How to reach the Avignon city center

AvignonHere are practical details for people participating to our embedded Linux and Linux driver development training sessions. Of course, these could interest anyone traveling to Avignon.

In the maps that we mention, we assume that you stay at the hotel where our training sessions take place. Several other hotels are available in the area though.

By train

Even if you are traveling from abroad, it can be a worthy solution to reach Avignon by train. Thanks to the TGV fast train, Avignon is easy to reach from several French and European cities:

  • Marseille: 34 minutes (“Marseille Saint Charles” station)
  • Lyon: 1 hour (“Lyon Part Dieu” station)
  • Paris: 2 hours and 40 minutes (city center, “Paris Gare de Lyon” station), 3 hours (Charles de Gaulle airport, “Charles de Gaulle 2 TGV” station)
  • Geneva (airport): 3 hours and 30 minutes (“Geneve SNCF” station, also called “Geneva Cornavin”)
  • Brussels: 4 hours and 17 minutes (“Brussels Midi” station, also called “Bruxelles Schuman”)

In addition to being environmental friendly, The TGV fast train is a very comfortable way to travel and see the French countryside.

You can check timetables and book your training tickets on-line.

If you are coming from far away, you could fly to Paris, go to Avignon for the week, and get back to Paris for the week-end before you leave France.

Once you reach the Avignon TGV train station, you will still be 5 km away from the city center. You can then take a local train shuttle (called “TER”) to the Avignon central station which runs every 30 to 45 minutes, or take a taxi to get to your hotel (see the trip on Google Maps).”

By plane – Marseille airport

The main airport near Avignon is the Marseille Provence airport (code: MRS). When you land, you basically have four options to reach the Avignon city center.

Train to Avignon city center

The first solution is to take a shuttle from the airport to the Vitrolles Airport train station, the closest one. The trip with the shuttle lasts about 10 minutes. Then, you will have a direct train to the Avignon Centre station (from 53 minutes to 1 hour and 28 minutes – See the timetable). Take this shuttle on bus stop number 5:

Map of bus stops at the Marseille airport

Once you reach the Avignon central station, the hotel where our sessions take place is still 1.2 km away (15 minutes walking distance, see Google’s map).

With this option, you will therefore take from 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours to reach the Avignon city center. Of course, you should also count for the time waiting for the next shuttle to take you to the train station.

Shuttle to Marseille train station and train to Avignon TGV

Another option is to take the shuttle to the Marseille fast train (TGV) station, which will reach this station in 25 minutes. See the timetable. Take it on bus stop 3:

Shuttle to the Marseille Saint Charles train station
Shuttle to the Marseille Saint Charles train station - Bus stop 3

You can the reach the Avignon TGV train station in about 30 minutes. Then, you will still be 5 km away from the city center. You can then take a local train shuttle (called “TER”) to the Avignon central station which runs every 30 to 45 minutes, or take a taxi to get to your hotel (see the trip on Google Maps).”

As there is a connection in Marseille, whether this option will be better than the first one will strongly depend of the timetables. You should compare both options to see which one allows you to reach Avignon first, given your expect arrival time in the Marseille airport.

You should also keep a little time to buy your train ticket at the train station. Automated desks are available. It is also possible to buy your tickets on-line. You can either do that on-line at the last minute and get your ticket at a train station desk (automated or not), or do that at least a few days ahead of time and have your tickets sent to your home by post mail.

Rental car to Avignon city center

This is probably the most convenient solution if you are several people traveling together. Car rental parking lots are right in front of the terminals, and you can get to your destination quickly. The trip is 85 km long, and should last from 1 hour to 1 hours and 15 minutes, depending on traffic.

See the trip on Google Maps.

However, you won’t need your car during the week, as there are plenty of things to do and see around the training venue, within walking distance. In addition, you will have to pay about 15 EUR per day to keep your car in the indoor public parking lot next to the hotel where the sessions take place. Make sure you give your parking ticket to the hotel before paying, to get a 20% discount to the total cost. You can do this even if you stay at another hotel. You are still a customer to the hotel as a participant to our course.

Renting a car is a good option though, if you have a few extra days in Avignon and wish to explore the Provence region.

Taxi to Avignon city center

This is the fastest solution to reach Avignon. You can expect a cost of 150 to 200 EUR. Uber is also available and as of Nov. 2017, the estimated cost was between 140 and 190 EUR with the UberX service.

Because of parking costs and the fact that you won’t need a car during the week, this may be a better option than renting a car if you are traveling alone.

By plane – Other airports

Avignon has its own airport (code: AVN). It currently only has direct connections to Southampton in the UK, but this could have changed when you read this page.

The next aiport is then in Nimes Garons (code: FNI). It currently be reached with the Ryan Air low cost airline, from Brussels Charleroi and London Luton. The airport is 55 km away from Avignon (about 45 minutes, map). You can then reach Avignon by taxi or by renting a car.

Another airport is Montpellier Mediterrannée (MPL). It is hardly more distant than the Marseille airport (93 km, 1 hour and 6 minutes, map), and has a good number of direct connections to multiple airports in Europe, with low cost airlines such as Easy Jet and Ryan Air. The Marseille airport is bigger and has more direct flights, but you may find a more convenient solution through Montpellier. With this airport, the best way to reach Avignon seems to be by renting a car. Getting a taxi is likely to be more expensive.