Carcassonne Travel Guide

1 / General


The city of Carcassonne is located in southern France, in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon, close to the Mediterranean Sea and the Spanish border.

Population: 27,268 inhabitants

Population density: 726 inhab./km²

Demonym:Carcassonnais, Carcassonnaises

Region: Languedoc-Roussillon

Postcode: 11000

2 / Transport

By car

Carcassonne is located on a major axis connecting Toulouse to the Meditarranean coast. The Deux Mers Motorway provides good access to Toulouse and Montpellier from Carcassonne. With the departmental road 6113, you can also get to Narbonne.
The Carcassonnais have a tendency to use their car to get around in the city center. Be careful, because traffic at rush hours becomes difficult very quickly. However, the city has many parking lots available as well as three large underground parking lots (the André-Chénier lot, the Jacobins lot, and the Gambetta lot) that allow you to park before to explore the city and all its treasure by foot.
More information available here

By bus

Carcassonne is poorly provided with public transportationµ. In fact, only 11 bus lines run throughout the city and its surroundings. Nevertheless, it has installed a free electronic shuttle system called Toucs, that services the Bastide Saint-Louis (a big touristic site) during the summer season.
More information available here

Carcassonne train station

By train

Built in 1913, the Carcassonne train station is now completely connected to the railway network that allows you to reach various cities in the south, but also a good part of the major French cities. Also, you can get to Carcassonne by TGV from Dijon, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, or Bordeaux. Additionally, many TER and Intercité trains grant you acces to nearby cities like Narbonne, Limoux, or Perpignan. Night trains in the direction of or coming from Paris also make a stop at the Carcassonne train station.
More information available here

Carcassonne airport

By plane

The Carcassonne airport is located to the west of the city center in the Salvaza area. Expanded in 2010, the airport is now one of the most dynamic in the region and connects you with many cities in England, Scotland, Belgium, Ireland, Denmark, and Portugal. A shuttle allows you to get to the airport from the city center.
More information available here.

3 / When to go?

It is clearly during summer that the city is the most dynamic. The temperate and Mediterranean climate that Carcassonne enjoys allows it to organize many festivals and outdoor activities. And there is something for everyone!

  • Festival de Carcassonne
  • Here is a multidisciplinary celebration mixing renowned artists (national and international) from different backgrounds. The festival takes place from mid-June to the beginning of August, and has the city’s magnificent medieval neighbourhood for a setting. Between theater, dance, classical music, opera, and concerts, you’ll always find a performance that works for you. Additionally, the entire city lives in the rhythm of the festival and you’ll enjoy a particularly electric atmosphere during your stay.

  • Embrasement de la Cité
  • During the celebrations, you’ll have the chance to enjoy a magnificent show that takes place each year on the occasion of the National Holiday, the 14th of July. The grand fireworks show is launched over the medieval part of the city that is, once again, honoured during a pyrotechnic show that is known worldwide. You need to see it to believe it, but you have undoubtedly not seen a fireworks show as grand as the one in Carcassonne.

  • Grand Tournois de Chevalerie
  • Each year, a historical tournament is recreated within the walls of the medieval city to the delight of people of all ages, whether they are just visitors passing by or citizens of Carcassonne. You can watch professional stuntmen face off in an epic tournament.

  • Féria
  • At the end of August, another well-known cultural event takes place in Carcassonne: the Feria. In fact, it is at this time that the city celebrates the diversity of its heritage. This festive event stages fanfares, dancers (obviously flamenco and tango), salsa groups, Occitan singers, as well as many regional artisans and chefs. This is the occasion to really dive into the city’s cultural heritage.

4 / Information and useful addresses

Tourism Office of Carcassonne:

Emergency number: 112

Fire: 18

Ambulance: 15

Police: 17

Missing children: 116


Public Transportation:Transports

Carcassonne Train Station: Train

Carcassonne Airport: Airport

Museums and Touristic Sites

The medieval city

The Canal du Midi

Bastide Saint-Louis

The Prat Mary gardens

The museum Fine Arts

5 / Budget in Carcassonne


The prices indicated below are just for reference and include the price of one night in a standard double room and may vary depending on the season.

From €30 to 55*:
at this price, you can enjoy a basic hotel room that is sometimes a bit far from the center.

From €55 to 75*:
You can enjoy a lovely room in the center of town or a hotel with a pool.

From €75 to 100*:
for this price, you’ll spend a very pleasant stay in a hotel room or elegant bed and breakfast in a good location, maybe even a lovely view of Carcassonne’s medieval city.

More than €100*:
you’ll have the chance to discover one of the most beautiful hotels or apartments in the city that undoubtedly offers high-end services.

