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Avignon, best place to drop off a rental car?

Avignon, best place to drop off a rental car?

Old Jan 2nd, 2017, 07:03 PM
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Avignon, best place to drop off a rental car?

We will be renting a car in France for 16 days.
Our final destination is Avignon. We will have 3 nights there but do not want to have the car whilst in Avignon.
We have 3 options for dropping off in Avignon: Downtown Avignon, Railway station SNCF or TGV station.
I thought I had read somewhere that driving into the centre of Avignon was difficult, so I was wondering whether one of the rail stations would be better?
Any suggestions?
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Old Jan 2nd, 2017, 07:08 PM
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The TGV station (just outside town) would be my pick, as the "Avignon" train station is very near the center and, as you say, more difficult with a car. There was a shuttle bus to the center, now a train link I understand.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2017, 07:16 PM
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I agree. Have done this several times and the TGV station is just so much easier. There is a train link/ shuttle to the station in the centre of Avignon that runs about every 10/15 minutes, but a taxi isn't that expensive and will take you directly to your hotel.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2017, 08:07 PM
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Thank you for your replies.
The downtown office says it is 30 Chemin de Ramatuelle, which doesn't seem right in town, when I look on a map.

But the TGV does sound like a good option with easy transport into the town centre. Thank you for your experience.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2017, 09:05 PM
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Agree, TGV station.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2017, 09:46 PM
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I don't think it really matters where you drop off the car. Just make sure they are open when you arrive in Avignon. We've picked up and dropped off cars at the TGV station many times. Also at the "ville" train station in town - which is outside the town walls an very easy to access.

I'm curious - why don't you want to have a car while in Avignon????? Do you plan to spend your entire 3 days in Avignon itself???

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 2nd, 2017, 10:57 PM
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I would not necessarily want to spend 3 days in Avignon without a car. Why? Avignon is not that big, not at all. The only part of Avignon where a tourist would want to go would be in the center, within the old city walls.

You can park your car near the heart of Avignon without ever driving into town. Use the parking lot at the Palais des Papes, entrance is on the northwest side of Avignon near the river. Use the peripheral road to reach it. Drive to the top level of the parking garage and find a spot on the side opposite that of the entrance. You´re car will be within a few steps of the Place de l´Horloge.

Where you drop off your car often times has much to do with your rental agreement. But if you really want to drop it off and stay three days in Avignon, I would drop it off at the central train station just outside of the city walls. From there it´s an easy walk to almost any hotel in old city. Why would you drop off at the TGV station, then take the train back to the central train station when you could just drop off at the central station in the first place?

I don´t know of any rental car offices that are in ¨downtown¨ Avignon. The central train station rental offices would be the closest to the center of Avignon. The few rental offices of which I am familiar, are in rather remote locations and are not within easy walking distance of central Avignon.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2017, 03:17 AM
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Our rental is through Avis.
There seems to be 3 choices for drop off.
They are all open for our drop off time of 4pm, it will be a Monday.

We will have 3 nights in Avignon. Two full days. I was keen to have only two nights but my husband refuses to stay one night anywhere. We will be coming from Sommierres with a stop on the way, probably Nimes.
After our stay in Avignon we will be catching a TGV to Paris in the morning.
We may do a day trip whilst in Avignon (maybe a wine tour where we will not have to worry about driving). Or something else.

I had read that a car would be more of an inconvenience whilst in Avignon, so that is why we decided to return it on our arrival. I am still able to make changes to the booking.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2017, 03:58 AM
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Avignon Centre railway station will be best for you. Avis the official rental agency promoted by the SNCF, so the agency is always inside the station.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2017, 04:04 AM
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Parking is plentiful in Avignon - see below
http://www.parkopedia.fr/parking/car...84000/avignon/
Avignon is quite compact (itself doesn't need a car), we finished all we wanted to see in half a day, but its a great base from which to explore all the gems of Provence with a car (Luberon, St Remy and Les Baux, Châteauneuf-du-Pape etc. etc.)
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Old Jan 3rd, 2017, 04:06 AM
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If you are coming from Sommières, are you stopping by Pont du Gard on your way to Avignon? St Rémy would be another relatively easy visit between Sommières and Avignon. I would keep the car at least one day longer, visit a bit around Avignon; maybe seeing Roussillon, Gordes, l´Ilse sur la Sorgue or a host of other nearby locations that you do not want to miss and will otherwise have the time to see.

If you wanted to do a wine tour after you have returned your car, I would contact the Office de Tourisme and see what they might offer:

http://www.avignon-tourisme.com/

Where you are staying in Avignon is important as well. I assume that you are staying somewhere within the Old City walls. If not, you should. The center train station will definitely be the closest for you and, if you decide to keep your car an additional day, park it at the Palais de Papes garage as I described above:

http://www.parkindigo.fr/en/parkings...papes-84000400

It´s about 18€ a day but well worth the expense as it has monitored access, is very easy to use, and gets you relatively close to almost any hotel.

I didn´t notice your dates in Avignon but if they include July, particularly between the 6th and the 24th, Avignon will be overflowing with people and reservations for almost anything; hotels or restaurants in particular, will be difficult to come by if you wait too long.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2017, 12:22 PM
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3 nights in Avignon?

