Chateau Comtal, Carcassonne, France

Walking the ramparts of Carcassonne & exploring Château Comtal

The fortified Cité de Carcassonne

I’ve walked a few ramparts in my time (I’ve already blogged about about Kotor’s and Budva’s) but it’s something I always find fascinating and usually worth it for the views alone. Most of Carcassonne’s city walls can be accessed for free, but there’s a certain stretch (including the oldest section, built by the Romans) that you can only get onto via Château Comtal.

Entrance to Chateau Comtal, CarcassonneChateau Comtal gardens, CarcassonneThe fortified medieval city of Carcassonne, FranceView over the fortified medieval city of Carcassonne, FranceView from Chateau Comtal, Carcassonne, FranceView from Chateau Comtal, Carcassonne, France

As we were only spending few days in Carcassonne, we had to visit the Chateau on a peak day: Saturday. The cité was busy but timing it so that we entered around 4pm paid off and the crowds had gone! I’d recommend you give yourself at least a couple of hours to look around – we didn’t quite have enough time (see below… 😒 ).

View from Chateau Comtal, Carcassonne, FranceInside Chateau Comtal, Carcassonne, FranceChateau Comtal trapdoor! Carcassonne, FranceChateau Comtal ramparts, Carcassonne, FranceExploring Chateau Comtal, France

A moan or three about our experience:

  1. Opening hours are advertised at the gate as 9.30am-6.30pm (most days). A sign at the desk says the castle closes at 6pm. We were turfed out at 5.50pm, and we hadn’t seen everything: not impressed.
  2. In English, the entry price was advertised as €8.50, but I can read some French and noticed that price was stated as €4 for entry + €4.50 for an audio guide. We asked for entry only but were told it costs €8.50pp, no options. When we requested our audio guides (if we had to pay for them, we were having them) we were told they cost extra. Sigh.
  3. Parts of the ramparts were closed for “exceptional reasons”, according to the sign – but when you see them from around the town it’s clear they’re dangerous and so always closed, which I thought was a bit sneaky.

Further reading:

Walking the ramparts in Carcassonne, FranceThings to do in Carcassonne, South of FranceExploring UNESCO World Heritage Site Carcassonne's ancient city wallsView over the Cité de Carcassonne from the city walls

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