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Perpignan (Perpinyà in Catalan) is the capital of the department of Pyrénées-Orientales, the Northern Catalonia part of France, and about 15 km from the sea. Perpignan is home to about 120,000 people, and has two rivers flowing through it; with the Têt to the north, and the Basse through the centre. Once the continental capital of the Kingdom of Majorca, Perpignan has been an economical and educational centre for centuries, and this is evident in its architecture.


Climate chart (explanation)
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Perpignan sits on the crossroads of the French and Spanish, Catalan and Languedocian cultural spheres. It was the "mainland" capital of the Kingdom of Mallorca for a while and gained further fame as a connection point between France and Spain when the first high-speed standard gauge rail line between the two countries opened from Figueres in 2010 with the missing section onwards via Girona to Barcelona and thence all of Spain opening in 2013. Perpignan gained some questionable fame in the 2020 municipal elections when a member of the far-right RN and former partner of its leader Marine Le Pen, won the mayoral election, making Perpignan the biggest city with a far-right mayor in France.

Perpignan is in the heart of the Roussillon plain, about 10-15 km from the beaches of Côte d'Améthyste (Amethyst coast) on the Mediterranean. It sits between the Corbières region and the Albères Massif, foothills of the Pyrenees and the emblematic mountain Pic du Canigou is visible to the southwest.

The historical centre has narrow streets with brick houses and one of the highlights here is the quartier Saint-Jacques with the Medieval Jewish quartier. The citadel with the royal palace, the Castillet and ramparts are monuments to the time when the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Mallorca. There's more to the old town than history, it also has many bars and a vibrant nightlife.

The outskirts of the city show a sharp contrast to the old town. In the latter half of the 20th century Perpignan grew rapidly, one of the reasons was that people moving from independent Algeria settled here. During this time many suburbs emerged, being built quickly and in a disorderly manner.

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.



The climate is Mediterranean with hot summers and mild winters, which is evident in the vegetation. Trees include olive trees, palms, green oaks, cork oaks and pines, together with fruit trees (peach, apricot, cherry, almond and orange). In the arid higher locations grows garrigue, thymes and wild lavender.

Rain is relatively rare, though when it falls it's sometimes torrential. Such rains usually occur during late summer or early autumn. Perpignan gets a lot of sun, on average 2506 hours a year - much thanks to the Pyrenees that block rainy weather coming in from the Atlantic.

Wind patterns have names; usually it blows from the northwest, and the wind is called tramontane. The wind from Spain (southwest) is known as alber, from southeast marinada and south migjorn are rarer but these too help clear the sky from clouds.


Le Castillet, a 14th century city gate

The oldest traces of human habitation are from the 7th century BCE, discovered through archaeological diggings around Château-Roussillon. Made up of the remains of a home and a grave, it is known as the Ruscino site. In pre-Christian times Perpignan was an important town, first the capital of the Sordones (an Iberic people) and during Roman times a prosperous city with a forum, basilicas, thermal baths and patricians residences. The Roman name for the town was Ruscino, which has evolved into Roussillon. However, the Romans decided to move the regional administration to nearby Elne, meaning the decline of Ruscino. In Elne an episcopal seat was established.

In the early 8th century the Muslims marching northwards from Spain returned the regional capital status to Ruscino. The first reference of the city's present name was in a charter from 927, where a place named Villa Perpiniani had been established outside Ruscino. This modest village was chosen as the capital by the counts of Roussillon who had a castle built here in the 11th century. In 1172 it became part of the crown of Aragon, and the city received privileges including a local government with a great degree of autonomy.

The 13th and 14th centuries were known as the golden age of Perpignan. Christians reconquered the Balearic Islands, and together with areas in present-day northeastern Spain and south coastal France they were made into a separate kingdom, the Kingdom of Majorca, with Perpignan as its capital. Many of the grand buildings such as the cathedral, royal palace, ramparts and a sea court are from this time. In 1344 the kingdom was reincorporated into the Crown of Aragon.

