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Carcassonne Culture & history

Our most recommended Carcassonne Culture & history

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.

Cité de Carcassonne: Private Guided Group Tour

3. 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.

Toulouse: Carcassonne Day Trip

4. 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.

Carcassonne: Medieval Citadel Exploration Game

5. Carcassonne: Medieval Citadel Exploration Game

Explore medieval France through the bustling streets and imposing city walls of Carcassonne with this city exploration game for your smartphone. Book the game, use the access code e-mailed to you and then head to Gambetta Square to start your quest. Go at your own pace to solve the clues and see the city at the same time. Finish your quest at Chateau Comtal.

2-Hour Private Walking Tour of Carcassonne

6. 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.

Paris: Fly Over France Virtual Reality Experience

7. Paris: Fly Over France Virtual Reality Experience

From the center of Paris, travel across the most emblematic and beautiful places that France has to offer thanks to a flight simulator and a high-technology headset ! Thanks to exceptional aerial images and spectacular moments of free flight, the experience allows you to rediscover the most beautiful places and landscapes of France: the village of Gordes in the heart of the Luberon, the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, the impressive cliffs of Etretat, the needles and glaciers on the Mont Blanc route... At the end of an unforgettable journey, from the sea-spray of Normandy to the roof of Europe, you will cover more than 10,000 kilometers without leaving Paris!

Frequently asked questions about Carcassonne

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What people are saying about Carcassonne

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 117 reviews

Great tour to discover more about the long history of Carcassonne, its castle and the Cathar religion! Though the day was windy and rainy, we could enjoy great views along the walls and in the town!

A great way to experience the whole France while staying in Paris. Great activity especially for children and teenagers. Our teenage daughters rated it as the best activity we experienced in Paris.

Purchased the ticket a day before! I was scan and go in, there was no line to begin with.

Harry’s tour was great. A lot of information but it is really interesting for me

Simply essential to book to avoid long queues during tourist season.