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Graceful Avignon seems best known for two things: the nursery rhyme about the bridge; and the fact that for a 68 year period in the 14th Century, Avignon was the home of the papacy. During this time Avignon became the centre of the western world. Our selection of the best places to stay in Avignon vary from properties in the centre of town to more rural affairs just outside, all of which are well placed to explore this fascinating region.
The Popes thought the centre of the western world should look regal and wealthy. So they spent a lot of money constructing grand palaces - none grander than the Palais des Papes - and commissioning magnificent artworks. And these treasures are one of the things which make Avignon such a wonderful place to see. The performing arts festival in July is another big draw. And of course the half crumbled medieval bridge spanning half the Rhone.
Even if religious architecture isn't your thing, you can't visit Avignon without seeing the Palais des Popes. This is one of the largest medieval Gothic buildings in the world and the scale and grandeur of the thing will leave you dumbfounded. You may also be surprised by the palace's fortifications. The walls are three metres thick and portcullises and watchtowers are integral to the design. Proving how concerned the Popes were about security, even this far from Rome.
Before the Palais was completed the Popes lived in the bishop's palace, which was given a regal refit when the papal throne was moved here in 1309. Today the palace is a museum, where some of the great art treasures commissioned by the church during Avignon's reign are housed. The collection is outstanding, featuring religious works from the 13th to 16th Centuries, including Botticelli's Virgin and Child.
As well as their own grand dwellings, the church leaders invested in the city. Narrow alleys open onto expansive squares and there are many charming plazas. Much of the centre of town is pedestrianised and there are cafe and restaurants in the squares, and boutique shopping in the lovely old buildings. Some of the best places to stay in Avignon are along these central streets.
It's also worth taking a spin on the Rhone while you're here.
If you take a day trip to Orange you'll also be able to visit its Roman amphitheatre, which is remarkably well preserved. Nearby is one of the best examples of a provincial triumphal arch. Decorating its pillars are reliefs commemorating the Pax Romana.
Don't forget that it's a very popular spot during the peak summer months, so the best places to stay in Avignon will inevitably get booked up. But if you're organised and plan ahead you can still reserve a top spot, or alternatively visit in the quieter months, when you can really appreciate Avignon without the crowds.
For a City Break
- If you want to be right in the centre of town book La Mirande. Right opposite the papal palace, this hotel is impeccably decorated in brocade and chintz. And because this mansion once belonged to a Cardinal, this is also one of the best places to stay in Avignon for religious scholars and history buffs. And its Michelin star restaurant means it's also perfect for foodies.
- If you are heading to Orange, an ideal place to stay is Maison Felisa. This gorgeous country house typifies south-of-France living, with a beautiful sunny garden, courtyard and pool. It's also a good option for families.
- La Bastide de Boulbon is set in a charming medieval village a short drive from some of the best sights around Avignon. So it's another of the best places to stay in Avignon or surrounds for those who want to stay somewhere quiet and historic. The grounds are a haven of peace, but the ten rooms are refreshingly contemporary. Because of its size this is also one of the best places to stay in Avignon if you're travelling as a group.
Still not sure? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Avignon, or call, or email, one of our gurus for advice. Want to widen your search? Take a look at all our recommendations in Provence.
Best Hotels in Avignon
L'Atelier 22 rooms from $94Avignon
A delightful hotel set in a stunning 16th century house. L'Atelier fuses its rustic design with contemporary furnishings to produce comfortable, attractive rooms. After a day's exploring Avignon's papal history, relax in the garden with a glass of wine or take in city views from the roof terrace.City Style - Tres chic accommodation - with a fabulous roof terrace boasting urban viewsFamilies - Don't leave anyone behind - you can even bring the dog along!Value chic - Great value, central location - a no fail option!Local exploring - Occupying a central spot - perfect for exploring
La Bastide des Anges 5 rooms from $106Avignon (Ile de la Barthelasse)
A warm and welcoming family-run guesthouse on Il de la Barthelasse, the largest island on a French river, and a rural oasis of beauty and serenity. Inside the rooms are charmingly decorated, spacious, & comfortable and outside it boasts a wonderful 4 acres of garden with an orchard & a swimming poolSights nearby - 5km from the historic and beautiful AvignonLocal markets - Good for local colour.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRomantic - Good for couples.
