Marc, heritage expert
Let your imagination run wild in the castle towers, lose yourself in the narrow Medieval streets and dominate the world from the rampart walls before relaxing with a drink on one of the terraces. Yes, Carcassonne has all of this!
Through the gates of Time
The drawbridge will fire your imagination instantly!
Crossing the Porte Narbonnaise, a 2-tower gateway with murder holes and portcullises, is like venturing into an unknown world of 8 centuries ago! Off we go!
Access is easy thanks to the vast pay car parks located just opposite the monument, a short walk from the Porte Narbonnaise, which is the main entrance to this fortress. It is completely free to visit the Citadel, but an admission fee is payable for the castle, which is also a museum.
Fortress in sight
The citadel village is still inhabited. The approach street climbs gently up to the impressive barbican that towers before us. This is the entrance to the fortress, the ancient palace of the viscounts of Carcassonne. That’s where we’re heading.
Meet knights and troubadours
Horsemen practise wielding their weapons while servants go about their chores, As soon as we set foot in the main courtyard, surrounded by the high castle walls and towers, our inner child sees troubadours and horses, and imagines being an armoured knight ready to defend his castle!
Inside the Maze
Walk from room to room admiring the statues and recumbent figures… vestiges of life in Languedoc during the Middle Ages. Not forgetting the moving Romanesque frescoes which are still surprisingly bright and colourful.
A large model offers an overview of the Citadel. The tour takes us through corridors and up and down spiral staircases. It’s easy to get lost in this maze! I wonder if people got lost here in the Middle Ages…
Stunning panoramic views
On the wall walk, with the wind in their hair, every visitor stops to contemplate the incredible view! The Medieval rampart wall towers above the town, offering a landscape of round towers, square towers, pointed towers, the crenelated basilica steeple, the pink rooftops of the Citadel, and the exceptional backdrop of the Montagne Noire and Pyrenean mountains. 360° view!
Memories & souvenirs
After 2 hours of adventure, it’s time to leave this unique place. Stop at the boutique & bookshop where you’ll find a lovely range of souvenir items, books, children’s games, and even a selection of local wines including Corbières, Minervois and Blanquette de Limoux!
History under the cobblestones
Continue your walk in the winding cobblestone streets of the old town, discovering the restaurants, ancient buildings, and boutiques of every nature. From one street to the next, the atmosphere switches from buzzing scenes of children shouting happily and crowds of people enjoying the aromas that waft out of the restaurants, to alleyways bathing in silence, where only the ghosts of a troubled past come to whisper in your ear. Or was it just the breeze?
Carcassonne Tourist Office
“Besides the castle, Carcassonne Tourist Office proposes various tours of the town and treasure-hunt packs.”
“Or you can visit the Medieval Living History Centre for a tour in costume.”
A moment of tranquillity
Reds, yellows, blues, and a gleaming and fragrant shroud of colour and incense that almost hypnotises us. Whether you’re a believer or not, this is the perfect place to find inspiration and serenity.
Relaxing on the terrace
Daydreaming in the sun
The ultimate goal: To daydream in the sun and enjoy the peace and quiet of a café terrace. Yes, Carcassonne has this too! Try a few olives washed down with a glass of local wine, in the sun, with friends, all in an outstanding setting… sheer joy!