A monumental visit
Crossing the pont-Levis into the Cité is a rare experience, a journey through time in the biggest fortress in Europe!
The jewel in the destination, the medieval Cité of Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage, welcomes you for a dizzying jump into 2,500 years of History.
Walk in the footsteps of the Romans, Visigoths, Saracens and Franks!
Completely at your own pace, take a trip into the depths of this mysterious town, surrounded by two defensive walls and fifty-two towers.
Wander along the narrow streets, explore the museums and the château Comtal, or visit the ramparts in a different way…
drawn in a carriage by beautiful horses, or aboard a little train...
Top 5 things to do in Carcassonne Cité
- Feel like a knight as you walk along the ramparts from the château Comtal, with the bonus of a unique view over Carcassonne and the region
- Immerse yourself in the medieval atmosphere in one of the museums in the Cité
- Admire the most beautiful stained-glass windows in southern France (14th and 16th centuries) when you visit the Basilique St Nazaire, half Romanesque, half Gothic
- Enjoy the king of Occitan dishes, the famous cassoulet accompanied by a full-bodied wine from one of our nine appellations.
- Stroll along the lices, or tiltyard, which surrounds the Cité, wander along the narrow, paved streets and through small squares, full of life at lunchtimes…
Carcassonne château and ramparts
The château Comtal, positioned against the protective ramparts of the Cité, was the residence of the Viscounts de Trencavel. A visit to the Cité must include the château, worthy of a fairy tale, to plunge yourself completely into the medieval era. This journey through history is embellished by a walk along the ramparts, from where you have wonderful panoramas of the Pyrenees, Montagne Noire and the Bastide of Carcassonne.
The château Comtal will always be associated with the Trencavels who had it built in the 12th century. These powerful Viscounts of Carcassonne, skilled in the 'courtly love' described in troubadours' songs were Cathar sympathisers. One of them, Raymond-Roger de Trencavel was imprisoned in his own prisons, and died, a victim of the Albigensian Crusade...
There is an admission charge for entry to the château Comtal, run by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux, which gives you:
- A privileged access to the upper part of the ramparts via the internal staircases in the tower and an unrestricted 360° view. Two circuits are available, from 20 to 30 minutes.
- Access to the rooms (film, model), the interior courtyards, the musée lapidaire (sculptures), and the shop
- The rampart walk, the hoards, the donjon…
How to get there
Carcassonne is mid-way between Toulouse and the Mediterranean beaches, in the centre of the Occitanie region.
Access to the medieval cité is easy whether you come by car or on foot:
Motorway exits 23 or 24: follow 'Carcassonne centre', then 'La Cité'.
Pay and display car parks for visitors, open until 8:00pm (located around the citadel).
Perpignan – Carcassonne: 116 km
Montpellier – Carcassonne: 151 km
Toulouse - Carcassonne: 94 km
The medieval cité is a 30-minute walk from Carcassonne train station.
To book tickets: www.voyages-sncf.fr / Tel. 3658
Aéroport Sud France - Carcassonne
Shuttle service to the medieval cité
A table for two at the foot of the ramparts, a wine bar with friends,…
Museums, tours, treasure hunts...
The millions of people who drive along the A61 are struck by the beauty of…
Fireworks and Carcassonne ablaze
Each year, on 14th July at 10:30pm, the Medieval Cité adorns itself with 1000 fireworks for an exceptional 30-minute spectacular, considered as one of the best in the world, which can be seen free of charge from the town and the surrounding area