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Carcassonne is widely known for La Cite, a doubly walled neighborhood declared a World Heritage site of Humanity by UNESCO. Located on the right side of the Aude river, the neighborhood includes all the features of a Medieval town as it has been described by kids‘ tales: turrets, narrow cobbled streets, towers, massive walls. Enjoy strolling along the winding streets and find those hidden spots and restaurants and cute stores.
At the same time, La Cite is small and packed with one tourist shop after another. It might be worth a brief stop here on the way to someplace else, but it does not have enough to see to support a longer visit.
Carcassonne has a new neighborhood called La Bastide Saint Louis, also called the Lower Town (La Cite is on a hill). La Bastide owns a more daily local life ambience so it is a good alternative to more tourist-oriented Cite (although there are generations who have lived inside the walls). It is a good idea to stroll across the Place Carnot and sit at one of the cafes to enjoy the tranquil dynamics of a French country town. Don’t miss the Saturday market where you can buy local produces.