Périgueux, located in the southwestern part of France, is a charming city with a rich history dating back to the Roman era. Known for its well-preserved medieval architecture, delectable cuisine, and picturesque landscapes, Périgueux offers a delightful experience for visitors. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Périgueux:
1. Périgueux Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Front)
This impressive cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Built in the 12th century, it features a unique Byzantine-influenced architecture with five domes. Explore the interior, admire the intricate details, and climb the tower for panoramic views of the city.
2. Old Town (Vieux Périgueux)
Take a leisurely stroll through the narrow, winding streets of the old town, lined with beautifully preserved medieval and Renaissance buildings. Explore the Place de la Clautre, Place Saint-Louis, and Place de l’Ancien Hôtel de Ville, where you’ll find charming cafes, shops, and restaurants.
3. Vesunna Gallo-Roman Museum
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Immerse yourself in Périgueux’s Roman history at the Vesunna Museum. Housed in a striking contemporary building designed by Jean Nouvel, this museum showcases artifacts and exhibits that provide insights into the daily life and architecture of the Roman era.
4. Jardin des Arènes
Located near the Vesunna Museum, this tranquil public garden is built on the remains of a Roman amphitheater. Enjoy a peaceful walk among the greenery, relax on the benches, and admire the archaeological remains that are integrated into the garden.
Périgueux is known for its vibrant markets, offering an array of fresh produce, local specialties, and handicrafts. Don’t miss the bustling Marché des Halles, where you can find an abundance of regional delicacies like foie gras, truffles, and wines. The market is held on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
6. Maison du Patissier
Satisfy your sweet tooth by visiting this renowned pastry shop. Indulge in traditional pastries, cakes, and chocolates, all made with exceptional craftsmanship. It’s a treat for both the eyes and the taste buds.
7. Excursions to the Périgord Region
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Périgueux serves as an excellent base for exploring the picturesque Périgord region. Visit charming medieval towns such as Sarlat-la-Canéda, explore prehistoric caves like Lascaux, and savor the local cuisine, including duck confit, truffles, and walnut products.
9. Musée d’Art et d’Archéologie du Périgord
Delve into the art and archaeology of the region at this museum. It houses a diverse collection of artifacts, paintings, and sculptures that showcase the cultural heritage of Périgord.
9. Outdoor Activities
Surrounding Périgueux are beautiful natural landscapes that offer opportunities for outdoor activities. Go hiking or cycling in the nearby countryside, explore the Dordogne River by canoe, or enjoy a picnic in one of the many scenic parks.
10. Château de Puyguilhem
Located just outside Périgueux, this Renaissance castle is a must-visit for history and architecture enthusiasts. Explore the elegant interiors, stroll through the landscaped gardens, and admire the ornate details that reflect the grandeur of the past.
11. Abbaye de Chancelade
Discover the tranquility of this medieval abbey, situated a short distance from Périgueux. Admire the impressive Romanesque architecture, visit the crypt, and take a peaceful walk through the surrounding forests.
12. Grotte de Tourtoirac
Embark on an underground adventure by visiting the Tourtoirac Cave, known for its stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations. Take a guided tour and learn about the geological history and significance of this natural wonder.
13. Musee Militaire du Perigord
Image Source: https://www.museemilitaire-perigord.fr/
If you have an interest in military history, this museum is worth a visit. It houses a collection of artifacts, weapons, and uniforms from various periods, providing insights into the region’s military heritage.
14. Parc Gamenson
Escape the bustling city center and relax in this picturesque park. Enjoy a leisurely walk, have a picnic, or simply unwind amidst the lush greenery. The park also features a small lake and playgrounds for children.
15. Attend a Festival
Périgueux hosts several cultural festivals throughout the year, offering a chance to immerse yourself in the local traditions and artistic performances. The Mimos International Mime Festival and the Festival Sinfonia are among the highlights.
16. Try the Local Cuisine
Image Source: https://www.seedordogne.com/cuisine/guide
Périgueux is renowned for its gastronomy, particularly its traditional dishes featuring regional specialties. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample dishes like confit de canard (duck confit), truffle-infused delicacies, and the famous Périgord-style foie gras.
17. Wine Tasting
The Périgord region is home to vineyards that produce excellent wines. Take a wine tour and indulge in tastings of the local reds, whites, and rosés, accompanied by expert guidance on the different grape varieties and winemaking processes.
18. Les Arènes de Périgueux
If you happen to visit during the summer months, check out the Les Arènes de Périgueux. This outdoor amphitheater hosts various cultural events, including concerts, theater performances, and festivals.
19. Explore the Dordogne River
The Dordogne River flows through Périgueux, offering opportunities for various water activities. Join a boat tour, go kayaking, or simply enjoy a leisurely riverside walk to appreciate the scenic beauty and tranquility it provides.
20. Maison du Foie Gras
Explore the world of foie gras at Maison du Foie Gras, a museum dedicated to this famous delicacy. Learn about the traditional methods of production, sample different varieties, and gain insights into the history and significance of foie gras in the region.
21. Château de Bourdeilles
Venture outside Périgueux to visit the stunning Château de Bourdeilles. This medieval fortress offers a fascinating glimpse into the past with its well-preserved architecture and scenic location overlooking the Dronne River.
22. Périgueux by Night
Experience the enchanting atmosphere of Périgueux after dark. Take an evening stroll through the illuminated streets, dine at one of the cozy restaurants, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife that comes alive with music, laughter, and entertainment.
23. Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil
Embark on a day trip to Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, known as the “Prehistoric Capital.” This town is home to several famous prehistoric sites, including the National Prehistory Museum, Font-de-Gaume Cave, and Les Combarelles Cave, where you can marvel at ancient cave paintings and artifacts.
24. La Roque-Gageac
Discover the scenic village of La Roque-Gageac, nestled on the banks of the Dordogne River. Admire the picturesque houses built into the cliffs, take a boat ride along the river, and explore the charming streets lined with cafes, boutiques, and art galleries.
25. Gardens of Marqueyssac
Lose yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Gardens of Marqueyssac. Located near Périgueux, these meticulously manicured gardens offer stunning panoramic views of the Dordogne Valley and feature intricate boxwood designs, winding paths, and enchanting sculptures.
Visit the charming town of Montignac, famous for its proximity to the Lascaux Caves. Explore the Lascaux IV International Center for Cave Art, where you can experience a remarkable replica of the original prehistoric cave paintings that date back over 17,000 years.
27. Taste Local Wines
Périgueux is surrounded by vineyards that produce excellent wines. Take a wine tour and visit local wineries, where you can indulge in wine tastings, learn about the winemaking process, and discover the distinct flavors of the region’s wines.
Places and Things To Do