1 / General


Perpignan is the last big city before crossing the Spanish border. The City was the former continental capital of the Kindgom of Majorca. Today, it is at the doors of the Iberian peninsula. “La Catalane”, as the townies call it, is a roman city that started its expansion during the 10th century.


Population: 120 489 inhabitants

Population Density:1770 inhab/ km² (miles square)

Area :68,07 km² (miles square)

Demonym: Perpignanais, Perpignanaise

Region: Languedoc-Roussillon

Postcode: 66000, 66100

Maps : Google Maps


2 / Transport

BY CAR

Leaving from Paris, get ready for a very long journey. If you don’t plan to make a pause during your journey, you will be in Perpignan after an 8-hour route and a €140* bill (gas + toll booths). For those who travel from Barcelona, the journey lasts 2h10 and the bill is not that steep (€22,65*). Once in town, you will have to find a spot to park your car. Don’t worry, we have the solution! There are about 13 car parks in and around town. You will pay between €1,70* and €3* for one hour. Cherry on the cake: if you want to try your luck, there are 3 free car parks near the city center (a bit more than 230 spots). To check the pricing list, please click here.


BY TRAIN

If you leave from Paris, you will have to go to the Gare de Lyon. You will be in Perpignan in just 5 hours; you may use this time to marvel at the landscape or rest for a bit. There’s a train for the former capital every two hours, there has to be one for you !
Should you want to book tickets, please visit the SNCF Website.


BY PLANE

If you choose to fly to Perpignan, the airport is only 7 km far from the city center, which is a 10-minute drive from the heart of the city. If you don’t have your own car, no stress! You can go to town thanks to the bus line 7 or shuttles.
Visit the airport websiteto get more information

Bus de Perpignan

Getting around town

  • By bus
    The CTPM network provides 27 bus lines to get easily around town in no time at all. As for the pricing, a one-way ticket costs €1,20*. You can use it for connections for 1h30. For those who will take the bus more than once in a day, we recommend you to take the Pass Jour. You can travel as many times as you want for one day and it costs €5*.
  • By bike
    Thanks to the BIP! network, getting around town is easy as pie. The 150 bikes scattered in 15 bike stations can take you wherever you want without spending too much money. For an occasional use, you will have to subsribe to a weekly contract for just €1* and then be charged €0,50* per half hour. Quick, environmentally-friendly and affordable, riding a bike is the best way to discover Perpignan.



3 / When to go ?


- January :

  • The Wise Men come to town! Each year, Gaspar, Balthasar and Melchior parade with their procession to the Campo Santo. The little ones are warmly invited to write their wishes and give their letters to the Wise Men so that they can read them out loud. After this reading session, everybody is invited to a big traditional sweet meal. The Wise Men Parade s an excellent way to start a new year !

- Febuary :

  • The International Days of Insects
    VIf you’re not afraid of them, then go to the Palais des Congrès et des Expositions for the International Days of Insects. Many stallholders will present you a selection of collection and decorative insects as well as many entomology articles.
  • The Garnet Fair
    Perpignan celebrates this marvelous deep red gemstone for a weekend. The festivities start with a parade where the participants wear traditional gowns. Many events will take place in town and you will be able to discover the art of goldsmithery

- April :

  • Electro music comes to town. Many artists will step on the TILT; scene, just like Nina Kravitz and Kavinsky. The next ones will surely be as amazing as those two. As for the little ones, they will discover the clubbing dimension thanks to several interactive working groups that will arouse their curiosity and creativity.

- In summer :

  • St John’s Celebrations
    In June, Perpignan shines bright like a diamond. It all starts at the summit of the Canigou : people hold torches that will feed the blaze located at the Castillet. After this ceremony, there are more festivities to come like traditional Catalan dances and fireworks. For 10 days, Perpignan celebrates its Patron Saint with great pomp.
  • The International Festival of the Carillon
    From mid-July to mid-August, the “Sonneurs” have the place of honour. Whether you come with your family or friends, you will be happy to discover this little-known activity. During this festival, walk the beautiful streets of Perpignan while listening to the tinkling sound of carillons.
  • The Music and Street Arts Festival
    Also from mid-July to mid-August, the streets of Perpignan turn into places of culture and entertainment. Come ravish your ears by listening to many different music genres and laugh out loud by watching the drama troupes. With more than 700 artists coming from all over the world, you can’t be disappointed!

- October :

  • Discover the medival Perpignan by becoming a true knight! During the Trobades Médiévales grown-ups as well as children are warmly invited to live like our ancestors. Troubadours, entertainers and historical reenactments are just a tiny hint of what you will see. Time to draw your swords!

- Christmas in Perpignan :


  • Santa Claus comes to town for a month full of crazy festivities. Follow the aromas of mulled wine and cinnamon that will lead you to the Christmas village. Crafts, human pyramids and mascots parades are already waiting for you. Get ready to spend an amazing time!


