France
Carcassonne

Carcassonne stands as a medieval marvel, its mighty walls and fairy-tale turrets a silhouette against the Languedoc sky. Read more

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Visit Carcassonne in 2024

Perched on a hill overlooking the River Aude, Carcassonne is a fortified city with a lineage that stretches back over two millennia. The city is split into two parts: the fortified Cité de Carcassonne and the more expansive lower city, the Ville Basse. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Cité is an enchanting web of winding cobbled streets, imposing walls, and watchtowers. Its double-layered fortifications span nearly 3 kilometers and feature 52 towers, each telling a story of siege, conquest, and revival. Inside, the Château Comtal, the medieval castle, offers a deep dive into the history and architecture of this unique bastion. The Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsus, with its stunning stained-glass windows, adds a touch of spiritual grandeur to the already dramatic setting. Visitors can immerse themselves in the city’s chivalric past through its vibrant jousting exhibitions and the Festival de Carcassonne, which animates the citadel with music and theatre each summer. Beyond the historical allure, Carcassonne’s surrounding vineyards invite travelers to indulge in the region's rich winemaking tradition.

43.215266, 2.332607 Open in Google Maps

The most famous sights
What to do in Carcassonne

Cité de Carcassonne

The iconic walled city, a jewel of medieval architecture, is a full immersion into historical fantasy, with its well-preserved ramparts and Gothic Revival architecture.

Château Comtal

Nestled within the Cité, this castle is a historical tour de force, offering an inside look into the fortification's strategic past and stunning panoramic views from its walls.

Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsus

An architectural masterpiece, this church within the city walls marries Romanesque and Gothic styles and houses impressive relics and sculptures.

Porte Narbonnaise

The main entrance to the Cité, this gate is flanked by two massive towers and acts as a grand threshold to this medieval world.

The Aude River

Flowing at the foot of the hill, the river provides a tranquil setting for walking and boat tours, offering splendid views of the Cité.

Pont Vieux

The old bridge connecting the Cité and the lower town offers an incredible vantage point for photographers, especially at sunset.

The Ramparts

A walk on the ancient battlements gives visitors an unbroken view of the towers and the countryside, transporting them back to the Middle Ages.

Musée de l'Inquisition

This museum offers a chilling insight into the darker side of Carcassonne’s past, detailing the history of the Inquisition and medieval punishment.

Ville Basse

The lower city, though less famous than the Cité, charms with its bustling squares, especially the main square Place Carnot, and fine examples of traditional Languedoc architecture.

Festival de Carcassonne

During the summer, the city comes alive with performances of opera, dance, theater, and circus acts, making it an ideal time for cultural enthusiasts to visit.

What else to visit
In and around Carcassonne

Narbonne (54.49 km)

Béziers (72.28 km)

Perpignan (74.37 km)

Andorra (95.47 km)

Nestled in the Pyrenees between France and Spain, Andorra la Vella is a hidden gem known for its breathtaking mountain vistas and duty-free shopping.

Rodez (128.8 km)

Girona (143.48 km)

In the heart of Catalonia, Girona stands as a jewel of history and culture, where ancient walls whisper tales from medieval times.

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