The availability of a cheap flight from Bournemouth brought us to Carcassonne for a 4 day visit and a quick look at the various hotel sites on the internet gave us this Etap hotel at a really good rate - (there is another Etap Hotel in Carcassonne but not really convenient for the sights). The hotel is, like most Etap hotels, modern, clean and functional; our reception was welcoming, friendly and organised. The rooms are fairly basic with en suite loo and shower, wash hand basin, double bed and flat screen TV with the BBC news channel amongst the various French TV channels. Breakfast is available at a reasonable cost and free secure parking is availbale if travelling by car. For those arriving by air there is an excellent bus service from the airport to various points in the town and the buses run approximately 30 minutes after the flight arrival times - a return timetable is available from the driver.
This hotel is approximately 2.5kms to the East of the main modern town and although it is an easy walk into town, there is a good bus service to and from "Centre Ville" just 100m from the hotel itself at a cost of 1 euro - bus routes 2 and 10. There is a large supermarket and cafe/restaurant approximately 200 m from the hotel which we found useful. We also found a very pleasant and reasonably priced restaurant - La Rotonde - close to the railway station and the canal lock, as well as an interesting art gallery and museum in Centre Ville itself.
La Cite - the medieval old town - is approximately 800 from the hotel and a pleasant walk. La Cite is well worth a visit but it does get very busy even out of season and there is an amazing amount of tourist rubbish being sold there. The Chateau is well worth a visit at 8.50 euros but we found the restaurants disappointing and overpriced.
All in all we had a very pleasant 4 days despite the rain, however, after 2 days we felt that we had seen most of what there is to see and that it would probably be worth hiring a car to visit other local areas of interest.
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