May 25, 2024



System Your Toulouse to Carcassonne Working day Vacation

11 min read

No matter whether you are a lover of the board recreation or the true castle, lots of travellers in the South of France uncover them selves drawn to the medieval metropolis of Carcassonne.

Carcassonne is like stepping back in time. I felt like I was wandering around a castle, ramparts and towers straight from the fairytales and films.

And 1 of the best means to take a look at is on a day journey from Toulouse to Carcassonne. As the major key town near Carcassonne, numerous visitors make the pilgrimage from Toulouse by prepare, auto or tour to wander the well-known medieval walls.

Of system, there’s additional to Carcassonne than just a medieval town.

In fact, the medieval city (or La Cité de Carcassonne) is essentially totally separate from the modern day aspect of Carcassonne the place every day inhabitants go about their life, no jousting or cannon-firing demanded.

If you’re contemplating a Toulouse to Carcassonne working day trip, you are heading to want to check out out my manual beneath. My spouse, Colin, and I did this really excursion in February 2024 and almost everything went tremendous efficiently.

Retain scrolling for all my tips to system your working day in Carcassonne together with how to get there from Toulouse, where by to shop your bags, what to see and do, and whether or not the complete day journey is even well worth it!

Disclosure: Some of the backlinks underneath are affiliate one-way links, meaning if you click as a result of and make a acquire, I will earn a smaller commission at no added value to you. Thanks for your assist!

How to get from Toulouse to Carcassonne

1 of the simplest, most at ease and most inexpensive strategies to get from Toulouse to Carcassonne is by educate.

Direct Intercités or TGV trains leaving Toulouse Matabiau station arrive at Carcassonne station in just 45 minutes. Be aware that direct TER trains also serve this route, but just take a tiny bit for a longer time (apx 65 minutes).

We took this route in Feb 2024 and paid €9.60 ($10 USD) per man or woman a single-way on the faster 45 minute teach.

We booked our teach tickets in advance, which is crucial for TGV/Intercités trains that can promote out and go up in cost the closer you get to the date of travel.

On the other hand, if you choose to retain your plan flexibile or never intellect the slightly slower TER trains, you can just guide them on the working day (TER trains never call for reservations and the fares are preset).

The prepare was pretty convenient, smooth and simple. But if you’d instead not go by educate, you can also just take these routes from Toulouse to Carcassonne:

Driving gives you the adaptability to depart on your have plan and go directly to the medieval metropolis, but requires leasing a automobile and having to pay for parking. Buses are ordinarily less expensive than trains, but significantly less comfy and slower.

A working day tour is a good alternative if you really do not want to deal with the inconvenience of scheduling transportation your self. The tour will also convey you directly to the old metropolis, which is about 30 minutes from the place the practice/bus would fall you off.

Look at out this hugely rated day tour from Toulouse to Carcassonne!

If Carcassonne is the initially end on your France itinerary, you can truly fly into Carcassonne Airport (CCF) instantly from a several towns in Europe. You could also fly into nearby airports in Perpignan (PGF), Toulouse (TLS) or Montpellier (MPL) and bus/train/push from there.

How to get from the new city of Carcassonne to the medieval metropolis (aka La Cité de Carcassonne)

When you get from Toulouse to Carcassonne, you nonetheless have to get to the medieval metropolis, also acknowledged as La Cité de Carcassonne or just La Cité.

La Cité is the aspect of Carcassonne that most people are acquainted with it’s the medieval town on the hill with ramparts, stone walls, towers and a castle.

The new component of Carcassonne, even though pretty, is not precisely why this metropolis is so common.

The coach and bus stations are both equally situated in the new aspect of Carcassonne, a 30 moment walk from the medieval town. So just one great cause to push or acquire a tour is they will bring you appropriate to the castle walls!

But if you have opted for the train or bus, you can continue to get to the medieval city by:

Foot (apx 30 minutes)

Taxi or Uber (apx 10 minutes)

Bus (maybe…)

In accordance to this map, regional RTCA bus traces #3 and #4 ought to the two go from the new town to the previous town. Nonetheless, these routes really do not demonstrate up on Google Maps (as of Apr 2024). But you can verify out the program on the RTCA web-site and permit me know if the buses do exist!

