Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne

Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne

Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne
4.5
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  • Lizzie49Colin
    Skibbereen, Ireland81 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must see best in the morning or at night
    The fortified city is so picturesque with a beautiful atmosphere. Free to walk around and full of restaurants, shops. Beautiful by day or night. A visit to the castle can be added to fully enjoy the views and the architecture. The basilique St Nazaire is also a beautiful landmark. Recommend to book your accommodation near the fortified city. You ll enjoy within minutes of walking distance. Highlight of the city is La Boulangerie de la cité where you can buy rustic french bread or enjoy their delicious pastries with a coffee early in the morning when you have the city to yourself
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 16 August 2023
  • VirginiaP
    Montpellier, France72 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful medieval city for you, your family and your pooch
    The city is very unique and tourism -oriented. If you love travelling with your dog, it's a beautiful and friendly place for a weekend. The medieval city itself would be difficult to access for people with mobility issues, as the streets are very busy, narrow, and highly inclined. There's lots of local shops selling products from Occitanie (and plenty selling giftware tat as well if that's your thing), but the real treasure is the cassoulet. Stop at any of the restaurants off the main square and order a bowl, you'll not regret it.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 September 2023
  • Dr. Fate
    London, United Kingdom48 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of the most beautiful medieval citadels in the world.
    This place has one of the nicest medieval citadels I have ever seen. Beautiful from afar, and beautiful (and fully functional) on the inside; it is full of nice little restaurants, shops and houses. Do keep in mind that most restaurants are closed from around 2.30 onwards, so plan your lunches early.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 5 September 2023
  • Anne-Mia M
    Malmö, Sweden656 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must see
    When you are in Carcassonne, you must of course visit the medieval town. The city is quite high up, so it is not a walk for those with walking difficulties. There were many people when we visited the town. And all the shops, cafes and restaurants seemed to be designed only for tourists with high prices and boring selection.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 11 September 2023
  • RiggingDoctor
    Porto, Portugal192 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Cool City, Very Touristy
    It was very cool to see this city and walk the castle ramparts. The old enclosed historic city is full of very touristy shops with things made in China. Don’t fall into the tourist trap and eat in the restaurants there. Eat just outside in the newer area for better food at a lower price.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 29 September 2023
  • Kemo P
    Lake Conjola, Australia83 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A slice of Medieval citadel life in a charming little provincial town
    If your Gallic trip takes you to the south of France and you are looking to see an authentic French fortress, representative of the Medieval style, Carcassonne is a fine example. Dating from the 12th century (and looking every bit of that vintage) the whole town is a fortified city. An ancient citadel with great atmosphere you won’t find in a Disneyesque theme park. LOL moment: I bought a Carcassonne fridge magnet in the tourist shop which turned out to be much less durable and more decrepit than the 8 to 9 centuries-old real thing. Within three months or so of it being stuck on the fridge two of its towers had fallen off!
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 October 2023
  • JRAsFishBabe
    Calgary, Canada2,253 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Much interesting history!
    Carcassonne was a very convenient stop on our route to visit our daughter who lived in Font Romeu. It was recommended to us by friends and, conveniently enough, was another World Heritage Site to add to our list! The Cite de Carcassonne is a medieval fortress dating back to the Gallo-Roman period. Restoration work was begun in 1853 by the architect Eugene Violett-le-Duc. The importance of this site as a trading centre dates back to the 6th century. Nowadays, its importance is heavily influenced by the tourist. We were there in early May and this was already very evident. No, matter, there were still places that were somewhat away from the bustle. We didn't have long to spend there, but still wanted to experience a feel for the place, so we ventured into the centre a bit and then decided to do a scenic tour of the outer perimeter. This fortified city consists of 2 outer walls, with 53 towers and barbicans to aid in defence. It sits up high enough to give a scenic view of the surrounding town. We had parked in the lower town and had a fairly long walk up to the entrance of the fortress. A bit of research and, as we discovered, we could actually have driven right up the main entrance, but there is nothing wrong with a bit of exercise, right. Also, our route went though a pretty neighbourhood, as well as crossing over the Auld River on the 14th century Ponte Vieux. Add another World Heritage Site to the list, the Canal du Midi. It flows through Carcassonne, actually, just on the other of the Cite de Carcassonne. It would definitely warrant more time to look around, explore the fortress, as well as the ville basse (lower town), where the Carcassonne Cathedral is located.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 5 March 2024
  • addtraveler10101
    Port Saint Lucie, Florida1,149 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Exceeded Expectation
    The Medieval City exceeded all expectations. This historical city is well preserved and interesting. Lots to see and learn. Take a tour of some kind. It helps you understanding what you're looking at. You'll also find hotels, shops and restaurants. The shops run the gamut from junk to luxury items. The restaurants focus on regional French, but there are some other options. Wear walking shoes. The terrain in and around the fortress is bumpy and uneven. Nobody wants to fall.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 April 2024
  • ANGELO V
    Milan, Italy4,347 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    UNESCO heritage site
    The Medieval City of Carcassonne is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997, and it is well worth a visit. I'm giving four stars as an average between a few five stars locations (Chateau Comtal, Saint-Nazaire Basilica, the walls and ramparts, all reviewed separately), and several two stars areas transformed into tourist traps with countless souvenir shops and restaurants. Often the touristy areas are populated by people supposedly in medieval costume offering to take a photo with them (for a fee): I saw a couple of them in medieval (?) attire, one with trekking shoes, and one with tennis shoes... I was lucky to visit on a sunny warm day, and the views were spectacular - try to find the less crowded places, if you want to enjoy fully the atmosphere of the city, although this might prove difficult, because there are always a lot of tourist around.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 29 April 2024
  • Designs_JoanK
    Brackley, United Kingdom465 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning medieval experience
    The ancient city of Carcassonne is impressive, even if the walls were rebuilt in the 19th Century. It's worth paying the 11 euros to visit the interior of the castle but note that there are lots of steps and stairs! Lots of little shops and eateries around the centre. Highly recommend the Boulangerie de la Cite where you can buy ready made sandwiches and drinks then consume them across the road in their quiet garden. Assume it was a cafe/restaurant once!
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 25 June 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles10,110 reviews
Excellent
6,923
Very good
2,339
Average
620
Poor
150
Terrible
78