Roussillon including Perpignan was annexed by France in 1463, and this was followed by 30 years of local revolt against the French. In 1493 Aragon gained control again and the city became known as Fidelissima Vila de Perpinyà - the faithful city of Perpignan. Aragon and later Spain built fortifications around the Perpignan, but in 1642 the French Army returned and in 1659 the region became part of France as part of the Treaty of the Pyrenees. The fortifications were improved again, this time by the famous architect Vauban, and also the city was modernized.

Perpignan saw warfare again during the Napoleonic Wars. As a city near the border of two European powers, many buildings were converted into military use and many others were destroyed to make the city less cramped. In theh 19th century, Perpignan was industrialized and became an economic center. In the 20th century, the town was under German occupation during WWII and received a large influx of pieds noirs, French North Africans, when Morocco, Tunisia and especially Algeria became independent in the 1960s. The resulting population growth meant that suburbs were created around Perpignan. Perpignan today remains an important economic center in southern France, as well as a popular transport hub for tourists.

Get in


By plane


1 Perpignan–Rivesaltes Airport (PGF  IATA), Ave Maurice Bellonte, +33 468 526070. The airport is small, with daily flights by Transavia from Paris Orly, and by Ryanair from the UK and Morocco. Bus 6 runs to town every 30 min M-Sa else take a taxi. Perpignan–Rivesaltes Airport (Q1432351) on Wikidata Perpignan–Rivesaltes Airport on Wikipedia

By train


2 Gare de Perpignan, 1 Place Salvador Dali. TGVs run from Paris (5 hours), Lyon and Marseille via Narbonne, and continue south to Girona, Barcelona Sants (80 min) and Madrid. Trains also run from Toulouse, Nimes and Montpellier via Narbonne. Regional trains run every hour or two to Cerbère and Portbou: this was the old route to Spain (immortalised in a painting by Salvador Dalí), and you can still travel that way. The station has decorative paintings in Dalí's style, plus car hire and "Centre del Món" a small shopping mall. Perpignan railway station (Q2283118) on Wikidata Gare de Perpignan on Wikipedia

By bus


Flixbus runs daily direct from Paris, taking 12 hr 30 min and continuing to Barcelona. Other services from Paris involve changing in Lyon.

Blablabus ride-shares are often the most convenient way to Girona, Barcelona and cities in southern France.

Local buses run to Argelès-sur-Mer, Thuir, Ille-sur-Têt, Le Boulou and Quillan.

Central Bus Station is west side of the railway station.

By road


Autoroute A9 (La Catalane, toll) follows the coast. From the north join it off A7 near Orange, and follow it past Nîmes, Montpellier, Béziers and Narbonne.

From Bordeaux and Toulouse follow A62 / A61 to Narbonne to join A9.

From Spain follow AP-7 past Barcelona and Girona.

D900 is the old north-south road replaced by A9. It's toll-free and goes through Perpignan city centre. It's often congested.

D117 follows the north edge of the Pyrenees, so from the west it's an alternative to A64 / A61.

N20 / N116 is the route from Andorra.

Get around


Walk: town centre is compact, and much is pedestrianised.

Buses are operated by Sankeo: their website has a route planner, timetables and maps. The network extends to nearby towns.

Taxis wait at the airport and railway station. Firms in town are Accueil Perpignan (+33 468 351515) and Alternative Taxi (+33 652 664318).

Driving: not if you can avoid it. Especially in summer, the streets are congested and central car parks are full.


The cathedral

Quartier Saint-Jean


Established south of the Basse River, Saint-Jean is the historic part of Perpignan. In the 11th century the counts of Roussillon established a fortress around the small church of Saint-Jean le Vieux. It's a lively part of the city largely composed of brick buildings with or without coating and small alleys and squares between them. Many streets are pedestrianized and lined by shops and restaurants.

Place de la Loge is the most famous square, and was known in the Middle Ages as Plaça dels Richs Homens (the square of the rich people in Catalan). It's surrounded by buildings of great importance during the time; Loge de Mer (court and commercial exchange), Palais de la Députation, and the city hall. In the middle stands "La Vénus au collier", a statue by painter and sculptor Aristide Maillol (1861-1944). Nearby Place de Verdun sits right next to the Castillet and around the corner is the Basse, surrounded by greenery.

