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Pope's Palace (Palais des Papes)
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Avignon and Provence Independent City Tour
Ranked #1 of 90 things to do in Avignon
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The residence of the soveriegn pontiffs in the 14th century is the largest Gothic Palace in the world. 25 areas to visit : ceremonila halls, chapels, cloister, the Pope's provate apartments with their priceless frescos, as well as a scenographic area, the Musée de l'Oeuvre, wich presents the development and history of the building since it was build. Ranked as UNESCO world heritage.
Level Contributor
81 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed September 9, 2013 via mobile

I was disappointed with how barren the "palace" was, little of interest remained. It seemed to be an empty cinder block. I have been to several random castle ruins that lacked the prestige but I found much more interesting. We used the audio guides but found the tour route haphazard. I would not recommend this experience.

Visited September 2013
Thank Sandyharris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
76 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Worth visiting”
Reviewed September 9, 2013

I have to agree with other visitors. Well worthy visiting. Ensure that you have at least two hours available. Pay extra for the audio guide, because it really makes a big difference.

Don't expect furnished rooms. But the building is amazing enough to make it worthwhile.

Continuous renovation ensures that it will always be improving.

The current art exhibition is mostly unpleasant and does detract from the tour. However I am glad that we went.

I wish we could have done the secret tour as well, but it is only available one day per week.

Visited September 2013
Thank ThomasSmith876
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
337 reviews
149 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“The Fat-Cats of the middle Ages”
Reviewed September 7, 2013

The palace kind of towers over the city and is a very imposing piece of architecture. A real piece of art. Touring the palace, we took our time and probably spend between 2 and 3 hours. We used the head sets which are a great tool to explore and get background of the various rooms. Overall very interesting and it is quite amazing how these advocates of the church lived compared to the poor smocks on the outside. Surely should not be missed.

Visited September 2013
Thank GeorgeO1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
146 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Pope's palace wonderful, les papesses exhibition is vile”
Reviewed September 7, 2013

The pope's palace is a magic place with a lot of history and a very special legacy to the world. I was quite disappointed to see the exhibition "les papesses" in this place. Everything and anything can not be called "modern art". Except Camille Claudel, everything else is rubbish, a mattresses tower with some pillows ... Few chairs hanging from the ceiling .... 2 beheaded stuffed horses .... Empaled melted human bodies on tall poles .... A bed with bread loafs instead of a mattress.... Well if this is art then the world is going mad ..... Otherwise the palace worth the visit.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Benny P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Cool history”
Reviewed September 7, 2013

Our visit to Le Palais des Papes in Avignon, France, was very informative and fun. We did the regular self-guided tour (be aware that when you buy your ticket it does not include the rental of the audio guide in your language--that's 2 euros extra, and you have to ask specifically for it when you buy your ticket). We also did the "secret tour" with a guide in English and a small group, which took us to stairways, rooms, wine cellar, roof and other things not accessible on the regular tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable and funny and clearly passionate about the history she was sharing. Les Luminessences, a temporary light and sound show in the palace's main courtyard, was spectacular. Too bad it was only in French so we missed a lot. But it was still worth it. And be sure to pick up the "Avignon Pass" at the Office de Tourisme first, as it gets you great discounts on all the attractions.

Visited September 2013
3 Thank TrackyRed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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