Sur le pont d’Avignon / On y danse, on y danse / Sur le pont d’Avignon / On y danse tous en rond. (Loosely translated as “On the bridge of Avignon, we’re all dancing, we’re all dancing. On the brudge of Avignon, we’re all dancing round and round.”)
This is one of the first French songs I ever learned, maybe from school, maybe from television. And from it, I decided to visit this small, ancient city in Provence, to use it as a base to visit other towns in the region. In this post, I’ll give you some recommendations for Avignon, and then I’ll tell you about the other places I visited.
Hotel d’Europe 12 place Crillon – This is probably the swankiest hotel I’ve ever stayed in. It is centrally located, just inside the city walls and near the major tourist attractions. My room was unusually large for a European hotel with an elegant, marble-clad bath.There were pretty antiques, a shady courtyard, and good service. Since it was HOT when I visited, I was glad of the air conditioning, but I also sppreciated other little luxuries, like high quality linens and Hermès toiletries.
La Cour d’honneur 58 rue Joseph Vernet – I tried a few different restaurants in town, but I came back to this one four times. They had a great prix fixe menu of appetizer or main course or main course and dessert for 26€. I liked each thing I ordered, but the shrimp and scallops were particularly good.
La Brasserie du théâtre 36 cours Jean Jaurès – Breakfast at my hotel was very expensive (22€ or US$26), so most days I got a light breakfast of coffee, croissant and juice at a pleasant restaurant near the train and bus stations for under 6€. There were plenty of options, and service was quick and cheerful.
PEM Avignon 5 avenue Monclar – The bus station, or gare routière, is right next to the train station, just outside the city walls. For most places I wanted to visit, the buses offered more frequent routes at tiny prices (2€ to 7€). The drivers even made suggestions about better ways to make connections or made sure that I got off at the right stop. It was also a much better way to see the endlessly changing scenery of Provence.
Next up, what to see in Avignon.