Classified as a UNESCO heritage site, the medieval city of Carcassonne is as impressive from afar as it is during its visit. Its exemplary conservation is a real feat.
If you want to visit it, find out all the important information you need to know.
Cité de Carcassonne: a unique medieval city in France
The medieval city of Carcassonne is a fascinating place capable of transporting visitors into another era.
The citadel is surrounded by huge ramparts dating from the 13th century. Towers and battlements testify to the military life of the time.
Inside the city, you will see winding cobblestone streets, stone houses, churches, chapels and castles, all of which have been restored to recreate the medieval atmosphere and way of life.
The City of Carcassonne is rich in history and culture and offers many activities for visitors, such as guided tours, chivalry shows, tournaments, medieval markets and much more.
It is a fantastic place for all history buffs and lovers of France.
If other cities like Saint-Malo are known for their fortifications, the quality of conservation and the size of the ramparts of Carcassonne are exceptional.
What can you see during a visit to the ramparts of Carcassonne?
A visit to the ramparts of Carcassonne is an incredible experience not to be missed during your visit to the medieval city.
The ramparts consist of 52 towers, each with a spectacular view of the surroundings.
Here are some of the things you can see when you visit the ramparts:
- Visually, the defensive towers are one of the most important elements of the city. They were strategic places.
- Access to the city is through two fortified gates that were designed to protect the city from enemy intrusion.
- One of the most enjoyable experiences of visiting the ramparts of Carcassonne is a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding countryside.
- The underground passages under the ramparts are also an interesting attraction to discover. They were useful places during the sieges to reinforce the defense and to circulate the troops.
- Reproductions of cannons and siege machines that were used in battles to defend the city.
- The various chapels and churches are located along the ramparts, which have remarkable frescoes and wall paintings.
This list is far from being exhaustive. The visit of the medieval city of Carcassonne is full of surprises!
What is the entrance fee to the Cité de Carcassonne?
If the ramparts can be admired from a distance, the entrance to the medieval city of Carcassonne is :
- 9.50€ for people over 26 years old
- Free for children under 26 years old.
Guided tours or tours with an audioguide are possible at an additional cost.
How long does the visit of the City of Carcassonne last?
A visit to the Château Comtal and the Torture Museum takes about 2 hours.
This time is less than that of the ramparts, the towers, the Basilica and the various activities (restaurants, stores, workshops…).
For this reason, it is recommended to spend at least half a day in the City of Carcassonne and ideally, the whole day.
Where is the Cité de Carcassonne located?
The Cité de Carcassonne is located at 1 rue Viollet le Duc – 11000 Carcassonne.
How to get to the Cité de Carcassonne?
Carcassonne is an easy-to-reach city.
The A61 freeway passes by the city. If you come by car, there are 3 parking lots near the ramparts.
The train is another option. From the Carcassonne train station, a 30-minute walk takes you to the medieval city.
What are the opening hours of the Cité de Carcassonne?
The castle and the ramparts are open every day;
- From April to September: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- From October to March: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Exceptional closures take place on January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.
What other activities can be done near the ramparts of Carcassonne?
There are many interesting activities near the medieval city of Carcassonne. Here are some of them:
- Located about 20 km from the city, the Château de Saissac is another interesting medieval fortress to visit.
- The Carcassonne region is also famous for its vineyards, with grape varieties such as Cabardès and Minervois. Visit the wineries and do some wine tasting.
- The Canal du Midi is a waterway that links the Garonne to the Mediterranean. Enjoy a cruise on the Canal.
- The Carcassonne region is also known for its many Cathar castles which bear witness to the turbulent history of the region during the Middle Ages. Visitors can discover castles such as Peyrepertuse, Quéribus or Puilaurens.