Today I want to share my travel itinerary for 3 days in Avignon with you. This historic city in the south of France is one of the best places to visit in Provence. I’ll show you why.

3 Days in Avignon

3 Days in Avignon

I’ve wanted to visit Avignon for years. When I studied in Nice my teachers used all sorts of stories, songs, and rhymes to teach us French. There were the Tintin cartoons, the “Champs-Elysees” song, and many others.

One of the most memorable was the nursery rhyme about a certain bridge in Avignon. ‘Sur le pont d’Avignon,’ it went, ‘on y danse, on y danse‘. There we dance, there we dance.

Avignon wasn’t far from Nice, but in our excitement to travel to other European countries, my friends and I never went.

It didn’t sit well with me that we missed out on the city with the famous bridge (or what’s left of it after 17th-century floods washed part of it out), and since then I’ve always meant to visit.

Avignon Street Art

Train to Avignon

It was fortunate, then, that I was offered two tickets on board the Eurostar to Avignon this week.

After departing London and spending a lovely afternoon in Lille, my boyfriend and I took the train down through the French countryside to Provence.

As we headed south, the warm weather grew increasingly warmer, and by the time we got to the south of France it was outright hot. I couldn’t wait to spend 3 days in Avignon.

Avignon Clock Tower

Hotel in Avignon

After our train arrived at the Avignon TGV station, we took a bus to our hotel. The place was nice enough, but it was unfortunately a 10-minute / 15-euro taxi ride from the Avignon city center.

Avignon Palais des Papes

3 Days in Avignon: Day 1

After checking in, my boyfriend and I started our 3 days in Avignon by taking a taxi to the historic walled city.

It was dark by then, but with the crowds gone and the sweltering heat abated, we were able to explore the center in peace.

The Place du Palais stood still, its monolithic Papal Palace dominating the scene. Not far away, the Pont d’Avignon was silent in its flood-lit splendor.

Avignon Restaurant

After seeing the highlights, we stumbled upon a restaurant that allowed us to order food despite having arrived 15 minutes after closing time.

We both had the pates fraiches with prawns and calamari. It was good, but—and I never thought I would say this about French cuisine—the pasta could have used a bit more butter.

Dinner at an Avignon Restaurant

3 Days in Avignon: Day 2

We made our way back to the hotel after dinner and woke up early the next morning to continue our 3 days in Avignon with more sightseeing.

Avignon Virgin Mary

We had a marathon 11-hour day in the city center. We explored every facet of Avignon, from the thick medieval walls to the Palais des Papes and the boutiques that lined the tiny winding streets.

We spent time in the large city squares, the small cafes, and the farmers’ market at Les Halles in Avignon.

Avignon Sign

The last of these was a highlight of our 3 days in Avignon. There were vendors selling everything from cranberry chevre to crisp Chardonnay, fresh cod, and ripe cherries.

We didn’t hesitate to buy ourselves a picnic lunch from a variety of stalls.

Pears in Avignon Les Halles Market

At La Maison du Fromage we picked up one of fifty kinds of chevre for sale, from Panissain we bought a fluffy loaf of multigrain bread, from Serge Olives we got two types of tomato tapenade, and from Le Jardin de Victor we bought fresh figs and grapes.

We rounded out the selection with a half bottle of wine. We consumed it all in the shadows of the Palais des Papes facing a giant statue of an elephant balancing solidly on its trunk.

Avignon Elephant Sculpture

When we weren’t busy eating, we braved the heat and explored some of the less busy streets in the city center during our 3 days in Avignon.

There we discovered a wealth of little details. Not least among these were the beautiful stone block benches on the Rue des Teinturiers.

Carved in an array of designs that ranged from the reptilian to the vegetal, they made a photogenic foreground to the large waterwheel churning lazily in the canal behind them.

Avignon Bench

Not far from there, we came across a mural of photographs on the inside of one of the city walls in Avignon.

Each brick was covered with a photo of a person or place, and several were hollowed out and filled with objects like painted stones and empty cans.

With no explanation offered for the project, we were left to imagine the origins and purpose of the art.

Avignon Art

Moving on, we found everything from creative street art to withered grapevines clinging to residential buildings.

We saw golden statues in front of art schools and stumbled upon tiny shops selling everything a 19th-century world traveler could have wanted for her writing desk.

Desk at Avignon Passe Present Decoration Shop

We stopped for lemonade at the adorable Theias cafe, then found ourselves in the Place des Corps Saints.

