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 three weeks in July, focuses on avant-garde theater, dance, and music. Tickets are 12€ 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. The full admission price is 12€ with a reduced 10€ rate for seniors, university students (upon presentation of valid student ID), persons with disabilities, and children 8-18; admission is free 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, though be advised that the shows on Friday and Saturday are only in French. Admission is 12€, 10€ for students, seniors over 60, and children 8-18, and free for children 7 and under.
For additional special events in the city, Avignon’s Office de Tourisme keeps a calendar of current and upcoming festivals, exhibits, and performances.
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.
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.