In addition to walking around on your own, in the warmer half of the year there are guided walking tours departing from the tourist office, a tourist train going around the historical centre, and a boat with electric motor plying the Basse.

  • 1 Perpignan Cathedral (Basilique-Cathédrale de Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Perpignan), 1 Rue de l'Horloge, +33 468 513372. Daily 08:00-17:00. Work on this large brick cathedral began in 1324 during the rule of King Sancho I of Majorca. The fall of the kingdom and the Black Death impeded works, and the building was only finished in 1509. It became a cathedral in 1602. It's been modified many times over the centuries and the oldest part is the choir with its seven-sided apse. Attractions include the white marble main altarpiece with scenes from the lives of Jesus and St John the Baptist, and altarpieces of Notre-Dame-de-la-Magrana and Saint-Pierre. There's also a small chapel with sacred art of the early 14th century, and a wooden crucifix brought here from the Rhine Valley. The western façade of the cathedral has a bell tower with a bell made in 1418. Free. Perpignan Cathedral (Q2942355) on Wikidata Perpignan Cathedral on Wikipedia
  • Campo Santo, 6 Rue Amiral Ribeil (south flank of cathedral). Tu-Su 11:00-17:30. The "field of saints" is a cemetery built from 1300 and used until the French Revolution. It's a brick cloister, with wealthy people buried in its arcades and the less well-off in the middle - now a grass field, formerly an ossuary. The oldest visible grave dates from 1317. It's occasionally an event space. Campo Santo de Perpignan (Q22954325) on Wikidata
  • Église Saint-Jean le Vieux (chapelle Notre Dame dels Correchs) (north flank of cathedral). Formerly the main church, Saint-Jean was abandoned once the cathedral was completed, and can't be visited. Église Saint-Jean le Vieux de Perpignan (Q3582122) on Wikidata Église Saint-Jean le Vieux de Perpignan on Wikipedia
  • 2 Castillet (Casa Pairal Museum), Place de Verdun, +33 4 68 354205. Tu-Su 11:00-17:30. This fortified 14th century city gate is the symbol of the city. The 31 m high dungeon is the Grand Castillet, and next to it the Petit Castillet was added in 1478; the bastion was demolished in the 19th century. It now houses a museum of folk art and traditions and there are nice views of the city from the terrace at the top. Adult €4. Castillet (Q2941439) on Wikidata Castillet on Wikipedia
  • 3 Hôtel de Ville (Mairie), Place de la Loge, +33 468 663066. M-F 08:30-18:00. The city hall was built in the 14th century and much modified since. It remains the seat of local government and there are no tours: you can look in on the courtyard, but can't routinely see the ornate wedding salon or council meeting room. Hôtel de ville de Perpignan (Q22954316) on Wikidata
  • Palais de la Députation, 11 Rue de la Loge (next to city hall). This 15th century building housed the Catalan government in Aragonese and Majorcan times, and when Perpignan became French it retained a similar function as the Sovereign Council of Roussillon. After the French Revolution it was a courthouse until 1866. It's now city government offices. Palais de la Députation (Q22954321) on Wikidata
Loge de Mer is now the Tourist Office
  • Loge de Mer next to city hall was the medieval stock exchange and commercial chambers. It's now the Tourist Office.
  • 4 Place de la République is the lively plaza at the heart of this district, lined with cafes.
  • 5 Musée d'art Hyacinthe Rigaud, 21 Rue Mailly, +33 468 661983, . Tu-Sa 11:00-17:30, Su 14:30-17:30. This displays French and Spanish painters from the 15th to the 20th centuries, including those of Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659-1743). He was born in Perpignan and became a royal portraitist at the courts of Louis XIV and Louis XV. His detailed images capture the fashions of those days. Adult €10. Musée Hyacinthe-Rigaud (Q3329201) on Wikidata Musée Hyacinthe-Rigaud on Wikipedia
  • Centre d'Art Contemporain Walter Benjamin, Plaça del Pont d'en Vestit (100 m south of Musée Rigaud), +33 468 663318. Tu-Su 11:00-17:30. Rotating exhibitions of contemporary art. Benjamin (1892-1940) was a German Jewish philosopher and art critic. He escaped occupied France to Port Bou, but the Spanish intended to deport him back to France, and he took an overdose rather than be handed over to the Nazis. Free.
  • 6 Casa Xanxo, 8 Rue de la Main de Fer, +33 468 623884. Tu-Su 11:00-17:30. Bernat Xanxo was a wealthy draper and had this mansion built in Catalan Gothic style in 1506. It's now a small art museum, but the building itself is the main attraction, with the ceremonial living room, and the frieze with symbols of the cardinal sins and the flames of hell awaiting. Free. Casa Xanxo (Q21511922) on Wikidata Casa Xanxo on Wikipedia
  • 7 Couvent des Dominicains, 6 Rue François Rabelais, +33 468 682626. This Dominican monastery was created in 1245, housing some 60 monks, and remained active until the Revolution. It has a large 18th century chapel, a chapter house, cloister, refectory and dormitories. The only part you can see is the chapel, used as an art exhibition space. The rest of the complex is military, organising French national service. Couvent des Frères Prêcheurs (Q22954308) on Wikidata Couvent des Frères Prêcheurs (Perpignan) on Wikipedia

