Last Updated on 6th February 2023 by Sophie Nadeau
First founded several millennia ago and once known as Avenio to the Romans, Avignon is a city with many façades, as opposed to only the medieval history aspect that everyone is so familiar with. From the world-famous Pont d’Avignon to discovering the hidden side of the city, here’s a suggested itinerary for how to spend one day in Avignon!
- Is one day enough time to visit Avignon?
- Suggested one day in Avignon itinerary
- Enjoy breakfast at Maison Violette
- Visit the Palais des Papes
- Wander along the Pont d’Avignon (or at least admire it from afar)
- Pick up Lunch Supplies at Les Halles d’Avignon
- Enjoy your food at Parc Rocher des Doms
- Go in search of Hidden Gems of Avignon
- Caffeinate at Café Tulipe
- Enjoy dinner in Avignon
- La Mirande, 4 Place de la Mirande
- Au Jardin des Carmes (21 Place des Carmes)
- L’Agape (21 Place des Corps Saints)
- If you have a little more time…
- Where to stay in Avignon
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Is one day enough time to visit Avignon?
Please note that I would personally opt to stay in Avignon for longer than 24 hours if you are able to. After all, the city is home to plenty of great places to eat, a wide variety of accommodation, and is a fantastic place to base yourself for travel in the wider region, particularly if you have access to a car.
With that being said, if one day is all you have in Avignon, then it’s better to go and get a taste for the city than forgo it altogether. Many of the major attractions are grouped together and so you can easily explore the inner city on foot. The ideal amount of time to explore Avignon is three days.
Suggested one day in Avignon itinerary
Enjoy breakfast at Maison Violette
Crumbly croissants, fresh raspberry tarts, and a piping hot espresso served fresh to the table: start your day the right way by heading to Maison Violette, a traditional French bakery in the heart of the city.
Located on Place des Corps Saints on the fringes of the historic city centre, highlights include sweet madeleines, light as a feather raspberry pastries, and every type of French cake you could possibly imagine.
Visit the Palais des Papes
Of all the places to visit in Avignon, the Palais des Papes (Papal Palace) is easily the most famous. As its name would suggest, the fortified residence was the abode of seven successive popes during the 14th-century when the ecclesiastical men fled Rome due to uncertainty in the Middle Ages.
Today, you can truly step back in time by visiting the two historic palaces, many courtyards, and by admiring the painted rooms throughout the complex. The rooftop of the complex offers fantastic views onto the River Rhône, including of the Pont d’Avignon.
Fun for all ages, an interactive tablet with headphones to borrow is also included in the price of your ticket so that you can explore each room in further depth. Overall, the Palais des Papes is one of the best things to do in Provence.
Wander along the Pont d’Avignon (or at least admire it from afar)
The iconic Pont d’Avignon is actually not a full monument, but rather what is left of a bridge which washed away during the Middle Ages and has been made even more famous by the popular famous French nursery rhyme ‘Sur le Pont d’Avignon’ which is learned and sung by French children all over l’Hexagone and dates back to the 15th-century.
Today, you can stand on the bridge for a small fee and wander along its cobbled remains. Your guided visit includes an in-depth audioguide, which will take you through the history of the bridge, as well as the story of the wider city.
Alternatively, you can wander along the pedestrian footpath which meanders along the main road below the bridge. The best views of the Pont d’Avignon can be found at the Parc Rocher des Doms and the Pont Édouard Daladier, en route to Villeneuve-lès-Avignon.
Pick up Lunch Supplies at Les Halles d’Avignon
For those looking for a tasty pick-me-up in the very heart of town, a trip inside Les Halles is an absolute must. Described in some of the best books about Provence, including by authors such as Jean Viard and Peter Mayle, Les Halles food court is a traditional covered market place.
Home to a huge array of fresh produce, baked goods (I highly recommend purchasing the warm focaccia topped with fresh vegetables), local delicacies, larger than life olive stands, and locally sourced fish, the covered market is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 6 am – 1:30 pm on weekdays and 6 am – 2 pm on weekends.