LostInTime
Pittsburgh, PA21,320 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Business
This place is amazing. At this point in life I’ve been a lot of places and this is near the top. The whole town is basically still there and you can walk it and it’s doesn’t take much imagination to be in the 12th century. Surely awesome.
Written 7 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ilsal
Dublin, Ireland19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Family
One of the most amazing castles still standing in Europe!

If you’re a gent of history (medieval) this is a must visit.

It’s our second visit as a family.
First was 5 years ago and this time was even better as the children were a little bit older and could appreciate it better.

The castle itself is full of history and culture to take in. You can use (payment) a self guided recording tour which is really beneficial.

On the outside of the castle there is a mini train tour which lasts about 25mjns and goes all around the entire perimeter of the castle.
This was a bit steep in price in my opinion but a good way to see the entire size of the castle and its surroundings.

Inside the gates it is full of tourist shops and restaurants. Don’t eat it but anything here. There are much better and cheaper options to eat in the surrounding areas. Also unless you’re looking for a souvenir about the castle stay away from the tourist trap shops.

Over all a really worthy experience to visit as a family.
Written 7 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

triplover42
Glendale, CA116 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
I almost let some tres cool travel writers turn me off of Carcassonne as being too crowded and too touristy, but I'm glad we went!

Yeah, there are a lot of tourists there. It is a really cool castle and medieval city! And you know what--I'm a tourist! I want to tour a big old castle and buy a T-shirt and a magnet to remember it by and eat a giant ice cream with a macaron stuck on top. I am unashamed!

The cite itself is free to walk in and visit; you only need tickets if you want to go inside the main castle. We took the train; it's about a 30–60 minute walk up to the cite depending on your pace. Right at the entry, there are lots of people and shops selling souvenirs and such. If you wander further, the crowds thin out a bit. In addition to the castle, there's a cathedral, a little medieval demo place, lots of shops and restaurants.

I thouroughly enjoyed our visit.
Written 2 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sutti
Alsager, UK158 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Friends
An absolutely fantastic experience walking through the gates of Carcassonne. It was more than we all expected and we paid for a tour which talk about one hour 15 minutes. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and quite funny. Definitely worth a visit. There is parking available but we've tried a couple of years ago and actually missed the opportunity as no spaces so if you can get their via other means it is definitely worth it. There are a multitude of restaurants and cafes to choose from and lots of tourist shops that you can buy lots of goodies from. The history is amazing I would definitely visit here again
Written 30 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Designs_JoanK
Brackley, UK465 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Friends
The ancient city of Carcassonne is impressive, even if the walls were rebuilt in the 19th Century. It's worth paying the 11 euros to visit the interior of the castle but note that there are lots of steps and stairs! Lots of little shops and eateries around the centre. Highly recommend the Boulangerie de la Cite where you can buy ready made sandwiches and drinks then consume them across the road in their quiet garden. Assume it was a cafe/restaurant once!
Written 25 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

daisysnicks
Salisbury, UK164 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
Super impressive fortified medieval city. Numerous photo opportunities, most of which struggle to do justice to the overall scale. Inside the walls there are numerous restaurant options but I would suggest you need to choose wisely as many are overpriced and like most of the small gift shops, are clearly aimed at the tourist masses. We visited in the evening to eat and returned early the next morning when the lack of crowds made it a much more enjoyable experience.
Written 23 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cookieboy
Dereham, UK74 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
The city was easy to get to and from the airport using the shuttle bus. Good value at 6 euros each. We stayed at a pleasant B&B that was within easy walking distance of most things we wanted to see. Eating out was rather pricey overall and not great value. Despite trying to track down eateries that the locals may use, most of the restaurants were heavily tourist orientated. The medieval castle was spoilt for us by the significant number of tourist shops within the walls selling a wide range of low quality high priced items. It may be wise for other visitors to lower their expectations and enjoy it for its charms. The local history is not really at the forefront of the experience.
Written 1 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ANGELO V
Milan, Italy4,347 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
The Medieval City of Carcassonne is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997, and it is well worth a visit.

I'm giving four stars as an average between a few five stars locations (Chateau Comtal, Saint-Nazaire Basilica, the walls and ramparts, all reviewed separately), and several two stars areas transformed into tourist traps with countless souvenir shops and restaurants. Often the touristy areas are populated by people supposedly in medieval costume offering to take a photo with them (for a fee): I saw a couple of them in medieval (?) attire, one with trekking shoes, and one with tennis shoes...

I was lucky to visit on a sunny warm day, and the views were spectacular - try to find the less crowded places, if you want to enjoy fully the atmosphere of the city, although this might prove difficult, because there are always a lot of tourist around.
Written 29 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JBAIII
57 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
The historic fortified city is fabulous. Inside there are a handful of good restaurants and hotels. But the rest is one cheap souvenir shop after another. Kind of like Gatlinburg, but with panache.
Written 18 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David
Lille, France1,845 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
It's really interesting to be able to walk around a medieval city! Albeit one that has been partially restored. You have to pay to tour the ramparts and the museum, however this is well worth it - so I urge you to do so!
Written 8 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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