Quartier de La Réal


This was the seat of royal power during the Kingdom of Majorca, and the district is also known by the name Castell Real. It's made up of the Royal Palace and the impressive citadel surrounding it and is a calm part of the city compared to the commercial parts. Some cultural institutions can be found here as well.

  • 8 Église Notre-Dame de La Réal, 7 Rue de l'Église la Réal, +33 468 347134. M-Sa 10:30-18:30, Su 10:00-12:00. The royal parish church was built on the site of a former convent and consecrated in 1323. During the Revolution it was a munitions factory, but in 1804 became a church again. It retains its Gothic structure, although the façade was renovated in the 19th century. Highlights within are the 14th century baptismal font and a 15th century painting of a tomb. Free. Notre-Dame la Réal church (Perpignan) (Q22954313) on Wikidata Église de la Réal on Wikipedia
  • 9 Palais des Rois de Majorque, Rue des Archers, +33 468 349626. W-Su 10:00-17:00. This was built from 1276 on the hill of Puig del Rei, as the powerbase for King James II of Majorca. It needed to be defensive as well as plush, so it was continually reinforced, the last by Louis XIV's military engineer Vauban. The palace is ranged around three courtyards with lush gardens and surrounded by ramparts and eight fortified towers. Enter through the tour de l'hommage, a marble and sandstone gate. The main building has elegant arcades and two side stairs, and contains the royal apartments and two chapels; Sainte-Marie-Madeleine for the queen and Sainte-Croix for the king. There's also the throne room which is monumental. An interesting detail is a frieze with the word "Allah" in Arabic: covring their backs with the Muslim Moors. Adult €7. Palace of the Kings of Majorca (Q507020) on Wikidata Palais des Rois de Majorque on Wikipedia
Majorcan Royal Palace
  • 10 Hôtel Pams, 18 Rue Émile-Zola, +33 468 663344. Tu-Su 11:00-17:30. Charming mansion built 1896-1902 with money from a cigarette paper business. It's now a small art museum. Free. Hôtel Pams (Q21512950) on Wikidata Hôtel Pams on Wikipedia
  • 11 Natural History Museum, 12 Rue Font Neuve, +33 468 663368. June-Sept daily 09:30-17:30, Oct-April Tu-Su 11:00-17:30. Extensive collections of the mineralogy, flora and fauna of the Pyrenees. There are also sections with archaeological objects from ancient Egypt, and an ethnological collection from Oceania. Free.

Quartier Saint-Jacques


Jacques I d'Aragon ordered this eastern extension of the city in the 1260s, centred on the church of Saint-Jacques. For the next 250 years it was the Jewish quarter or "Call", but almost nothing remains of that. Nowadays it has many Roma and Maghrebi residents: on a good day it's raffish and cosmopolitan, but often it feels seedy and unsafe.

