Carcassonne was supposedly one of the main inspirations for Disney's castle and you can easily see why when here. Undoubtedly one of the best castle-cities anywhere in the world, full of shops and restaurants, a couple of hotels (at least) and the cathedral. The main entrance is normally full of shoulder-to-shoulder tourists in the summer, but once inside it thins out. Entrance to the city is free but there is a charge for the tour of the ramparts which is well worth the effort. You can walk around the city between the inner and outer walls and look down on the outside city for free - which is not normally crowded. The cathedral is plain inside except for the fine stained windows. There are lots of fairly basic tourist restaurants and a fantastic Italian ice cream shop in the center which serves very hard to find liquorice ice cream - great! You can easily spend all day here. There is a charge for car parking right outside the main entrance but you can park for free in town and walk up the hill to the castle and marvel at the outside walls and turrets as you catch your breath,..
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