Getting around Avignon
Avignon’s city buses are operated by Transports en Commun de la Région d'Avignon (TCRA) (tel: +33 4 3274 1832; www.tcra.fr). It serves the whole of 'Grand Avignon' (Greater Avignon), including out-of-town Les Angles, Villeneuve-lès-Avignon and Le Pontet. The main bus interchanges in central Avignon are in front of the main post office (Avignon Poste), in place Pie and on rue de la République.
You can pre-purchase tickets (and punch them when you board), or simply buy them on the bus. Information and tickets are available at the Agence TCRA, avenue de Lattre de Tassigny, located between the central railway station and the tourist office. Tickets are also sold at newsagents and shops displaying the TCRA logo. If you think you’ll be using the bus a lot, a carnet of 10 tickets works out cheaper than buying them individually. Monthly passes are also available.
To book or phone for a cab, the service is centrally run by Les Taxis d'Avignon, at Porte de la République (tel: +33 4 9082 2020).
The major taxi ranks are located in front of the central and TGV railway stations, while others are at Raspail (rue de la République), St Lazare (near the university) and place Pie. Tips are welcome but not expected.
Avignon's Old Town is compact enough to be covered on foot and parts of it are pedestrianised. However, for visitors who choose to drive, conditions are good, roads rarely traffic-clogged and there is a special pleasure to be gained in driving through the portes (gates) of the ancient city walls.
The main supervised and 24-hour car parks are located at the stations, at 7 avenue Monclar, and underneath the Palais des Papes square. Free, supervised car parks are located at the Ile Piot, and Parking des Italiens, avenue des Italiens, which both have free shuttle buses running to the city centre. In peak season, an additional car park opens at the foot of the Pont St Bénézet. Alternatively, there are good car parks west of the city centre.
The minimum age for car hire varies from 21 to 25 years. Drivers must possess a national driving licence, which they must have held for at least one year. Third party insurance is mandatory for driving in France and this should be covered in the hire price. Additional insurance is optional.
The Avignon municipality has its own self-service bike hire scheme, called Vélopop (www.velopop.fr). The bike stands can be found at a couple of dozen locations around the city, including behind the railway station, in place Pie, on rue de la République, and in place de l’Hôtel de Ville. Using your credit card, you pay a notional registration fee and a returnable deposit. You can pay for one-day, seven-day or monthly access and then pay per half hour of use.
For longer bike rentals, try Provence Bike, 7 avenue St Ruf, beside Avignon Centre railway station (tel: +33 4 9027 9261; www.provence-bike.com). They are agents for the French national bike hire chain, Holiday Bikes.