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Palace of the Popes (Palais des Papes) Tours

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Palace of the Popes (Palais des Papes)
The largest Gothic palace in the world, Avignon’s Palace of the Popes (Palais des Papes) was home to the heads of the Roman Catholic Church in the 14th century. Visitors can tour the grand rooms, landscaped gardens, and secret passages used by members of the clergy, and see special exhibitions and concerts held at the palace.
 
The Basics
The seat of the Roman Catholic Church moved from Rome to Avignon in the South of France in 1305, under the orders of Pope Clement V. Some 30 years later, construction of a huge papal palace began under Pope Benedict XII, on the site of the former Bishop’s Palace. The enormous scale of the fortified building can only really be appreciated in person. The interiors were equally grand, decorated with rich tapestries, frescoes, and carved wooden ceilings.
 
In later years, the palace served as a military barracks for Napoleon’s army, a prison, and even used as stables. It was restored as a museum in 1906. Highlights of the construction include the 170-foot-long (52 meter) Grand Chapel, and the central courtyard, which now plays host to theater and music performances. The palace draws visitors from all over the world who come to see the palace, often as part of a guided tour. Tours often combine the museum with visits to the nearby Chateauneuf-du-Pape winery and Provence.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Entry to the palace is via paid ticket.
  • Children under 8 enter for free.
  • An interactive Histopad guide device is included in the admission price.
  • Prebook a guided tour to skip the entry line.
  • The palace is not suitable for wheelchair users.
  • Visitors can stop for a drink at the rooftop cafe.
 
How to Get There
The palace is located in central Avignon and is accessible on foot or as part of a walking tour from other central locations, including the St. Benezet bridge. Guided tours with transport included depart from towns including Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, and Paris.
 
When to Get There
The Palais des Papes is open every day of the year. Most people spend around two hours exploring the museum. Opening hours are seasonal: From April to June, it is open 9am–7pm. In July, 9am–8pm. In August, 9am–8:30pm. From September to February, 9:30am–5:45pm. In March, from 9am–6:30pm. Last entry is one hour before closing.
 
Experience the Avignon Jazz Festival
For one week every summer, the town of Avignon comes alive to the sound of jazz music. The Avignon Jazz Festival has operated since 1992 and welcomes some of the top names in jazz music to the Provencal city. Restaurants and cafes fill with music enthusiasts and there’s a celebratory atmosphere that all visitors will enjoy.
Address: 6, rue Pente Rapide, Avignon 84000, France
Admission: Varies
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11 Tours and Activities to Experience Palace of the Popes (Palais des Papes)

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Avignon Walking Tour including Skip-the-Line Entrance to the Pope's Palace

Avignon Walking Tour including Skip-the-Line Entrance to the Pope's Palace

star-4.5
See the best of beautiful, medieval Avignon on this 3-hour walking tour with skip-the-line access to Popes’ Palace. Learn the history of this exquisite UNESCO-listed city with ancient Roman roots and celebrity as the 14th-century seat of the Papacy. Admire hilltop views of the Rhône River, breeze into Popes’ Palace to tour the ornate chambers and chapels, and enjoy a glass of Côtes du Rhône wine near the Place de l’Horloge.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$68.13
From
$68.13

Marseille Shore Excursion: Private Tour of Avignon

Marseille Shore Excursion: Private Tour of Avignon

star-4
Take advantage of your time in port to experience beautiful Avignon on this half-day private shore excursion from Marseille. Learn the history of this exquisite medieval city, adorned with the luxurious accents of papal funding from the 14th century. Visit Avignon’s key attractions such as the UNESCO-listed historic center, the Pont Saint-Bénézet and Notre Dame des Doms Cathedral. End with an independent tour of the town and the fabulous Popes’ Palace (own expense).
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$263.21
Price varies by group size
From
$263.21
Price varies by group size

Marseille Shore Excursion: Private Tour of Avignon and Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Marseille Shore Excursion: Private Tour of Avignon and Chateauneuf-du-Pape

star-4
Spend your time in port exploring historic Avignon and the wineries of Châteauneuf-du-Pape on this full-day private shore excursion from Marseille. Enjoy guided and independent touring through Avignon, a gorgeous medieval town decorated with opulent architecture such as the Pont Saint-Bénézet and Notre-Dame des Doms Cathedral. Visiting the famous Popes’ Palace (own expense) before continuing to Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a lesson in Provençal winemaking and a tasting session. 
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$421.12
Price varies by group size
From
$421.12
Price varies by group size

Classic old town Avignon from the Romans to the Pope's - half day private tour

Classic old town Avignon from the Romans to the Pope's - half day private tour

star-5
Discover the highlights of Avignon’s UNESCO-listed Old Town in just half a day: this private tour offers the perfect introduction to the city. Pick between morning and afternoon departure times, and set off on foot. You’ll discover the Palais des Papes (a centuries-old, fortified papal palace), the Pont d’Avignon (the city’s iconic bridge), Les Halles (its bustling, historical marketplace), and more. As you go, learn the secrets behind the sights from your guide.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$164.31
From
$164.31
Taking safety measures

