France Languedoc Weekend Getaways

Week-end getaway: Carcassonne in South of France

April 22, 2020

One year ago, between few days in Arcachon and few more days in the Drôme (South of France), we decided to stop on the way to visit Carcassonne. What a genius idea it was! We had a splendid week-end there. We hope you will get the chance to see this beautiful and unique medieval city too.

Carcassonne vineyard view
Carcassonne vineyard view
The medieval city of Carcassonne
The medieval city of Carcassonne

Where to sleep in Carcassonne ?

It really depends on your budget of course, but we would advice to sleep at the Hotel du Château (starting from 132 euros per night for a standard double room), spectacular view included! You have access to a pool (it can be very hot during summer), and spa services are available upon request. There is a parking available at extra charge.
The breakfast (15 euros per person and per night) is fresh (eggs, cereals, fruits, yogurts, French pastries, hot beverage, fruit juice) and reasonably priced. Perfect before starting to explore the medieval city!

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Where to eat in Carcassonne ?

The highlight of our trip there (and of our culinary tourism so far) was our dinner at the two Michelin stars restaurant: la table de Franck Putelat. It was absolutely delicious and we still have a very strong memory of our evening there, it was perfect! We chose the second set menus with wine paring. Eventually, we loved everything, and really want to go back there. And on top of that, we were outside, in a chill atmosphere with the sky full of stars!
The terrace is closed, opening on a garden and it was perfect after a crowded day in the castle, during summertime. The only thing is we might have drunk a little too much at that time, be careful with large set menu and wine pairing! Mixing several different wines and one beer may not be such a good idea, even if they were all excellent.


The staff was very kind and very considerate to the guests. Definitely a great experience to conclude a perfect week-end in Carcassonne!
The good point was that we booked only few days before and we could find a table for two. We were very lucky for an étoilé to get a last minute reservation.

Apart from la Table de Franck Putelat, we were disappointed with the food we had inside the castle. But it’s always the same in very touristic place. You need to be very careful with where you eat not to get an extremely overpriced dish without any taste or fresh aliment. It reminded me of our day in Mont Saint-Michel, another great place to visit in France (Brittany), but not for the food!

PS – Franck Putelat has also opened a hotel next to the medieval city (Hôtel Pont Levis), you might want to check it out for the perfect gastronomic week-end!

Things do in Carcassonne

Visit the Medieval city and the castle, of course! You will see it from far if you are arriving by car, it’s already impressive, a timeless scenery. We were there at a time they were exposing the work of an artist (painted by the Swiss artiste Felice Varini)
It may seem odd at first, but it’s giving an incredible new perspective to the castle and to the medieval architecture. You will spot some yellow on our pictures as well.

You can choose to walk around in the medieval city, but it would be a shame not to enter any medieval building. We advice to book a guided tour (in English, Spanish or French) with the tourism office. You will learn a lot about the city, the ramparts, the fortress, the basilica and the castle (be aware that the entrance in the castle is not included). Prices are reasonable, from 7 euros (discounted) to 9,50 euros per adult, free for kids under 10. More informations here. Finally, if you book a guided tour, don’t forget to ask for you « Carca’pass » (free with the guided tour). It offers you some discounts in the other buildings to visit and in some shops/restaurants of the area.

Alexandra walking around in Carcassonne medieval city
Alexandra walking around in Carcassonne medieval city
The vineyards - Carcassonne
The vineyards – Carcassonne

Carcassonne, a kids friendly city!

We went there only the two of us, but we have found online some great options when you are visiting the medieval city with kids.

A treasure hunt. We listed it for kids as it’s starting from 7 years old, but we would definitely do it as well only the two of us. The concept is great and give you a whole new perspective on what you are visiting ! We will definitely try to look for something similar for our visit somewhere.
More informations here.

A kids guided tour – The tourism office offers guided tour for kids from 6 to 12 years old. It is a One hour visit, with a guide in medieval costume. He will explain all about the daily life during the Middle Age and the secrets of Carcassonne medieval city. Unfortunately, for now, it is only available in French and Spanish. More informations here.

View from the Castle - Carcassonne
View from the Castle – Carcassonne
Carcassonne - Inside the Castle
Carcassonne – Inside the Castle

In conclusion, we loved our week-end in Carcassonne. It is a perfect kid-friendly and culture-oriented week-end getaway. If you feel like adding a bit of luxury, the 2* Michelin restaurant of Frank Putelat is a perfect place to discover French Gastronomy (with a capital G).

Looking for the perfect week-end getaway in France? You can also check our other articles about Brittany or Normandy.

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  • Reply
    Jessica Mills
    April 22, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    Wow this looks like a beautiful trip, the hotel looks and sounds like luxury and it’s so good that there are family friendly activities available for the kids, thank you for sharing

  • Reply
    Under Flowery Sky
    April 22, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    I’m enchanted, such a lovely place!

    • Reply
      Francois Lavie
      April 22, 2020 at 7:33 pm

      Thank you – It is very lovely – One of the best getaway we had in France so far!

  • Reply
    Alice Myles
    April 22, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    well this looks just absolutely beautiful! looks like a great trip!!

    • Reply
      Francois Lavie
      April 23, 2020 at 3:08 pm

      Thank you Alice! We had an amazing week-end in Carcassonne and we can only recommend that you visit 🙂

  • Reply
    Alessia
    April 22, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    I’ve always wanted to visit Carcassonne but despite living for a while in the South of France I had never had a chance. I’m going to bookmark this for the recommendations for when this lockdown is over and we can travel again, I definitely have to put it at the top of my list. This post made me so excited about it.

    • Reply
      Francois Lavie
      April 23, 2020 at 3:07 pm

      Thank you Alessia! We are glad you liked the post and that it helped decide to visit this beautiful medieval city!

  • Reply
    Patricia
    April 23, 2020 at 8:19 am

    superbe. Beaucoup de talent!

  • Reply
    Prettysam
    April 26, 2020 at 9:07 am

    What a beautiful place 😍❤️. Would love to visit.

  • Reply
    Cate
    April 26, 2020 at 9:16 am

    I am always fascinated by old medieval castles👌🏼🏰 it’s a weakness of mine and this one looks amazing !!

    Cate / blogging + photography 35mminstyle

    • Reply
      François
      April 28, 2020 at 6:09 pm

      Thank you! Carcassonne is a gorgeous castle and if you are interested by its history, the museums about the castle are extremely exhaustive too.

  • Reply
    Hillary
    April 26, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    This looks like a beautiful place to visit and explore!

    • Reply
      François
      April 28, 2020 at 6:08 pm

      Definitely! Do not hesitate to pass by if you visit South of France 🙂

  • Reply
    Anda
    April 26, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    The castle is so impressive, I’d like to visit that medieval city someday. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Reply
      François
      April 28, 2020 at 6:07 pm

      Thank you – we hope we convinced you to visit 🙂

  • Reply
    Alex - Worldwide Travel Tips
    April 27, 2020 at 10:30 am

    We have never been to France yet, though we have visited more than 35 countries around the world, and France is on our list. Thank you for the useful information about Carcassonne in the South of France. We appreciate that you suggested some nice accommodation were to sleep in Carcassonne. Noted and saved, thank you!

    • Reply
      François
      April 28, 2020 at 6:07 pm

      Thank you for your comment – We hope you will love your visit to Carcassonne!

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