  • 12 Église Saint-Jacques, C de la Miranda, +33 468 663030. Daily 11:00-18:00. Founded in 1260 as part of the city extension, it's in Catalan Gothic style and has many altarpieces. The portal made of marble from Céret was originally in Notre-Dame de La Réal, but was brought here in the 17th century, and a chapel added. On Good Friday it's the start point for Procession de la Sanch, in medieval black hoods. Église Saint-Jacques de Perpignan (Q3581873) on Wikidata Église Saint-Jacques de Perpignan on Wikipedia
  • Couvent des Minimes, 12 Rue Louis Bausil (200 m northwest of Saint-Jacques), +33 468 663030. Founded in 1573 and taken over by the army in 1791, this now houses art exhibitions. Couvent des Minimes de Perpignan on Wikipedia
  • Monument aux Morts de Perpignan 100 m east of Saint-Jacques was erected in 1924. It marks the south tip of Miranda Gardens, a ribbon of green along the line of the former city walls, arcing west towards the cathedral.


USA Perpignan supporters
  • Théâtre municipal is on Plaza de la República, Box Office +33 468 663354.
  • Cinéma le Castillet is at 1 Bvd Wilson next to Le Castillet.
  • 1 La Casa Musicale (L'Arsenal), 1 rue jean Vielledent. Cultural center focusing on music of many genres with performances and courses.
  • Rugby Union: 2 USA Perpignan, Stade Aimé-Giral, +33 468 596037. Nothing to do with American football, the name stands for Union Sportive Arlequins Perpignanais. They play rugby union (15 a side) in France's Top 14. The stadium (capacity 14,600) is named for fly-half Aimé Giral, one of seven of their players killed in the First World War. USA Perpignan (Q1471265) on Wikidata USA Perpignan on Wikipedia
  • Rugby League: 3 Dragons Catalans, Stade Gilbert-Brutus, Ave de l'aérodrome, +33 468 354530. They play rugby league (13 a side) in Super League, the UK top tier. The playing season is March-Oct. Their stadium (capacity 13,000) is named for rugby player and referee Gilbert Brutus, who joined the Resistance and was killed by the Gestapo. Catalans Dragons (Q862384) on Wikidata Catalans Dragons on Wikipedia
  • Saint-Estève XIII Catalan are a semi-pro rugby league team in Elite 1, the top French domestic tier. Their home ground is Stade Municipal (capacity 6000) 3 km northwest of town centre. The playing season is September-April.
  • 4 Parc des Sports, Ave Paul Alduy, +33 468 623900. Daily 07:00-22:00. A sports complex 2 km south of the centre, with natural and synthetic playing pitches, two gymnasiums, a baseball stadium, a health course, a fitness area, a skate park and a climbing wall.
  • Espace Aquatique du Moulin à Vent is a 50 m indoor swimming pool northeast corner of Parc ds Sports.
  • Espace Aquatique Arlette Franco is a 25 m pool next to Dragons Catalans stadium, at 2 Rue du Méridien.
Football: only amateur soccer is played hereabouts. Canet Roussillon FC play in the minor leagues at Stade Saint-Michel 10 km east of town.
Golf: the nearest course is Montescot 10 km south of town.


Penitents in the Sanch procession
  • Sanch procession has taken place every Good Friday since 1461. Penitents in caperutxas - pointy hoods - march the streets of the old town, starting from Saint-Jacques church, some of them barefoot. They carry life-size statues showing scenes of the passion of Christ.
  • Sant Joan festival is a midsummer festival on St John's eve (23 June), with bonfires, fireworks and parades.
  • Visa pour l'image is a photo exhibition in September for 15 days. The main venue is at Couvent des Minimes; several other venues are historic places not routinely open to the public.
  • Jazzèbre jazz concerts are year-round, but the main festival is late Sept to early Oct.


