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visit Albi on the way to Carcassonne?

We'll be driving from near Sarlat to Carcassonne where we'll spend one night on the way to St. Remy-de-Provence.
Is a detour to Albi (mainly for the Toulouse-Lautrec museum) on our way to Carcassonne worthwhile or should we spend a few more hours in Carcassonne since we have only one night there?

Posted by
790 posts

I have been to Carcassonne, but not to Albi. We spent only a few hours in Carcassonne, and felt that was enough time there. I appreciated the less-restored ruins outside of Carcassonne much more than that city, pretty as it is.

Posted by
4998 posts

Have been to both and would definitely take the time to go to Albi

Posted by
3313 posts

Albi is worth the stop. The cathedral is beautiful inside and the Toulouse-Lautrec museum worth seeing. Carcassone is best in the evening anyway.

Posted by
3392 posts

I agree with everyone else. Albi is very unique for the area as it is made of brick, instead of the native stone. The cathedral has a medieval painted ceiling that looks like it was done yesterday and the scenes of hell painted at the front of the church are terrifying. If you have never repented, you'll want to! The town itself is picturesque and worth a wander around.

Posted by
149 posts

Another vote for stopping in Albi. We found all of the history and the cathedral to be fascinating; I enjoyed it more than Carcasonne!

Posted by
11613 posts

I loved Albi, went for the day two years ago.

Posted by
16894 posts

I also love Albi for both the Toulouse-Lautrec museum and the unusual (red brick) cathedral with very well preserved painted, Gothic choir area inside. Carcassone does not take terribly long to circumnavigate.

Posted by
1194 posts

Hi from Avallon,
Carcassonne? How many plastic swords do you want to buy? Don't mean to tarnish an amazingly restored (not accurately) castle. from a distance it is magnificent. Doesn't take long to get your fill of it. The plaque on the castle church is worth reading.

Albi is pretty neat.. Has a large market day. the cathedral was built to intimidate and it sure does. Read up a bit about the Cathars before going. Ms. Kate Moss has a novel called Labyrinth much of it located in the castle. That made the visits to both more interesting.

wayne inFR

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks for all of your comments. We'll definitely visit Albi.

Posted by
149 posts

My wife and I stayed overnight in Albi on the way to Carcassonne coming from the Dordogne. If you have any interest in Henri Toulouse-Lautrec then Albi is a must. We prefer smaller art museums and it was among the best, but we are fans. As others have mentioned, the cathedral has an interesting architecture, though unless you're a cathedral enthusiast I'd skip the inside with a tight schedule. We had nice meals at le Clos Sainte Cecile and Le Papillon. The cloister was nice but made less with local teens hanging out and listening to music. We preferred Albi to Carcassonne, and also recommend arriving at the latter after the crowds have left. An evening and the following morning are more than sufficient.