The Castillet is the most famous monument in Perpignan. It was once the main entrance to the walled city. Although only a portion of what is left goes back to the time of Aragon domination in the 14th century, this monumental brick gate has a symbolic value for the town. After the walls were knocked down, it stood for sometime as a prison. Currently, it houses the Musée des Arts et Traditions Catalan Populaires. Its name is a corruption of the French language word Castellet, little castle, which is easily explained by its appearance.
Located in the centre of Perpignan, it's accessed by entering from the street of Archers. It's a gothic palace built between 1276 and 1309 when Perpignan was the capital of the Kingdom of Mallorca. It opened to the public after WWII. The views of the city from it are stunning and you can see the Pyrenees.
The historic center of Perpignan is the Ciudadela or Citadel, where the main monuments, churches and museum are located. It's made up of narrow streets with typical well-preserved houses. It's also an active commercial area where you can find all kinds of trade. It's a nice area to stroll in while you admire the houses and shops.
The Tet River runs through the city of Perpignan from east to west in the east of France. The whole channel has been landscaped and offers a nice walk, especially in spring when the flowers are in bloom. Also, there are many terraces along the river where you could sit and have a drink.
Campo Santo is an example of the oldest and roughest French preserved cloistral funerary. It has been considered a historical monument since 1910. The Capella de Sant Joan l'Evangelist, or a Gothic Funerary, was built at the end of the 14th century thanks to donations. It's very simple and has virtually no embellishment.
This pedestrian plaza is located in the centre of Perpignan, near one of the most touristy zones, the Quai Vauban. It is named after François Arago, the physicist and astronomer educated in the town, and originally from a village in the region. His statue dominates the square. The Place Arago is a vibrant space in which you can find plenty of bars and restaurants, as well as the tourist office or the Palmarium. The Palace of Justice is at one end. It's also one of the gateways to the city's historic core and the surrounding streets are the most commercial of Perpignan. It's a mandatory place to visit.
Every Saturday morning the Perpignan market appears from nothing in the Republic Square. Most of the shops sell food made by the vendors themselves and other handicrafts. The square is very close to the city centre and is easily accessible.
Although Perpignan's main Tourist Office is located in the city's Conference Centre, a few years ago the Town Hall put a tourist information kiosk in a more central location, the Plaza Arago. It's now in an old, 20th century art nouveau building, which for many years was a cafe and still has a couple of restaurants. Despite not being the main office, the information and service was very complete. There are also many guided tours of the city, perfect for a starting point for your travels.
A few steps from the Perpignan Cathedral in the old town is the Casa Xanxo. It is a typical example of the medieval house of a powerful family. A wide facade includes a street-level floor, and a first floor with 3 large windows. On the front is a frieze depicting the 7 deadly sins with irony and sarcasm, a decoration that scandalized the city when it was built in the early sixteenth century. There's a shaded patio, and on the first floor two rooms are open to the public (free). It's open daily except Mondays from 11:00 to 17:30 (12 - 19:00 in summer). The building doesn't have the best maintenance, and it has a rather decadent atmosphere, but that doesn't detract from the visit.
Quai Vauban, formerly a river wharf, is now a beautiful pedestrian street in Perpignan. It's a boardwalk along the River Basse, a tributary of Tet, which is next to the old city. The border is decorated with flowers. On this axis, there is a busy mall, restaurants, and bars making it an urban meeting place.
This street will make you fall in love with Perpignan. If the train station hasn't given you goosebumps, if the square of Catalonia has not raised your eyebrows, and you see the Castillet as no more than a bygone relic, then I recommend visiting the maze that is the Perpignan streets. Winding, narrow, crooked streets, surrounded by high walls ... The Perpignan you should visit, no doubt. The rue de la Possonnerie is the most particular. To all this we must add the ocher colors of the Mediterranean, the reddish tones of the houses, and the atmosphere of the bars and restaurants.
The Musée Hyacinthe Rigaud (Perpignan) is located in the center of Perpignan, in a splendid 18th century mansion, and has multiple collections ranging from the 13th century to the present. You can see works by great artists like Rigaud, Clave, Maillol and Picasso. There's also a unique collection of 210 works by contemporary artists.
Visa pour l'Image, the largest international photojournalism festival, takes place annually in Perpignan, this year from August 27th to September 11th. The festival is an extraordinary reunion of photography lovers, and it attracts thousands of visitors ve share the passion of photojournalism. Exhibitions are spread throughout the city and you can discover captivating stories created by photojournalists worldwide. You can also attend an evening presentation and participate in conferences and meetings. It's just another way to discover Perpignan.
It is located on the border of Fenouillede, Corbieres and the Rosellon plain, right at the junction of the valleys of Agly Verdouble and the Maury River, Estagel. It offers visitors a variety of beautiful landscapes, and overlooks the village, "Capilla de San Vicente", one of the best examples of architecture in the area.
Situated along the Bassa at the start of François Arago, the Perpignan courthouse is the first monument to be seen on foot from Plaça Catalunya in the historic center. It is very impressive, with its renovated columns and two huge statues depicting the order and justice, both sides of the heavy wood front door.