Merchant at the market
  • Marché de la Place de la République is a food and farmers market in the main plaza, Tu-Su 7:30-13:30.
  • Marché de la Place Cassanyes has a bit of everything. It's 100 m south of Église Saint-Jacques, daily 07:30-13:00.
  • Galeries Lafayette (FNAC), 1 Place de la Résistance (opposite Castillet), +33 468 352691. Daily 10:00-19:30. Three-floor department store with clothing, cosmetics, jewellery and other products.
  • Monoprix, 7 Rue de la Barre (50 m north of Place de la Republic), +33 468 345373. M-Sa 08:30-20:00, Su 09:00-19:30. One of the main supermarkets downtown, with groceries, wellness and DIY products.
  • 1 Biocoop Cosmos, 12 Ave de Prades, +33 468 540369. M-Sa 09:00-19:00. Organic and "eco-responsible" products.
  • 2 Auchan (Aushopping Porte d'Espagne), Av d'Espagne, +33 468 681010. M-Sa 08:30-21:30, Su 08:30-12:30. Auchan hypermarket is the anchor store on Porte d'Espagne retail park.
  • Leclerc have a hypermarket south on Ave Victor Dalbiez and another north at the Poligon on Ave du Languedoc.
  • Carrefour have five stores around town. The closest are north at 40 Ave Maréchal Joffre, and south at 16 Ave Pierre Cambres.
  • Lidl have four supermarkets in town. One is 200 m north of the station (open M-Sa 09:00-20:00), the others are further out.
  • Aldi have three branches, all edge of town.


Lobby of Hôtel Pams

The Roussillon cuisine is a variant of the Catalan cuisine, with ingredients from mar i muntanya - the sea and the mountains. Common ingredients include fish and seafood (the "fruits of the sea"), charcuteries, the "fruits of the land" like tomatoes, peppers, peaches, apricots, cherries and of course aioli (known as all i oli here).

Classics of the local cuisine include suquet (fish stew with saffron and tomatoes), esesxaida (red salad with peppers), llagosta i pollastre (dish based on lobster and chicken), bullinada (fish and seafood pot), llagostada (lobster simmered in olive oil with sofregit - sauce), or cargollada (barbecued snails).

Iconic products include botifarras (sausage) and fuet (dry sausages) but also anxoves (anchovies), a specialty of the city of Collioure, mongetes (white beans) and olives. For dessert there are bunyetes (beignets), coques or cocas (fruit pastries sometimes with ), crema catalana, le bras de gitan (Genoese cake filled with pastry cream), rousquille (cookies with anise) and mel i mato (goat or sheep's cheese with honey).

On the wine side, the region is famous for sweet wines including Banyuls, Rivesaltes, Muscat de Rivesaltes and Maury, and high quality table wines like Côte du Roussillon and Collioure.


  • Quick de Perpignan, Ave d'Espagne (opposite Holiday Inn), +33 468 543580. Daily 11:00-23:00. Chain fast food place for burgers.
  • 1 La Cafetière Catalane, 17 Rue de l'Ange, +33 468 561010. M-Sa 08:00-19:00. Tiny café serving coffee, tea and flavored hot chocolates.
  • Le Petit Comité, 24 Blv Georges Clemenceau (100 m west of Galeries Lafayette), +33 468 342764. M-F 07:30-14:30. Inexpensive place with Italian, French and international fare.
  • 2 Pizzeria Ponte Vecchio, Rue Rouget de l'Isle, +33 788 490687. Tu W 12:00-14:00, Th-Sa, M 12:00-14:00, 19:00-21:00. Friendly place for pasta and wood-fired pizza, outdoor seating.
Fideuà is Catalan seafood and pasta
  • 3 Whateuteu!, 4 Rue Amiral Barrera, +33 468 285096. Tu-Sa 18:00-00:00. Burgers and steaks, also has a cocktail bar.
  • La Carmagnole, 12 Rue de la Révolution Française (south side of Campo Santo), +33 468 354446. M-Sa 12:00-14:00. Local cuisine, majoring on seafood.
  • Café de la Source, 1 Rue Maréchal Foch (opposite Centre d'Art Benjamin), +33 468 342769. Daily 07:00-02:00. Trad brasserie with an inexpensive dish of the day.
  • Ô liban, 6 Rue Mailly (50 m north of Musée d'art Rigaud), +33 621 177724. Tu-Sa 10:00-15:00. Lebanese restaurant with meze selections including vegetarian choices.