When Colin and I visited in February 2024, we just walked. It was a pleasant working day and an simple walk more than. Plus, it was pretty amazing to see the castle growing in the distance as we acquired closer.

The only part of the stroll that was a bit hard was appropriate at the close, as you have to go up a fairly steep hill to enter the city.

We took an odd route (that amusing more than enough, was on Google Maps) via a industry, scrambling up some muddy rocks. But there’s a a lot more simple paved sidewalk you can also get (we figured that out on the way down!).

Baggage storage in Carcassonne

You can insert a recreation of Carcassonne to your luggage, full with a “purchased in Carcassonne” sticker!

A person very last matter ahead of we take pleasure in Carcassonne, you may well be questioning what to do with your luggage!

Of study course, if you’re only viewing Carcassonne on a day excursion from Toulouse and returning in the night, you can just depart your bags in Toulouse.

But if you’re executing what we did, which was depart from Toulouse, shell out the day in Carcassonne, and then have on to our next spot, you’ll want to believe about luggage storage.

Sadly, the Carcassonne teach station does not have baggage lockers or storage expert services. But the good thing is, there are a number of impartial products and services in the location that you can utilize.

These luggage companies perform by partnering with area merchants who will store your baggage for you for a little rate (apx €5 ($5 USD) for each bag). It’s usually places to eat or stores who have a back again space for your merchandise.

We ended up storing our baggage at a comfort keep that was just throughout the avenue from the coach station. This was “convenient” (get it?) due to the fact we ended up taking the teach to/from Carcassonne.

Most of these expert services require you to reserve your baggage storage in progress, as these nearby retailers really don’t have unlimited house. You can reserve luggage storage in Carcassonne in this article.

You will also want to thoroughly look at in which the luggage associate is situated and their several hours of operation. I have browse evaluations of persons turning up to grab their bags only to come across the store closed and they pass up their practice!

What to do in Carcassonne

Now that you have built it from Toulouse to Carcassonne and stored your baggage, how will you shell out your working day? Look at out some of the entertaining factors to do in Carcassonne beneath!

Tour the Castle Carcassonne & ramparts

The most common issue to do in Carcassonne is tour the castle and ramparts in the outdated medieval city. So natural, this was our to start with halt on our visit!

Carcassonne was founded in 6 BC so has a lengthy and storied history. To discover extra about it, you can go on a tour, select up an audio-guideline or basically go through the plaques situated around the castle (also called the Carcassonne Citadel).

Simply because we frequented on a weekday in February, we experienced most of the castle to ourselves. It was a fantastically sunny day and I beloved obtaining to wander along the ramparts and all around the castle grounds.

Most of the castle is vacant you are going to walk from tower to tower or together the ramparts learning about the unique buildings and how they were used in struggle, but really don’t expect to see produced-up rooms with beds and tables like you would in Versailles.

On the other hand, there are a number of rooms that are not empty and maintain historical artifacts, like statues and paintings. But typically, it’s just exciting to stroll around!

If you’re not going to in the off-season like us, you’ll want to pre-book your ticket to the Castle Carcassonne.

Wander together the Canal du Midi Carcassonne

The Canal du Midi is a well-known waterway in France, operating 240 km (150 mi) together the southwest. It is a UNESCO Earth Heritage Web site and deemed a single of the most remarkable feats of design for its time (designed in the 17th Century).

The complete canal network backlinks the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea and was built to be the two practical for industrial improvement but also incredibly quite, blending in superbly with its surroundings.

Element of the Canal du Midi runs via Carcassonne (as well as Toulouse, exactly where your day vacation started off). So if you want to consider a image together this important system of water, you can do so although in city.

In fact, if you get the educate to Carcassonne, you will truly walk suitable around the Canal du Midi as you stroll into city.

Have lunch in Carcassonne

After exploring a castle and famed canal procedure, you’re possibly acquiring hungry. You can pop into a local Carcassonne boulangerie for a quick snack or sit down at a restaurant for lunch.

