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Safety in Avignon - watch your back

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California
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Safety in Avignon - watch your back

My family and I recently returned from a month (November '05) in France, Spain and Italy. We saw and did many unique and wondrous things but Avignon (old city center) wasn't one of them. We unfortunately made internet reservations for the Hotel du Blauvac only to find that this place wasn't fit for human habitation (stinks with mold and appears unsafe being down a dark unlit alley -- see my Blauvac review). I noticed in addition to the hotel being a tourist trap that the town itself gives a definite feeling of being unsafe. There are numerous street beggars, (as can be seen in many other tourist orieted towns in these 3 countries) but these guys were especially aggressive. There were also some guys roaming around after dark that street-sense tells me were up to some no good criminal activities). Even though we got lucky and just missed the car-burnings in November, we (my family included) we noted that unlike most French cities and towns we saw, the local residents of Avignon seem to give over the streets to the criminal elements when night falls. I've seen decent well-dressed women walk safely alone on the streets of Paris at 3 o'clock in the morning (can't even do that in America) but not even the men go out at night in Avignon. This observation speaks for itself as to the safety of this place. As with most towns and cities in France, they do a good job of cleaning the streets but don't be fooled, this isn't a safe place. Even the sidewalk cafe in the city center had nothing but a large number of shady looking characters as customers. We were so grossed-out that we altered our vacation plans and left that entire region early and wen't to Aix en Provence (a very nice town) on our way to Cannes.

ALBUQUERQUE
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1. Re: Safety in Avignon - watch your back

My friends, and family and I have visited Avignon many times in the past and cannot be persuaded that it has changed that much. True, the city gets very loud and young people seem to come out at night and on the weekend, but we have never felt threatened at any time. We have walked the streets after dark quite a lot as it is the only way to get around then. We have always enjoyed our time there. The hotel you mention does happen to be in a undesireable location, though it may in itself not be desireable.I recall the "cheap" rates and sometimes I think you get what you pay for.

I must admit that I still will not be afraid to stay there.

Isle sur sorgue...
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2. Re: Safety in Avignon - watch your back

I read with interest your comments about Avignon at night. I think ther are many citys which are not safe in certain areas and the Hotel you mention is certainly in one of those areas. Avignon is a lively town and a great place to visit. I live 15 mins out of the city in a country setting very quiet and yet very easy to reach Avignon and the villages of the Luberon. I always suggest to most tourists that by doing this you get the best of both worlds. I must say some of the Hotels in Avignon are not pleasant just as in any city, I am sorry you left the area early, I do hope you managed to visit, Gordes, Fontaine de Vaucluse, St Remy and the villages of the Luberon. It would be shame to go away with this idea that everywhere around Avignon is like the area where you stayed.Some chambre d'hotes are better than Hotels, certainly very fit for human occupation.

Binan City...
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3. Re: Safety in Avignon - watch your back

Is this Hotel du Blauvac the same as Hotel de Blauvac? If it is, then I don't blame you for choosing this hotel. I checked out their website and it looks really clean and cozy on its photos, charming even. Plus it says on one of its pages "The hotel is conveniently located in the historical center of Avignon yet offers a quiet and relaxed atmosphere". If you're not familiar with the neighborhood, of course it's easy to fall for it. For what it's worth, I thank you for sharing your experience, we are definitely not staying there.

Newcastle
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4. Re: Safety in Avignon - watch your back

We just drove in for the day and toured the Papel building and the front of that area. We felt intimated also by the people. They looked as if they were going to grab and run with our belongings.

I agree Aix is fantastic! We have been there many times visiting our cousins.

adelaide
2 posts
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5. Re: Safety in Avignon - watch your back

I am planning to stay in Avignon for few days. Anyone stayed in or know about the Hotel Kyriad ? Would appreciate some opinion about this place.

Isle sur sorgue...
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393 posts
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6. Re: Safety in Avignon - watch your back

Hi,

Is it the hotel Kyriad at Cap Sud Avignon? There are a few in the Avignon area. It ia part of a big group of Budget hotels which are mainly on large shopping inustrial estates but not all of them. If you tell me which one it is I can try to help you.E mail me if you want to ann@lescarmes.com

Escargot

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: Safety in Avignon - watch your back

escargot,

I have reservations at the Kyriad Avignon Palais des Papes for 4 nights at the end of June. The tripadvisor reviews looked pretty good. Do you know anything about this hotel? Thanks for your help.

Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris, Loire Valley
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8. Re: Safety in Avignon - watch your back

I have spent a fair amount of time in Avignon and never considered anywhere inside the city walls as unsafe but there does tend to be groups of youths who do from time to time make a lot of noise, particularly around La Place de l'Horloge on weekends. There is a new hotel Kyriad located on the Place de l' Horloge, a good,central location and a safe if not mundane choice.

Here is my list of recommended hotels for Avignon all two stars:

Hotel Boquier - simple but very clean. All rooms with themes designed by the very charming hosts (Jean and Christine Giovannetti). Parking available 04 90 82 34 43

Hotel Le Provencal - 11 rooms, no parking 04 90 85 25 24

Hotel d'Angleterre - larger, Logis de France, but not as charming as others www.hoteldangleterre.fr 04 90 86 34 31

Hotel Innova 04 90 82 52 39

Hotel Magnan - 30 rooms 04 90 86 36 51

If anyone is interested, I do maintain a list of restaurants that I frequent.

I have not stayed there but interestingly the Hotel de Blauvac, while located in a spot with an unimpressive entrance, is listed and recommended by Michelin's Red Guide (2005). Maybe there will be a change in the 2006 Guidebook.

florida
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9. Re: Safety in Avignon - watch your back

How about Ibis Avignon Center? Is it in a safe area? Would anyone recommend?

thanks

casa

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: Safety in Avignon - watch your back

Sarastro,

I am interested in your list of restuarants.

Thanks so much.