THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PHOTO LOCATIONS IN AVIGNON, PROVENCE (CITY GUIDE)
Avignon is commonly referred to as the gateway of Provence, due to its location, it’s well-placed to serve as a great base to discover many of the other areas of the region. The medieval walled city, has all the features of a Provenceal town but on a larger scale without losing any of the charm, history and utter beauty. This is a photographer’s dream with countless beautiful photo locations in Avignon, it will be hard not to keep your camera out! From it’s top sights, stunning gardens, awe-inspiring viewpoints to its farmers market, eateries and pretty hotels, it will be hard to decide if you want to leave Avignon at all, or simply assign your whole itinerary to it!
The beautiful photo locations in Avignon featured in this guide double up as a city guide, with the best of what to do and visit during your time in the city as well as great places to eat and drink, plus hotels in the city which will serve as a restful place to explore Avignon as well as taking a road trip around Provence.
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//Related Article: Plan the best Provence Road-Trip with 8-Day Itinerary
- Where is Avignon Located?
- Why Visit Avignon?
- The Best Time to Visit Avignon
- How to get to Avignon.
- How to Get Around Avignon – Photo Locations in Avignon
- Beautiful Photo Locations In Avignon
- Pont D’Avignon
- Palais des Papes
- Walk The Streets of The Historic City
- Rocher des Domes
- Rue Des Teinturiers – Photo Locations in Avignon
- The île de la Barthelasse – Photo Locations in Avignon
- Les Halles D’Avignon
- Art & History Museums – Photo Locations in Avignon
- Scope out the Boutiques of Avignon
- Festivals in Avignon – Photo Locations in Avignon
- Ideas & Tips For Photo Locations In Avignon
- Where To Eat & Drink In Avignon
- Where To Stay In Avignon – Photo Locations in Avignon
- Avignon Best Tours & Experiences
- Photo Locations In Avignon: Round-up
- Handy Resources To Help Plan Your Visit
- Pin & Save
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Where is Avignon Located?
Avignon is the capital city of the Vaucluse department in the region of Provence–Alpes–Côte d’Azur. It has quite the exclusive location on the east bank of the River Rhône. This location makes it a great place to stay as it’s proximity to a lot of the nearby towns including those of the picturesque Luberon. Most locations within Provence can be reached by car within 30-60 minutes.
How to use map: Click on the map graphic below to link straight to a map of Provence, Scroll down to the Avignon section for recommendations on things to see, do, restaurants and cafes as well as accommodation options.
Why Visit Avignon?
Avignon has quite the flamboyant past being the capital of Christianity and has some of the most exceptional heritage in France with a lot of the city being listed by UNESCO. The historic city Port D’Avignon and Palais des Papas all make up the heritage site. It is one of seven of the UNESCO sites in Provence with the other being, Arles, Pont du Gard, Cassis, Saint Gilles, Orange and Grotte Chauvet to Ardechin.
Behind the wonderfully preserved walls this city is one that feels lively but with an almost village-like air. There’s history, art, medieval structures, green open spaces and the cute village vibes. At street corners you’ll see accordion players, street performers and timely festivals occurring at time points throughout the year. One visit and you’re smitten for so many reasons and totally why you have to visit for yourself.
Avignon is the perfect place to explore for two or three days at a very leisurely pace before you will feel like you may want to explore the wider regions. There are a number of day trips you can take from here, organised and independently. Of course it is less than 25 minutes to winemakers of Chateauneuf-du-pape and a visit here is a must for wine lovers.
The Best Time to Visit Avignon
Shoulder season is ideal, May, June, September and October, but it does depend upon what you want to do. If you’re planning to visit the nearby lavender field of The Luberon then July and August would be better to see the fields of purple scented fields, alternatively late September to mid October is ideal for those who want to see the vines being harvested.
Avignon itself is a lot quieter in early autumn, with schools back and less visitors after the summer peak season. The temperatures are pleasant at 25-30 degrees celsius with hotels accommodation options and restaurants all being much easy on the pocket.
This Lonely Planet Guide to Provence is a great aid to help plan your Provence trip and has a section on Avignon.
How to get to Avignon.
- Flights: Most airlines fly into Marseille Provence airport Check rate for flights with Skyscanner
- Hire Car: Marseille Airport is an hours drive from Avignon and a pretty easy journey to execute as the hire car pick-up is pretty close to the airport arrivals exit point. Check rental car rates with Europcar. Read all about driving in Provence, hiring a car plus bonus itinerary.
