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Albi vs Carcassonne

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Lake Balboa, CA
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Albi vs Carcassonne

If time is short which city would you recommend, to be able to walk around a medieval town and get a nice feel for the town in just one or two days, and not be inundated with tours or tourists? Any distinct advantages one over the other, interesting things to see, prices of hotels, parking - we'll have a car.Going in June.

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Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: Albi vs Carcassonne

I have been to both and I would suggest Albi may suit. We thought it was a very interesting and unique place and it had less tourists than Carcassone so you my like it better. I think you would find a better choice of hotels and restaurants in Albi too . However Carcassone is an amazing place too so it is a hard call! If you have a car you could call in at Carcassone and have a look around as it is not far from Albi.

Albufeira, Portugal
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for Algarve, Faro
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2. Re: Albi vs Carcassonne

The 'medieval' city at Carcasssonne is mostly a 19th century restoration. Nice enough to visit, but it seemed to me a bit artificial. And packed with tourists. It rained when I was there.

Albi I haven't been to for many, many, years but it is an authentic place and is also now on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites, mainly because of the cathedral and surrounding area.


Parking in any of these historic cities and towns is outside the centre. You have to walk the rest.

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3. Re: Albi vs Carcassonne

They are both so totally different and I like them both for different reason.

There is not enough to do in Albi to stay 2 days. In a few hours, you have seen the cathedral, visited the Toulouse-Lautrec museum and walk into town.

Carcassonne might have been restore but it has been done with great respect of what it probably look like back then and it's also a UNESCO world heritage site and a major city in the region's history. Yes, they are more tourists but I still like it. And it's possible to feel less crowded if you have the chance to be there early or more towards the end of the day, when lots of tourists are gone. I enjoy it passed the main street entrance where all those souvenirs shops are. Even in Medieval Time, entering a city you could find on the main street all the merchants of that era. It made it a lively and prosper town. Imagine just a second that instead of souvenirs, they are smitting shop, bakery, fabrics shop, a few inn and taverns, street perfomers and vendors... and there you are back in time ;-)

If you decide on staying in or around Albi, you have a few other interesting towns or villages and lovely scenic drives in the area.

Toulouse, France
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4. Re: Albi vs Carcassonne

It is a tought choice.

Carcassonne is amazing indeed (it is the fortress that amusement parks try to emulate when trying to give the attractions a medieval look, if you know what I mean). It is nice to spend a day in Carcassonne especially if you can be there until the night falls and they have fireworks or sound and light shows (southweststory.com/carcassonne-things-to-do)!!!

Albi it is nice (the famous brick built cathedral was mentioned above) and is not so big. One day is enogh to visit. I would prefer Albi because of a bevy of little towns like Corde sur Ciel, Puycelsi, Castelnau de Montmirail, Penne that are all medieval town (build during the Cruisade agains the Cathars.....) and are not far from Albi.


Lake Balboa, CA
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5. Re: Albi vs Carcassonne

Thank you everyone! You have all given me food for thought - one, that neither town needs a lot of time, but both have their attractions. We stayed in Cordes-sur-Ciel during a festival several years ago and have often wanted to go back. Albi might be a nice base for 1 days, to go visit those other surrounding towns.

Speaking of Cordes, I read some place that they have some kind of shuttle from the base of the town up to the medieval village. Anyone know about this? We stayed in the old village and were able to park there, but I remember it being very difficult driving, maneuvering in the village.

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