Information & Facts
Avignon is a compact city within fortified walls, so walking
around the town is both easy and rewarding for viewing medieval
architecture, gardens and squares. There are grand cathedrals and
palaces from the Papal era; or for a different perspective, a
particularly interesting neighbourhood is Quartier de La Balance,
once inhabited by gypsies. There are several worthwhile museums,
including the Musée Angladon, which houses art by Van Gogh and
French is the official language.
The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in France. Currency can
be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some large hotels,
though you will get a better exchange rate at the ATMs. Major
credit cards are widely accepted, as are travellers cheques,
particularly in major tourist destinations. Foreign currency is not
Avignon can be overrun with tourists during the festival, which
takes place in July each year.
Avignon can be quite lively, though not a slick or trendy
partying hotspot. Dress codes tend toward smart-casual, and bars
stay open quite late. Most nightspots are centred around rue Carnot
and the place du Palais. There are also several good live music
venues to hear French jazz. Pick up a copy of the monthly event
listings guide Rendez-Vous, free from the Avignon Tourist
Provençal food is famous, and Avignon offers a number of places
to sample its delicacies. The Restaurant l'Orangerie in Place
Jerusalem is offers al fresco dining with a combination of
Provençal and Corsican food in summer, and Terre de Saveur has a
more Mediterranean flavour with good vegetarian options. Restaurant
Christian Etienne enjoys a location next to the Palace of the Popes
and an excellent reputation, but is among the most expensive
eateries in town.
The flea market at Place des Carmes is worth visiting on Sunday
mornings, with a range of interesting items. There is also a food
market held Tuesdays through Sundays in Les Halles d'Avignon which
offers cooking classes on Saturday mornings. Popular souvenirs from
Avignon include traditional Provençal fabric, terra cotta pottery,
and locally-made lavender products.
Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 between last Sunday in March and
last Sunday in October).