Orange was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991 due to its Roman ruins. The city’s Roman theatre is the only one in the world with its vast, 120-foot-high (37-meter) stage wall still standing, and its inner facade features a statue of Emperor Augustus. You can also see the impressive triumphal arch and the ruins of temples, city walls, and the forum. The local museum also boasts the largest Roman marble cadastral maps ever discovered.
Guided tours through the city can provide valuable insight into these sights as well as historic sights from other eras. After exploring the city, head out into wine country do explore the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape region.
Things to Know Before You Go
Orange is easy to explore on foot, though many streets are cobbled. Bikes are available to rent.
Orange hosts a local market every Thursday morning.
The Roman theatre plays host to an annual summer opera festival known as the Chorégies d'Orange, which is one of the oldest festivals in France.
How to Get There
Orange is in Provence, about 13 miles (21 km) north of Avignon, and can be easily reached by road or train; rail links connect to Avignon, Marseille, Lyon, and Paris. You can also visit as part of a guided tour that includes tours of the surrounding countryside and wine tasting in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
When to Get There
The peak time for visiting Orange (and the rest of the south of France) is the summer. For a cooler, less-crowded visit, consider booking a trip in autumn or spring. The Chorégies d'Orange opera festival is usually staged in July.
Visit the City of Avignon
Roughly a 30-minute drive (or a 15-minute train ride) south of Orange you’ll find the larger city of Avignon. Situated on the Rhône River, the city is well-known as the home of the medieval bridge the Pont d'Avignon. After visiting this famous sight, stop by the impressive Palais des Papes, which was the seat of the Catholic church in the Middle Ages.
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- St. Benezet Bridge (Pont d'Avignon)
- Avignon Cathedral (Cathedrale Notre-Dame des Doms)
- Rocher des Doms
- Palace of the Popes (Palais des Papes)
- Little Palace Museum (Musée du Petit Palais)
- Rhône River
- Les Halles Market
- Pont du Gard
- Senanque Abbey (Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque)
- Lavender Museum (Musee de la Lavande)
- Les Baux-de-Provence