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I'd like some opinions from people who have been here. I'm considering it for a stop on my next trip. I had pictured it something like a large Rothenburg, but there are a few really negative postings on this website. They say it is like Disneyland.

Thanks for your help!

Posted by
800 posts

Jill - we did visit Carcassone 5 years ago. It is really an impressive sight from outside and I'm glad we saw it. Having said tha, we didn't stay very long - it was like being inside Mont St. Michel - very crowded, lots of shops, lots of tourists. We were much more impressed with the other Cathar castles that we saw in the Languedoc region - Puilaurens, Peyreperteuse, Queribus. We were almost alone at some of these or with other hardy tourists at others. Do a search to see pictures of these incredible places.

Posted by
334 posts

We spent 2 nights in Carcassone, which was enough to see it. We stayed in a small B&B recommended in Rick Steves and enjoyed the city in the evening - went down to the bridge to see the city in the lights - really nice, even if not authentic. We went on to Toulouse and then north. We really enjoyed SW France (Dordogne valley area).

Posted by
4125 posts

The great sights attract visitors, and regretably visitors mean crowds and tacky tourist attractions.

A good strategy for such places is to spend the night and see them before and after the main wave of tour buses. You could see a good bit of what Carcassone has to offer in this fashion staying one night, or if you stay longer there are interesting sights in the area that you can visit in the afternoon.

If you go I think it is worth getting a room in the old city (which is separate from the rest of the town) precisely to be able to enjoy the evening and morning there. There is also a guided tour which includes access to the castle and is worthwhile.

Posted by
13 posts

I enjoyed Carcassonne. It is touristy, no doubt about it. But there is a reason for that. It is beautiful. We chose to stay inside the walls and walked around in the evenings when all the tourists were gone. Our room was one of the smallest I have ever stayed in but happy with our choice.

I would also recommend taking the time to see the other Cathar castles in the area.