A Travel Price Comparison for France Chartres vs. Carcassonne for Attractions, Food, Backpackers, and Families

Should you visit Chartres or Carcassonne?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Chartres or Carcassonne? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Chartres

Chartres is a historic, grand, and spectacular town. This is a charming small with plenty of activities, too. Other reasons to visit include food and museums.

Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a historical, fairytale, and medieval town. With fun activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the food and museums.

Chartres and Carcassonne: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers


Is there more to do in Chartres or Carcassonne?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Carcassonne. Although Chartres and Carcassonne are popular destinations, Carcassonne has more sights and attractions for tourists. Carcassonne is more touristy than Chartres and is known for its medieval history, walled fortifications, and well-known castle. It is also well known for La Cité de Carcassonne. Chartres is famous for its beautiful cathedral and long running history.

La Cité de Carcassonne
La Cité de Carcassonne

How is Chartres different from Carcassonne?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Carcassonne and Chartres. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Chartres or Carcassonne?

Chartres
Carcassonne

Carcassonne is great for its historical sights. Also, Chartres is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its sights and museums.

Carcassonne offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The town is filled with medieval sights including the Château Comtal, the Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsus, and the Carcassonne Cathedral.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Chartres. Most visitors make the trip to see the spectacular Gothic cathedral, Cathédrale Notre-Dame. It was completed in 1220 and is famous for its beautiful stained glass windows.


Is the Food Better in Chartres or Carcassonne? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Chartres
Carcassonne

Carcassonne is great for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Chartres is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Carcassonne has a huge number of terrific restaurants. There are a number of local restaurants that serve regional specialties such as cassoulet. You can spend a few hours exploring the castle and then grab a delicious bite to eat.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Chartres area. There are a number of restaurants around town so it's easy to grab lunch during a day trip.

Is Chartres or Carcassonne Better for its Old Town?

Chartres
Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a popular place for its old town. However, Chartres does not have a historic old town.

Plenty of visitors enjoy exploring the old town in Carcassonne. The medieval walled city is seeped in history and filled with atmosphere. Cars are not allowed in town.

Chartres does not have a historic old town.

Is Chartres or Carcassonne Better for Families?

Chartres
Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a popular place for its kid-friendly activities. However, Chartres is not a good destination for its family-friendly activities.

Carcassonne offers lots of family activities. Kids who love castles will enjoy wandering the maze of rooms and getting lost in the medieval atmosphere.

Chartres is not the most family-friendly destination. The main attraction in town is the cathedral, but the surrounding area is also filled with history. This may not keep your kids entertained for long, so you can also check out the Stained Glass Museum, La Tanière (a zoo), or one of the parks around town.


Is Chartres or Carcassonne Better for Couples?

Chartres
Carcassonne

With fun activities for couples, both Chartres and Carcassonne make for a nice place to visit.

Chartres makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. With its cathedral and rich history, many couples enjoy exploring the town. It is filled with history and interesting sights.

Carcassonne is a good town for couples to visit. It's a medieval city with an impressive castle and walled fortifications. It's a uniquely European sight that is great for couples who enjoy history.

Is Chartres or Carcassonne Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Chartres
Carcassonne

Carcassonne is great for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Chartres is not as popular, but is still a nice town for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Carcassonne. There are interesting hostels in the area including a converted 17th century convent.

Chartres is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. It's easy enough to visit as a day trip from Paris, so backpackers and other tourists typically allow themselves a few hours to explore.

Is Chartres or Carcassonne Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Chartres
Carcassonne

Chartres is a very popular place for times when you don't have a car. Also, Carcassonne is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its public transit.

Public transit in Chartres is fairly effecient and thorough. There are trains that leave Paris Montparnasse 1 Et 2 every half hour and travel to Chartres. The trip takes about 1 hour 15 minutes.

You'll find some public transit in Carcassonne, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. You can reach the town by train from Dijon, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, or Bordeaux and many people visit the town as a day trip.


Is Chartres or Carcassonne a more walkable city?

Chartres
Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a must-visit destination for its high level of walkability. Also, Chartres is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its ease of walking around.

Carcassonne is a very easy town to get around on foot. Cars aren't allowed in the medieval city so it's best to explore on foot.

Chartres is a very walkable destination. It's easy to see the sights around town on foot.

For even more information, also check out Is Chartres Worth Visiting? and Is Carcassonne Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Carcassonne or Chartres?

How long in Chartres or Carcassonne?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Chartres or Carcassonne to fill your time. In our opinion, Carcassonne has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Carcassonne than Chartres. However, 1-2 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Carcassonne than Chartres. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Carcassonne, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Carcassonne than Chartres. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Carcassonne that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Carcassonne than Chartres if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Carcassonne.


  • How many days in Chartres or Carcassonne? Ideal Length of Stay
    Chartres 1-2 
    Carcassonne 1-2

One day in Chartres or Carcassonne?

Visitors enjoy the food and museums when visiting the grand town of Chartres. One day should give you a good understanding of everything this town has to offer. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

The town of Carcassonne offers museums and food. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Chartres or Carcassonne?

Visitors enjoy the museums and food when visiting the historic destination of Chartres. This town offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Carcassonne is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this town makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Carcassonne, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.


Five days in Chartres or Carcassonne?

The spectacular town of Chartres offers food and museums. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Carcassonne is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in Chartres or Carcassonne?

Many people enjoy the museums and food when visiting Chartres. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Carcassonne is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This town offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Vineyard & Wine Tours in France, The Best Food and Culinary Tours in France, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in France, and The Best Luxury Tours to France.