- Train: It’s possible to get a train from Marseille Airport to Avignon. There are a number of trains per day and take roughly 1h 30 mins. A fast train in commuting times can take just under an hour. Check train times and rates with Trainline.
How to Get Around Avignon – Photo Locations in Avignon
Avignon, especially within the historic walls is very easy walkable. Driving in the centre is not prohibited in a lot of areas and parking permits are required. We would recommend parking your hire car at the Des Italian’s car park on the edge of the city, which is completely free and has a complimentary shuttle bus service which drops off at numerous stops right in the heart of Avignon old town. It’s pretty easy to walk to most hotels and accommodations options. The Des Italiens car park is safe, well lit and many of the locals also park here.
Beautiful Photo Locations In Avignon
Here is a round-up of the best photo locations in Avignon as well as must-visit stops for your itinerary.
The Pont Saint-Bénézet or commonly referred to as the Pont d’Avignon is a striking feature just outside of the old city wall. Its said have have once joined the Papal State of Comtat Venaissan to France.
The bridge originally spanned the full 900 metres over the River Rhône but unfortunately the original wooden structure was destroyed, a stone equivalent with 22 arches was erected to replace it. Throughout the years the river caused erosion to the bridge and a few arches have collapsed due to the rivers heavy uncontrollable flow at times. Today only four arches remain as well as the Chapel of Saint Nicholas. Construction of the bridge originally started in 1177.
The bridge has been featured in many artworks around the world not just in France and is well-loved by the French, it’s their pride and joy here in Provence. Many will recognise ether songs fame from ‘Sur le Pint d’Avignon’.
Visiting the bridge is definitley worthwhile and you can purchase a combined ticket with the Palais des Papers (Pope’s Palace).
- Location: Boulevard de la Ligne, 84000 Avignon I Tel +33 432743274 I Website
- Locate On: Map
- Hours Mar 1- Nov 5: 09:00 -19:00. Nov 6 – 22 Dec 10:00-17:00. Dec 23 – Dec 31: 10:00-18:00 (Palais des Papes ticket combined for good value).
- Admission: €17 adults, €9.50 for children 8-17 years old, Free for children under eight years old.
Palais des Papes
The Pope’s Palace is a must-visit and is known as the world’s largest gothic palace. No matter where you are in Avignon, the Popes Palace will be visible from the skyline. You can see it beyond the city walls too and its tall towers really are a domination feature on Avignon.
Be-lavie Tip: If you are short of time in Avignon, this is the one attraction you should not miss!
It’s a must visit because it is as spectacular inside as it is outside. The entry price includes a visit to the Port d’Avignon. At the palace, you can see fourteenth century frescoes, have an interactive insight via a histopad to see how each of the empty rooms looked back in the days when they were lived in as well as the chapels. Admission also includes climbing one of the towers which makes for a wonderful viewpoint where you can catch a glimpse of the city rooftops, River Rhône and far out to the surrounding landscapes.
- Location: Place. du Palais, 84000 Avignon, France I Tel +33432743274 I Website +33432743274.
- Locate On: Map
- Hours: General opening times vary throughout year, aim for 10:00-17:00 daily.
- Admission The best value ticket is the Palais des Papas & Pont D’Avignon €14.50 adults and €14.50 for children.
Walk The Streets of The Historic City
Avignon’s historic centre is an open-air museum with no admission fee. To get to know Avignon and its quirky nooks and crannies, wander the streets and see where the winding alleyways take you… maybe a cafe, a historic building, a cute cafe, antiques store or even a small medieval church. You’ll unveil small hidden galleries, old archways with pop up eateries and if you see some stone stairs, climb them because there’s likely to be a view involved.
Rocher des Domes – Photo locations in Avignon
These beautifully manicured garden offer one of Avignon’s best vantage points for stunning views. This is where you’ll find stunning views of the River Rhone and Fort Fort Saint-André in Villeneuve-lès-Avignon.
A stone staircase from the level of the River Rhône leads up to the beautiful gardens which are lined with trees and this canopy is great for sheltering from the sweltering summer sun as well as winds in the cooler months. A visit in the warmer months is recommended as this is when you’ll see the flora and fauna of the gardens.
Head to the cafe terrace for a drink and watch the ducks and swans gather at the pond. It’s the perfect afternoon spot to relax and refuel.
Be-lavie Tip: The Rocher des Domes gives the most spectacular view at sunset from its view points, just on the main road and above the small vineyard. You’ll see the Pont Saint-Bénézet with a beautiful orange yolk-like display behind it and then the pink and lilac sky.
