The UNESCO World Heritage city of Carcassonne is a beautifully preserved area of South-West France that attracts visitors who are interested in the heritage of the area. The Cite de Carcassonne is a medieval fortress with a history dating back more than 2,500 years. Used as a location in films such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, the city was partially reconstructed in the 19th Century, leaving visitors feeling as though they are taking a step back in time. The ville basse, the town centre, also holds many attractions within its own right.
Being a World Heritage city, Carcassonne is a place where driving sensibly and gently is a must. It’s important to drive something that won’t do too much damage, which is where a supermini will come in handy.
Driving in Carcassonne
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Due to the size of the city, visitors must plan to park their car outside the city walls, and walk rather than drive within the walls of the city itself.
While driving within the city is not allowed, there are numerous areas of interest to drive to. Limoux is located south of the city, offering some of the finest châteaux and wine tasting experiences in the area.
Drivers should also visit Rennes le Chateau, former home to Baron Sauniere who erected many monuments here. Rumour has it that Mary Magedelene stayed there and that the Holy Grail is hidden somewhere within!
Highlights & Hotspots
Said to have inspired Walt Disney himself for the castle seen in Sleeping Beauty, the city of Carcassonne itself is the main attraction of the area. Tiny alleys surround the impressive Basilique St-Nazaire which is dotted with gigantic rose windows.
The inside of the Basilique is home to Southern France’s largest organ, making it a pilgrimage for those with religious beliefs, along with those who enjoy music, architecture and construction.
Families will enjoy the twice-daily events of jousting shows that are incredibly impressive to watch. Barge trips are also a fantastic form of seeing the city from a different light, offering some of the best views.
Those who prefer their history a little gritty will want to visit the Torture Museum. Preserved torture implements are located here with information to make even those with the strongest stomachs feel a little queasy!
Carcassonne Airport is based 3km away from the centre of the city. It has numerous flights to and from a number of locations around the UK, and some French cities too.