Palais des Papes

Vacation Travel Guide
Palais des Papes which includes heritage elements and heritage architecture

Built to house and protect France’s 14th-century popes, one of Europe’s largest Gothic palaces dominates Avignon’s skyline and cultural life.

The monumental Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) served as a fortress, residence, administrative center and place of worship. Heavily fortified with its turrets, high towers and thick walls, the palace was the headquarters of the Catholic Church during the 14th century when Rome was torn by political infighting. Today the palace is one of the most visited monuments in France and is the much-loved cultural center of modern day Avignon.

One of the biggest buildings constructed during the Gothic period, the palace is about the size of four cathedrals. The high-ceilinged rooms and vast scale are a testament to the wealth and power of the Catholic Church. After the popes left Avignon, the palace was subsequently used as a military barracks and prison before becoming a museum in 1906.

There are more than 25 rooms to explore, and while many have been stripped of their furnishings, there is still much to see. To help you visualize what the palace would’ve looked like during the 14th century, rent a multimedia audio guide which are synchronized with films in different rooms that use 3-D imaging techniques.

The palace is filled with fabulous frescos. Examine the nature-inspired frescoes in the Papal Chamber, and depictions of the life of Saint Martial in the Saint Martial Chapel. View hunting and fishing scenes in the Stag Room, the chamber that served as Pope Clement VI’s study. Then venture onto the rooftop terraces for lofty views of the palace, the Rhône River and the city of Avignon.

The Palais des Papes is on the Place du Palais des Papes next to Avignon Cathedral. Regular guided tours are available throughout the year for an additional fee. Some are themed, such as "The Popes and their Pets" and "Secret Palace" tours and take you to rooms not open to the general public. For more details and to make a reservation, go to the palace’s official website. The palace grounds also host concerts and festivals throughout the year.

The Palais des Papes is open every day of the year.

Top Hotels Close to Palais des Papes

Avignon Grand Hotel
Avignon Grand Hotel
4 out of 5
34 Boulevard Saint Roch, Avignon, Vaucluse
The price is ¥10,371 per night from Dec 5 to Dec 5
Located in Avignon City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Rue de la Republique and Palais des Papes. Collection Lambert and Musee Calvet are also ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (941 reviews)
"Excellent location, close to all activities in town. Very knowledgeable and friendly staff. Very clean and quaint room."

Reviewed on Nov 19, 2021

Avignon Grand Hotel
Hotel de l'Horloge
Hotel de l'Horloge
4 out of 5
1 Rue Felicien David, Place De I Horloge, Avignon, Vaucluse
The price is ¥10,429 per night from Dec 9 to Dec 9
Located in Avignon City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Rue de la Republique and Palais des Papes. Place de l'Horloge and Avignon City Hall are ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (948 reviews)
"Very nice! We stayed for a very short visit but the room had everything we needed and the staff was very friendly and helpful to a couple of weary travelers!"

Reviewed on Nov 18, 2021

Hotel de l'Horloge
Novotel Avignon Centre
Novotel Avignon Centre
4 out of 5
20 Boulevard Saint Roch, Avignon, Vaucluse
The price is ¥14,500 per night from Dec 7 to Dec 7
Located in the heart of Avignon, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Collection Lambert and Place de l'Horloge. Palais des Papes and Pont Saint-Bénézet ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (966 reviews)
"All the staff were very approachable and helpfulness."

Reviewed on Sep 29, 2021

Novotel Avignon Centre
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Palais des Papes

Palais des Papes


Best Lodging Options Near Palais des Papes

Garlande Hotel Avignon Centre
Garlande Hotel Avignon Centre
3 out of 5
20 Rue Galante, Avignon, Vaucluse
The price is ¥6,921 per night from Dec 9 to Dec 9
Garlande Hotel Avignon Centre
Hotel de l'Horloge
Hotel de l'Horloge
4 out of 5
1 Rue Felicien David, Place De I Horloge, Avignon, Vaucluse
The price is ¥10,429 per night from Dec 9 to Dec 9
Hotel de l'Horloge
Novotel Avignon Centre
Novotel Avignon Centre
4 out of 5
20 Boulevard Saint Roch, Avignon, Vaucluse
The price is ¥14,500 per night from Dec 7 to Dec 7
Novotel Avignon Centre
Avignon Grand Hotel
Avignon Grand Hotel
4 out of 5
34 Boulevard Saint Roch, Avignon, Vaucluse
The price is ¥10,371 per night from Dec 5 to Dec 5
Avignon Grand Hotel
Central Hotel
Central Hotel
3 out of 5
31 rue de la République, Avignon, Vaucluse
The price is ¥7,604 per night from Dec 14 to Dec 14
Central Hotel
Hotel d'Europe
Hotel d'Europe
5 out of 5
12 Place Crillon, Avignon, Vaucluse
The price is ¥30,160 per night from Dec 5 to Dec 5
Hotel d'Europe
Regina Hotel
Regina Hotel
3 out of 5
6 Rue De La Republique, Avignon, Vaucluse
The price is ¥8,352 per night from Dec 5 to Dec 5
Regina Hotel
Mercure Pont d'Avignon Centre
Mercure Pont d'Avignon Centre
4 out of 5
Rue Ferruce Quartier Balance, Avignon, Vaucluse
The price is ¥12,760 per night from Jan 1 to Jan 1
Mercure Pont d'Avignon Centre
La Mirande
La Mirande
5 out of 5
4 Place De L Amirande, Avignon, Vaucluse
The price is ¥49,048 per night from Dec 9 to Dec 9
La Mirande
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.