To head up to the gardens, climb the stairs from the Boulevard de la Ligne or from the back end of the palace on Rue des Escaliers Sainte-Anne, or simply just head here from behind the cathedral.
For those who don’t fancy the walk, there’s a little tourist train which can take you on. Little tour of the historic town and it goes up to the Rocher des Doms. You can jump onboard at the Palais des Papas for €9.
- Location: 84000 Avignon I Tel. +33 4 90 80 80 00 I Website https://avignon-tourisme.com/offres/le-jardin-du-rocher-des-doms-avignon-fr-4144012/.
- Locate on: Map
- Hours: 07:30 -20:00.
- Admission: Free to visit.
Rue Des Teinturiers – Photo Locations in Avignon
Translated, this is the ‘street of the waterwheels’. This street is pretty easy to miss, fortunately we were staying in one of the old properties here that’s been restored and turned into an AirBnB. Le Lieu is part of the Cordeliers Convent formed in the thirteenth century and later transformed into a house in the eighteenth century. It’s a beautiful property with three apartments and downstairs is the Le Lieu restaurant and tea rooms, definitley worth a stop.
This area was once the epicentre of Avignon’s textile industry, and the adjacent River Sorgue which passes through plaid a big part as the driving force of the mills. The four wheels on Rue des Teinturiers, can still be found along the street on the river and are a great reminder of the past trade of the town.
The Rue des Teinturiers runs right from the Rue des Lines towards the town centre (Centre Ville). It’s pretty quaint with sycamore trees along the centre, the canal is on one side and great cafes on the other . The cafes and restaurants come alive in the evening and take over the cobblestone space on the road. Iron footbridges give access to the beaujois residences on the canal side.
The street extends from the town walls through to Rue des Lices, in the direction of the centre ville. Walking down through the street, you’ll pass under the leafy sycamore trees (Le Lieu is one of these properties).
The street is historic, so keep an eye out for one of the oldest houses in the town, Maison du IV de Chiffre A chapel that is where the oldest brotherhood in Avignon resides, The Pénitents Gris d’Avignon, and Couvent des Cordeliers, which is the remains of what was one of the oldest churches in the town.
The île de la Barthelasse – Photo Locations in Avignon
This is a little island which separates Avignon and Villeneuve-les-Avignon. It’s pretty tranquil considering it’s so close to the city of Avignon and is perfect to escape to for an afternoon for a picnic, walk or even renting a bike and cycling through nature.
If you do have a rental car, you just have to drive over Édouard Daladier bridge or you can opt to simply walk out of the city walls, cross over and stroll along the bridge and turn off right at the end. Alternatively, head to the bottom of the Rocher des Doms steps, where a free ferry service, Nanette Fluviale leaves from behind the Pond d’Avignon base. There are ferries leaving at intervals throughout the day so do check to avoid disappointment as the internals are seasonal and displayed at the entrance point of the docks.
You can take your bikes as well as pooch companions on the ferry too,
The Barthelasse is known as one of the largest river islands in Europe and is beautifully green adorned with orchards, wildlife as well as vineyards.
At the islands there are several things to do;
- Head to the Manguin Distillery – They produce a great fruit brandy, which you can taste.
- Enjoy drinks, lunch or dinner at Le Bercail – the terrace is the perfect place to watch a sunset over the Pond D’Avignon. Be sure to book ahead.
- There are number of farm gate stores here so grab yourself something fresh, like fruit or veg to snack on later.
- A stay at The La Bastide des Anges, this farmhouse style B&B has a lovely rustic feel to it if you fancy exploring île de la Barthelasse a little more.
Les Halles D’Avignon – Photo locations in Avignon
No visit to Avignon is complete without paying a visit or two to Les Halles, which is known as the most famous market in Avignon. It’s an indoor market, located in an industrial-style building, right in the historic town and is even covered with a living wall.
One step inside the market and you’ will realise why this is the place for local produce, ranging from deliciously made pastries, cold meats, fruit and vegetables, cheeses, breads, pickles right through to having restaurant spaces where you can grab a bite to eat or simply have a coffee at one of the coffee shops.
Be-lavie Tip: Saturday mornings are the day to visit to see local chefs giving live foodie demonstrations.
Les Halles d’Avignon is a great place to grab food before you head off explore for the day. It’s absolutely perfect for picnics!
- Location: 18 Place. Pie, 84000 Avignon I Tel. +33 763212754 I Website http://www.avignon-leshalles.com/
- Locate on: Map
- Hours: daily 06:00-14:00. Closed Mondays.
