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“Five for the view, one for the tacky tourist trap inside!”

Carcassonne Medieval City
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Medieval Cité of Carcassonne Guided Tour for 2 Hours
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Carcassonne Sightseeing Tour
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“Five for the view, one for the tacky tourist trap inside!”
Reviewed 23 July 2014

Carcassone is a stunning site to behold from a distance. It is also historically interesting, though the history is more in books than on view here. However, it is a real tourist trap full of over priced food and junk souvenirs. Restaurant staff can be very charmless! The castle is okay but €8.50 entry and €4.50 audioguide is steep for what it is. The exhibition on Viollet le Duc, arch 'restorer' of French architecture is a masterpiece of obfuscation. Anyone who puts a third tower with a statue of himself on a Gothic cathedral like Notre Dame in Paris deserves to be forgotten not exhibited IMHO. Sadly, the town of Carcassonne outside the medieval walls is looking pretty tired as well. Definitely a day trip and move on - Languedoc has beautiful countryside and lots of interesting places to stop (try Montolieu or Saissac).

Visited July 2014
2 Thank Bob G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
293 reviews
159 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 258 helpful votes
“Disney fairy tale fortifications”
Reviewed 23 July 2014

If you have the joy of visiting this beauty, say a quick thank you to the local historians and architects who led opposition to the French governments decision in 1849 to raise this to the ground - incredible, but the local resistance won and the cite de Carcassonne was shortly restored thereafter. And it is now on Unesco's world heritage sites.
Seeing it as you drive up towards it, this looks like a movie set, it is unreal. It is an immense site, on a grand scale and has over 2000 years of history. Romans, Visigoths, Crusaders, all visited or held this citadel, and apparently it is the second- most visited attraction in France after the Eiffel Tower.
It is 3km of wall with 50 plus turret towers along this.
Internally there are plenty of places to buy sweets and treats and postcards. We had so little time here, but dashed as we met family for lunch in the centre. I would definitely go back for a guided tour, or buy a proper guide to understand more of the history and the restoration.
There are lovely lunch places and the cobbled streets should provide fair warning- sensible shoes!
Even if in a hurry, the views through the slats in the tower are worth a look. I would probably recommend at least 1/2 day for a proper visit.

Visited July 2014
Thank roaming13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Beautiful like Nothing Else”
Reviewed 22 July 2014

It was amazing from a distance and up close. Fun to explore La Cite and see what an active Castle is like. I loved exploring and climbing all over the walls.

Visited April 2014
Thank Mike E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Westwood, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
85 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“much of it is not really original, but its still fantastic”
Reviewed 22 July 2014

We were in Languedoc last March with our teenage kids. we started in Carcassonne, as the hub of a vista to many of the cathar castles. This walled city-castle was heavily renovated from rubble in the 19th century. they did a fantastic job, but it was a ruin and the restoration, while marvelous, doesn't really tell you what it may have looked like at any one point in time. Its a pastiche of renovations from different periods, and much of it is still missing. Nonetheless it is magnificent. The castle itself is huge, and the walls extend out and surround the modernized, still occupied version of the medieval city. Its touristy, but mostly in a good way (much less over the top as a bald way to separate visitors from euros, than say, St. Michel in Brittany) with lots of places to eat, and buy stuff, and even stay inside the walls. The relatively small cathedral inside the walls is worth a visit too, good stained glass, very atmospheric. With the trip. Wonderful at night too, all lit up. The slight later medieval city across the bridge is worth an afternoon walking around also.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank peterfenn1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glossop, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
537 reviews
309 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 218 helpful votes
“great from a distance”
Reviewed 21 July 2014

From the outside looks amazing at night from the road bridge over the river in the low town. As for inside, pretty jammed with tourists during the day and alot of samey shops and restaurants.

Visited July 2014
2 Thank kuepper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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