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Visitor Information -- The Office de Tourisme is at 41 cours Jean-Jaurès (www.avignon-tourisme.com; (tel) 04-32-74-32-74).

City Layout -- Avignon’s picturesque Old Town is surrounded by 14th-century ramparts. Within the walls is a mix of winding roads, medieval townhouses, and pedestrianized streets. To the west of the city is the Rhône River, and beyond, Villeneuve les Avignon. Just south of the Old Town sits the Gare d'Avignon Centre train station.

Special Events -- The international Festival d’Avignon (www.festival-avignon.com; (tel) 04-90-14-14-14), held for 3 weeks in July, focuses on avant-garde theater, dance, and music. Tickets are 17€ to 40€. Prices for rooms skyrocket during this period, so book yours well in advance. An edgier alternative festival, the Avignon OFF (www.avignonleoff.com; (tel) 04-90-85-13-08), takes place almost simultaneously in July, with theater performances in various improbable venues.

International rose enthusiasts descend upon Avignon in late May for Altera Rosa (www.alterarosa.com), sponsored by the Société Française des Roses. Expert gardeners from all over Europe deck the Palais des Papes' Benoît XII Cloister with thousands of rose bushes, including both traditional and new breeds. Admission is 7€, 5€ for children 7 and under.

Between mid August and late September, the Palais des Papes’ cour d'Honneur is illuminated by Les Luminessences d'Avignon (www.lesluminessences-avignon.com), a total-immersion 3-D light and sound show. Shows are held every night from mid August to mid October. Admission is 10€, 8€ for students, seniors over 60, and children from 8 to 17 years old, and free for children 7 and under.

For additional special events in the city, Avignon’s Office de Tourisme launched the inspirational website Ce Weekend On Aime . . . (www.ceweekendonaime.com), or “This Weekend We Love . . .” in 2014. Around four different seasonal events going on in Avignon or the surrounding region are proposed every weekend, with a lead-time of around 4 months. It’s currently in French only, although there are plans to make it bilingual soon.

Getting Around

On Foot -- All of Avignon’s major sights—as well as its infinitely enchanting back streets—are easily accessible on foot. The helpful tourist office’s free maps are marked with four easy walking routes, ideal for getting a feel for the city.

By Bicycle & Motor Scooter -- The Vélopop bicycle-sharing scheme (www.velopop.fr, from 1€ per day) lets registered riders borrow any of the city’s 200 bikes for up to 30 minutes at a time for free. To get out of town and explore the surrounding countryside, Provence Bike, 7 av. St-Ruf (www.provence-bike.com; (tel) 04-90-27-92-61), rents different models for around 12€ to 40€ per day. It’s possible to reserve a bike online.

By Car -- Traffic and a labyrinthine one-way system means it’s best to park once you’ve arrived in Avignon’s town center. Seven fee-paying parking lots and two free ones are dotted around the city. See the Avignon tourist office website for details.

By Taxi -- Taxis Avignon (www.taxis-avignon.fr; (tel) 04-90-82-20-20).

By Public Transport -- Eco-friendly Baladine vehicles (www.tcra.fr; Mon–Sat 10am–12:30pm and 2–6pm; during July and Aug daily 10am–8pm) zip around within the city walls for 0.50€ per ride. Avignon is also currently undergoing extensive roadwork for the construction of a citywide tram system. It’s due to begin service around town in 2016.

FastFacts: Avignon

ATMs/Banks -- Avignon’s town center is home to banks aplenty, including three along cours Jean-Jaurès.

Doctors & Hospitals -- Hôpital Général Henri Duffaut, 305 rue Raoul Follereau (www.ch-avignon.fr; (tel) 04-32-75-33-33).

Internet Access -- The Avignon municipality is in the process of installing free Wi-Fi in public areas around town. It’s currently available in square Perdiguier, just behind the Tourist Office. However, to get online, you’ll need to register a French cell phone number in order to receive an access code by text message. Don’t have one to hand? Head a block eastwards to Milk Shop, 26 place des Corps Saints (www.milkshop.fr; (tel) 09-82-54-16-82), a little café that offers its patrons free Wi-Fi.

Mail & Postage -- La Poste, 4 cours Président Kennedy ((tel) 36-31).

 

Pharmacies -- Pharmacie des Halles, 48 rue Bonneterie ((tel) 04-90-82-54-27).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.