4 / Information and useful adresses

Traveller information :

Tourist information center : http://www.perpignantourisme.com/gb

Emergency number: dial 112 (European number)

Fire brigade: dial 18

Ambulance / Paramedics: dial 15

Police: dial 17

Missing children: dial 116000

National center for emergency calls for people with hearing problems: dial 114


Museums and touristic sites :

Le Campo Santo and Funeraria Chapel: :
http://www.perpignantourisme.com/decouvrir/monuments/campo-santo-et-chapelle-funeraria#sthash.L1B9ZQxD.dpbs

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral:
http://www.perpignantourisme.com/decouvrir/monuments/cathedrale-saint-jean-baptiste#sthash.fTz119CA.dpbs

The Church of Saint-Jacques:
http://www.perpignantourisme.com/decouvrir/monuments/eglise-saint-jacques#sthash.oRQiU9vQ.dpbs

Le Castillet :
http://www.perpignantourisme.com/decouvrir/monuments/castillet#sthash.gar5dOEn.dpbs

The Palace of the Kings of Majorca:
http://www.perpignantourisme.com/decouvrir/monuments/palais-rois-majorque#sthash.h37jVvQf.dpbs

The Church of Notre-Dame-la-Rea::
http://www.perpignantourisme.com/decouvrir/monuments/eglise-notre-dame-real#sthash.WQ7vUxk1.dpbs

The Church of Saint-Jean-le-Vieux:
http://www.perpignantourisme.com/decouvrir/monuments/saint-jean-vieux#sthash.3GEjeDYt.dpbs




5 / Budget in Perpignan


Accommodation

The following prices are indicative. They refer to a one night stay in a standard double bedroom and may be subject to confirmation at the time of booking.

Economical accommodation (between 30 and 50 euros) : : Even with a small budget, you will be able to stay in modern and comfy hotels and appartements, some even have 2 or 3 stars. Most of them are located around the city center.

Average price (between 50 and 100 euros) : You will stay in two or three-star hotels and B&Bs around the city center, some of them even have a swimming-pool.

If your budget goes over 100 euros : get ready for sophisticated hotels, apartments and B&Bs located at the heart of the city. Get ready to live in a cosy cocoon

You will find all the information you need on France Hotel Guide website.


Restaurants

The following prices are indicative. They refer to the price of one course or a menu for one.

From 6 to 14 euros: : For a quick and tasty meal, stop at the Big Bang. Their speciality? Big tasty burgers. Whether you choose it from the menu or create your own recipe, this food truck will take you on an intense gastronomic journey.
(Le Big Bang, 20 avenue André Ampere, Cabestany)

From 15 to 30 euros :Pour déguster des recettes à base de produits de saison, rendez-vous au Boudoir. This restaurant is on everybody’s lips…
(Le Boudoir, 4 rue Jacques Manuel)

From 20 to 60 euros : Le 17 is located just nearby the church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Its gastronomic menu offers elaborated and tasty courses.
(Le 17, rue de la Révolution Française)

From 60 to 157 euros : Chef Comes has only one goal: that your palate always tastes new products and experiences new sensations. For an unforgettable moment, go to La Galinette.
(Le Belvédère, 7 chemin du belvédère)

Culinary speciality

Visiting Perpignan without trying the local speciality, it’s like going to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower: you can’t escape it. The Cargolade is a dish that brings people together. It is made with snails, a lot of snails…You need at least 100 snails per person. However, you can’t prepare a cargolade just like this. As it is a convivial dish, you can’t eat it while seating in your chair, you have to stand; and there has to be at least 10 people with you. Here is how you should do it : put the snails on a grill and broil them. While it’s cooking, put a tiny slice of bacon inside the shells. Once the snails stop slobbering (yummy!), it’s time to eat!




6 / Unmissable visits!


Essential stops

The Campo Santo and Funeraria Chapel : The construction started during the 14th century, when Perpignan was still the continental capital of the Kingdom of Majorca. The Campo Santo used to be a mortuary cloister that belonged to the cathedral. During the French Revolution, other buildings were “attached” to the cloister, but it gained its independence in 1991.


Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral : This southern gothic cathedral was built during the 14th century. Before its construction, it was a mere collegiate church. It became a cathedral in 1602 and was registered as a Historic Monument 300 years later.


The Church of Saint-Jacques : Here is the second most famous religious building in the city, the first one being the cathedral. James I of Majorca ordered the construction of the church in 1245. On Good Friday, the Procession of Sanch starts from this church. This religious catalan tradition celebrates the passion of the Christ since the 15th century.


The Kings of Majorca Palace : The last stone of this gothic “fortress-castle” was laid in 1309. James II ordered its construction, which lasted 25 years.


The Castillet : This small castle used to be the entrance of the city and a prison. Today, the Castillet is the Catalan Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions. Its unique military architecture makes it the most important archeological remain in town.


Notre Dame La Real Church  :This church, constructed during the 14th century, used to be the chapel of the Kings of Majorca. Also called “Castell Real”, it’s the place where Pope Benedict XIII held his council in 1417.


Saint Jean le Vieux Church :The construction of this roman church started during the 10th century and ended during the 13th century. As the town council thought the church was too small, they kept on extending it repeatedly. Today, nobody is allowed to go inside, but you can marvel at the splendid architecture from the outside.



*This travel guide was published in April 2015, prices may then vary.