It was a large square filled with tables from the surrounding restaurants. By then it was 7pm, and we were ready for a glass (or two, as it happened) of wine.

Avignon Theias Cafe

When darkness fell and the heat relented, we moved to a table at the L’Epicerie de Ginette, a restaurant that served the famous French open-face tartine sandwiches.

I got a salami tartine with cornichons while my boyfriend ordered a massive prosciutto and melon salad. Dessert was an excellent cherry-and-gingerbread concoction and a generous slice of blueberry tart.

Avignon House

After dinner we walked off our food comas for a bit before taking a taxi back to the hotel. I went to bed at midnight knowing that I would have to get up at 8am to go for a run.

I was half-heartedly trying to get in shape for a marathon I’m “running” in a few weeks, and this was to be my first real run in several years.

Avignon Vineyard

3 Days in Avignon: Day 3

The run turned out to be a successful one. As I wheezed my way down the road from the hotel, I suddenly found myself surrounded by farmland. Everywhere I looked there were orchards full of fruit.

First there were pear trees, their boughs heavy with green teardrops. Then came apple orchards with their rosy red bulbs. Stalks of stately corn gave way to loud chicken coops and hothouses full of juicy tomatoes.

If I’d known how motivational it would be to run through fields of food, I would have started my training much earlier.

Avignon Building

After my run I collected my boyfriend and we went back into the city center for the last of our 3 days in Avignon.

We only had two hours before we had to catch the TGV train back to Lille, so we walked directly to Les Halles to pick up another picnic lunch for the journey north.

Avignon Mural

We mostly replicated the meal from the day before, but we spent an extra long time at the cheese shop.

I asked the man behind the counter to suggest a chevre, and several of the locals got involved in what turned into a lively discussion of what kind of cheese we should try.

It was heartwarming to be surrounded by people who cared as much about cheese as I did.

Avignon Bread

We finally settled on one of the many types of chevre. My boyfriend also wanted to get a jar of dark cherry confiture, which started another discussion.

Apparently this was no ordinary jam. It was the first of its kind to be paired with cheese, starting a global trend.

The Basque cherry goodness absolutely had to be paired with a specific cheese, a wedge of which was then sliced and placed in our bag.

We even had a random passer-by stop to tell us how special it was that we were ordering this combination.

After the excitement of the cheese shop, we walked through Avignon. We made our way to the main squares to catch a last glimpse of the large clock towers, the historic carousel, and the Papal Palace.

Avignon Sculpture

Back at the hotel we piled onto a bus to get to the TGV station, which was located slightly out of the city. Upon arrival we bought gelato to keep ourselves from melting in the heat, then boarded our train to the north.

Avignon Art

Train from Avignon

On the train we had the perfect meal: our lovely picnic plus the amazing views of the French countryside. The Basque cherry-confiture-and-cheese combination was as good as our cheesemonger and his supporters promised.

The golden rooftops of Provencal villages and churches were as pretty as any of the paintings for sale in the Avignon city squares.

Avignon Picnic Lunch

3 Days in Avignon: The Verdict

As we journeyed farther north on the Eurostar, the downpours commenced and the thought of London quickly became a rainy reality.

It made us even more thankful to have been invited on the trip, but also nostalgic for our sunny stint in the south of France.

There are plenty of bridges back home in Blighty, but but the weather may never be nice enough to dance on them. For that I will always have the memories of my 3 days in Avignon.

Find this post helpful? Buy me a coffee!

New here? Join thousands of others and subscribe to the A Lady in London blog via email.

Some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links. At no cost to you, I earn a small commission when you click on them and make a purchase. It doesn’t affect the way you shop, and it’s a great way to support the A Lady in London blog.

Pin it!
3 Days in Avignon

8 Comments on Lady’s Itinerary for 3 Days in Avignon, France

  1. Avignon is such a nice place, I have been there this May. But the best are the surroundings, the Provence is really amazingly beautiful!
    Great pictures!
    viele grüsse, kristina

  2. This blog really has me looking forward to my upcoming visit to Avignon/Provence this year. I’ve wanted to make that trip for years. Love the elephant statue and the fact you saw so much natural growing food on your run. thank you.

  3. Dear Lady, I visited Avignon last summer and had a wonderful day….You just brought back those memories…..and that’s a good start of this day: outside the rains of November in the Netherlands, but inside the warmth of the Provence! I definitely will return next year….thank you for your nice story!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.