Updated: July 5, 2023
Have you visited Barcelona a few times and are looking to explore more places nearby? There are lots of day trips and weekend trips all at less than a 4 hour drive from the Condal City. Let’s explore one possible option below!
Located just under 3 hours away from Barcelona, Perpignan, France makes for a great day trip or weekend escape from the Catalonia capital. Based near the Mediterranean Sea, this Catalan city has much to visit which surprised me when I first started researching what to do here.
The reason for my visit was an unlikely one. Due to the pandemic and everyone trying to find vaccine shots against it, some have resorted to traveling to different cities or countries in order to find one. I had been vaccinated since April 2021 but many friends in Barcelona had not so they found that it was possible to do so in Perpignan as long as they had an appointment. They needed a driver, so I offered to do it as long as we could do some sightseeing.
They booked appointments and off we went. I didn’t end up being the driver but just went for the ride. Unfortunately I didn’t know all of the people going on the trip, which did lead to a bit of tension. Not everyone wanted to stay which led us to leave early. So here I’ll only leave you with what I was able to visit and at the end some recommendations on other places you should visit while you’re there.
Grab my France Map with spots that go beyond this blog post. Use it to plan your trip to Perpignan and more cities in France!
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Palais des Rois de Majorque
My first stop was the Palais des Rois de Majorque which is a castle from the time period of the Kingdom of Majorca, which only held control over Perpignan for less than 70 years. With the standing of this castle we can see how it left an impression on the city. When you go to the top of the tower you’ll see you have amazing 360 views of the city even though it’s a little far away from the center. I would recommend about 2 hours to visit this castle if you really want to fully enjoy it.
Fee: 4€ Adults, 3€ Patrimonial Pass 66, 2€ teenagers (>12 years), students, seniors (>65 years), groups (>15 people), Free: kids (<12 years), school groups
Hours: November-March 10h-17h(5pm), April-June 10h-18h(6pm), July-August 9:30h-18:30h(6:30pm), September-October 10h-18h(6pm)
The ticket office closes 45 minutes before the closing time.
Address: Rue des Archers, 66000 Perpignan, France
Casa Pairal Museum
The second stop was the Casa Pairal Museum (also known as the Castillet) which is located right in the city center. When we went it was free to go up but it does seem that there normally is a small charge. This former prison now turned museum talks about different topics that were once relevant to the area and other places as well. One in particular was about witches and sorcery. There were wands, spell books, flying brooms, among other things in this exhibit. This floor also talked aout witch trials and struggling witches that participated in protests around the world. Aside from the pano views at the top, this was probably my favorite floor. I would recommend an hour to be able to go through each floor and enjoy the view at the top.
Fee: 2€ Adults, 1€ Reduced rate, Free (>26 years)
Hours: October 1st-May 31st 11h-17:30h(5:30pm), Closed Mondays. June 1st-September 30th 10:30h-18:30h(6:30pm) everyday
Address: Le Castillet, Pl. de Verdun, 66000 Perpignan, France
Fun for Two
Explore Perpignan in a unique way with this app-based exploration game! It’s perfect for couples looking to learn about each other as you answer tricky questions and solve creative tasks while exploring the area. Consider this adventure and city walk on your next day trip to Perpignan, France.
We walked by the Têt river that goes through the center of the city. There is a part of it that branches off towards the Casa Pairal that is lined with beautiful flowers depending on the season. It looks like a nice place to take a walk or have a picnic along the water. Time can depend on if you’re just walking by or planning to spend time here.
Because of reasons already mentioned, we didn’t get a chance to explore more within the city and outside of it. Here I’ll leave a couple of places you can keep in mind for your future visit:
The Perpignan Cathedral is about a five minute walk from the Castillet. It’s construction was ordered by King Sancho II of Majorca in 1324 and became Perpignan’s Cathedral in the 1600s once it was finally completed. Based on the photos I’ve seen, the interior looks rather spectacular and definitely worth visiting if you’re in the area!
Hours: Everyday 8am to 5pm/8h – 17h
Address: 1 Rue de l’Horloge, 66000 Perpignan, France
Interested in a unique experience?
Then consider doing a helicopter ride over the Eastern Pyrenees! Unfortunately I did not get a chance to participate in this excursion. I will be adding it to my list for when I go back to Perpignan because the views look incredible! There is a requirement of 2 people to have the activity happen.
Looking for more suggestions for your day trip to Perpignan or France? Don’t forget to grab my France Map and have them ready for your next adventure! You’ll be able to access it through your own Google Maps app.
If you are looking for more day trip options from Barcelona, make sure you check out this post! There are twelve places you can visit even if just for a day. I promise it won’t disappoint.
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