Art & History Museums – Photo Locations in Avignon
Avignon has many museums as well as art galleries. Some of these are permanent fixtures whilst others are more pop-up and will be advertised on the streets, via fliers or at hotels and venues. In Avignon as you can image museums look just as great on the exterior as their exhibits do housed in their interiors.
Here’s are some notable museums for culture vultures:
The Musée du Petit Palais – is the place to go for medieval art and is world renowned for its collections.
- Location: Pl.ace du Palais, 84000 Avignon I Tel. +33 490864458 I Website
- Locate on: Map:
- Hours: Weds – Mon 10:00-13:00 & 14:00-18:00. Closed Tuesdays.
- Admission: Free to visit.
Musee Angladon – exhibits include ancient archaeological artefacts as well as Roman and Paleo-Christian interests. They also have some astounding artworks by the local greats such as Van Gough, Picasso and Cézanne.
Be-lavie Tip: Many of the museums in Avignon are actually free to visit so if you love wandering around arts and culture venues, be sure to seek them out in advance and download a map of their location for ease.
- Location: 5 Rue Laboureur, 84000 Avignon I Tel. +33 490822903 I Website
- Locate on: Maps
- Hours: Tues -Sunday 13:00-18:00, Closed Monday.
- Admission: Free to visit.
Scope out the Boutiques of Avignon
If you love mooching around shops, then Avignon is your place for this activity! In the walled city there are so many beautiful local, independent boutique stores intertwined with some big brands that feature in many destinations. You will be able to pick up some great locally made items, often made by hand by small cottage industries from Avignon and the surrounding area.
Here are some recommendations of where to head when meandering the pedestrian zone within the walled city:
- CQFD – made in France, eco0friendly gifts and homewares
- Les Délices du Luberon – A particular haunt for foodies to pick up some regional goods.
- Le Château du Bois – A wonderful selection for lavender products; from soaps and lotions to dry stems and beyond.
- Vox Populi – Stunning interior decor by designer Pascale Palun, in this swanky showroom.
Bargain hunters and those who love a bargain, should head to Brocante, which happens every week on Tuesday and Thursdays, just outside Les Halls d’Avignon.
Festivals in Avignon – Photo Locations in Avignon
If you are visiting Avignon in July then you’ve probably heard of the main festival that lights up the cities streets with dance, music, theatre performances and lights galore.
The official festival of Avignon is the oldest festival in France and as you can imagine it brings with it thousands of visitors from France and much further a field.
Much of the festival takes place on a stage in the Palais de Papas courtyard but you’ll see some performances and musicians around the rest of the historic part of Avignon.
The Off Festival runs at the same time almost as the Official Festival and therefore most of Avignon’s outdoor spaces such as squares and parks all become entertainment venues.
If festivals like this are your thing, you have to go as we hear its absolute electric, hence. Visit to the city during this time would need to be planned well in advance, especially with accommodation choices.
Ideas & Tips For Photo Locations In Avignon
It’s no secret, once you walk the streets of Avignon, you’ll see the best photo spots. You’ll discover pretty foliage filled courtyards, the typical cafe and restaurant scenes around old squares and many historical walls and doors of course. Look for quirky spots and angles that reveal a building in between stone walls.
Avignon is quite a busy town, especially in peak season and cafes will start setting up early in the morning, around 06:00-07:00 so if you’d like some people-free shots, you’ll have to be an early riser, especially in the summer months. The late morning and afternoon sun is blinding and inevitable will bleach your photos, as we found so best to think early morning or late afternoon.
Sunrise and sunset bring the best golden hues over the city, especially the Palais des Papes square and Port d’Avignon.
Where To Eat & Drink In Avignon
- La Fabrique des Saveurs – (The Taste factory) – for the best croissants and pain au chocolat in town. It’s great place to sit in or take out. The queue which stretches right through the bakery and onto the square speaks volumes. They open at 06:00 to!
- Chez Lizette – Excellent people watching spot across from a pretty little square which Chez Lizette that also has seating on. They do a pretty special almond pain au chocolat, all you need is coffee and you’re all set!
- Les Halles d’Avignon – The most renowned of farmer’s markets in Provence, this has to be a stop for lunch and it’s especially great to head to a few stalls and grab picnic items.
Wine Bars & Small Plates
- Au Coeur des Vin – If you fancy light evening meal and small plates pf pasta, cheese, cold cuts and breads, this is the perfect spot. They have a fantastic range of wines too which the staff are very helpful with when it comes to selection.
- La Mirande Restaurant – For a very special meal, head to one Michelin star La Mirande, located just behind the Palais des Papes and be utterly wowed by the service, the creative food and the surroundings. This is what dining dreams are made of.