Domaine de Rhodes 5 rooms from $10984000 Avignon
Set in wooded farmland on a lush island in the Rhone, Domaine de Rhodes is a pastoral retreat only ten minutes from the sights of Avignon. Its peaceful gardens, shaded by tall plane trees, are perfect for lazy afternoons, and there's a pool.Sights nearby - Saint Rémy and Baux de Provence are a half an hour drive away.Local markets - Visit Uzes and its Provençal marketFull of characterSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
La Banasterie 7 rooms from $114Avignon
A beautiful 16th century residence just two steps from the romantic Pont Saint-Bénézet and 50 metres from the historic Pope's palace. The rooms are simultaneously stylish, elegant and cosy. Enjoy the atmospheric stone walls and a private terrace or patio and even your own fountain!Sights nearby - In central historic and romantic AvignonLocal exploring - Area steeped in historyArchitectural - 16th century residenceOutstanding location
Hôtel de l'Horloge 65 rooms from $120Avignon
Elegant 19th century Provençal building on the main square in Avignon. Charming accommodation with great views of the picturesque town centre. Wood, wrought iron, sea grass and wicker combine to create comfortable chic rooms with a lovely relaxed ambiance.Local exploring - Area steeped in historySights nearby - Avignon is a UNESCO World Heritage siteOutstanding location - Right in the centre of AvignonLocal markets - Good for local colour.
Hotel Cloitre Saint-Louis 80 rooms from $125Avignon
Stunning hotel set in historic cloisters in the heart of Avignon, just minutes from the Palais des Papes. Come for simple modern elegance complemented by the 16th century historic backdrop of the hotel. Relax by the rooftop pool on the sun terrace, or try some delicious food in the restaurant.Sights nearby - Central Avignon, 10-minute walk from Palais des PapesLocal markets - There are markets galore in the surrounding towns and villagesSwimming Pool - Outdoor rooftop pool (unheated) open from May to September
Maison Velvet 3 rooms from $137Avignon
Small intimate B&B in the centre of Avignon, just 10 minutes walk from the main sights. The three bedrooms are spacious with original painted floors, Perisan rugs, and one-off pieces of furniture. There's even a pretty terrace for sitting out. A charming spot for exploring this historic town.Local exploring - Perfectly placed for exploring historic Avignon.Restrictions on children - Over 12sFull of character
No 15 5 rooms from $137Avignon
Chic B&B in the city. Bedrooms have large white bathrooms, pale wood floors, exposed brick walls and garden views. Charming garden, outdoor pool and sun terrace. Conservatory serves breakfasts. A romantic stay with excellent staff.Romantic Break - Charming rustic-chic bedrooms, pretty garden with pool, river boat trips and wine tasting in this lovely cityLocal markets - Isle sur la Sorgue, about thirty minutes drive from Avignon, remains the top attraction for lovers of flea marketsGreat walks - Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose historic centre can be easily explored on footSights nearby - Orange and its Roman ampitheatre, one of the best preserved in the world
Le Mas de Capelou 5 rooms from $143Avignon
Just 7km from Avignon centre, Le Mas de Capelou offers five rooms and suites plus four apartments which sleep from 2 to 6. A period exterior makes way to modern, chic interiors. There's a large outdoor swimming pool and many peaceful outdoor seating areas. A quiet countryside spot.Sights nearby - Palais des Papes and all Avignon's attractionsSwimming Pool - Heated outdoor pool open from April to OctoberKayaking - Balade en Kayak - canoe centreLocal markets - Explore the local market
Chateau des Fines Roches 11 rooms from $145Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, Provence
An impressive chateau overlooking endless stretches of vineyards. Elegant, well-proportioned, rooms are classically styled with cast iron beds, bold colours and large arched windows. Spend days cycling through the countryside or sipping on excellent regional wines. The perfect rural spot to unwind.Total relaxation - A peaceful chateau in an excellent wine region. Sit back and take in the views whilst sipping on a regional tipple.Sights nearby - Visit the Palace of the Popes in Avignon or the Antique Theatre in Orange.Views - Great views from hotelRomantic - Good for couples.
