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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > France > Avignon

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Travel to Avignon

Flying to Avignon

CityJet operates direct flights to Avignon from London City Airport in the summer. Flybe offers direct summer flights from Birmingham  and Southampton. Fares are moderate but climb during school holidays. 

Flight times

From London - 1 hour 55 minutes; New York - 15 hours (including stopovers);Los Angeles - 17 hours 30 minutes (including stopovers); Toronto - 16 hours 30 minutes (including stopovers); Sydney  - 29 hours (including stopovers).

Travel by road

Major roads throughout France are high quality and well maintained. Most motorways (autoroutes) charge tolls, including the A7 and A9 which pass either side of Avignon. Drive on the right and unless signs indicate that you have the right of way (eg 'passage protégé' signs, or a yellow diamond sign), give way to traffic approaching from the right; in practice this normally only affects town driving as main roads are given priority out of town.

Speed limits are 130kph (81mph) on motorways, 110kph (68mph) on dual carriageways, 90kph (56mph) outside built-up areas and 50kph (31mph) in built-up areas.

The minimum driving age is 18. Seat belts must be worn by everyone in both front and back of the car. Children under 10 may not travel in the front. You should be able to show your normal driving licence and car registration documents at all times. No Green Card or international licence is needed. Headlamps should be adjusted for driving on the right. French police have the power to fine motorists on the spot for driving offences.

Emergency breakdown services

Garage CATTO, 16 boulevard Saint Roch, Avignon (tel: +33 4 9082 1611) offers breakdown pick-up and repairs 24 hours a day, all year round.

Routes

Autoroute A7 (for Paris-Provence-Italy) passes 7km (4 miles) east of Avignon; A9 (for Paris-Languedoc-Spain) passes 10km (6 miles) west. The main roads into Avignon are N100 from the west, N7 from the east, D907 from the north and D570n from the south.

Coaches

The coach station (gare routière), with local, national and international services, is beside the city centre railway station. Major international operator Eurolines (tel: 0892 899 091, in France or +33 1 4186 2421; www.eurolines.com) has connecting services from Avignon to destinations throughout  Europe.

Time to city

From Paris - 7 hours; Nice - 2 hours 30 minutes; Barcelona - 5 hours.

Travel by Rail

Services

France has among the best inter-city rail services in the world, with fast, comfortable, punctual trains and good station facilities. As a major regional capital, Avignon is served by frequent trains from all other cities in southern France, the Rhône Valley and the North. There are direct TGVs (high-speed trains) from Paris and Lille several times daily. Eurostar runs direct to Avignon from London  throughout the summer months.

Operators

SNCF (tel: 3635, in France only or +33 892 353 535; www.sncf.fr), the state-owned train company, runs all the rail services within France. Eurostar (tel: +44 1233 617 575; www.eurostar.com) offers a direct London St Pancras-Avignon service from May to October.

Journey times

From London - 5 hours 50 minutes; Paris - 2 hours 40 minutes.

Transfer

Avignon has two railway stations.

TGVs and Eurostar services stop at the TGV station, or Gare Avignon TGV, which is 4km (2.5 miles) south of the city centre. It’s linked to central Avignon by shuttle buses, which stop in front of the post office.

Local trains stop at the city centre station, or Gare Avignon Centre. Just opposite the main gate of the old city walls on boulevard St Roch, this is an easy five- to 10-minute walk from the heart of Avignon. If you prefer, there are buses and taxis outside the station.

Featured Hotels

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La Mirande

Opposite the Palais des Papes, this former cardinal's palace from the 14th-century is all sophistication and attention to detail. The rooms are delightful, and the hotel's restaurant is one of the best in town. The sumptuous décor has been chosen with flair and imagination. Expensive, but this is luxury with charm and personality.

Hotel de l'Horloge

Well placed on the main square, this handsome old 4-star hotel is in the midst of all the life of the town. Noise is not usually a problem, but if you're concerned, ask for one of the quieter rooms at the side. Rooms are small but comfortable and attractively decorated.

Novotel Avignon Centre

Well positioned just outside the gateway into the walled city, the Novotel has easy road and rail access, an underground car park, a decent restaurant, swimming pool and spa, as well as bright, spacious, comfortable bedrooms. And it is only 10 minutes' walk to all the attractions of the city.

Hotel de Blauvac

This small, inexpensive hotel is just off the place de l'Horloge in a sensitively converted 17th-century mansion. It feels redolent with history, especially in the rooms with mezzanines and walls of massive exposed stone blocks. A warm welcome and 16 very basic but comfortable rooms make this a fine, well-placed budget choice.

Hotel Splendid

The Splendid offers six simple, well-kept, brightly decorated little rooms. It occupies an ordinary terraced house in a quiet residential street within the city walls, opposite the garden of an old cloister. It's well placed for anyone arriving by train, as it's just a few minutes' walk up the street from the station.

Hotel Colbert

The Colbert's arty style, with bright decor, pictures on the walls and unusual breakfast plates, are all the product of the creative and generous spirit of hosts Patrice and Annie. Rooms are tiny but adequately equipped. Access is very convenient, and all the sights and city centre are just minutes away.