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arizonaa Apr 30th, 2019 11:44 AM

Four Days in Avignon during the Theatre Festival
Any recommendations for how to navigate Avignon during the theatre festival July 7-10? Tips? Dining recomendations (good but casual for breakfast/lunch, and fun dinners, preferably where the locals dine)? Non-theatre sights/areas of the city to experience? .Afterward, we will be traveling to the Luberon for 8 days, so are planning on spending these 4 days in the city of Avignon, unless you tell us it would be wise to do otherwise. Thanks in advance.

kerouac Apr 30th, 2019 12:05 PM

I have attended the Avignon festival about 16 of the last 20 years, but that has led me to use all sorts of methods to save money. For example, since I rent a car, I never stay in Avignon itself but in the hotel zone in Le Pontet, slightly north of Avignon. If you have no interest in the 1800 spectacles presented during the month of July (about 300 or so which do not require French language ability or which are presented in English), you must absolutely avoid Avignon during the festival. There are dozens of pop-up restaurants in Avignon every year during the festival. It is absolutely impossible to guarantee the quality. I have never had terrible food, but I am not a foodie.

Christina May 1st, 2019 08:51 AM

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I'm not a foodie either so don't even take notes on restaurants, I just stop in some place that looks decent and is convenient to where I am. Which in Avignon, generally means around the main square as I'm there in summer, and I enjoy all those open-air restaurants. I think it's hard to really ruin basic food in a regular restaurant, I've never had any terrible meal there. I really would not plan breakfast, that isn't even that different from place to place.

My main advice would be you must lock up hotel reservations far in advance for any choice during that festival. I was going to go there once for a day or two during that time, but changed plans, but I remember the main decent hotel that was central where I could book was some hotel right near the gare (some Accor brand). Which would have been okay, I'm sure.

I really like Avignon, I think it's a fun, lively city, and has more to see of interest than some of the other top places usually named (like Nimes or Arles), any guidebook can give you the top sights, of course. I enjoyed a walk once along a stream in the old tanners' quarter, as I recall.

Other than that, I mainly hit the big ones -- the Palais des Papes, the church, and the Petit Palais museum nearby is excellent.

Even though I like Avignon, I would not spend four days just sightseeing in Avignon alone. I don't know the rest of your trip, but you could take advantage of its location and an easy day trip by train to some place like Arles or Nimes, if you haven't seen them. You could also visit the Pont du Gard, which is fairly easy to do by bus even if you don't have a car, as it's a major tourist site. The bus station is right next to the train station.

The bus you want is the A15 by Lio company.
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You could also take that bus to Uzes if you wanted, but I'd go to Arles probably if you haven't been there.

kerouac May 1st, 2019 09:13 AM

It's true that one of the main advantages of Avignon is that it is the best hub for bus trips to the other sites of the region. (Nimes, Arles, Les Baux de Provence, St. Remy de Provence, Pont du Gard...) Orange is a quick train trip away, too. If you have not already booked accommodations in Avignon, it is already extremely late for July.

(I have decided not to attend again this year, so I can't tell you exactly how bad the hotel situation is since I haven't been looking.)

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