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.
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!
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.
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.
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).