Perpignan (Perpinyà in Catalan) is the capital of the department of Pyrénées-Orientales, the Northern Catalonia part of France and is situated about 15km from the sea. Perpignan is home to about 100,000 people, and has two rivers flowing through it; with the Têt to the north, and the Basse through the centre. This article also covers Argelès-sur-Mer, one of the major seaside resorts in the south of France (300 days of sunshine per year). That old and lively Catalan village is built around its church and museum.
- Autoroute A9, from north (France) and south (Spain)
- D 914 (ex RN114)
- From Andorra, N116.
- From Dublin Aer Lingus (www.aerlingus.com)
- Regular line from Paris Orly: 5 planes/day. (Air France)
- From Manchester Airport, England, use BMIbaby
- From London Stansted airport - daily flights, use Ryanair (www.ryanair.com)
- From Birmingham (3 flights a week) with Ryanair
- From Southampton (2 flights a week), use Flybe (www.flybe.com)
- From Bristol (2 flights a week) - about €44- use Ryanair (www.ryanair.com)
- From Charleroi , Belgium (3 flights a week), use Ryanair (www.ryanair.com)
Gare de PerpignanThe station held major importance for Salvador Dalí, who proclaimed it "the center of the universe" and made a painting of it. As for travel, it sits along the first and thus far (2017) only standard gauge connection between Spain and France, served by French TGV and Spanish AVE bookable through RENFE and SNCF at rather affordable rates if you book early.
- Eurolines : 04 68 34 11 46 - 10, avenue du Général de Gaulle (close to the railway station); www.eurolines.fr
- DeinBus serves Perpignan from stations as far away as Germany
- German bus-behemoth Flixbus serves Perpignan
The main way to get around in Perpignan (due to its relatively small size) is by foot, but there are buses run by Compagnie Transports that go right through the city centre, and then further out, even going as far as Cabestany and Canet. Driving is also a good way to get about, with lots of underground parking in the city centre, but beware, during the summer and 'tourist season' there will be a lot of traffic, and few parking places left.
By bikeThere is shared bike system called BIP!. It has around 15 stations, for example at place de Catalogne and next to the train station. A weekly subscription is €1, with the first 30 minutes of each ride being for free. It can be bought at http://wap.bip-perpignan.fr, after which you can retrieve a bike with an ID and the password you provided. Watch out! The text message you receive containing the ID and password has been known to switch those (should be fairly obvious). Also, don't include the leading zeros when entering the ID.
- The cathedral of St Jean was begun in 1324 and finished in 1509.
- The 13th century castle of the kings of Majorca sits on the high citadel, surrounded by ramparts, reinforced for Louis XI and Charles V, which were updated in the 17th century by Louis XIV's military engineer Vauban.
Spectator sports: Perpignan is one of France's rugby hotbeds, and boasts professional teams in both rugby codes:
- USAP Perpignan — Plays rugby union (15 a side) in France's Top 14 competition, where it is frequently one of the strongest teams. Home ground is Stade Aimé Giral.
- Dragons Catalans — Plays rugby league (13 a side) in Super League, where it is joined by 12 teams from England and one from Wales. Home ground is Stade Gilbert Brutus.
The festival Sant Joan is not to be missed.
Les Antiquairesaddress: Place Desprès 66000Founded in 1973, this restaurant located in the heart of a historic neighborhood offers traditional French fare focusing on simplicity and authenticity.
address: Chemin Du Mas Palegry Rn9
address: 900, Avenue D'espagne
Tropicaddress: Route D'Opoul
Victoriaaddress: 57 Avenue Maréchal Joffre
address: 17 Avenue Gilbert Brutus
Comfort Inn Perpignan Aéroportaddress: Avenue Du Languedoc Espace Polygone.
Campanile Perpignanaddress: 12 Rue Alphonse Laveran, Lot. Porte D'espagne
phone: +33468350496address: Centre of Perpignan
address: 16 Cours Lazare Escarguel
address: 40 boulevard Clémenceau
Hotel De Franceaddress: 26 Quai Sadi Carnot
Hôtel New Christinaaddress: 51 Cours Lassus
Kyriad Perpignan Centreaddress: 8, Boulevard Wilson
phone: +33 1 58 21 55 84Located between Narbonne and Perpignan and just a matter of minutes from the Spanish border. Also a car-free residence. Has at least 15km of sandy beaches (1.2km). On-site activities, include two large swimming pools, three tennis courts, table tennis, a multi-sports area, sailing, cycling and a children's playground.
phone: +33 1 58 21 55 84Has private swimming pool, near the yachting marina, between sea and mountain, in the Port Argelès district. Located between two sand beaches
address: Rond Point Albert Donnezan, Serrat Den Vaquer
address: 15 rue Guillaume ApollinaireA luxury oasis with pool set in exotic gardens.
However, some parts of the city, namely the district of Saint-Jacques, should be visited with caution, and ideally never on your own. No matter where you go in town, never wear jewellery or other signs of wealth.