Travel guide: Carcassonne – A medieval jewel in the south of France

Carcassonne, a town in the Occitanie region of southern France, is famous for its well-preserved medieval fortress, the Cité de Carcassonne. With historic sights, charming alleyways and a rich history, Carcassonne has much to offer its visitors.
In this travel guide you will find information, pictures and tips on the city’s most important attractions.


The most important sights

Cité de Carcassonne

The Cité de Carcassonne is the city’s landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fortress is surrounded by two mighty rings of walls and 52 towers and offers an impressive sight.

  • City walls: The double rings of walls stretch over 3 kilometres and offer a fantastic view of the surrounding countryside. A walk along the walls is a must.
  • Château Comtal: The Château Comtal in the heart of the Cité de Carcassonne is a fascinating medieval castle that offers an insight into life in the Middle Ages. It is the centre of the medieval town and the No. 1 attraction.
    More information, ticket prices (2024) and pictures of the castle “Château Comtal” in this travel guide
  • Saint-Nazaire Basilica: An impressive Gothic church with beautiful stained glass windows and elaborate sculptures. The windows, which glow in bright colours in the sunlight, are particularly worth seeing.

More information about the sights in the medieval old town (Cité de Carcassonne) in this travel guide

Pont Vieux

The Pont Vieux, an old bridge from the 14th century, connects the Cité de Carcassonne with the lower town (Ville Basse). The bridge offers a picturesque view of the Cité and is a favourite place for walks and photos.

The Pont Vieux bridge is a popular photo motif.

Ville Basse

The Ville Basse, the lower town of Carcassonne, offers an interesting mix of history and modernity. Visitors will find numerous shops, cafés and restaurants here.

  • Bastide Saint-Louis: The historic centre of the Ville Basse invites you to stroll around. Discover the charming alleyways and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.
  • Saint-Michel Cathedral: This Gothic cathedral impresses with its simple elegance and beautiful stained glass windows.

The Ville Basse, the modern city centre of Carcassonne, offers an interesting mix of history and modernity. Numerous cafés and restaurants invite you to linger.

City map

The medieval fortress, the Cité de Carcassonne, is located on the other side of the river from the modern city centre (Ville Basse). The distance on foot is 10 minutes.

Practical information for visitors

How to get there

Carcassonne is located in the south of France, in the Occitanie region. The nearest major cities are Toulouse, around 90 kilometres away, and Montpellier, around 150 kilometres away. Barcelona is around 300 kilometres from Carcassonne.

  • By plane: The nearest airport is Carcassonne Airport, which is served by flights from several European cities.
  • By train: Carcassonne is well connected to the French railway network and is easily accessible by train.
  • By car: Carcassonne is located on the A61 motorway and is easily accessible by car. Car parking is available near the Cité.


Carcassonne offers a wide range of accommodation options, from charming bed & breakfasts to luxurious hotels. We particularly recommend accommodation within or near the Cité, which offers direct access to the historic sights.

Our tip: Book your accommodation in Carcassonne online as early as possible. In our experience, this gives you the best chance of getting a good price. Cascassonne expects around 3 million visitors in 2024. The city is often fully booked, and not just in the high season.

→ Link: Accommodation in Carcassonne: availability and prices (booking portal of the market leader)

The city of Carcassonne is well prepared for the many visitors and offers accommodation in all price ranges.

The French hotel chain IBIS alone has several hotels in the city.


The local cuisine of Carcassonne is rich and varied. Be sure to try the cassoulet, a traditional stew of beans and meat that is one of the region’s specialities.

More information about Carcassonne in this travel guide