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Avignon vs. Arles - which one did you like better?

Avignon vs. Arles - which one did you like better?

Old Jan 27th, 2003, 06:05 AM
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Avignon vs. Arles - which one did you like better?

Oh my God, my first registered post!<BR><BR><BR>Thinking about basing in Avignon for 6 nights but would like to hear feedback on Avignon vs. Arles. WHich one did you like better and WHY? We will be using public transportation.
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Old Jan 27th, 2003, 06:21 AM
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We stayed in Avignon for 10 nights in September 2001. We really liked it although we visited Arles by train, spent the entire day there and liked it as well.<BR><BR>We chose Avignon because it was closer to Chateauneuf du Pape and we were interested in wine tasting. Avignon appears to be a bigger city and we found it to offer more. However, avoid the restaurants at the place de la horgue, poor food and seevice if you are seated outside. There are many wonderful restaurants in Avignon to wander into besides those.<BR><BR>Also if you have a car and stay at most of the hotels in Avignon, you will need to park your car in one of the public parking garages and then walk to your hotel. No big deal!<BR><BR>I believe that it is just a matter of choice and we chose Avignon and liked it!<BR><BR>US<BR><BR>PS The TGV stops in Avignon and that may make it a bit more comvenient.
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Old Jan 27th, 2003, 06:46 AM
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Having been to both cities in early 80's and again last summer, I can say that I preferred Avignon. It's not meant to be a &quot;slight&quot; to Arles, but I simply found the atmosphere in Avignon more to my tastes.<BR>I enjoyed the Papal Palace a bit more than the Amphitheatre in Arles, I had better choices in terms of my food interests (French, but &quot;local&quot; and only moderately expensive - $20/entree), and finally, I enjoyed walking in Avignon more than I did in Arles.<BR><BR>In any event, public transpo will not be a problem, and I hope you enjoy your trip ,,,,,,you should make sure and see both! Best wishes on your first &quot;registered&quot; post (not to mention my first &quot;registered&quot; reply!!!)
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Old Jan 27th, 2003, 07:42 AM
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We preferred Arles. It is said that Francophiles prefer Avignon and Italophiles prefer Arles. We do fall into that latter category, so perhaps that explains our preference.<BR><BR>We are very interested in Roman history so seeing the Roman theater in Arles out our hotel window and having the arena next door were pluses for us. <BR><BR>I suppose either would be a good base for day trips in Provence, but we preferred the pace in Arles which was much less hectic than Avignon, and Arles didn't have the &quot;big city&quot; feel of Avignon.
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Old Jan 27th, 2003, 07:53 AM
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Definately Avignon if you are without a car. outside the wall of the Hotel Europe is the train station which I took to visit Orange, and other places and then there are the autobuses outside the station. These take you on a day excursion. One day it will take you to Les Baux and two other stops, another to the Camargue. They park and let you wander for lunch or site seeing for two hours. And there are boat excursions that take you places.There are lots of great eating places should you prefer to stay in town.
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Old Jan 27th, 2003, 07:55 AM
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Public transit is very poor in Provence. A car is needed for exploring the countrside. Also, when are you going?<BR><BR>If I had to choose I would pick Avignon. Try to get over to St. Remy, about 15 kms. from Avignon, for its weekly outdoor market from 8 to 1.
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Old Jan 27th, 2003, 09:23 AM
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I preferred Avignon also, especially for a longer stay. Arles was interesting to visit but I didn't like the &quot;feel&quot; of the place, for some reason (hard to describe, just sort of sinister to me), and it doesn't seem as comfortable or as wide a variety of accommodation and restaurants. Arles seems much more a city that completely revolves around tourism, also. Avignon is more central and better suited to public transportation issues, I think, and seems more cosmopolitan. <BR><BR>I had no problem dining in some of the cafes on the open square, I had some good meals and pleasant service.
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Old Jan 27th, 2003, 10:10 AM
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I also prefer Avignon, the history and beauty of this city are awesome. The papal palace is truly amazing, and the walled city had a great atmosphere for me. Either way, I am sure you will have a wonderful trip!
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Old Jan 27th, 2003, 07:35 PM
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having never been to Avignon, I can't &quot;compare&quot; the two. But let me just add the following:<BR>1.The TGV goes to Arles, contrary to a prior post; although it has a quick stopover in Avignon.<BR>2.Since the distances are so close, I doubt if one can be considered a better location than the other.<BR>3. Having been in Paris the previous 8 days, we were looking for a smaller destination so Arles was more appealing. Neither my wife nor i were interested in seeing the Papal Palaces and attached museums etc.<BR>4. We spent 3 nights inArles and never ran out of things to do; especially, since we spent one day touring the hill towns, and another morning visiting Pont du Gard.<BR>5. Arles had a great Weds/Sat market.<BR>6. It is near the Carmouge if that is of interest.<BR>Having said all that, since you have 6 nights, you may want to stay in a bigger location.<BR>7. I would disagree with the conclusion that Arles is made up of tourists; watch the school children and watch the locals at the market and you will know that there is a city beyond the hotels and restaurants.
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Old Jan 28th, 2003, 11:49 AM
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I appreciate all of your responses. They both sound like worthwhile visits. I think we are going to stay in Avignon and visit Arles as a daytrip. Maybe next time we'll switch bases. We are also going to try to see Nimes, Orange, Les Baux, St. Remy, Aix, Pont du Gard, and Uzes. I always plan more day-trips than what we are able to actually do, because we always wind up shopping an extra day!
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Old Jan 28th, 2003, 11:52 AM
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Well, I'm having problems posting replies today....forgot to mention that we are going in March. Our main purpose is to ski in the Portes du Soleil and then we have 1 week to wander...<BR><BR>Any recommendations for restaurants not-to-be-missed in Avignon?
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Old Jan 28th, 2003, 12:55 PM
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Tops is Heily Lucyllus, The dining at the HoteldEurope,<BR>Christian Etienne(dining on their balcony over looks the pope's Palace),<BR>Bain Marie,<BR>and the simpler glass encosed Cafe des Artistes.<BR>In Arles, my favorite was the Vaccares, sitting on the wrought iron balcony overlooking the cafes in the forum below.
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Old Jan 28th, 2003, 01:23 PM
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we stayed at la mirande in avignon, they have an excellent dining room, beyond atmospheric, super veal rack, great wine list, but not stuffy.
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Old Jan 28th, 2003, 02:32 PM
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Avignon.
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Old Jan 29th, 2003, 08:54 AM
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I absolutely loved Avignon - May, 2002.<BR>I also stayed at Arles, Aix and St Remy,<BR>but for what you describe, restaurants,<BR>night walks, etc. I think you will find<BR>it there.<BR><BR>Also, you can enjoy Avignon without a car and go by train for a nice Sunday<BR>daytrip to Isle sur Sorge (antique<BR>market), then pick up your car outside<BR>the city walls when you go to explore<BR>Provence.
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Old Jan 29th, 2003, 09:20 AM
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We were in Avignon for 2 days last September and we really enjoyed our time there. There's great shopping and good food but I noticed it didn't have too much nightlife but that's ok.
 
Old Jan 29th, 2003, 09:35 PM
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We liked Avignon as a base. We visited the fascinating Camargue (via a small local tour), Arles by train (don't miss the marvelous Saturday market - so colorful), and St. Remy &amp; Glannum, (Roman ruins).<BR>
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