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Carcassonne, france

We just finished spending two nights here (one full day). I was worried that we wouldn't find anything to do all day...boy, was I wrong! We went up to the castle/fortress (what is the correct term?) around 10am and were there until about 2-3pm. Wandering around the walls, did the audio tour, had some lunch and did some shopping. The little shops are lovely. Back to our room for a little rest. Then we went to the 'big' town and spent a few hours wandering there. Back up to the fortress to try and get some night photos, but it started raining complete with lightening and thunder!

I kept second guessing myself and trying to decide if a full day was too much. I'm glad we stayed the whole day. Quite interesting. If you don't like castles or cute little shops, then it's not for you!

Posted by
31563 posts

That's good to know, Nicole P. After Ed said that there wasn't a lot there I pretty much wrote it off. Glad to hear you enjoyed it....

Posted by
6179 posts

We spent a full day there (two nights) a few years back and enjoyed it. The RS advice is to spend a night inside the walled medieval city so you're there after the day-trippers have left and before the next day's wave (same as Mont-St-Michel). That's good advice but we didn't take it because of expense. Instead we stayed at a small B&B (which I wouldn't recommend) just below the walls. But there was plenty to do in the medieval city and also the newer city nearby -- the keep with exhibits, the walls, the very interesting church, and lots of places to eat and drink.

Carcassonne was a fun and moving experience, a place I'd wanted to see since reading about it in Richard Halliburton's "Book of Marvels" way back when. But a day was enough. Now I've checked it off the list, and next time in that area we'll try to visit Albi and some of the Cathar towns.

Thanks for sharing your experience, Nicole. I hope the rest of your trip goes as well.

Posted by
3938 posts

We stayed at a lovely Airbnb. You could actually see the walled city from one of the high windows. It was maybe a 10-15 min walk to the castle. (I'm sorry I keep calling it a castle). And the added benefit of free parking! We went up early-ish and not many people. It got busier in the afternoon. Some tour buses and school groups. I imagine it is crazy busy in the summer tho. I guess we have a little advantage with time of year.

In June 2014 my daughter, her friend and I stopped there on our way to SARLAT. The girls didn't want to stop at yet another castle. But it was my plan and desire to go. Well, they loved it. We had such a good time wondering the fortress. It was just an amazing place with incredible history!! It was just a stop so we spent just a few hours there before heading on the way. I highly recommend it to everyone. We did less shops and move gazing at the structure and the church.