One Day in Avignon: Best Things to do in Avignon in a Day

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Spending one day in Avignon is always a good idea. Between wandering around the ramparts and historical sites to sitting at a cafe watching the world go by, there are so many wonderful things to do in Avignon in a day.

While you could easily spend a lot of time in this unique city, if you’re short on time, fear not; I’ve got you covered with the best one-day in Avignon itinerary! 

Whether you are here to see the famous Pope’s Palace or you plan to base yourself here for your Provence road trip, this article has what to do in Avignon for the perfect 24 hours. 

Views from the Pope's Palace in Avignon

One Day in Avignon: Best Things to do in Avignon in a Day

This is a full day of everything you’re going to want to see in Avignon!

1. Breakfast at Maison Violette

9 Pl. Saint-Didier, 84000 Avignon

Bakery in Avignon

To start your day in Avignon, you’ll need to fuel up. Head to this charming bakery for some croissants, an eclair cafe, and a latte. This is a quick breakfast before you head to the first destination. 

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 7:30 am-7 pm.

2. Les Halles d’Avignon

18 Pl. Pie, 84000 Avignon

Pastries at Les Halles Avignon

After breakfast, it is time to explore an iconic foodie spot in Avignon: Les Halles! This place is packed with stalls selling anything from meats and cheeses to fresh fruits and veggies. There is even a wine shop to purchase the perfect pairing wine.

Radishes at Les Halles Avignon

Spend a little bit of time here to gather your supplies for a picnic later in the day! We purchased a bunch of French cheeses, a bottle of rose, figs, radishes, and blueberries. 

After you make your purchases, it is a good idea to leave that behind at your hotel and then continue on to the next part of your one day in Avignon! 

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 6 am-2 pm. 

3. Head to Pont d’Avignon

Bd de la Ligne, 84000 Avignon

View of Pont d'Avignon along the river

Now it is time to head to Pont de Saint-Benezet, aka Pont d’Avignon, to continue your day of exploring. This bridge, which isn’t really a bridge anymore as it doesn’t fully cross the river, has been around since the 12th century. However, due to flooding and sieges, the bridge has been destroyed on a number of occasions.

Its name, Pont de Saint-Benezet, is from Saint Benezet, the Patron Saint of Bridge Builders. He had a vision from Jesus to build a bridge here in Avignon over the Rhone. It was said that the construction healed 18 people. 

Saint-Benezet passed 4 years before it was complete, and was buried in Saint Nicholas Chapel, the bridge chapel for a time. 

Things to do in Avignon - Pont d'Avignon

This is a beautiful place to visit, and I recommend getting here first thing when it opens at 10 am to avoid several tour groups and crowds. That way, you can get solo photos and uninterrupted views of the Rhone and bridge! 

From the bridge, you can see the Pope’s Palace and the Ramparts of Avignon. 

Kat on the Pont d'Avignon

Price: It costs €5 to visit the bridge, but you can also purchase a ticket at the bridge that combines the Pont d’Avignon, Palais des Papes (Pope’s Palace), and the gardens of the palace for €17 because you’ll want to visit all 3 today anyway!

Hours: Opens daily at 10 am. From January 1-March 31 and from November 7-December 31 it closes at 5 pm, April 1-June 30 and September 1-November 6 it closes at 6 pm, and from July 1-August 31 it closes at 7 pm.

4. Palais des Papes

Pl. du Palais, 84000 Avignon

Exterior of the Pope's Palace in Avignon

Fun fact: did you know that the popes at one point left Rome due to civil unrest and moved to Avignon? Yes! 

The palace was built starting in 1335 and is comprised of two palaces by both Benedict XII, who built the old palace, and Clement VI, who built the new palace. 

The palace was home to 7 popes and 2 popes of the Papal Schism before they went back to Rome where they are today. But now you can explore the giant palace complex.

Upon entering, you can pick up a histopad, which is in several languages to choose from and gives you context to each room you’re in. The best part is that when you scan the histopad in each room, it’ll show you what it looked like back in its heyday. It is included in the price of your ticket too. 

Pope's Palace Avignon

Price: €12 for the full price. Note that you can combine the ticket with the bridge and gardens for €17. 

