Things to do in
Carcassonne

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Our most recommended things to do in Carcassonne

Carcassonne: Castle and Ramparts Skip-the-Line Ticket

1. Carcassonne: Castle and Ramparts Skip-the-Line Ticket

Carcassonne was settled as early as the 6th century BC and later became an important Roman town. It was fortified in the 4th century and was a strategic site in the Middle Ages. It took on its definitive shape in the 13th century with the king’s decision to construct the distinctive double-walled ramparts and extend the castle. The city was restored by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century and is a testimony to 1,000 years of military architecture and 2,500 years of history. Left in ruins after the the Cathar Crusade (1209-1229), the Inquisition and exile of the Trencavel family, Eugène Viollet-le-Duc was commissioned by the French state in 1844 to restore the city of Cathar. Completed in 1911 under the direction of his pupil Paul Boeswillwald, the royal city was returned to its original splendor, finally being inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1997. In a new, self-guided addition to this tour, guests are invited to see the magnificent views from the medieval western ramparts. 

Cité de Carcassonne: Guided Tour

2. Cité de Carcassonne: Guided Tour

Come along on this guided tour and learn all about the history of this fascinating city.  Enter through the main entrance, known as Porte Narbonnaise, to the medieval city. Learn about the fortifications built by the Romans. Cross the main street, Rue Cross Mayrevieille to the castle. Discover the museum inside the castle and develop a better understanding of the Trencavel family that defended the Cathars during the Albigensian Crusade.  Walk along the top of the wall, crossing both medieval and Roman towers as you head towards the church. Hear an explanation about the architecture of the gothic church and see the beautiful stained glass windows, built between the 13th to 16th centuries. Walkthrough the streets of the ancient religious quarter and learn about the inquisition in Carcassonne and Toulouse. The tour will conclude next to the Castle where you'll hear about the restoration work that happened in the 19th century.

Toulouse: Carcassonne Day Trip

3. Toulouse: Carcassonne Day Trip

If you're staying in Toulouse and want to discover the Cité de Carcassonne, the Comtal Castle, the Saint Nazaire Basilica and more historical highlights, this is the perfect day tour for you. Located 1 hour from Toulouse, Carcassonne is one of the 25 great sites of Midi-Pyrénées. In Cathar country and at the heart of the fortified city, you can discover the Château of the Counts of Carcassonne and the Remparts, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will departure from Toulouse at 9:30AM (check-in is at 9:15AM), with a planned arrival in Carcassonne at 10:30AM.  Following your day of discovery, you will depart from Carcassonne at 4:30PM, with a planned return to Toulouse at 5:30PM.

2-Hour Private Walking Tour of Carcassonne

4. 2-Hour Private Walking Tour of Carcassonne

The walled city of Carcassonne in Languedoc is world renowned as a spectacular fortified medieval city. But this rocky spur has been occupied since the 6th-Century BC, first as a Gallic settlement and later as a fortified Roman city. The Visigoths seized the city in the 5th-Century, and were followed by the Saracens, who remained in control for a mere 30 years before the Francs expelled them. Restored by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th-Century, the city fortress was consecrated in 1997 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while the former military enclosure of the lower town’s "La Bastide Saint-Louis" is listed as a conservation area. Take a 2-hour private walking tour, personalized to your own schedule and rhythm, visiting the sights you would like to visit. Explore medieval architecture and discover the rich culture that has inspired poets and writers, including William Faulkner. The city is divided into 2 parts; the town and the famous Cité de Carcassonne. Typically we pay more attention to the Cité, but if you would like to visit the town the tour can be customized to suit. Discover the castle and ramparts at the heart of the medieval city; explore the Cathedral and the Basilica of Saint Nazaire; and visit la porte Narbonnaise, which was the principal entrance to the Cité. A dream like destination with a romantic ambience, the tour is tailor-made to enchant you.

Cité de Carcassonne: Private Guided Group Tour

5. Cité de Carcassonne: Private Guided Group Tour

Come along on this tour and learn all about the history of this fascinating city.  Enter through the main entrance, known as Porte Narbonnaise, to the medieval city. Learn about the fortifications built by the Romans. Cross the main street, Rue Cross Mayrevieille to the castle. Discover the museum inside the castle and develop a better understanding of the Trencavel family that defended the Cathars during the Albigensian Crusade.  Walk along the top of the wall, crossing both medieval and Roman towers as you head towards the church. Hear an explanation (in English, French or Italian) about the architecture of the Gothic church and see the beautiful stained glass windows, built between the 13th and 16th centuries. Walk through the streets of the ancient religious quarter and learn about the inquisition in Carcassonne and Toulouse.

Languedoc: Tour and Tasting at Domaine de Baronarques

6. Languedoc: Tour and Tasting at Domaine de Baronarques

Dive into centuries of winemaking tradition with a tour of the Domaine de Baronaques. Acquired by the Baroness Philippine de Rothschild and her 2 sons in 1998, the vineyard has been in existence since the 17th century, when it was under the possession of the Abbey de Saint-Polycarpe. Across over 270 acres of lush vineyards, experience the raw materials that coalesce to form a wine celebrated across the globe. After arrival at the vineyard, you'll tour the vast vineyard lands, the vat-house and barrel-room where wines are fermented and aged, as well as the 19th-century French Château, nestled into a tree-covered hill. After a full tour of the premises, you'll have the opportunity to taste the 3 wines produced at the Domaine de Baronaques: Grand Vin Rouge, La Capitelle de Baronarques and Grand Vin Blanc.

Carcassonne: Fortress Walking Tour

7. Carcassonne: Fortress Walking Tour

Throughout this guided tour you will discover the mythical narrow cobble streets of this old fortress. The monumentality of this citadel will impress you, as your guide tells you all the details of its fascinating history. You will be provided details about the rempart's construction, as you observe the castle from outside. Your guide will explain everything about the mysterious Cathars and military architecture, delving into all of the construction's secrets. Be prepared to also hear small anecdotes about the medieval period as you end with the discovery of the magnificent Basilica of St. Nazaire and St. Celse.

From Toulouse: Private Carcassonne and Albi Sightseeing Tour

8. From Toulouse: Private Carcassonne and Albi Sightseeing Tour

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the best of the Carcassonne region. After getting picked up from your hotel in Toulouse, enjoy a scenic 45-minute drive to the medieval fortified city of Carcassone. Here, stroll around the city's cobblestone streets and centuries-old buildings. Learn more about its history, and how the city was once a stronghold of the Cathars. You will have 2 hours of free time in Carcassonne, during which you can visit the museum where you will be transported to an era of Crusaders, Pilgrims, and Templar knights. Afterward, continue to Lastours. Here, enjoy a walk to the Belvedere Montfermier, where you can admire panoramic views of the surrounding area and its many castles. Finish your tour in Albi, aka the Red City. Here, pay a visit to the imposing Saint-Cécile Cathedral and the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, where you can admire works by local painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. At the end of your tour, get dropped off back at your hotel in Toulouse.

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What people are saying about Carcassonne

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,469 reviews

It's worth it, you don't have to queue, you enter directly and the visit to the castle is the most beautiful part of the citadel in my opinion. Important: those under 26 years of age have free admission.

Great trip and bus was on time and comfortable. Carcassonne was beautiful and food there was excellent. Had two young girls and they enjoyed the trip and the castle a lot. Would recommend

Interesting visit to the Castle of Carcassone and its walls very interesting and without queuing at an agreed time

Very informative guide and was great to learn of the history.

Beautifully restored castle. History clearly explained.