  • Le 17, 1 Rue Cité Bartissol (next to cathedral), +33 468 385682. M-W 12:00-13:45, Th-Sa 12:00-14:00, 19:30-21:30. Quality French cuisine with daily specials.
  • 4 Restaurant Les Saisons, 6 Rue Camille Desmoulins, +33 602 597414. Tu 12:00-14:00, W-Sa 12:00-14:00, 19:00-22:00. French cuisine with meat, fish and vegetarian options.
  • 5 Les Aristo, 3 Rue de l'Incendie, +33 468 351149. W 19:30-21:30, Th-Su 12:00-13:30, 19:30-21:30. International cuisine from wok to risotto. Brunch on Sundays.
  • Buffalo Grill, 343 Chemin du Mas Palegry (next to Hôtel Première Classe Perpignan Sud), +33 4 68 854012. M-F 11:00-15:00, 18:00-23:00, Sa Su 11:30-23:00. American-style diner for barbecue meat.
Coca in Catalan is a pie
  • 6 Hippopotamus, Place François Arago, +33 411 300665. Daily 10:30-23:30. Chain steakhouse with BBQ meat and burgers.
  • 7 Casa Portuguesa, 36 Ave Palais des Expositions, +33 4 68 52 79 31. Serving trad Portuguese tapas and main meals. It has a terrace and garden, so you can eat outdoors.
  • 8 La Boucherie, Route d'Elne, +33 468 632071. Daily 12:00-14:30, 19:00-23:00. "The Butchery" also serves fish, and veggies can gnaw on a salad, but you're here for the meat. Mixed reviews and it's not worth driving out of town for, but it's just off D914 south ring road so it's handy for motorists.
  • Le Divil, 9 Rue Fabriques d'en Nabot (behind Hotel d France), +33 468 34 5773. M-Sa 12:00-14:00, 19:00-22:00. Meat menu, from grills and burgers to tartar.


  • Les Antiquaires, Place Joseph Desprès (50 m south of Casa Xanxo), +33 616 020105. Th-Sa 12:00-13:30, 19:30-21:00, Su 12:00-13:30. Great reviews for the classic French fare here.
  • 9 La Galinette, 23 Rue Jean Payra, +33 468 350090. W-Sa 12:00-14:00, 19:30-21:30. French cuisine with a six or eight course seasonal tasting menu. 6 dish menu €75, 8 dish menu €85.
  • 10 Le Yucca, 25 Allée des Chênes, Parc Ducup, +33 468 855654, . Su, Tu-Th 10:00-15:00, F Sa 10:00-15:00, 18:30-00:00. Serving local and Med cuisine, it's in the west suburbs, handy for N116 and D900.
  • 11 Casa Sansa, 3 Rue des Fabriqués Couvertes, +33 468 504801. M 19:00-23:00, Tu-Sa 12:00-14:30, 19:00-23:00. Founded by chef Jean-Marie Pujade, it's a local institution serving modern Catalan classics.


Roussilon and Rivesaltes local wines
  • O'Shannon, 3 Rue de l'Incendie (next to Les Aristo), +33 612 754239. Tu-Sa 18:00-02:00. Friendly Irish pub with beers from all over the world. Two large rooms but still very busy after work hours and in the weekend.
  • Jet Set, 4 Rue Labédoyère (50 m south of Place de la Republique), +33 664 626277. Th-Su 19:00-02:00. Bar serving local wines with Catalan tapas, plus karaoke.
  • Le Tinc Set, 3 Rue du Marché aux Bestiaux (20 m south of La Galinette), +33 612 518519. M-Sa 18:00-02:00. Tinc set means "I'm thirsty" in Catalan. It's a wine and tapas bar, sometimes with tasting events.
  • Wine: the lowlands around Perpignan produce Roussilon and Rivesaltes red, white and fortified (muscat) wines.
  • Nitos Distillery makes rum and gin.