Maison Felisa 5 rooms from $149Saint-Laurent-Des- Arbres, Provence
Fantastic country house with a very relaxed atmosphere. Walled gardens, sunny swimming pool, shady terraces, and contemporary chic rooms. A real home from home, if home were in the South of France.Sights nearby - Easy access to Avignon, Orange, Nimes and the Gorges d'ArdechePrivate Hot Tub - Three rooms have their own private jacuzzi bath tubsRestrictions on children - Not suitable for babiesSwimming Pool - Outdoor poolRecommended by - I Escape
Le Limas 4 rooms from $154Avignon
Simple B&B in the centre of Avignon with views of Palais des Papes. Stylish bedrooms offer a chic blend of contemporary and antique with original parquet floors and fireplaces alongside furniture and lighting by Starck. There's a pleasant sun terrace and an unbeatable location for exploring the citySights nearby - Bang in the centre of Avignon, close to the famous bridge and the Palais des PapesViews - Views from terrace of Palais des Papes.Local markets - Good French flea markets nearbyRestrictions on children - No children
Auberge de Cassagne 43 rooms from $189Avignon (Le pontet)
A charming hotel in a typical Provencal house. Elegant rooms feature floral prints, soft colours and all the mod cons. An outdoor pool, fragrant gardens, and an extensive spa. Outstanding gourmet cuisine and a lovely bar area. Close to Avignon, ideal for a relaxing weekend of culinary treats.Foodies - Restaurant by chef Philippe Boucher, vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Vacqueyras, and wine festivals.Spa breaks - Features eucalyptus steam room, chromotherapy shower, twin massage rooms all situated in the peaceful gardensSights nearby - Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Gordes, Les Baux-de-ProvenceLocal markets - Antique market in Isle sur la Sorgue every SundayRecommended by - Small Luxury Hotels
La Bastide de Boulbon 8 rooms from $177Boulbon, Provence
Beautifully renovated mansion surrounded by rose gardens in a charming medieval village. Cool, contemporary rooms with beamed ceilings, white washed walls and enormous sash windows. Excellent cuisine served on a charming patio. A lovely base to come and completely unwind.Country Escape - A charming country house situated in a pretty quite village, with stunning gardens and centuries-old plane trees.Sights nearby - Visit the medieval castle of Boulbon, the windmill and the Frigolet Abbey.Swimming Pool - Outdoor poolRomantic - Good for couples.Recommended by - Sawdays
Auberge de Noves 19 rooms from $189Provence
This beautiful guesthouse has stunning traditional decor and an air of grandeur. Rooms maintain plenty of original features: huge sash windows, exposed wooden beams and stonework, terracotta tiles and much more. Cycle through rural Provence and sample some of its delicacies in the restaurant.Active Holiday - Make the most out of the outdoor pool, tennis courts and bikes for hireGreat walks - Plenty of nearby hiking trailsRemote - Off the beaten track.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
Hotel d'Europe 39 rooms from $229Avignon
Grand old hotel tucked away in a serene square in the heart of Avignon. Rooms are furnished traditionally and elegantly, fit for a king of bygone days, but with all the modern touches expected in the 21st century. La Vieille Fontaine adds to the regal appeal.Restaurant - La Vieille Fontaine - one Michelin star - contemporary regional cuisine, menu from €58Sights nearby - metres from the Palais des Papes, the Avignon Bridge and other major attractionsLively area - Especially during July and the advent of Avignon's arts festivalLocal markets - Good for local colour.
Le Prieuré, Avignon 38 rooms from $229Villeneuve lez Avignon
A wonderful blend of historic and contemporary. The 14th century ivy clad former monastery was renovated in 2007 creating rooms with character and unpretentious luxury. Relax by the pool, break a sweat on the tennis court, and visit the Michelin starred restaurant in the stunning gardens.Restaurant - Michelin starred with gastronomic cuisine from Fabien FageFoodiesSights nearby - A few minutes from Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage siteSwimming Pool - Outdoor poolRecommended by - Tablet, Relais & Chateaux
B&B Artishow 5 rooms from $286L'Isle sur La Sorgue (Isle-sur-la-Sorgue)
A beautifully renovated 15th century townhouse, with a rooftop hot tub overlooking the charming village. Each quirky and artistic room has its own individual style. The perfect location to go off and explore Isle de la Sorgue's local markets and its picturesque canals.Romantic Break - Sip on a drink in the rooftop hot tub while you soak up the panoramic views- utter bliss!Local exploring - Explore the gorgeous town of Isle de la Sorgue and take long walks alongside its canals.Local markets - Check out the nearby market, the largest outdoor market in the Luberon area!Swimming Pool - Both an indoor and an outdoor pool!
La Mirande 21 rooms from $526Avignon, Provence
An immaculately decorated and furnished former Cardinal's mansion in the city center. The suites will transport you back to another time with parquet floors, bold wallpapers, and sumptuous beds. Sit out in the sculpture filled courtyard enjoying the Michelin-starred cuisine. Chic and sophisticated.Local markets - Tuesday to Sunday from 6 a.m. onwards, you must visit the covered market, les Halles to buy fresh local produce.Cooking classes - The hotel's chefs have organised a cookery school to teach guests all their favourite receipes.Sights nearby - Situated opposite the Papal Palace.Full of characterRecommended by - I Escape, Frommers, Kiwi Collection