Carcassonne's fortified city walls, UNESCO World Heritage Site in the South of France

Mini guide: 3 days in Carcassonne, France

Who said anything about the castle being enchanted?

You’ll probably (hopefully) be able to quickly tell from this post that Carcassonne is beautiful. I got snap happy and struggled to cut down my photos so there’ll actually be a few posts about this amazing part of the South of France! First up is a mini guide to summarise the things to see and do, some places to eat and where to stay in the Cité de Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Cité de Carcassonne, FranceFrench cafe, CarcassonneMedieval city of Carcassonne in the South of FranceExploring Carcassonne, FranceFortified Carcassonne in the South of FranceWalking near Carcassonne in the South of FranceFortified medieval city walls, CarcassonneTiny old wooden door in FranceCité de Carcassonne, FranceThings to see in Carcassonne, France

Are you in love yet? Carcassonne just has to have been the inspiration for more than a couple of Disney films. Can’t you just imagine Belle running around here?! It also reminds me of my favourite scene from Monty Python’s Holy Grail: “I’m French, why do you think I have this outrageous accent?“.

The weather actually wasn’t great for some of our trip (who thinks they’ll need to pack for rain when they visit the South of France in June?!) but we couldn’t be deterred from wandering the streets for hours. Besides, the occasional moody skies over the castle were equally as beautiful as the intermittent sunshine.

Tips for exploring Carcassonne, FranceWorn old wooden door in the South of FranceRue Trivalle, CarcassonneRue Trivalle, Carcassonne, FranceColourful doors, CarcassonneRue Trivalle, CarcassonneOld storefront, FranceColourful, ramshackle old houses in the South of France

We had such a great time and it feels unreal to be writing this, but after last week’s referendum I can’t help but feel this trip is tinged with poignancy. I simply didn’t believe Britain would vote to leave the EU. Words fail me now (though I tweeted enough of them on Friday). I’m just left feeling very sad.

Having been born in the 1980s I don’t know a UK that isn’t part of the EU. I usually find the prospect of change exciting but now I’m scared; I fear people voted based on ignorance and fear and, sometimes, sheer laziness and/or stupidity. I’m also angry; we’ve been robbed of our future by a generation that, to be blunt, won’t have to live with the results of their choice for as long as we will. Only time will tell the outcome of the decision that was made for us but for now I’ll finish by saying please not Boris.

Beautiful French Cemetery, CarcassonneBeautiful Medieval building, Carcassonne, FranceTapas at L'Escargot, CarcassonneColourful stalls in Carcassonne, FranceTraditional Limoux Nougat shop, Carcassonne, FranceStained glass windows inside Carcassonne CathedralHow to spend a long weekend in Carcassonne, FranceMoody skies over Cité de Carcassonne, FranceRestored city walls as UNESCO World Heritage Site Cité de Carcassonne, France

Things to see and do

  • Cité de Carcassonne
  • Chateau Comtal and the city walls
  • Carcassonne Cathedral
  • La Bastide Saint Louis, AKA the newer part of town
  • River Aude, keep an eye out for coypus!
  • Place Carnot market
  • Brocante, I have no idea how regular this flea market is as I tried to find information on them for our trip (French brocantes are the best!) but was unsuccessful. We accidentally came across this one outside the train station on Sunday morning, as we left for Narbonne

Places to eat and drink

Where to stay

There are only three hotels within the fortified Cité de Carcassonne. Obviously, they’re all pricey (though the Hôtel de la Cité looked amazing, if you are happy spending more cash). We stayed at the Pont Levis Hôtel which is just outside the city walls and super handy for the airport shuttle bus (€5pp each way). Our room was perfectly nice and opened out onto a beautiful terrace and garden, from which there were lovely views over the Cité de Carcassonne. The only downside was the lack of sound-proofing (and our neighbour’s noisy child – thankfully we only overlapped for one morning!) | 4/5

Brocante, CarcassonneVintage shopping at Carcassonne flea marketVintage shopping at Carcassonne flea marketVintage glassware at a Carcassonne flea market (brocante)Flea market, or brocante, in Carcassonne, FranceCanal du Midi, Carcassonne, South of FranceTips for exploring the Cité de Carcassonne, FrancePretty streets of Carcassonne, FranceTruffle and wine bar L'Atelier de la Truffe, Carcassonne, FranceHow to spend a weekend in Carcassonne, in the South of FranceCarcassonne catTerrace at the 4-star Pont Levis Hotel, Carcassonne, FrancePont Levis Hotel, Carcassonne, FranceReview: Pont Levis Hotel, Carcassonne

Further reading:

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11 thoughts on “Mini guide: 3 days in Carcassonne, France”

  1. Great pics! What a beautiful town. I will put this place on the list on a future France trip. Yes, we were quite surprised on the vote to leave, though we in Australia have only heard very recently in mainstream media of this going to the polls. I agree with your comments, it’s the future generations being affected by a few ignorant, and cost to unravel all this, eek!

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    1. You should definitely try to go if you can, though obviously it’s quite a long way for you…! :)

      I’m not surprised most of the world hasn’t really heard about it or noticed it, it was always going to be close but I think we’d all assumed we would vote to remain in the EU. But, we just have to deal with this outcome now. Keep calm and carry on, I suppose!

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  2. These pictures brought back a lot of memories – I went on family holidays to this part of France for six years but we actually only went to Carcassonne once! I’d love to go back now because I think I’d appreciate it a lot more than I did at age 14! x

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  3. Beautiful photos, I haven’t been to Carcassone in over a decade but this brought it all back! I feel the same about the EU ref results and have had a bit of a rant about it on my blog (shameless plug, I’m sorry). Very interested to see what happens in the next few months xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Food, Travel, Italy

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  4. I enjoyed your blog,but can you recommend any bars to while away the evenings or do i need to go to the new town.We’re a couple spending three nights in the old town in sept.Thank you in advance.

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    1. Hi Gerald, glad you found it useful! L’Atelier de la Truffe on Rue Trivalle is a wine bar just outside the old town (5-10 minute walk) which I recommend and there are plenty of bars in the city walls, though they look quite tourist-y. The only one I tried was Le Trouvére, which was fine.

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