Hours: Opens daily at 10 am. From January 1-March 31 and from November 7-December 31 it closes at 5 pm, April 1-June 30 and September 1-November 6 it closes at 6 pm, and from July 1-August 31 it closes at 7 pm.

5. Gardens of the Pope’s Palace

Pope's Palace sunny gardens

Located within the Pope’s Palace complex is a charming garden area. This sunny garden is so fun to wander through, and they have seats to get a little sunshine before continuing your visit. If you visit the Pope’s Palace, I highly recommend adding on the garden. 

Just purchase the combo bridge, palace, and gardens ticket and you’ll be good to go! 

6. Cathédrale Notre-Dame des Doms d’Avignon

Pl. du Palais, 84000 Avignon

Statue on the top of the Chapel at the Pope's Palace

Right next to the entrance of the Pope’s Palace is Notre Dame. Enjoy the outdoor scenery and architecture before entering the lovely cathedral.

This Romanesque cathedral was built in the 12th century. Peek inside for a little bit prior to continuing on your Avignon in a day. 

If you don’t have time or it is closed by the time you visit, it is beautiful to see from the outside and take photos too. 

Hours: Open from Monday to Saturday from 6:30 am-12 pm and from 2:30-5:30 pm (6 pm in summer). Open on Sunday from 9 am-12 pm and from 2:30-5:30 pm. 

7. Lunch at Cafe Saint-Jean

8 Rue du Général Leclerc, 84000 Avignon

Pasta for lunch in Avignon

For a scrumptious lunch after all of that exploring, opt for Cafe Saint-Jean. This charming little cafe is on a lovely square near Les Halles, and the food is seriously delicious. Opt for their Formules Midi with a meal and dessert option and you won’t be disappointed. 

I ended up getting their linguine and for dessert got spiced apples with ice cream. 

As a bonus, across from the cafe is the Tour Saint-Jean in the square, which is a lovely little tower. 

Hours: 8 am-1 am.

Clock tower Avignon

8. Place d’Horloge

After lunch, walk around the city for a bit and definitely walk to Place d’Horloge. This is such a gorgeous square and is named for the clock tower. It is the main square in Avignon and where you’ll find the City Hall and Opera. 

There are also tons of sidewalk cafes and an adorable carousel. 

9. Pont du Gard

400 Rte du Pont du Gard, 30210 Vers-Pont-du-Gard

Pont du Gard - South of France Road Trip

After spending some time exploring Avignon and the Pope’s Palace, you’d be remiss if you didn’t spend the last part of your day exploring the Pont du Gard. 

It is about a 30-minute drive from downtown Avignon but is well worth it to see the most spectacular Roman aqueduct. 

Pont du Gard on a cloudy day

So bring along your picnic snacks from Les Halles that you purchased earlier and hit the road to Pont du Gard. 

Pond du Gard has been around since the 1st Century and was built by the Romans. It was used to transport water 50 km all the way to the Roman colony of Nemausus, which is modern-day Nimes. 

It crosses the Gardon river and is just incredible to see in person. You could spend quite a bit of time here if you wish, as there are plenty of hiking trails nearby. However, I recommend just heading to the river and having some cheese and snacks as you watch the bridge and view kayakers floating down on a nice day. 

Kat walking toward Pont du Gard

Then, you can go across the bridge. No, you can’t climb on the actual aqueduct, but there is another modern bridge right next to it that you can cross and get an up-close view. It is neat to see it up close as well as peer over the river.

Admire the Pont du Gard from many angles before exploring the small prehistoric cave on the property too! 

Price: Free for the Pont du Gard and area. It is €6.50 per adult for cultural areas. Parking is €9 for the day. 

Hours: 8 am-12 am daily. If you wish to visit the museum, check hours here.

10. Dinner & Drinks at La Mirande to Wrap Up Your One Day in Avignon

4 Pl. de l’Amirande, 84000 Avignon

La Mirande in Avignon

After a full day of exploring, it is time to slow it down, get a bit dressed up, and enjoy some amazing dinner and drinks at one of Avignon’s top hotels: La Mirande

Could you stay here if you want? Sure, but it is really expensive, so we just grabbed dinner and drinks. Located super close to the Pope’s Palace (like you can see it from their terrace), you can enjoy a lovely dinner here.

They have a couple of dining options, but we chose to make a reservation for La Salle a Manger. Their main restaurant is Michelin-starred and very expensive, so if you’re looking for a meal to splurge on, this is it.

