Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne

Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne

Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne
4.5
Historic SitesNeighborhoodsHistoric Walking Areas
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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
    Traveled with family
    Written August 16, 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
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 3, 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
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 5, 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
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 11, 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
    Traveled with family
    Written September 29, 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
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 7, 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
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 5, 2024
  • addtraveler10101
    Port Saint Lucie, Florida1,161 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
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 3, 2024
  • ANGELO V
    Milan, Italy4,406 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
    Traveled solo
    Written April 29, 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
    Traveled with friends
    Written June 25, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait 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

Need To See It All
Perth, Australia1,073 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
The crowds really did this one in for us. It was almost claustrophobia-inducing how many people were crammed into the streets. There was no clear plan for parking even having researched a fair bit in advance, which ended in about a 20-25 minute walk from the town to the fortified city, uphill. It was not worth it, drive around and look at the view from outside, I wouldn't bother going in unless you are going during an off-season.
Written April 21, 2020
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.

Michael O
Belfast, UK12 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We paid to walk the walls €9.50 which included an audio visual presentation on the history of the site. Worth it for the views alone. Surprisingly the cafes within the walls were as reasonably priced as the "new city", cant vouch for quality as only had a coffee. I would say in peak season it is packed and not as pleasant as it was on a lovely February day
Written February 17, 2020
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.

MrToms
Leicester, UK64 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 • Couples
This is one for the bucket list, what an amazing place. There are views from every corner. You can walk around the walled city anytime for free, what you are paying for is the castle and ramparts within the city. It is definitely worth the money (€9.50 at time of review), but get there early (before 10.30am) to avoid long queueing times, or buy online tickets. The best full view of the city is from the road bridge Pont Neuf, which then gives you the view of the city and the old bridge Pont Vieux. Stunning.
Written November 12, 2022
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.

Dirk_VDA
Holsbeek, Belgium278 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
The old town of Carcassonne (named la cité) is definitely worth a visit. It was on my bucket list for a long time and I'lm glad I visted it. It's really beautiful and very well preserved and/or restored. But you can actually visit it in an aftrenoon or morning.
Les remparts / the fortified walls around the entire city are 2.5km long so that gives you an idea of its size. You can easily imagine you're in the middle ages unless you visit the place during the busy summer months in which case you have to share your imagniation with a few 1.000 other tourists all visiting Carcassonne at the same time. Even though everyone wears face masks (obliged) forget about maintaining the rights social distance even in the resturant (especially in the restuarant where they leav approx. 10 cm between 2 tables).
But still it's an impressive place to visit
Written September 7, 2020
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.

Jayne W
Southampton, UK66 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
Visited Carcassonne for a wedding over August bank holiday weekend. Very hot weather and was wonderful for a trip out. We visited on a Saturday morning but be aware that amenities tend not to open unti10-10:30am on this day.
We had ventured up to the castle for a late breakfast and overwhelmed by choice of cafe's to eat in.
Lots of little touristy shops - some great and some not so great. Ice cream and coffees are easy to come buy and reasonably priced. Most places seem to do breakfast and lunch deals around 6-10 euros.
Brilliant views and there is an option to pay to walk the ramparts (this is hot work, bring suncream) and there is also a small train for tours if you don't feel up to walking
Would highly recommend this place
Written August 30, 2022
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.

GRAHAM C
Dunton Green, UK871 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
As most people will tell you, Carcassonne's fortified city is one of France's most treasured tourist attractions. Open all year round, this is a must see if you are in South West France. We were based in Toulouse so we took the train ( about 30 mins and frequent ) which obviously meant we were on foot. The old city is quite a walk from the station through the new town, over the old bridge crossing the River Aude through the old town and up to the fortified city. It is bit of a trek this way especially the last section and when considering once you arrive at the main gate - Narbonnaise - you will be faced with another uphill section of shops, cafes, restaurants, bars and museums, similar to climbing up to The Abbey on Mont St Michel but not so steep, before you reach the castle. Which is a must to visit. 9.50 euros entrance ( you do not really need a guided tour as the signage and info boards are excellent ). We only saw a couple of people whilst on our tour. The views from the ramparts are fabulous but there are a lot of steps. The amphitheatre and cathedral are also memorable. You walk about half way round the walled city. When you exit, try the ice creams in the little cafe nearby , they were gorgeous. Now for the TOP TIP - when we exited the Narbonnaise Gate to walk back to the station we realised that a bus no. 3 or4 would take you all the way to the railway station dropping you off near the Canal De Midi opposite Le Gare ( for a euro ) and crossing the River Aude via the modern bridge. So we suggest you do this in the opposite way.... bus first, walk second and then you will get the best of both worlds, because you can enjoy the old town and its narrow streets and the old bridge ..... all downhill. Enjoy.
Written March 26, 2022
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.

Kim P
Glossop, UK162 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Couples
An amazing 13th century fortified city filled to the brim with shops and restaurants inside the walls all trading from within very old buildings which have been transformed to suit their current purpose. Stunning views from everywhere especially on the ramparts. The little train which departs from outside the main entrance to the walled city is very informative about the history of the place from original build up to the restoration started in the 18th century. There are a couple of excellent and very expensive hotels within the walled city as well as much cheaper auberge for those who want to stay in the old city rather than down the hill 10 mins.
Written June 9, 2022
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.

KateJourney
Exeter, Canada174 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
Such an historic place with views and stories worth the hike. I loved the way the ground itself offers up pieces of history in shards of pottery and pieces of bone. Souvenir shops and arts collectives offer more contemporary finds...
Written January 10, 2020
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.

Samuel S
2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Friends
This fortified city is commercialized to death. We went to see the torture museum. The museum looked like a school project from 5th graders and they couldn’t tell the difference between they Belgium and German flag to show which language we should read. Eventhough I like the people from Belgium more, still a horrible mistake. Why the hell is a Kebab in a fortified city? I have no clue. They had a huge opportunity to show the world the culture and life during that time, which they threw away by putting in kebabs, crepes and 5th grader museums.
Written July 17, 2020
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.

Dgreek
Egham, UK57 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
My wife and I have always wanted to visit the old city in Carcassonne and it did not disappoint. You can wander around the interior of the walled city and experience the 13th Century feel. There is a great choice of cafes, restaurants and gift shops. There is a charge to visit the castle and ramparts which it is well worth the money.
Written May 15, 2022
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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