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Avignon is NOT safe at night

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Massachusetts
posts: 4
reviews: 9
Avignon is NOT safe at night

Just returned from four days/ three nights in Avignon. We did NOT feel safe at night in this city. Overall very nice place during the day. Historic. Nice shopping. Many narrow , winding streets. Disorienting at times but still easy to walk around due to small size.

But beware of many street people for such a small city and aggressive panhandling even during the daytime. At night, forget it --- the back streets are barren except for a few small squares, and you never know who you'll encounter when you turn down any street. One drunken man was very threatening and aggressive. We found ourselves alone and weren't sure how that episode was going to end. No police to found anywhere, day or night.

36 replies to this topic
Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris, Loire Valley
posts: 16,756
reviews: 4
1. Re: Avignon is NOT safe at night

The old central city, that portion within the old walls, is quite safe regardless of what you may have perceived. Portions outside of the old city walls, particularly to the immediate east, should be avoided at night.

San Francisco...
posts: 23
reviews: 39
2. Re: Avignon is NOT safe at night

Sorry to hear. We are trying to figure out a base for southern France early next spring. I know that bad things can happen anywhere, and people were surprised to hear I was mugged in Brussels (near South-Midi station), but it's such a downer on a holiday (or work travel, for that matter) that it's well worth avoiding. Mensa I'd be interested to know if you were indeed in the ancient center or elsewhere.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 7,940
reviews: 52
3. Re: Avignon is NOT safe at night

There really isn't anywhere in Provence that is dangerous to travel in...even Marseille if you take the normal precautions that you would anywhere else in the world. The Roma can be annoying and aggressive in places like St. Marie...but still not a problem to deal with.

If you are used to North American travel where everything is laid out in a grid, I can see how narrow, winding streets could be disconcerting. And small Provencal towns are not lit up brightly like their North American equivalents. I personally think that is why France is one of the most visited countries in the world.

Mensa...sorry you had a bad experience.

Ann...It has been my experience that in Provence...smaller is better. Consider St. Remy as a base...or I also like L'Isle-sur-la Sorgue a lot.

Takapuna, New...
posts: 2,196
reviews: 35
4. Re: Avignon is NOT safe at night

Actually, although I don't consider Avignon particularly unsafe, it does have more than it's fair share of homeless drunks and druggies late at night. Most of them are too wasted to be a real danger, except to themselves. Parts of Dijon, Rouen, Tours are also a bit rough at times.

Tampa, Florida
posts: 29,148
reviews: 7
5. Re: Avignon is NOT safe at night

While your perception is your reality, the statistics simply don't support any claim that Avignon is dangerous or unsafe.

Tonbridge, United...
posts: 822
reviews: 116
6. Re: Avignon is NOT safe at night

Back streets in any town, especially if you are unfamiliar with them and the language, can appear threatening. Your imagination starts running riot and it can be scary stuff.

Like others, I have had no reason to feel less safe in Avignon at night than I have anywhere else in France or anywhere else in the Western world. I'm sorry you had a bad experience.

Bedoin, France
posts: 4,913
reviews: 10
7. Re: Avignon is NOT safe at night

I too am sorry you had this experience. Bad things can happen anywhere.

After 12 years of living here and being in Avignon at all hours of the day and night, I have never encountered any trouble. I certainly have seen drunks, druggies and homeless people, but I see those everywhere, particularly in summer months when the weather is so nice.

As to police, they are present. I see them at all hours. Of course they cannot be on every street at every moment, but I know they are there.

Sorry you weren't able to enjoy the area.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 16,197
reviews: 47
8. Re: Avignon is NOT safe at night

Walking alone at night through deserted twisting streets in Semur en Auxois a couple of years ago, I happened on a drug deal -- I would have felt quite threatened in that situation in Chicago -- but in Semur spooky though it was, I just hurried on by.

Old dark streets with few folks about do feel nervous making as a woman alone at night but there are not actually many violent crimes committed in small French towns -- or big ones for that matter.

Kansas City, USA
posts: 235
reviews: 35
9. Re: Avignon is NOT safe at night

After staying in Avignon many times, I have no fear of walking about inside the city walls at night. Yes, there are a few drunks and homeless that are annoying, but in all my time wandering the back streets after dark I have never felt unsafe. I have happily let my my wife, my Mum, my older children wander at their hearts content.

Avignon is NOT the US. It doesn't look the same, it doesn't smell the same, it doesn't feel the same. That does not equal dangerous.

I'm really sorry you were nervous about your visit, but to issue a blanket statement about the safety of Avignon based on your wildly narrow view is just irresponsible.

One caveat!

I do believe that I will eventually die due to a scooter crashing into me on a blind corner at 2am when I'm walking about =)

Travel well. When you are nervous or worried about a place, get to know it. The US Military sez in those situations, "Hug the Monster!". Get to know all about it, don't fear it! It will make everywhere you visit more enchanting.

Cheers,

Mark

Edinburgh
Destination Expert
for St. Andrews
posts: 660
reviews: 26
10. Re: Avignon is NOT safe at night

Like the others I am very sorry to hear you did not fully enjoy your stay in Avignon. We have just returned from a visit too - our fourth in four years - and our experiences, based on staying in the old town, within the city walls are completely different to yours.

We very much enjoy Avignon for wandering about, day or night, and feel comfortable and safe - we stick within the old town almost exclusively. We keep coming back because it is a city made for calm, gentle wandering and lots of cafe stops.

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