But, for a more reasonably priced menu, opt for La Salle a Manger. Here we enjoyed things like onion soup, mackerel with potatoes, and a scrumptious chocolate ganache tart. 

The best part of this place is the atmosphere too. The food is seriously tasty, but upon stepping into the dining area, you feel as if you’re in a scene straight out of Downtown Abbey. It is elaborately decorated with lush turn-of-the-century pieces. 

La Mirande Bar

So to continue your royal treatment, head to the La Mirande bar for a cocktail to end your evening. They have a salon area to enjoy the beverage with a cozy fireplace and squashy couches that’ll have you feeling like you’re having tea at the Briderton’s. 

It was seriously so fun and worth it! 

La Salle a Manger Hours: Open daily from 12-2 pm and 7:30-10 pm. 

La Mirande Bar & Tea Room: Open daily from 12 pm-12 am. 

After a fun evening with dinner and drinks, it is time to call it a day and head to bed before leaving Avignon. 

If You Have More Than a Day in Avignon, France

Views from Roussillon - South of France Itinerary

Is 1 day in Avignon enough? Yes, you can see the main highlights in a day, but more time is always better. You can take your time with the suggestions for our 1-day Avignon itinerary and add on things like a visit to the Jardin des Doms, Petit Palace Museum, Calvet Museum, and more! 

If you plan to stay for a few days or more, here are some other ideas for great day trips! 

How to Get to Avignon

Beautiful square in Avignon

Avignon is very well connected and easy to get to via train from cities like Paris and Marseille. It is a little over 2.5 hours from Paris and 1 hour from Marseille. So you can fly into either city and take the train to Avignon. I like to check flight prices on Skyscanner!

For the most flexibility, though, you can rent a car too. We took the train in from Paris and rented a car at the Avignon TGV station. 

Note: Notice the train station you choose when purchasing train tickets. There are 2 train stations in Avignon. One is the TGV station which has rental cars, and the other is the city center train station. 

Once you’re in Avignon, it is a pretty walkable city, so once you’re in the city center, you can access most of the sights on foot. There are also buses you can take. 

And if you want to get around the city faster, opt for a bike rental. For a quick way to see the sights of Avignon, there is also the Little Tourist Train you can ride in. It leaves from the Pope’s Palace and takes you around to many sites in 45 minutes. 

Where to Stay in Avignon

Airbnb in Avignon

Here are some great places to stay during your 1 day in Avignon itinerary. 

Budget: Airbnb

We ended up staying in this adorable Airbnb apartment while we were in Avignon. It had a bedroom, bathroom, fantastic kitchen, and living room, and the bathroom had a washer/dryer which was great for doing some laundry during our stay. 

Book it here!

Mid-Range: Aux Augustins

This boutique guesthouse is right in the city center and is built on a former Augustinian monastery and church from the 13th and 14th centuries. With both a monastery feel with modern amenities, you’ll fall in love with this place. 

Book it here!

Luxury: La Mirande

If budget weren’t an option, I’d 100% stay here. After having dinner here, I can say this elaborately decorated hotel and lovely staff makes this a fantastic place to visit during your time in Avignon. If you really want to feel like royalty and be a stone’s throw from the Pope’s Palace, this is the place to be. 

Book it here!

Best Time to Visit Avignon

Streets of Avignon

There really isn’t a bad time to visit Avignon. It is a charming place to visit year-round. To skip the crowds that come in the summertime, avoid June through August. 

However, this does coincide with the lavender season in Provence from mid-June through mid-July. So if you’re visiting Avignon and hope to see the lavender fields on a day trip, definitely come during this time! 

But, if you’re not coming for lavender and don’t want too many crowds but want good weather, I’d opt for April and October as the best times to visit Avignon. 

We went around early October and had so much fun! It wasn’t crowded at all and the city was so beautiful this time of year! 

Hat covered alley in Avignon

Lastly, if you want to come to the famous Festival d’Avignon, which is the big annual arts festival that takes place in the city, you’ll want to come in July! Check out more about the Festival d’Avignon here

Spending one day in Avignon is seriously a dream. With its stunning limestone ramparts and buildings, charming cafes, and historic sites, you’ll fall head over heels for this incredible French city

Would you spend a day in Avignon?

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