After a couple of days in Collioure, we caught a bus back to Perpignan to spend 3 nights checking out the regional capital. We had read mixed reviews about Perpignan. Some people suggested that one night or at most two nights would be sufficient to see all the town has to offer but we stuck to our normal strategy for slow travel and booked 3 nights in what was a pretty good Airbnb. Two nights would have been plenty!
We stayed on the outskirts of town in an area that itself was ok area except that the 10 minute walk into the city centre took us through some dodgy streets that we didn’t feel at all comfortable in even in daylight.
The town centre is nice with a canal with a grassy verge either side running down a wide boulevard with shops and pavement cafes either side. Perpignan Castle, quite an impressive building, stands by the canal – apparently you can go inside the castle and climb its tower – but we didn’t!
The Historic Centre lies to the rear of the castle with the customary cathedral and a maze of narrow streets opening up to some nice squares. Its all very pleasant but one wrong turn can take you into those dodgy areas which some describe as “interesting ” and ” safe during the day but to be avoided at night” !
No 2 on TripAdvisor’s list of attractions here, just ahead of the castle, is the massive Palace of the Kings of Majorca, a 13th century fortress. Given its prominence we felt obliged to go see it but actually its very disappointing inside with nothing much to see other than empty spaces although there are distant views to be had from the top on a good day. There is an admission charge but luckily it was free admission on the day we visited – we would have been quite pissed off had we paid. The fact that this place is number 2 in Perpignan’s top 10 probably says it all.
All in all we had a pleasant stay but wouldn’t return. Fortunately we had decent weather here and after the dreary rain in Collioure it was nice to enjoy some sunshine and chill out with a few drinks and some excellent Catalan food.