The 10 Best Things to Do in Carcassonne Center, France

December 21, 2017 Moriah Teneyck

Step back several centuries and imagine yourself in medieval times. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, La Cite at Carcassonne is a painstakingly restored medieval walled city on a hill by the Aude River. You'll half-expect to see armed lookouts manning the fortified city's towers. Cross the river to La Bastide neighborhood for all the charms of a French country town.
Restaurants in Carcassonne Center

1. Cathar Castles

Carcassonne Center, Carcassonne, France +33 4 68 11 70 72
Excellent
71%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 704 reviews

Cathar Castles

Reviewed By Paul S - Jersey, United Kingdom

I had arranged a personalised guided tour since we were only in Carcassonne for 2 days. It was a 3 hour tour and I suggest that anyone visiting should do this as so much can be missed by just strolling around on your own. I hadn't realised the ancient history went back to Neolithic times and the 6th century BC. From 100 BC to 460 AD it was under the control of the Roman Empire. There is so much to see in the whole area surrounding Carcassone that a week would be more rewarding for the history-phile.

2. Carcassonne Medieval City

A61 West | Sur la Rive droite de l'Aude, 11000 Carcassonne Center, Carcassonne, France +33 4 68 10 24 30
Excellent
69%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 7 reviews

Carcassonne Medieval City

Reviewed By Linda J - Bacup, United Kingdom

Always wanted to come here after Reading the Kate Mosse books and it didn't disappoint, the construction is so impressive, would be amazing to go back in time and see it being built, some nice restaurants and shops but quite a few selling tat but kids love the wooden swords etc.

3. CHATEAU ET REMPARTS DE LA CITE DE Carcassonne

1 rue Viollet le Duc, 11000 Carcassonne Center, Carcassonne, France +33 4 68 11 70 70
Excellent
63%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4 reviews

CHATEAU ET REMPARTS DE LA CITE DE Carcassonne

Carcassonne was settled as early as the 6th century BC and later became an important Roman town. It was fortified in the 4th century and was a strategic site in the Middle Ages. It took on its definitive shape in the 13th century with the king’s decision to construct the distinctive double-walled ramparts and extend the castle. The city was restored by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century and is a testimony to 1,000 years of military architecture and 2,600 years of history. See a 12-minute film combining 3-D images and close-up footage; walk along the galleries, the fortified walls and the north ramparts; discover the museum of masonry and many other attractions. Designated world heritage site by UNESCO. Open: > April to September: from 10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. > October to March: from 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Last admission 45 minutes before closing time. Closed: > 1st January, 1st May, 1st November, 11th November and 25th December. Admission fees: Adults : 8,50 €; Concessions (18 to 25) = 5,50 €; Free admission: minors under 18*; Free admission: 18-25 years old* (citizens of one of the 27 countries of the EU or are non-European permanent residents of France) * excluding school groups

Reviewed By soul_man_dave - Bude, United Kingdom

Very interesting and with brilliant views from the wall walks. I would recommend getting the "passport" from the tourist office. It costs €4, but you get €2 reduction here (normal admission price is €9) and €1 reduction at many other local sites.
There's three parts to the visit - the chateau, the medieval western ramparts, and the Gallo-Roman northern ramparts. All are worth visiting, but beware of the lunch-time closing times for the rampart walks.

4. Chateau Comtal

1 rue Viollet le Duc, 11000 Carcassonne Center, Carcassonne, France +33 4 68 11 70 70
Excellent
54%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 667 reviews

Chateau Comtal

Reviewed By JohnofHalifax - Halifax, United Kingdom

Anyone visiting Carcassonne simply should pay the entrance fee and spend a leisurely couple of hours in here. The charge puts off some people, but please don't let it deter you, it is money very well spent, especially if you have any interest whatsoever in history.
If you time you trip carefully, then you will avoid large crowds and the incessant clicking of cameras.
The restoration is in the historic period of Louis IX and in my non-expert opinion works very well, even with the slate roof tiles rather than terracotta. There could have been more interpretation boards in English, especially towards the end of the recommended route, but it didn't spoil the visit.
You can easily spend two or three hours wandering around, sitting and taking it all in at strategic locations - and the views from the battlements are simply breathtaking.
Final tip: buy your tickets in advance to save queues at the entrance.

5. Le Pont Vieux (The Old Bridge)

Rue du Pont Vieux, 11000 Carcassonne Center, Carcassonne, France
Excellent
42%
Good
48%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 210 reviews

Le Pont Vieux (The Old Bridge)

Reviewed By jeanann1485 - Newark-on-Trent, United Kingdom

I loved walking across this amazing bridge. The view of the old city is lovely from the bridge and there are some well maintained and pretty Gardens on one side. The little chapel at the beginning of the bridge is beautiful and has a lovely atmosphere.

6. School Museum

3 rue du Plo, 11000 Carcassonne Center, Carcassonne, France +33 4 68 25 95 14
Excellent
47%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 153 reviews

School Museum

Reviewed By Mikey1304 - Yorkshire, United Kingdom

This little museum is well worth the modest entry fee. On view is a wealth of textbooks, original exercise books, registers, reports, school furniture, and teaching equipment. Notwithstanding that it represents the French education system around the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there is plenty to appeal to anyone of any nationality, who is partial to a little nostalgia and a sense of history.
The exhibits are only labelled in French, but an information sheet in English, is available, it has a basic description of each room, but there is much to see and admire, even if you do not know any of the language.
An hour is enough time to enjoy your visit.

7. Basilica of Saint-Nazaire

La Cite, Carcassonne Center, Carcassonne, France
Excellent
46%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Basilica of Saint-Nazaire

Reviewed By thevontrapps - St Helens, United Kingdom

The basilica is a beautiful Gothic style edifice. I loved the gargoyles, quite unique to any I'd seen before...and the 750-year old stained glass window was magnificent. Sadly whilst we were there it was currently undergoing renovation work so the chancel end was blocked off...but they have a perpsex screen up so the windows are still visible. Altogether a lovely stop off on our meander around the beautiful city.

8. Lac de la Cavayere

RN113 Mont Legun, Carcassonne Center, Carcassonne, France
Excellent
43%
Good
47%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 447 reviews

Lac de la Cavayere

Reviewed By Nath74370 - Guildford, United Kingdom

Fairly disappointed in lake where water wasfar from clear and places in shade difficult to find. Nice walkaround the lake though but not very tempted to jump in in spite of heat.

9. St. Vincent's Church

Rue Albert Tomey, Carcassonne Center, Carcassonne, France
Excellent
48%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 109 reviews

St. Vincent's Church

Reviewed By Drew B - Malta

This gothic church is fascinating with the beautifully decorated stained glass and organ. It does need a bit of restoring, but that doesn't really hinder the value of seeing this gem. The bell tower is an added bonus. There are over 200 steps to climb, but its well worth it! The view from up there is breathtaking, and you can take great photos of the medieval city! Students get to go up the tower for free.

10. Place Carnot

Carcassonne Center, Carcassonne, France
Excellent
34%
Good
44%
Satisfactory
20%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 167 reviews

Place Carnot

Reviewed By MRB01 - Carcassonne Center, France

We have visited the square many times but we have recently relocated to Carcassonne so this area holds a new significance to us. It really is the beating heart of the city. The cafes, restaurants and bars are all very good. The markets on Tuesday's, Thursday's and Saturday are full of wonderful local produce which we look forward to. Yesterday evening we visited for the local wine tasting festival. It was a wonderful experience with decorations and such a friendly atmosphere. Great wines at very reasonable prices. A wonderful centre for a beautiful part of town.

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