Visit Narbonne (Languedoc-Roussillon, France)
Narbonne was once the capital of the first Roman colony in Gaul. Up until the middle ages it was a prosperous city port but plague, war and a harbour prone to silting up led to a decline. However it remains an attractive city on the Mediterranean coast between Perpignan and Montpellier.
Nice shops, an attractive area around the cathedral (the Place de l’Hotel de Ville) full of cafés where you can stop for a coffee and a sandwich, the Canal du Midi (Canal de la Robine at this point) running through the centre of the town and a whole selection of beautiful buildings with interesting architectural features make Narbonne well worth a visit.
The main attractions in Narbonne are conveniently situated close together in the centre of town. They are:
Le Palais Vieux: (the old Palace). Le Cour de la Madeleine, the old palace courtyard, is entered through a gateway, and the area is dominated by the Saint Theodard bell tower and the cathedral. Excavations at the site have revealed three older religious structures predating the current cathedral.
La Cathedrale Saint Just et Saint Pasteur and the Palais des Archeveques together form a large and very attractive structure. Despite its size the cathedral is in fact unfinished with only the choir completed. Finishing would have involved demolishing part of the city walls and so work stopped in 1340.
On the outside the structure is lovely to see with its large flying buttresses. Inside it is the height of the cathedral which is impressive and it has some very impressive 14th century stained glass windows.
You should also visit the cloister and the garden for particularly good views of the cathedral façade.
Le Palais Neuf is gothic in style and was built for the Archbishop.
- Outside of the Place de l’Hotel de Ville are the towers of St Martial, the Madeleine, and the Gilles Aycelin keep.
- Not far away L’Horreum (grain store) is the only building in Narbonne left from Roman times. Inside are lots of underground galleries in which goods were stored. Various remnants of other Roman buildings are displayed inside the Horreum.
- On the edge of the town centre is the Basilique Saint Paul, an early Gothic church which has been built on the site of a 4th-century necropolis.
- Les Halles is an award winning covered market open every day and a great place to stock up on local fresh produce. The market in Narbonne is one of the best in France.
Le Musee Archeologique situated in the archbishop’s palace has a gallo-romain section which includes lots of remains illustrating the life of Narbo-Martius when the town was a Roman colony in 118 BC. Well worth a visit.
Le Musée d’Art et d’Histoire includes a visit to the apartments of the archbishop arranged as they were in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Attractions close to Narbonne
Near Narbonne we suggest you visit the Abbaye Fontfroide, a beautifully preserved monastic estate complete with church, cloister, chapter hall and laybrother’s buildings.
Children and adults alike will enjoy a trip to the Sigean nature reserve at 20 kilometres south of Narbonne.
Photos of Narbonne
Click any picture to start the gallery
Tourist classifications for Narbonne
Narbonne has received the following tourist classifications: historical protected town centre' (secteur sauvegardé); listed town of Art and History
Address: Narbonne, Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon, 11100 || GPS: latitude 43.1836, longitude 3.0042
Map of Narbonne & places nearby
Highlights close by
Fontfroide Abbey 11km
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Narbonne, France
- Abbaye de Fontfroide (Narbonne) - religious monument (12km)
- African reserve of Sigean - zoo or wildlife park (13km)
- Narbonnaise en Méditerranée - regional natural parc (14km)
- Enserune - national monument (17km)
- Beziers - secteur sauvegarde (24km)
- Minerve - most beautiful village (28km)
- Lagrasse - most beautiful village (33km)
- Jardin des carrières de Saint-Adrien - remarkable garden (36km)
- Parc et jardin du château de Margon - remarkable garden (42km)
- Pezenas - recommended detour (46km)
Market days in Narbonne: Regular market(s) are held in Narbonne each Sunday. A seasonal market is held in Narbonne on Tuesday & Thursday & Saturday & Monday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Narbonne (Francais)