How long to visit Avignon

Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 02:40 PM
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How long to visit Avignon

We will be arriving in Avignon on a Friday by train around 4pm and stay for 1 night. That was not our original plan but since we can't seem to get a rental car on May 1 that's now our best option. I would like to know how long it takes to visit Avignon just so I can tell them aorund what time we will be picking up out rental car the following day.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 02:48 PM
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What do you want to do there? The Palace of the Popes takes 2-4 hours depending on how many buttons you push on the audioguide (I push all of them, so don't go with me if you are in a rush). If that is all you want to do in Avignon, do it and leave. If you want to visit some other things, do that. Many people use Avignon as a base for touring the small towns, gastronomy, etc.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 03:48 PM
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To be honest, we found looking at the outside of the Palais des Papes was enough, followed by a walk up the hill to the park that overlooks the Rhône river.

The rest of Avignon? It depends on whether you want to visit the museum, look at some of the old houses, or whatever.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 04:38 PM
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We got there around 9:30am, and left around 2:30PM (incl 1 hr lunch). We followed the suggested walking itinerary in the Michelin Green Guide. We are architecture buffs, so we did not try to rush throught the walk. We also shopped a bit - but not much. This was in '07.

We visited the Palais about 7 years ago, and I'm guessing that it took about 1 1/2 hrs. So that's 9:30 to 4:00. However, in '07 this was week 13 through 16 in Provence for us - so we had no desire to hurry through Avignon so we could get to the next site.

On your car rental, I'm still betting that the rental office will be open on May 1. However, if you stay in Avignon and spend most of the next day there, you might save a day's car rental cost. Also remember that if you pick up the car at the TGV station, the station is out of town and also there is an added fee for picking up a car at a train station. Is there a downtown office ? (better selection at the train station, however).

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 04:54 PM
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Avignon has wonderful restaurants and it's always fun to visit Monoprix, Mephisto, FNAC, and there are several shops selling fabrics from Provence. I could spend several complete afternoons just watching people at the Place de l'Horlodge.

There are concerts in the evenings and numerous tours during the daytime. Check at the Office de Tourisme located on rue de la Regublique:

http://www.ot-avignon.fr/
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Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 05:09 PM
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I was there over two weeks alone and never saw everything and had a wonderful time. Not much to see inside the Popes Palace
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Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 05:25 PM
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I thought there was plenty to see in the Palais des Papes. They give you this acoustiguide (available in English) and the more buttons you press, the more history you learn.

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
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Old Feb 24th, 2009, 04:23 AM
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I agree with LaurenKahn about the Palais des Papes. We were there less than a year ago on a trip to Provence. We debated quite a bit about whether to actually go inside the Palais since : a) it was not cheap and b) most of the guide books we read said it was not worth it. Boy were they WRONG. I don't know what the authors of those books were expecting or thinking but we were really glad we decided to go inside and take a look. There were beautiful things to see and I would not advise anyone to miss it. Enjoy.
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Old Feb 24th, 2009, 05:03 AM
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We spent a day in Avignon, and LOVED Palais des Papes. Of course, I had to visit the famous "pont" and sing!
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Old Feb 24th, 2009, 08:53 AM
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I thought the Palais des Papes was interesting, but I really like architectural and French history. There are several other things to see in Avignon, but it always depends on what you want to do, that's all. I think the small art museum on the place there is superb (I think it's called the Petit Palais or something like that, a lot of Renaissance art), I spent several hours in there alone. I've spent several days in Avignon while staying there, and have re-visited it, but I really like the city. I'd give myself a day, so pick up the car in late afternoon.
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Old Feb 24th, 2009, 01:11 PM
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Enjoy the typical Provencale atmosphere by simply walking the streets
A few good exhibitions usually (ask the Tourism Office) and the Palais des Papes and Pont d"Avignon of course
A full day is OK but it's worth spending the evening to enjoy the streets at night

I personnally recommend an amazing restaurant called "Newground" (29 rue de la Saraillerie Tel 0490852183); you will enjoy some fusion cuisine bsaed on Provence's savors mingled with exotic spices in a very creative way; and not too expensive...
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Old Feb 24th, 2009, 01:28 PM
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hi suze,

I would spend the morning in Avignon, have lunch, then set off. it's no fun trying to negotiate the streets of a strange city in a strange car, feeling hungrier and hungrier. especially with kids, which I seem to remember you'll have with you from your earlier thread.

regards,ann
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