Beautiful old shutters in Narbonne, France

Day-tripping in the south of France: Narbonne & Bram

Carcassonne to Narbonne

There are lots of day trip options from Carcassonne, but as we visited while France was hosting Euro 2016 we opted to skip the bigger local cities of Toulouse and Marseille (who were both hosting games).

After weighing up the options we were torn between Narbonne and Bram – but as they’re on the same train line we thought, why not squeeze two trips into one day? So we did!

Day trip tips for Narbonne, FranceNarbonne marché (market), FranceFrench herbs at Narbonne MarketSachets of French lavendar, Narbonne, FranceLes Tapas de la Clape at Narbonne Market, FranceClassic Citroen, Narbonne, France

The train to Narbonne takes 40-ish minutes and cost around €50 return, for two.

Fun fact: Narbonne used to be coastal but silting means it’s now 15km inland. The weather was much better this little bit closer to the Mediterranean, yay!

Obviously, I had to wear stripes to the (former) seaside. My linen-mix midi dress was a La Redoute sale buy, costing a smidge over £30. I love it and it’ll be great for work. A justified purchase, even if I keep telling myself to STOP BUYING STRIPY THINGS.

Narbonne, FranceMuseum of Art and History, Narbonne, FranceMonoprix, Narbonne, FranceNarbonne, FranceNarbonne, FrancePavement cafés, Narbonne, France

As usual, we gravitated towards the market and started our visit with lunch at Les Tapas de la Clape in Les Halles. We both commented how this part of France feels quite Spanish (it particularly reminded me of Seville), though it’s understandable as it’s only about 100km away from the border.

Hunger satisfied, we spent a couple of hours walking around the city, taking in the sights and enjoying the sunshine (especially after a couple of temperamental days in Carcassonne).

Things to see in Narbonne, FranceFrench cobblestones in NarbonneLa Redoute linen striped midi dressThe sights of Narbonne, FranceOld town of Narbonne, FranceCathedral Saint-Just, Narbonne, France

Narbonne isn’t big so there aren’t too many vitally important things to tick-off your sightseeing list. I got a bit overexcited when I spied a Sephora but the shutters were down. The world can be cruel.

Things to see & do in Narbonne

Street art in Narbonne, FranceRamshackle French building, NarbonneCathedral Saint Just, Narbonne, FranceInside Cathedral Saint-Just, Narbonne, FranceStained glass windows in St. Just Cathedral, Narbonne, FranceColourful doorway, Narbonne, FranceHistoric city of Narbonne, France

The circular commune of Bram

Bram is absolutely teeny: we spied it from the plane as we came into land in Carcassonne and immediately decided it wasn’t going to keep us busy for a day. Trains are irregular and we didn’t want to get stuck there for hours, so we were happy to realise we could tack it on the end of our Narbonne trip.

We actually only spent 50 minutes in Bram! We thought we’d have to zoom around the place but it turned out to be the perfect amount of time to walk from the train station, to and around the circulade (circular town, once fairly popular in Europe and thought to be defensive), then back again.

Exploring Bram, France on a day tripPeeling paint & rusted letterbox, Bram, FranceBram, FranceDoorstep décor, Bram, Aude, FranceCircular town of Bram, FranceColourful little house, Bram, France

Things to see & do in Bram

Needless to say I don’t have any tips for where to eat (!) but if you are spending more time in Bram, the circulade is obviously worth a look (it’s said to be the best-preserved circular town in Europe), as is the Spanish Civil War monument, commemorating the 30,000 people imprisoned here.

p.s. Read up on the gruesome history of Simon de Montfort too. He was not a very nice man.

Further reading & viewing

Classic car in Bram, FranceQuick tips for exploring Bram, FranceShabby restaurant in Bram, FranceBram train station, France


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