Take a look at our website to find a hotel to stay in Carcassonne


Between €5 and 20*:
For a gourmet and trendy break, go to the QG, a nice restaurant with a relaxing lounge atmosphere where you can taste some delicious burgers and crispy homemade fries!
For a refreshing snack, we recommend L'amandier, a small restaurant located in the very heart of the city that offers fresh, organic, and cheap dishes! What more can you ask for ?
(Le QG, 2 boulevard Paul Sabatier)
(L'Amandier, 104 rue de Verdun)

Between €20 to 35*:
Enjoy your stay in Carcassonne by trying their regional cuisine at Restaurant du Domaine de Sautès a casual establishment that will offer you the classics of Mediterranean and French cuisine.
Do you want to try something special ? Hurry over to Jardin en ville, a restaurant that revisits traditional dishes in odd forms and all for a low price!
(Restaurant du Domaine de Sautès, Route nationale 113)
(Le Jardin en Ville, 5 rue des framboisiers)

Between €35 to 60*:
For a gourmet journey to Carcassonne, we recommend La Marquiere a lovely establishment in the city center that offers dishes that taste as good as they look, all while respecting traditions. Definitely something to try, and we recommend booking in advance.
Something more atypical, we recommend L'écurie, a gourmet restaurant located in some old stables. there is no horse on the menu, just refined and appetizing dishes. Don't forget to book a spot!
(La Marquière, 13 rue st Jean)
(L'Ecurie, 43 boulevard Barbès)

For an exceptional dinner, starting at €60*:
Locarted outside Carcassonne, we recommend a detour to L'Ambrosia, a 1 star restaurant that will serve dishes that are both traditional and innovative.
For those more adept with culinary originality, we recommend Le Clos des Framboisiers, a very good place that will welcome you into a warm environment all year round to offer you surprising creations and flavors. Again don't forget to book a table for both restaurants.
(L'Ambrosia, carrefour la Madeleine [Pezens])
(Le clos des Framboisiers, 8 rue des framboisiers)

6 / Unmissable visits!

Carcassonne canal du midi

The city of Carcassone is lucky enough to be listed as a UNESCO world heritage site thanks to two of its attractions: the Canal du Midi and the Medieval City. Also, you'll have the chance to explore these two magnificient landscapes during your stay in Carcssonne, but know that the cultural heritage of the city can't be reduced to this and that you can also visit other sites worthy of some attention.

  • Le Canal du Midi
  • This architectural work by Paul Riquet was built during the 17th century to connect the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. Originally, the canal was frequently used and allowed quick transportation of people and goods. Today, the canal isn’t used for commercial reasons, but is still often used by tourists and boaters in the region. Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1996, the canal is just part of the cultural heritage of the city. It would be really pleasant to stroll along its banks during the summer or fall, but also rent a boat to explore it from the water.

Carcassonne cité médiéval

    Population: 27 268 habitants

  • The Medieval City
  • Built during the Middles Ages, this fortified city overlooks the right bank of the aude, to the southeast of the current city of Carcassonne. The city includes the Count's castle (legend has it that Walt Disney's castle in Sleeping Beauty used this castle as an inspiration), the Basilica of Saint Nazaire old medieval living quarters, moats that have since dried up, and mainly the 3km long fortifications, that were particularly impressive for the time they were built.
    You can get to the city during your stay, all for a relatively reasonable price:
    -€8.50 at full price,
    -€5.50 at a reduced price
    -Free access for anyone under 18, anyone European Union citizens under 26, unemployed, as well as handicapped individuals with their aide.

  • La Bastide Saint Louis
  • As its name indicates, the Bastide Saint Louis was built in 1260, during the reign of Saint Louis. The fortified town expands on the left bank of the Aude and includes the historical neighbourhood in Carcassonne. During your stay, we recommend that you stroll through there to discover its architectural heritage that will take your breath away. In fact, the Bastide is made up of many old mansions dating from the 18th and 19th centuries like the Hôtel de Rolland or even the Hôtel Bourlat. You can also discover monuments dating from the Middle Ages like the Pont Vieux or even Place Carnot and its fountain where writers like Balzac and Stendhal had admired the famous city markets.

  • Prat Mary Gardens
  • For a break during your stay in Carcassonne, we recommend taking a tour of the Prat Mary Gardens located at the exit of the city. These gardens originally belonged to the Marquis de Gonet, but now this 1.4-hectare park is open to the public that can relax and walk among the rows of cypress and admire the boxwoods and roses.

  • Fine Art Museum
  • It is right in the heart of the city that the Fine Art Museum of Carcassonne welcomes you during your stay. Located in the old Présidial, you can discover many collections among which there are many art works, tapestries, but also a large overview of western painting from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, and various temporary exhibits Access to the permanent collections is free. You only pay to visit the temporary exhibits, and the prices vary depending on the exhibit.

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

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