Carcassonne train station is located just north of the city centre and two kilometres from the medieval city. The station combines both tradition and modernity: the building itself was constructed in the middle of the 19th century in a classical style, but it now houses a modern interior. Its three platforms are served by an average of five trains per hour, whether that be a TGV train, intercity train, or the TER Languedoc-Roussillon. Getting to the station itself is easy thanks to the many connections available. For example, it takes just 45 minutes to travel here from Toulouse Matabiau, slightly over 3h00mins from Lyon-Part-Dieu, and the journey from Paris takes 5h15mins. The bus links allow visitors to easily travel around the city, but it only takes 20 minutes to reach the medieval city from Carcassonne train station on foot anyway. Shuttle buses are also conveniently available to connect the station with Carcassonne Airport.
Without a doubt, the biggest attraction in Carcassonne is its impressive, walled, medieval city, which extends over 11 hectares and dates back to the Gallo-Roman period. Thanks to Carcassonne’s convenient bus links, it can be reached after an easy 10-minute journey. Upon reaching the gates of the city, it makes sense to start exploring from Château Comtal, which was built in the 12th century under the Trencavel dynasty. This castle has nine towers and even houses a lapidarian museum.
One of the other attractions that visitors should make time to see is the Église Saint-Nazaire. The architecture combines both Gothic and Romanesque styles, and the basilica was actually Carcassonne’s cathedral from when it was built in the 12th century until the beginning of the 19th century, when it lost its title to the current Cathédrale Saint-Michel de Carcassonne. It is home to one of the oldest surviving stained-glass windows in France, which dates back to 1280, depicting the life of Jesus in 16 medallions. Next up on the tour has to be the Porte Narbonnaise, which is to the east of the city. It is the main entry for the medieval city and is a great spectacle for any history lovers.
For those lucky enough to visit Carcassonne, stopping off in one of the many restaurants that are found along the walled city’s little alleyways is essential. Sample the region’s specialities, including cassoulet, or a foie sec salad, whilst sipping on some exquisite Corbières wine. What could be better than that?
1 Boulevard Maréchal Joffre,
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