Which place is cheaper, Carcassonne or Chartres?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Chartres is €117, while the average daily cost in Carcassonne is €106. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Chartres and Carcassonne in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chartres 59
    Carcassonne 61
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chartres 118
    Carcassonne 122
Compare Hotels in Chartres and Carcassonne

Looking for a hotel in Chartres or Carcassonne? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Chartres


Hotels in Carcassonne


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Chartres Hotel Prices and Carcassonne Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chartres 26
    Carcassonne 7.14

Is it cheaper to fly into Chartres or Carcassonne?

Prices for flights to both Carcassonne and Chartres change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Chartres 39
    Carcassonne 39

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chartres 22
    Carcassonne 14

Tours and Activities in Chartres

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Chartres.

  • City Exploration Game and Tour on your Phone: $6.51

Tours and Activities in Carcassonne

For Carcassonne, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • A Self-Guided Tour of Carcassonne’s Ancient Basilica: $20
  • Best of Cathar Country: Full-Day Private Tour.: $210
  • Carcassonne 's Medieval Walls: A Self-Guided Tour: $30
  • Carcassonne Ghosts of the Citadel Quest Experience: $8.30
  • Carcassonne Private Guided Walking Tour: $299
  • 2-Hour Private Walking Tour : $204
  • Castle and Ramparts Entry Ticket: $12
  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $6.52
  • Fortress Walking Tour: $174
  • Ghost of the Citadel Quest Experience: $6.51
  • Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & Tour: $6.52
  • Medieval Walls Self-Guided Smartphone App Tour: $20

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chartres 12
    Carcassonne 13

Sample the Local Flavors in Carcassonne

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Carcassonne:

  • Wine tour Cathar country: $478


When comparing the travel costs between Chartres and Carcassonne, we can see that Chartres is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Chartres Expensive? and Is Carcassonne Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Chartres or Carcassonne?

Carcassonne has a larger population, and is about 13% larger than the population of Chartres. When comparing the sizes of Chartres and Carcassonne, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Chartres or Carcassonne?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Chartres or Carcassonne in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Chartres and Carcassonne. Most visitors come to Chartres for the small town charm and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Furthermore, the summer months attract visitors to Carcassonne because of the small town charm and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Chartres is generally cooler than Carcassonne. Daily temperatures in Chartres average around 20°C (68°F), and Carcassonne fluctuates around 24°C (75°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Carcassonne this time of the year. In Chartres, it's very sunny this time of the year. Chartres usually receives less sunshine than Carcassonne during summer. Chartres gets 239 hours of sunny skies, while Carcassonne receives 275 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Chartres usually receives more rain than Carcassonne. Chartres gets 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Carcassonne receives 17 mm (0.7 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Chartres 20°C (68°F) 
    Carcassonne 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Chartres or Carcassonne in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Chartres as well as Carcassonne. The autumn months attract visitors to Chartres because of the small town atmosphere. Additionally, the small town atmosphere and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Carcassonne this time of year.

Chartres is cooler than Carcassonne in the autumn. The daily temperature in Chartres averages around 13°C (56°F) in October, and Carcassonne fluctuates around 17°C (62°F).

In the autumn, Chartres often gets less sunshine than Carcassonne. Chartres gets 126 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Carcassonne receives 161 hours of full sun.

Chartres usually gets less rain in October than Carcassonne. Chartres gets 43 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Carcassonne receives 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Chartres 13°C (56°F) 
    Carcassonne 17°C (62°F)

Should I visit Chartres or Carcassonne in the Winter?

Both Carcassonne and Chartres are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The museums and the cuisine are the main draw to Chartres this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Carcassonne for the museums and the cuisine.

It's quite cold in Chartres in the winter. In the winter, Chartres is much colder than Carcassonne. Typically, the winter temperatures in Chartres in January average around 5°C (40°F), and Carcassonne averages at about 8°C (47°F).

Chartres usually receives less sunshine than Carcassonne during winter. Chartres gets 56 hours of sunny skies, while Carcassonne receives 88 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Chartres usually receives around the same amount of rain as Carcassonne. Chartres gets 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Carcassonne receives 51 mm (2 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Chartres 5°C (40°F) 
    Carcassonne 8°C (47°F)

Should I visit Chartres or Carcassonne in the Spring?

Both Carcassonne and Chartres during the spring are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Chartres for the small town charm. Also, many visitors come to Carcassonne in the spring for the small town charm and the natural beauty.

In April, Chartres is generally cooler than Carcassonne. Daily temperatures in Chartres average around 11°C (52°F), and Carcassonne fluctuates around 14°C (56°F).

In the spring, Chartres often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Carcassonne. Chartres gets 173 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Carcassonne receives 178 hours of full sun.

Chartres usually gets less rain in April than Carcassonne. Chartres gets 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Carcassonne receives 56 mm (2.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Chartres 11°C (52°F) 
    Carcassonne 14°C (56°F)

Typical Weather for Carcassonne and Chartres

Chartres Carcassonne
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 5°C (40°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 8°C (47°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Feb 6°C (42°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 9°C (49°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Mar 8°C (47°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 11°C (52°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
Apr 11°C (52°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 14°C (56°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
May 15°C (59°F) 57 mm (2.2 in) 17°C (63°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Jun 18°C (64°F) 51 mm (2 in) 21°C (70°F) 28 mm (1.1 in)
Jul 20°C (68°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 24°C (75°F) 17 mm (0.7 in)
Aug 20°C (67°F) 46 mm (1.8 in) 24°C (74°F) 32 mm (1.3 in)
Sep 17°C (63°F) 55 mm (2.1 in) 21°C (69°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)
Oct 13°C (56°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 17°C (62°F) 90 mm (3.5 in)
Nov 8°C (47°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 12°C (53°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Dec 5°C (42°F) 51 mm (2 in) 9°C (49°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)