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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, it 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.
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. A good number of our pick of the best places to stay in Avignon are along these central streets, ideally located for those who like their sightseeing close at hand!
What not to Miss
- You can't visit Avignon without seeing the Palais des Papes. This is one of the largest medieval Gothic buildings in the world and the scale and grandeur of it will leave you dumbfounded.
- 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 this 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.
- Indulge yourself with a gourmet food tour of the city. It's a great way to combine Avignon's rich history with the many delicious specialities (both food and drink) of the region.
- It's also worth taking a spin on the Rhone while you're here - for a real treat book one that includes lunch or dinner too.
- Take a day trip to Orange and 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 this is 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 its Michelin star restaurant means it's also perfect for foodies.
- La Banasterie also has an enviable location, just 50 metres from the Palais des Papes. There are just seven rooms, which are stylish and cosy, many leading out on to a private terrace or patio.
- The Hotel de L’Horlodge is right on the main square and offers 65 great rooms with great views. Wood, wrought iron, sea grass and wicker combine in the decor.
- The Hotel d’Europe is a grand old hotel tucked away on a quiet square. The decor is elegant, the restaurant has a Michelin star and you’re metres from the Palais des Papes.
- Just minutes from the Palais des Papes, the Hotel Cloitre Saint-Louis is a stunning, 80 room hotel converted from an elegant 16th century mansion. The food is good and there’s a rooftop pool and sun terrace. Plus parking, which is a real asset if you’re trying to see the surrounding area.
- Auberge de Noves is a good option if you want to explore both Avignon and the surrounding area. It's a stylish property with 19 bedrooms, just 12km from Avignon and close to the Alpilles Natural Park and a wealth of pretty Provencal villages.
- La Bastide de Boulbon is set in a charming medieval village a short drive from some of the best sights around Avignon. The grounds are a haven of peace, but the ten rooms are refreshingly contemporary.
- Another good out of town choice for sightseeing is the Maison Felisa. You're equidistant from Avignon or Orange, and located amid glorious countryside. The best of all worlds!
- Maison Velvet is an intimate, three bedroom B&B in the centre of Avignon. The decor is traditional, and original, with painted floors and Persian rugs. And there’s a pretty terrace.
- If you like the idea of a B&B, but what something quite chic, try No. 15, which has just five rooms, all with large, white bathrooms and garden views. There’s an outdoor pool and sun terrace, and breakfast is served inside a pretty conservatory.
- Le Prieure was a monastery in the 14th century, but in 2007 it became a wonderful restaurant with rooms known for its character and unpretentious luxury. The Michelin-starred, gastronomic restaurant is in the beautiful garden.
- Le Limas is a simple B&B in a great, central location, with views of the Palais des Papes. There are just four stylish bedrooms where contemporary design combine well with original features, plus a glorious sun terrace.
For A Rural Escape
- The Domaine de Rhodes is a five room pastoral retreat just ten minutes from the sights of Avignon. Once a farmhouse this building is set in lush woods, and surrounded by beautiful gardens. There’s a nice pool.
- Le Mas de Capelou is just seven kilometres from the centre of Avignon, but, surrounded by peaceful countryside, it feels a world away. There are five rooms and suites, all modern in design, a large pool and outdoor seating area.
- The Auberge de Cassagne is a charming, 43 room hotel converted from a typical Provençal house. The elegant rooms feature floral prints and soft colours and there’s an outdoor pool, an excellent spa and fragrant gardens.
For Great Value
- L’Atelier is a 22 room hotel in a beautiful 16th century house. The house is charmingly rustic, but the decor is quite modern and very comfortable. And there’s a peaceful garden which is the perfect place to relax after a day sightseeing. Or you could opt for the roof terrace. Rooms start from around £70 per night.
- La Bastide des Anges is a warm and welcoming family-run guesthouse on Il de la Barthelasse, an oasis of rural beauty and tranquility, and the largest island on any French river. There are just five spacious rooms, charmingly decorated and comfortable, plus four acres of garden with a pool. Rooms start from around £80 per night.
For a self-catering Apartment or private Villa
- If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner, booking.com.
- Avignon has a small airport just eight kilometres from town, with intermittent links to London City and other UK destinations. You can also catch the Eurostar direct from London and arrive in under six hours. It’s more likely you’ll find a flight arriving in Marseille-Provence Airport, about 80km from Avignon, which has a lot more international connections.
- If you want to hire a car - which we strongly advise if you’re staying in Avignon and want to see more of Provence - we recommend you visit our online partner, Rentalcars.
- Avignon’s climate is temperate, with hot summers and cold winters. It’s in the path of the famous mistral wind, which blows through the Rhone Valley on the way to the Mediterranean keeping it clear and sunny in spring and winter. If you don’t mind the heat the best time to visit is during the summer - the average maximum temperature is 30°C, although it will regularly get into the mid-30s, but the lavender is in bloom and this is how this region is supposed to be seen. By October the rains have come, which are beautiful too in their own way, but not typical of Avignon. During the summer the city hosts arts and music festivals so check your dates if you fancy something in particular. Spring is perfect if you prefer milder, sunny weather.
Still not sure which to book?
Best Hotels in Avignon
L'Atelier 22 rooms from £69Avignon
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 £82Avignon (Ile de la Barthelasse)
A warm and welcoming family-run guesthouse on île de la Barthelasse, just outside Avignon, 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 and a swimming pool.Sights nearby - 5km from the historic and beautiful AvignonLocal markets - Good for local colour.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRomantic - Good for couples.
L'Observance 6 rooms from £83Avignon
A charming B&B located in the heart of quaint Avignon. Boasting four lovely rooms as well as a two bedroom apartment which features a private entrance and a kitchenette. Spend days exploring the local historic sights before returning to unwind besides the pool.Great walks - Wander around this beautiful historic city taking in its atmosphereSights nearby - Be sure to visit the Papal Palace and the famous Pont d'AvignonSwimming Pool - Outdoor poolRecommended by - Sawdays
Domaine de Rhodes 5 rooms from £8384000 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
Maison Velvet 3 rooms from £105Avignon
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 characterTraditional
No 15 5 rooms from £105Avignon
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 £110Avignon
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.Local exploring - The B&B is just 5 miles from central AvignonSwimming Pool - Heated outdoor pool open from April to OctoberSights nearby - Palais des Papes and all Avignon's attractionsKayaking - Balade en Kayak - canoe centre
La Banasterie 7 rooms from £110Avignon
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
Hotel Cloitre Saint-Louis 80 rooms from £110Avignon
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 SeptemberTraditional
Au Coeur d'Avignon 5 rooms from £132Avignon
The unassuming exterior hides a gorgeous 19th-century mansion in the heart of the city. Beautifully renovated rooms and apartments are elegant and light with soft hues, parquet flooring and luxurious bathrooms. The sun-lit lounge opens onto a secluded garden. An oasis in the city centre.Local exploring - Situated in the heart of the city with many of the major attractions within walking distance.Local markets - Sample delectable Provençal food at the enormous covered market, Les Halles d'Avignon.Sights nearby - Visit the famed 12th century bridge, Le Pont d’Avignon.Traditional
Le Limas 4 rooms from £118Avignon
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 £145Avignon (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
Hôtel de l'Horloge 66 rooms from £130Avignon
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.
La Bastide de Boulbon 8 rooms from £136Boulbon, 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 £145Provence
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 £175Avignon
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 £175Villeneuve 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
La Mirande 21 rooms from £404Avignon, 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