Avignon's history, local culture & the wines of Châteauneuf du Pape private tour

Avignon's history, local culture & the wines of Châteauneuf du Pape private tour

star-5
Avignon once centre of the Catholic world, today a magnificent urban landscape, overlooking the river Rhône & the Saint Bénezet Bridge - the famous Pont d’Avignon. Start with a visit to the Palais then a visit to the unique fresh food market - Les Halles to sample Provençal life before a short drive to the wine country of Châteauneuf du Pape; at the heart of a region full of history, culture & joie de vivre. A unique village where at it's summit the vestiges of the ruined château – wall, tower & lower hall built by the popes in the 14th century as a summer residence to escape the city heat of Avignon. It was the popes who planted the town's first vineyards. In the afternoon visit two different vineyards - first a winemaker with 8ha vineyard based exclusively on the appellation & second a 43ha family estate owned by five generations of wine-producers. Introducing you to the iconic wines established in 1880's where tradition is enhanced by modernism & excellence, with wine tasting too.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$425.99
From
$425.99
Taking safety measures

Discover Avignon its history, daily life & the village of Villeneuve lès Avignon

Discover Avignon its history, daily life & the village of Villeneuve lès Avignon

Avignon once centre of the Catholic world, today a magnificent urban landscape, overlooking the river Rhône & the Saint Bénezet Bridge - the famous Pont d’Avignon. Start with a visit to the Palais and a walk to the famous bridge of Avignon. Afterwards a short drive to the other side of the River Rhône to visit the medieval village of Villeneuve Les Avignon and La Chartreuse de Villeneuve Les Avignon that dates from the first half of the 14th century. Commissioned by Pope Innocent VI it is a magnificent building that connects with and helps to tell the story of the Pope's of Avignon. On our way, a short stop to marvel at the Tour Philippe-le-Bel, a tower that was once at the point of entry of the famous bridge of Avignon, almost a kilometre away in the city of Avignon.
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  • 6 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$359.04
From
$359.04
Taking safety measures

Provence Tour

Provence Tour

Enjoy and taste the Best of Provence with our full day tailor made tour. Spend your day in the most beautiful cities of Provence, in its National Parks or in the countryside. Enjoy the private guided tour of your choice among the Provence Tour options. We provide the best professional tour guides in the south of France.
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  • 7 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$1,016.90
Price varies by group size
From
$1,016.90
Price varies by group size

Avignon and Pont du Gard Tour

Avignon and Pont du Gard Tour

Explore Avignon, the Popes Palace and the Pont du Gard, the masterpieces of UNESCO heritage in the south of France . Spend the morning in Avignon. Enjoy a private guided tour of Avignon old town and the Popes Palace from the 14th century. Your guide will recommend the best restaurant options for your lunch according to your wishes. Spend the afternoon in Pont du Gard. Enjoy a private guided tour of the most impressive Roman aqueduct left in the world. Visit the Pont du Gard Museum and learn everything about the engineering of the Roman Empire. We provide the best professional tour guides in the south of France.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$1,016.90
Price varies by group size
From
$1,016.90
Price varies by group size

Avignon Tour - Guided visit of the main monuments

Avignon Tour - Guided visit of the main monuments

Guided or free tour of the landmarks of Avignon, "the city of the popes". Guided or self guided visit of the main monuments of Avignon.
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  • 4 hours to 4 hours 40 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$85.88
From
$85.88

Marseille Shore Excursion : Avignon & Chateauneuf du Pape Wine Tour

Marseille Shore Excursion : Avignon & Chateauneuf du Pape Wine Tour

star-5
Make the most of your time ashore in Marseille, and enjoy a cultural day out, with this full-day, small-group tour. In the morning, depart directly from Marseille’s port, and travel in a comfortable vehicle. Your first stop is Avignon, where you’ll have free time to explore and see UNESCO-listed splendors like the Palais des Papes and the Pont d’Avignon. Then, transfer to the world-famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine region, where you’ll visit a local winery and enjoy an indulgent tour and tasting.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$175.47
From
$175.47

Discover Provence including Avignon and Luberon Villages from Avignon

Discover Provence including Avignon and Luberon Villages from Avignon

Get to see the highlights of Provence region with a very scenic and full of diversity itinerary covering the city of Avignon and the Luberon regional park hilltop villages featuring Gordes on board a minivan with your national guide and driver. This is a door to door private tour that can be fully customized acording to your wish and expectations.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$891.78
per group
From
$891.78
per group

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Palace of the Popes (Palais des Papes)?