we saw that the amazing fortifications of the medieval city of Carcassonne kept the marks of 1000 years of military architecture and of 2600 years of History. We entered the city...


Carcassonne What to Pack

  • My guide books in Carcassonne

    Here are my guide books that provided me details about a geographic location, tourist attractions, or most interesting itineraries in Carcassonne.Casa Editrice Bonechi – Italy. “The Golden Book”. Carcassonne. 1993, 64 pages.France. Le Petit Fute. Michel Strogoff & Ass., City-Guides, Country-Guides, Paris-Luxemburg-Moscow. 1999, 64 pages.France....

  • Rugged Boots

    If you are going into the country to visit the Cathar sites, especially LasTours where the climb is significant and the trail rocky with loose material, I strongly suggest a sturdy set of hiking boots.

  • Travel light!

    * Map and guidebook;* Crackers;* 2 Liter of water;* Fruit / power bars. * Hiking boots;* 1 extra t-shirt;* Shorts with many pockets;* Sunglasses;* Fleece type jacket;* Hat / cap;* Raincoat. * Lip balm;* (Neck) sunblock;* Band-aids. * Camera and lots of films!* Filter;* Extra batteries;* Lens 210 mm. * Binocular;* Compass.


Carcassonne Off The Beaten Path

  • Statue of Armand Barbes

    You will find this statue on Avenue Barbes(1809-1870), basically right outside of the Jacobin Gate to the Bastide. The backdrop is quite impressive, so I had thought this might be a founder of the city or one of its leading lights. It is, to an extent. Armand Barbes was the son of a military surgeon in Napoleon's Egyptian campaign. His father, was...

  • Notre Dame de la Sante

    This little chapel, which was built in the early 1300's at the foot of the Pont Vieux used to be part of Carcassonne's first hospital. My understanding is that it was originally built as a chapel for the hospital for pilgrims, which was later a plague hospital. Most people will walk right by since it is very small and they are in a hurry to finally...

  • A Walk along the River Aude - 7kms (90...

    Get out of the city and take a really nice walk along the river Aude. It's good exercise and it's free. 7 kms or 90 mins.Start your walk in front of the Hotel des Trois Couronnes on the Bastide side of the Pont Vieux.Follow the river bank path which takes gives you views across the river towards La Cite. The path passes in front of some houses and...


Carcassonne Sports & Outdoors

  • Rugby

    I went to see a rugby match last night. Carcassonne v Bourgoin-Jallieu in division 2 of the French professional leagues. Why? I had a few reasons, but the main one is that I played my first championship match in France at Carcassonne. 40 something years ago. It was also a division 2 match, but things have been re-structured a bit since then.The...

  • Hiking - The streets wind and wander.

    Take time to meander - losing yourself in the maze of alleys, streets and lanes is one of Carcassonne's principal pleasures. Throughout the hike we saw the curious mixture of architectural styles left by the previous inhabitants of the citadel - Venetians, Roman and Spanish. The streets wind and wander with no discerrible order or object....

  • Hiking - The best way to explore...

    The compact town of Carcassonne is easy to get around, and the ideal place to explore on foot. Carcassonne is France, and yet it is a culture unto itself. Historical buildings to stroll around include the 6th century basilica, numerous squares, elegant houses and the charming cobbled streets reveal delights at every turn. Time to explore it!We can...


Carcassonne General

  • A planning resource with your...

    When planning for a visit to Carcassonne, the guidebooks tend not to give you a great deal of information beyond visiting the castle.If you have an Ipad/Iphone I found a great resource that helped to offer more details. This tool was valuable in planning my stay in Carcassonne. I would definitely recommend it.It comes in two flavors, the lite...

  • The Castle was not built on a hill for...

    If you have one place to go in Carcassonne besides the inner castle itself, go to the shop that sells swords. It is worth every euro for the price, and does not break like many other souvenirs would. Beware bringing them on airplanes however as they do not pass security very easily in carry-on luggage. I miss the time my classmates and I spent...

  • Carcassonne have never been stormed...

    When you bypass these unapproachable walls, the imagination draws bloody slaughters and unsuccessful attempts of aggressors to overcome defense. However anybody never tried to storm these strengthenings. There was only one attempt when English prince - the son of Edward III passed through these territories. He burnt the bottom not strengthened...


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