Narbonne is a small town of 53,000 inhabitants located in the south of France. It is known for its coastal location and for being home to one of the most prestigious buffets in the world: Les Grands Buffets.
In fact, that was the main reason for my trip to Narbonne. To eat at this place that everyone raved about.
Although I must admit that I never thought I would like the city as much as I did. I can confirm that Narbonne was one of those unexpected trips that end up surprising you and that it is a destination I would go back to.
On the internet it is sometimes difficult to find information about Narbonne, beyond Les Grands Buffets or its particular Ponte Vecchio. That’s why in this article I’m going to tell you about the most important places to see in Narbonne. You will also find a map at the end of the article and a pdf to download your itinerary to the city.
🗺 Places to visit in Narbonne
Narbonne is a city that can be visited perfectly in one day, but if you want to savour it, enjoy several hours in its wonderful buffets and relax, I would recommend a weekend to fall in love with it.
It is the particular Ponte Vecchio of Narbonne. Pont des Marchanso is the most representative image of the city. It is located on the Canal de la Robine and is one of the best places to see in Narbonne. It is also one of the few covered bridges in the country. Its surroundings are an ideal place to enjoy a stroll at any time of the day 🕝.
These are the remains of a road that linked Spain with Italy in the 2nd century BC. They are located in the heart of the city of Narbonne, opposite the town hall (or Place de l’Hôtel de Ville), and are one of the main things to see in Narbonne.
📍Market of Les Halles
Food markets are one of my favourite things to visit when I’m travelling. There you can try the most typical products of the place you are travelling to and you always end up finding amazing little food stalls. Borought Market is one of my favourites, although whenever I can I escape to one like St George’s Market in Belfast, the market in Santiago de Compostela or the one in Alcúdia, an essential place to visit in Mallorca.
Les Halles is the food market of Narbonne, and one of the most beautiful markets in France (or so they say) – you’ll have to travel more to the neighbouring country to confirm this 😉.
This market is a must-visit in Narbonne. Here you can sample the local gastronomy at any of the many food stalls. Among them all, Chez-Bebelle stands out, specialising in meats and with a fun way of writing down your orders.
Horreum is a set of small underground galleries dating from the 1st century BC that were used for storage. The entrance fee is 4€ and the visit lasts from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
The Cathedral of St Justus and St Shepherd is a must-see in the city of Narbonne. Gothic in style – like Cologne Cathedral – it stands out for being one of the tallest cathedrals in France, with vaults over 40 metres high.
As a curious fact, I will tell you that this cathedral is unfinished.
The Archbishops’ Palace houses several of the city’s tourist attractions, such as the Museum of Art and History, the Gilles Aycelin tower and the Archaeological Museum, making it one of the main buildings to visit in Narbonne.
During my visit I only visited the Museum of Art and History. The entrance fee is 6€. It is located on the top floor of the building, and the works are displayed in rooms that were once former archbishop’s flats.
This is a beautiful garden located behind the Archbishops’ Palace. Specifically, it is accessed from Rue Gustave Fabre. It has a sundial (shown in the picture), a path with iron walls irresistible to be photographed and a bench where you can play and feel small.
🍴Where to eat in Narbonne
I wish it were true what they say about calories not counting when travelling. Every time I travel somewhere I end up finding a restaurant or food stall that sticks in my memory. In fact, I have a list of places I would go back to just to eat:
- Hake at The Mermaid in Portrush (Northern Ireland).
- Burger at Bunsen in Belfast or Better Burger Company in Hamburg, Germany.
- Roast ham at my favourite tapas bar in Granada, Spain.
- Ensaimadas at the best place in Mallorca
- Or a salmorejo in what better place than Cordoba?
Below I am going to show you the places where I ate during my trip to Narbonne and tell you about my personal experience in each of them.
Les Grands Buffets
The main reason to set foot in Narbonne is this place, you can’t leave here without visiting Les Grands Buffets.
This is one of the most prestigious buffets in the world. It has more than 100 varieties of desserts and is home to the largest cheese buffet in Europe, with more than 40 different types! 🧀
The price of the menu is a bit higher than the average price of a normal buffet: 35’90€ per person. But I can confirm that it is well worth it and that Les Grands Buffets de Narbonne will make you want to lick your whiskers at every bite, and make a trip to France once a month just to eat here.
During our trip we had the opportunity to see how they work in their kitchens. It was a wonderful experience to discover the interiors of Les Grands Buffets and to get a real kick out of eating here during our trip to Narbonne.
You can learn more about this place in my article about Les Grands Buffets.
La Rencontre is a tiny crêperie where you can taste the famous Breton galettes. The best option is to opt for the menu du jour (or Formule in French). For 9.5€ you can have a galette with salad, a crêpe and coffee.
As a personal experience, I wouldn’t comment on anything remarkable. The menu is fine if you want to eat cheaply and eat well. The food is average and so is the service.
I don’t remember for sure if this place was already on my list or if we found it by chance. But it was definitely one of the restaurants I liked the most in Narbonne.
La Fringale is a family-run restaurant, and a cheap option for a meal in Narbonne. Their hamburgers are the star dish. But they also have other products such as Fish and Chips, Cassoulet, Ramen, Caesar Salad, etc. The waiters were very attentive, the service was great and the food was delicious. I would repeat if I went to Narbonne!
La table de Nicolas
It’s a tiny restaurant. And when I say tiny I mean it would have no more than 6 tables. The atmosphere is very relaxed and the people who work here are pure love. The menu of the day is around 15€, and in the evening you have the option of choosing a set menu but at around 29€.
The dishes are more elaborate than in the other restaurants mentioned above, with the exception of Les Grands Buffets. Although I have to admit that the portions are smaller and the price is a little higher.
Maison Maury o Chez Mamie para el café
To sample the delights of French patisserie I recommend Maison Maury or Chez Mamie.
The former is a bakery-cafeteria near the Pont des Marchans where you can sample numerous sweets or order a croissant for breakfast. The second place is smaller, and more of a café. It is ideal for breakfast or an afternoon snack of homemade cake.
🛌 Where to stay in Narbonne
During my stay in Narbonne, I stayed in this studio apartment that I found on Airbnb.
The flat was quite cosy, but very small. The price per night is 43€. The flat has a great location, right in the city centre. The most advantageous part of this flat is that you don’t need to wait for the host, it has a separate entrance. So you can pick up the keys at any time of the day without having to arrange a time with the host.