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Albi, France

A Lovely French City with a Rich History

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France, Tarn, Albi, the episcopal city, listed as World Heritage by UNESCO
AZAM Jean-Paul / hemis.fr/hemis.fr/Getty Images
The pretty village of Albi France, with its old building facades and its quaint old town, is probably best known for an ugly chapter in its history. This was the first city to provide refuge to the Cathars, and is the origin of a later name that was bestowed on the religious sect, the Albigensians.

On a lighter note, this is the birthplace of the famous artist, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. A visit to the city’s museum of the artist’s work is time well-spent.

What to Do in Albi, France

Albi’s markets are reason enough for a visit. The city hosts a wide variety of markets, including a vegetable market every morning except Monday, a poultry market Saturday mornings, a domestic animal market Saturday mornings, a used book market on Wednesdays and an arts and crafts market on Saturdays (except January through March).

No trip to Albi would be complete without honoring its most famous son with a visit to Le Musée Toulouse-Lautrec. It not only provides a chance to see the famous artist’s work, but to also gaze on the Bishop’s Palace in which it is housed.

The Musée de Cire presents a panoramic history of the city. There are exhibits on key historical figures in the city, as well as presentations on modern-day Albi.

Where to Stay in Albi, France

  • La Réserve is, quite simply, a stunning accommodation. The rooms are beautiful and large and the four-star hotel’s setting is tranquil. The restaurant is fabulous. The hotel’s services include wi-fi Internet access and modem outlets. Closes annually from late Octover to early May.
  • Hostellerie Saint Antoine is not merely a landmark four-star hotel in Albi, but it is also one of the oldest hotels still in operation in France. It first opened its doors in 1734, and the same family has welcomed guests for an amazing five generations. There is a courtyard garden lush with flowers and greenery. This hotel is affiliated with La Réserve, so it’s guests can use the pool and tennis courts there. Although it’s an upscale hotel, there is a wide range of room prices.
  • Camping Caussels is a no-frills campground with 100 camp sites. Pitch a tent or park your camper. Caravans are available for rent. Open April through mid-October.

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