City Hall
  • 6 ibis Perpignan Centre Gare, 16 Cours Lazare Escarguel, +33 468 356262. Accor chain hotel, clean and comfy, near main highway exits. B&B double €80.
  • 7 Hotel Mondial (formerly Arcantis), 40 Blv Clémenceau, +33 468 342345. Central hotel with 40 smallish rooms, with bathroom and tv. The hotel has a conference room. B&B double €90.
  • Ibis Budget Perpignan Centre is a block north of the Mondial at 34 Ave Général Leclerc.
  • 8 Hôtel de France, 28 Quai Nicholas Sadi Carnot, +33 4 68 848035, . Opened in 1833, with guests that have included Édith Piaf, Orson Welles and Salvador Dali, but this in now a rather ordinary central trad hotel. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms, tv and air con, some with river views. B&B double €90.
  • Hotel de la Loge is a clean simple place at 1 Rue Fabriqués d'en Nabot, 50 m south of Hôtel de France
  • 9 Holiday Inn, 840 Ave d'Espagne, +33 468 851111. Clean well-run friendly motel south of town. B&B double €90.
  • 10 Campanile Perpignan Sud, 12 Rue Alphonse Laveran, Porte d'Espagne, +33 468 567575. Motel off D900 south of town, with 44 air-con rooms and a restaurant. It's often grubby. B&B double €90.
  • Kyriad Perpignan Sud, 30 Rue du Docteur Koch (behind Campanile Sud), +33 468 881888. Rather basic hotel with 50 rooms. B&B double €90.
  • 11 Campanile Perpignan Aéroport, Ave Alfred Sauvy, Rivesaltes (A9 / D900 / D83 interchange), +33 468 385538. Simple hotel 5 km north of airport. 64 rooms (three adapted to disabled guests) with bathroom or shower, tv and air con, some fittings tatty. B&B double €90.
  • Ibis Budget Perpignan North is next to the Campanile Aéroport.
  • Novotel Perpignan Rivesaltes is behind the Campanile and Ibis.


  • 12 Hôtel Nyx, 62 bis, Ave Général de Gaulle, +33 468 348748, . Friendly hotel in the historical centre, with 17 rooms, all with shower, tv and air con. B&B double €100.
  • 13 Villa Duflot, Albert Donnezan roundabout, Ave Charles Deperet (off D900), +33 468 566767, . Smart hotel edge of town in an industrial zone, but secluded from traffic. Spacious rooms, spa, pool, garden and good restaurant. B&B double €150.



As of Jan 2024, Perpignan and its approach highways have 5G from all French carriers.

Stay safe

Basse River in the autumn

Perpignan is a reasonably safe city compared to larger and more populous ones. Being street smart and taking basic precautions should be enough to avoid problems.

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. Also, don't leave valuables in parked cars.

  • 1 Main police station (Hôtel de police nationale de Perpignan), 33 avenue de Grande-Bretagne, +33 4 68 35 70 00.

Stay healthy


Go next

Notre-Dame-des-Anges at Collioure
  • Salses-le-Château 15 km north has a stonking great 15th century fortress.
  • Canet-en-Roussillon 9 km east is mostly suburbs, but has a seaside strip with fine sand beaches, a port, arboretum and aquarium.
  • Elne 12 km south has an 11th century Romanesque cathedral and the poignant Maternité Suisse site in Château d’En Bardou.
  • Collioure 25 km southeast on the Côte Vermeille is an attractive small port immortalised by Fauvist painters.
  • Banyuls and Cerbère southeast are on the old route across the border to Spanish Catalonia.
  • Eus 35 km west is a small fortified village clinging to the rocks in the middle of scrubland and orchards.
  • Abbaye Saint-Martin du Canigou teeters on a crag 55 km west.

This city travel guide to Perpignan has guide status. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions and travel details. Please contribute and help us make it a star!