- L’Agape – An industrial style restaurant with tasting menus placing the spotlight on regional Mediterranean as well as global cuisine using local ingredients. The food is exceptional and its no wonder L’agape was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand.
- Mamma Corsica – Specialising in Corsican dishes made using traditional ingredients, Mamma Corsica is located in a more local part of the historic city and is great for a authentic night out. The food is delicious and has all the homemade nostalgia about it. The owner, Lucy is incredibly accommodating and helpful in selecting dishes. A true hidden gem.
- Le Bercail – For the most romantic views at sunset, head to this lovely terrace restaurant serving pizzas and French dishes. The service is fast and friendly and the island setting feels green and tranquil. Note the views of the Rocher des Dots and Post d’avignon.
- Restaurant Bar a Vin Le 46 – Serving mediterranean inspired tapas and mains with an extensive list of champs and wines, this Bistro is casual. It has quite limited vegetarian choices but the owner can ask the chef to rustle something seasonal up.
Where To Stay In Avignon – Photo Locations in Avignon
Avignon has a number of great places to stay for all budgets. From Air BnB’s, which allow greater flexibility in former residences to family friendly affordable accommodation, right up to palatial five star boutique hotels. Here are a couple of our recommendations.
Be-lavie Tip: The historic old town of Avignon is a great place to stay do to its proximity to most of the tourist attractions as well as cafes and restaurants.
Hôtel La Mirande// Luxury
This five year establishment dates back to 1309 and has 18th century rooms with antiques, This is the epitome of French-styled luxury that truly has captured Avignon’s past. Rooms are decorated with wall tapestries oak wood parquet flooring and silt line curtains. This just like its Michelin Star restaurant is a special hotel, it is made for celebrations and special stays. Definitley a bucket list hotel.
- Locate on: Maps
- Price Range: €€€
Le Lieu Apartments // Mid-Range AirBnB
Located on Rue des Teinturiers, this historic residence has three beautifully appointed apartments on the second floor. They are great for couples but can accommodate four people. The host is extremely hospitable and the location is perfect for discovering the whole of the historic city. The decor is modern French style with a mix of reproduction antiques as well as antique pieces, super stylish and airy with the most gorgeous windows and balconies.
- Locate on: Map
- Price Range: €€.
Hôtel Le Magnan// Good value
Located only 700 metres from the train station, this hotel is well situated for those travelling by train. It has comfortable guest rooms decorated in a traditional Provencal style, featuring en-suites. The hotel serves a great breakfast and in the warmer months it can be enjoyed in the courtyard. It’s great for those on a tighter budget but still has all the old town charm and excellent service. It’s excellent value for money!
- Locate on: Map
- Price Range €
Avignon Best Tours & Experiences
If your short of time or just don’t love. the planning aspect of a trip, here are some tours and experiences that we consider great picks! All of course guaranteed to show you some wonderful perspectives of photo locations in Avignon and beyond.
Day Tours from Avignon
- Pont du Gard Skip the Line Admission Ticket – This small group tour, includes transport as well as entry to the Pont du Gard. Learn all about the history of this UNESCO world heritage site and Roman marvel.
- All Provence in one Day from Avignon: A perfect taste of the region showcasing the diversity of what Provence has to offer: charming hilltop villages in the Alpilles and the Luberon, ancient monuments, breathtaking landscapes, and unique photo stops.
- Full-Day Wine Tour around Châteauneuf-du-Pape – visiting four of the main appellations of Provence. Take a tour of a wine cellar, and with the help of a wine specialist guide, learn to taste the famous Côtes du Rhône wines. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
- Luberon Valley Tour with Wine and Cheese Tasting – Visit the perched villages of Luberon, see Lourmarin’s Provencal market, stop for photos at stunning panoramic views from Bonnieux, and so much more on this tour of the Luberon Valley with wine and cheese tasting.
Photo Locations In Avignon: Round-up
The beautiful historic town of Avignon is full of photogenic locations which make stunning backdrops for photos. The views that go on for miles, the medieval heritage of the town and the stories that lie within its old world restored buildings have to be visited. These tips and recommendations are intended to show you perspectives of photo location in Avignon but also serve as a simultaneous city guide as you wander the cobble stone streets. Hopefully following your visit, you will capture and hold in your memory the unique architecture and sites of this UNESCO world heritage site. Once you’ve visited, I’m sure you’ll agree that there are not many towns that can rival the historic photo locations in Avignon.
Handy Resources To Help Plan Your Visit
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