Hidden away in the lower regions of the Pyrenees, the historical culture of Perpignan is as Spanish as it is French thanks to its past as the capital of the Kingdom of Mallorca, and its multiculturalism continues to this day. Many within the city identify with Catalonian culture, given its relative closeness to the Spanish autonomous region. The architecture is distinctly Spanish and coloured beautifully pastel in shades of lemon and peach. Religious buildings and monuments are scattered throughout the city while its royal past can still be seen in the remaining palaces and homes to the old royal families who once ruled the roost in this part of the world.
The city is designed for car access and travel, though due to the reasonably small size of the city the roads can be narrow, thus best served by a city car.
Driving in Perpignan
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Due to the importance of the city, it is served by the Autoroute A9 both from the North in France and the South in Spain, and thus easily accessible from across France and Spain.
The city is small but has good road quality and lots of parking based underground at reasonable costs.
Traffic can increase heavily during popular tourism seasons, particularly summer. During these times, traffic is common and parking can become difficult, especially in the summer.
Highlights & Hotspots
Shopping is a very rewarding experience in Perpignan and you’re sure to find something special to suit every taste. There are countless independently run boutiques that offer handmade and one-of-a-kind gifts, while there are also several leading French chains.
The Cathedral of St Jean had a hugely long building process as it begun in 1324 and finally finished in 1509. The outside of the building may come across as rather unassuming, but the interior is almost overwhelming in the style of French Gothic.
Rugby is incredibly popular in this city making it an ideal destination for sports fans. The city has two professional rugby teams; USAP Perpignan in the Top 14 and Catalans Dragons in Super League. Even if you don’t support either team, the vociferous crowds will make for a memorable day out.
Perpignan is located only 15km from the sea which means a day at the coast is very easily available by car. Taking a break from the bustling centre of Perpignan to enjoy the coastal resort is sure to be a highlight of any trip.
The city‚Äôs airport is served by several British airlines from various cities across the UK. As for the rest of Europe, travel is limited and as such the airport is reasonably small and quiet.
Perpignan ‚ÄìRivesaltes Airport is close to the D117 road, which is likely to take you into the centre of the city with little fuss.