A Day Trip In Avignon On A Budget

Published: 2019/09/30

Traveling Outside of Lyon; Avignon

Being in Lyon for almost a month now, I have become comfortable living here, and thought it was time to get out of the comfort zone even more and start exploring outside of Lyon. The problem though, where could a student with no knowledge of France geography go for a day trip but also on a budget? That was when the charming City of Avignon came across my screen. In the southern Provence region, Avignon is a small middle ages style town that is perfect for any day trip.

 

Anyone coming to France, or even already living here, knows France has a lot to offer when wanting to travel. Being a student here, I always imagined I wouldn’t get to see everything it has because it would be too far or it would be way too expensive. So, when my friends suggested going on a day trip, I was hesitant due to how much it might cost.
After some extensive research, I came across the perfect day trip, on a perfect budget; Avignon. This quaint renaissance and middle ages style town was just what was needed to not only travel on a budget, but get to experience that famous French culture and history.

 

Le "pont d'Avignon": famous Avignon bridge

The famous “Pont d’Avignon” in Provence

 

Experiencing Everything

When you arrive, you will be stunned by the old and charming town surrounded by its own stone wall. One of the first things you will notice before entering into the town, is the half finished bridge standing in the center of the Rhône river.

Pont d’Avignon is a famous bridge that once used to connect all the way to the Mediterranean sea with its 22 arches. Now, you can see the bridge still standing but with only 4 arches and crossing only to the center of the Rhône.
Even with a half finished bridge, you feel as if you’re still in the Renaissance period.

For example, markets have always been a key event all throughout history. One of the special events of the town, every Thursday morning, the streets are filled and packed for the morning market. Not just a farmers market, a shopping of every kind market! Shirts, shoes, tomatoes, dog accessories, you name it and it is out on display, ready for you to buy.

Even check out the restaurants in town. The ice cream and gelato stands, the french buchons, the cafes! There are so many places to try, but one in particular, Mamma Rosa. This French Italian cuisine will dazzle your taste buds, but will also make you feel at home with a welcoming staff. A great place to relax and get out of the busy market streets.

 

"Palais des Papes" in Avignon: Popes palace in France

Popes Palace in Avignon, France © Samantha Vetrick

 

Get your History

Fix as you walk the market, do keep an eye out at the buildings that surround you. There are multiple museums and churches to visit, camouflaged right into the walls, almost as if they are any other apartment building. During my visit, I had the honor of getting to visit two amazing museums, Le Musée du Petit Palais, and the notorious Palais Des Papes.

Le Musée du Petit Palais is something that is a must for those wanted to leap into history and admire the artwork from the Middle Ages and the Italian Renaissance.

The museum gives a new take on artwork that isn’t depicted in the United States. It has new pieces that are not seen and has multiple paintings of the same idea, but painted in a different style.

For those that want to feel like a prince or princess for the day, Palais Des Papes is the place for you. Alone or with a guided tour, you can explore this palace that was once home for countless Popes, including Benedict XII and Pope Clement VI.

Explore this palace with its hidden staircases to climb, and grand ballrooms. You can even stand on the roof, in high towers, and balconies to look out over the beautiful town of Avignon.

 

“Petit Palais” Museum front door – Avignon © Samantha Vetrick

 

Traveling Like a Pro

If you want to travel to Avignon, don’t fret! It is super easy to visit.
To travel to this quaint little town, there are multiple ways to get there.

To travel by bus, (the cheapest way), you can take buses including BlaBlas Bus, Flixbus, Oui Bus, etc. To take by train, visit the SNCF and you can take a TGV. You can also take a rental car by booking through RentalCars.com or an office closest to your location.

For all the different transportation, the time will vary. The trip is only about 3-5 hours by bus, but the scenery of the rolling hills and vast farmland will take your mind off the time.

For any other information or questions you have about Avignon, visit https://avignon-tourisme.com/en/

 

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