Stroll through medieval alleyways, savour gourmet dining, enjoy a secret visit to the Palais des Papes... Avignon is the ideal destination for couples. Discover my favourite places to spend the weekend.
Where’s the best place to declare your love?
Avignon's most romantic location: the Jardin du Rochers des Doms! Located right in the heart of Avignon, this English-style garden is reminiscent of the Parc des Buttes Chaumont in Paris.
Situated thirty metres above the Rhone, from the garden you can enjoy views of the Pont d'Avignon, the river and the city. The locals love this garden and enjoy taking relaxing strolls there all year round.
It is open daily, but hours vary according to the season (7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.). To reach the park, take the path that ascends away from the Place du Palais des Papes, lined with flowers and stone pines, or take the Sainte-Anne staircase (behind the Palais des Papes).
Enjoy a great view
A visit to Avignon would be incomplete without marvelling at its treasure, the Palais des Papes! However, rather than opting for a general visit, I recommend the 'Secret Palace' guided tour. Hidden stairs, secret courtyards, private apartments... Immerse yourself in the mysteries of the palace, accompanied by an enthusiastic guide. To top it all off, the tour even finishes off with a gourmet tasting session!
Where to enjoy a romantic kiss?
Set off hand-in-hand for a walk along the Rhone, on the Île de la Barthelasse. The view of the Pont d'Avignon and the fortified city from here is breathtaking. Just a stone's though from Avignon, this little island is a real haven of peace, where you can also enjoy cycling, jogging, having a picnic or simply basking in the summer sun.
You could also opt for an evening of film at Avignon's cosy Utopia, located just behind the Palais des Papes. You can even enjoy a drink or meal, perfect for taking in this cinema's pleasant ambience. La Manutention restaurant offers organic cuisine made using seasonal fruits and vegetables, served with local organic wine... all at a reasonable price.
Open daily from 11 a.m., except Sunday evenings and Mondays.
Rue des Escaliers Ste Anne 4
Tel.: +33 4 90 82 65
How about an intimate dinner for two?
Close to the Palais des Papes, Christian Etienne has established his restaurant, offering creative and flavourful cuisine in an old, lovingly restored house. You will be received by the chef himself, who is often present in the dining room and is always attentive to his guests, many of whom are regulars. My favourite is the lobster menu; divine from start to finish, it is also excellent value for money. If you like wine, the charming sommelier is always happy to advise. On summer evenings, there is nowhere better than the beautiful terrace...
Restaurant Christian Etienne
10 rue de Mons
Tel: +33 (0)4 90 86 16 50
If you would like a romantic, waterside dinner and the chance to discover Avignon by night, hop aboard the Mireio for an evening cruise. Another way to see the city! You can choose between several menus, with prices ranging from €49.50 to €82.
I like the 'Coup de Coeur' menu (€69), which includes a glass of champagne. The on-board staff are also very welcoming.
Departs at 8:30 p.m. and returns at 10:30 p.m.
Allée de l'Oulle
Tel: +33 (0)4 90 85 62 25
Boasting a beautifully modern and luminous setting is l'Essentiel, the restaurant of chef Laurent Chouviat, who previously worked at Senderens and Ducasse. Located near to the Place de l'Horloge, the restaurant is very central. The stunning patio sits within a 17th century carved-stone courtyard, decorated in white with Japanese-style parasols. The clientèle consisting of bohemians, tourists and regulars, who flock to enjoy sophisticated and delicious cuisine at a very reasonable price. For dessert, try the trilogie sur la framboise: pistachio & chocolate cream with raspberry conserve, raspberry & lemon crumble with orange fromage blanc and Kampot red pepper.
There are two set menus at €32 and €45.
2 Rue de la Petite Fusterie, 84000 Avignon
Tel.: +33 4 90 85 87 12
Where to stay?
Treat yourselves to a night of luxury at the five-star La Mirande Hotel, located right in the heart of Avignon, or the Hôtel d'Europe, both of which enjoy exceptional settings.
How to get there?
Avignon is easy to reach by train for a weekend (2 hours 40 minutes from Paris to Avignon with the TGV, 3 hours 30 minutes to Avignon Centre).
From the Avignon TGV station, there is a connecting shuttle to the city centre that runs between 5:38 a.m. and 11:20 p.m. For an even faster option, a TER links the two Avignon stations in 5 minutes (runs from 5:57 a.m. to 10:58 p.m.).
Once in Avignon, you won't need a car, there is plenty to do in the city for your weekend stay.