Although we were being in Carcassonne for the day, Colin and I had lunch at Taverne Moderne. Their each day lunch special was €20 ($22 USD) which integrated an appetizer, primary and dessert.

This was our 1st right food in France right after a jet-lagged and delayed arrival into Toulouse the working day right before, so the very first taste of neighborhood cheese manufactured us giddy.

The relaxation of the meal was also wonderful, but I wouldn’t say it was the best foods I have had in France. It was economical and just outdoors La Cite, which was handy.

If you choose to take in inside of of the aged city partitions, keep in brain that a lot of of the eating places there are a lot more superior-close, so hope greater rates.

Check out Carcassonne Cite (aka the previous town)

Dame Carcas bust

Other than the castle and ramparts, there are heaps of other sites to explore in Carcassonne’s medieval city.

You will want to pay a visit to Saint Nazaire Basilica, a quite church from both equally the in and outside, as well as the Dame Carcas bust on the outside of the town walls. There is a enjoyable story about Dame Carcas and how she saved the metropolis (furthermore gave Carcassonne its name), which you can read through listed here.

In just the walls there’s also a school museum, inquisition museum and haunted home. Of program there are loads of outlets, squares, dining places and cafes to take a look at as well.

After dwelling out my fairytale fantasies by going for walks all all around the Cite, Colin and I grabbed some ice cream and sat in opposition to an historical fountain just to get it all in.

Investigate the new Carcassonne

If you have a bit additional time on your day excursion, you can examine out the new city of Carcassonne. Of study course, this town is not specifically “new” – it just appears that way when in comparison to the medieval Cite.

The new portion of Carcassonne definitely feels extra regional you can explain to that all of the tourists flock to the old metropolis. It was kind of pleasant to recall that persons basically live listed here after expending most of our time with other travelers all-around the castle.

In the new metropolis, quit by Location Carnot or Andre Chenier Sq., two principal squares where you are going to locate loads of people bustling about.

If you’re into churches (I’m not spiritual, but always uncover they are worthy of a pay a visit to for their intricate architecture), you can step into Saint Michel Cathedral and Saint Vincent Church. There is also the nearby Calvary Backyard garden.

Prior to you soar back on your prepare, stop in at a grocery retail outlet or boulangerie for some train treats!

Return to Toulouse from Carcassonne or journey onwards

If you’re heading back to Toulouse right after your day in Carcassonne, you can simply just journey the route you took to get to Carcassonne in reverse. Make positive you give by yourself plenty of time to get back again to your educate/bus from the outdated town.

If you are travelling onwards from Carcassonne, you can decide up your luggage and head back again to the prepare station. From Carcassonne, you can get to many other nearby sites in France immediately and conveniently, these types of as Nimes, Montpellier and Avignon.

We took the coach from Carcassonne to Avignon, which required a straightforward transform of coach in Nimes. The full journey took about 3.5 several hours which provided 30 minutes to improve trains in Nimes and a 30 minute delay.

Wrapping up: Is Carcassonne well worth viewing?

Is it well worth checking out Carcassonne on a working day vacation? Certainly and no.

Carcassonne is a quite straightforward day vacation from Toulouse. You can consider the practice and be in Carcassonne in just 45 minutes (but try to remember there is a different 30 moment wander to the aged metropolis).

The medieval city of Carcassonne, which is the main draw, is rather outstanding. It seriously did experience like I was stepping back again in time and I beloved walking together the ramparts above the metropolis.

Nevertheless, there’s not a ton to do in Carcassonne. We gave ourselves six several hours for this day journey and felt like we could have performed it in 3-4.

We also visited in the off-year when the town was blissfully uncrowded. I know Carcassonne gets jammed in the summer time, which I really do not believe would be any enjoyable.

So if you’ve been drawn in by images of the Carcassonne Castle and have 50 % a day to spare, I assume checking out Carcassonne is truly worth it.

But if it feels way too considerably out of your way, you don’t truly care about the castle, and the summer months crowds are putting you off, I think it’s all right to skip it!

I’d like to know: Would you want to go to Carcassonne?

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