Reminds me of an old joke:
He: I won a contest.
She: What was first prize?
He: A week in Buffalo.
She: What was second prize?
He: A weekend in Buffalo?
She: and third?
He: One night stay in Buffalo.

Substitute Avignon for Buffalo, that's my impression.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2017, 01:31 PM
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Actually, I didn't think the TGV station in Avignon was that easy to find if you've never been there before. At least my directions/map were unclear.

Parking at the Avignon central train station wouldn't be difficult at all IMO, it isn't in the middle of the city, of course, it's on the edges. And right next to the bus station. I would not choose downtown Avignon. I don't know where that would be, there is a Hertz office at 16 bd St Michel which isn't the gare but it is on the outer ring. So even less convenient IMO.

I've spent several days in Avignon and really like the city. I did do day trips but I definitely spent more than half a day seeing things in Avignon itself. I can't imagine what you'd see in only half a day, but I'm guessing that would be someone with no interest in finding out what is in Avignon or little interest in things other than the main "big sites" all tourists are told to go to (which I would guess would only be the main square and the Palais des Papes, maybe look at the bridge). Because I would think even if you look at the church and park up there, and the excellent Petit Palais museum it would take more than half a day. Rick Steves is the kind of guy who doesn't explore much and only looks at a few things, I think he has said you can only spend a couple hours in Avignon, for example.

AVignon has quite a few small museums, other than the Petit Palais (which is my favorite). The Calvet is the fine arts, there is the Musee Lapidaire, a decorative arts museum in an older private mansion, and a Provencal popular arts and tradition museum (Palais du Roure). You could also visit Villeneuve les Avignon across the river. There is a museum over there with works from monasteries in a former cardinal's palace.

Then, of course there is Les Halles, the covered market. It has lots of vendors' stalls for food and is open every morning but Monday. Sat and Sunday they have typical roving markets in Avignon with all kinds of stuff. Sunday morning is the flea market in place des Carmes.

You could take a canoe trip on the Rhone, also, in July or August. I also took a walk and went to the tannery quarter (rue des Teinturiers). see https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rue_de...riers_(Avignon)
or
http://www.avignon-et-provence.com/e...uriers-avignon

In short, you can easily spend 2 days there without a problem. Here is how to get around Avignon, including over to Villeneuve if you want by bus
http://www.marvellous-provence.com/t...around-avignon
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Old Jan 3rd, 2017, 01:34 PM
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sorry, that isn't the tannery quarter I was thinking of something else, but it is textile-related and dying industry, and tanners
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Old Jan 3rd, 2017, 02:28 PM
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Wow thanks for all of your excellent suggestions and ideas.

Firstly we are booked at Hotel Mercure Avignon Centre Palais des Papes, so a very central location for 3 nights. Monday 17 July departing Thursday 20 July.

Prior to visiting Avignon we will be spending 4 nights in Saint Saturnin les Apt ( we also spent 2 weeks in the Luberon (Buoux) in 2009. At that time we did visit Pont du Gard but St Remy is of interest, maybe it is doable on the way from Sommierres. Our stay In Sommierres is with a French family and is locked in from 13 July departing Monday 17 July. After Avignon we will be catching a TGV train to Paris, on Thursday 20 July.

We normally travel in the Sept/Oct time and realise that July will be very busy. Perhaps busier in Avignon than we had anticipated, being the Festival d'Avignon, but maybe lots to see and do ( my husband is a music teacher). Thanks for the advice to book restaurants etc ahead of time.

Thanks also for the link to the Office de Tourisme, I will look at what they suggest also. I think we will be able to fill in the days. I have also now subscribed to the Festival newsletter.

I will definitely change the drop off of the car to the central railway station and we will look at the pros and cons of keeping the car another day.

Again thank you all for the great ideas, suggestions and links.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2017, 10:11 PM
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The details you have now provided are very important to your planing. The entrance to the Mercure hotel and the entrance to the parking garage at Palais des Papes I described above are one in the same. As you are going to be in Avignon during the festival and if you do keep you car an additional day, I would arrange, as soon as possible, for reserved parking at the Mercure/Palais des Papes parking garage. During the festival, parking anywhere will be extremely difficult to find.

tomboy - I believe that in your story, third place was a week in Buffalo, first place was a day. None the less, there is nothing in Buffalo anything like being in Avignon during the Festival. It is non stop action, thousands of people, and no shortage of things to do. aussie_10 may want to reconsider extending the car rental period, spend all 3 days in Avignon and enjoy being at heart of the festival.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2017, 11:14 PM
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During the festival, 3 nights in Avignon won't even be enough.
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Old Jan 4th, 2017, 02:57 PM
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Thanks everyone, looking forward to our Avignon stay.
Car location return now changed.
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Old Jan 4th, 2017, 03:30 PM
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Where are you staying in St. Sat? We have spent several months there; it is a quaint little town and a perfect spot to explore The Luberon.
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Old Jan 4th, 2017, 09:35 PM
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Not answering your question at all, but just see that you are coming from Sommières; are you staying in the town itself? Great little place! in 2014 we spent 2 weeks in a tiny village (Aspères) a few kilometers from Sommières and loved the area.
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