Mar 29th, 2015, 10:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 3

Hi, We would like to spend a few days in May visiting Albi and Carcassone. Where should we base ourselves that would give us access using public transport and where else shoukd we visit? We wondered about Toulouse but maybe there are better places? Thanks for advice.
cathsher is offline  
Mar 29th, 2015, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,118
Hi Cath

We were there several years ago.

I suggest an overnight in Carcassone.

The town looks much different at night.

You will find it to be a tourist trap.
Do not be dismayed.
It has been a tourist trap for near a thousand years.

Also, keep in mind that it is actually Viollet-le-Duc's idea of what a medieval walled city should have looked like.

Ihave a trip report at
that might help you.

Train scheduleas are at

ira is offline  
Mar 29th, 2015, 11:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 75,945
toulouse is a great IMO underrated city - a university town with an un-Godly number of historic old churches and a general homogenous look throughout the town. And it is a great transporation hub - better than Carcassonne if say going to Albi I believe.

Crcassonne as ira says is fantasdtic - a totally rebuilt from rubble pristine medieval fortress city - at night after the day tripping hoardes (in season( have gone it takes on a eery feeling - there is also the modern ordinare city of Carcassonne below the medieval city - I would only stay in Carcassonne if I could stay right inside the walls of the upper old town where there are several hotels and a youh hostel built right into the walls I believe.

Trains are good to those destinations and are mainly regional trains where you can just buy a flat-fare ticket and hop any train - no ned to pre-book in stone like discounted tickets on high-speed lines require. For lots on French trains check:; and is teh official French Railways site for schedules and sample fares but again I think there is no reason to pre-book - well you can see if the fares indicate that but then with discounted tickets you lose any flexibility you have and when taking day trips you never know when you will be ready to return - best not to be locked into a train-specific ticket ahead of time IME.
PalenQ is online now  
Mar 29th, 2015, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Toulouse is a logical hub when using public transportation.
Michael is offline  
Mar 29th, 2015, 12:27 PM
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And Toulouse is lovely!
kja is offline  
Mar 29th, 2015, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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We spent a day in Albi and I would have liked to have had more time there (an overnight) to explore the town further. We really enjoyed both the Cathedral and the Toulouse-Lautrec museum.
KTtravel is offline  
Mar 29th, 2015, 03:59 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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I agree that Albi is worth at least a day for the cathedral and Toulouse-Lautrec museum.
kja is offline  
Mar 30th, 2015, 05:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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I loved Albit but it is relatively compact in its historical core - a day doing kja's stuff would be plenty for most - though one could always use a town like this as a neat base for the neat countryside and villages around it.
PalenQ is online now  

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