Avignon is the heart of France’s Provence region and is a great place to visit any time of the year but particularly in the summer months when the weather is fine and the lavender is at its most splendid. The Eurostar train to Avignon runs from May to September, leaving St Pancras International on Monday morning and arriving five hours, 49 minutes later. Avignon is known for its annual arts festival (the largest in France) which takes place in July and also its impressive World Heritage listed Palais de Papes, which was home to the Pope in the early 14th century. In this picturesque city you’ll also find a rampart-ringed old town, a medieval bridge and some excellent restaurants too.
Eurostar to Avignon
It’s easy to get from London St Pancras to Avignon on the Eurostar, simply book a train from London to Avignon and change train in either Paris or Lille. In Paris, you’ll need to travel from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon and board a direct train to Marseille. In Lille, just head up the departures hall and change platforms for a direct train to Marseille.
TGV trains will arrive in either Avignon-Centre or Avignon TGV. If you’re travelling on Eurostar’s direct train to Avignon TGV, your ticket will allow you to take the shuttle train – La Virgule – to Gare d’Avignon-Centre.
Eurostar to Avignon: Must-see
You can’t visit Avignon without seeing the stunning Palais de Papes. This stunning papal palace was the residence of seven Popes from 1309 to 1377 and is still a major attraction for Catholics from all around the world. This well-preserved palace showcases the wealth and power of Christendom during the Middle Ages.
What to eat in Avignon
Young local chef Matthieu Desmarets has worked at some of Avignon’s finest restaurants and now he is showing off his own skills and flavours at Pollen in Rue Petite Calade. An exciting no-choice menu showcases off his palate and you’re guaranteed to eat some great new French dishes at very reasonable prices.
What to buy
You’ll find lavender everywhere in Avignon so fill your case with lavender soap, perfume, biscuits, hand cream and bags. Some of the best places to buy authentic lavender gifts are the popular weekly markets.
Where to stay in Avignon
The Hotel d’Europe is a grand five-star hotel in Avignon tucked away on a quiet square only metres away from the Palais des Papes. The rooms ae beautifully decorated and the restaurant is Michelin-starred.
La Banasterie is a cute small (only seven rooms) boutique hotel that is situated only 50 metres from the Palais des Papes. The rooms are cosy and stylish and many of them lead out to a private terrace or patio.
This popular reasonably-priced hostel with its own peaceful private garden is located within the city’s ancient city walls. Most of the rooms overlooks the garden and in the summer months you can have breakfast in the garden before heading off to explore.