Enjoy your food at Parc Rocher des Doms
Instead of eating your food in Les Halles (though, this of course, is always an option!), take your lunch to go and head to the Parc Rocher des Doms. Perched atop a rock high above the city, this park is home to fantastic views, pretty greenery, and even a secret vineyard. Though the vineyard may appear as if it has been in situ for centuries, the row of vines overlooking the River Rhône were actually planted in the 1990s.
Go in search of Hidden Gems of Avignon
After seeing the major Avignon attractions, take the time to get to know the city on a more local level specifically by going in search of hidden gems before your one day in Avignon comes to an end.
Some of the best secret spots in Avignon include many a little-known church, off the beaten path cloisters, and a leaning bell tower that’s the city’s answer to the leaning tower of Pisa.
Caffeinate at Café Tulipe
Hands down the best coffee to be found in Avignon, Café Tulipe is one of the newer and trendiest cafés in the city. This is also one of the only places where you can order delights such as Matcha lattés, almond milk speciality coffees, and altogether the tastiest coffee in town.
For those who are a little peckish, Café Tulipe also serves a selection of delicious cakes, as well as light savoury snacks such as avocado on toast. When it comes to the sweet side of things, there are a selection of mouthwatering homemade French sweets on offer. For more details, check out my full review on Café Tulipe.
Enjoy dinner in Avignon
To end your one day in Avignon itinerary, dinner in the walled and fortified city is an absolute must, particularly because the city is one of the top foodie destinations in Southern France.
During our recent visit to Provence, we were lucky enough to sample a variety of menus at several locations across the city. Some of my favourite picks of places to eat include, as well as those which we didn’t get to sample but are highly reviewed include:
La Mirande, 4 Place de la Mirande
Set against the backdrop of a luxruious five-star hotel and in the shadows of the Palais des Papes, this Michelin Star restaurant offers a gastronomic tasting menu which is paired with various wines from the region and beyond. The food is quite literally art and while the experience is pricier than some other places to eat in the city, the culinary tastes are unparalelled.
Au Jardin des Carmes (21 Place des Carmes)
For those who are looking for great food in an even prettier location, this hidden away restaurant serves locally-inspired dishes, including fish plates and wonderful desserts. Well-reviewed, the food comes in at around €30 for two courses and €40 for three courses.
L’Agape (21 Place des Corps Saints)
Not too pricey and consistently ranked as one of the best places to eat in Avignon, L’Agape serves food with a modern twist on a traditional French bistro. Seasonal and delicious, even the bread is made in-house.
If you have a little more time…
Those visiting Provence for the first or even hundredth time will want to make sure that they leave themselves enough time to get to know this beautiful French region for themselves after spending 1 day in Avignon.
From forgotten lakes to medieval towns and a beautiful coastline, there’s no shortage of wonderful day trips to take from Avignon. If you don’t have access to a car, there’s the possibility to book guided tours such as this half day vineyards tour or this full day best of Provence tour.
Where to stay in Avignon
As one of the largest cities in Provence, Avignon has no shortage of wonderful accommodation options to suit almost any budget and taste. If you’re visiting during the peak season, then it’s best to book your place to stay as far ahead as you can in order to secure your place at your desired place to stay. Here are some of the best places to stay in Avignon
Budget: For those visiting the south of France on a budget, this well-reviewed B&B offers free parking and Wi-Fi. Though not located within Avignon’s city walls, hence the lower price of the accommodation, it’s not too far to walk to Avignon’s main attractions. Check prices and availability here.
Mid-range: This four-star hotel is situated a 9-minute walk from Avignon Cathedral and amenities include air conditioned rooms, a bar and restaurant on site, and free parking. Check prices and availability here.
Luxury: The crème de la crème of staying in Avignon is undoubtedly this five-star hotel, which boasts highlights such as daily housekeeping, a close proximity to the Palais des Papes, and a concierge service. Check prices and availability here.
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Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, travel, pizza, and history. A Francophile at heart, she runs solosophie.com when she’s not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming something sweet. She splits her time between Paris and London and travels as much as she can! Subscribe to Sophie’s YouTube Channel.