A Travel Price Comparison for France La Rochelle vs. Carcassonne for Food, Old Town, Couples, and Attractions

Should you visit La Rochelle or Carcassonne?

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

Should I visit La Rochelle 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.

La Rochelle

La Rochelle is a relaxing, laid-back, and quaint coastal town. It offers plenty of small town charm along with sights and activities, too. Other reasons to visit include hiking, shopping, 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.

La Rochelle and Carcassonne: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Small town charm
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular old town
  • Less popular with couples


Is there more to do in La Rochelle or Carcassonne?

Travelers will usually find more to do in La Rochelle. Although La Rochelle and Carcassonne are popular destinations, La Rochelle has more sights and attractions for tourists. La Rochelle is very popular for its food, nightlife, beaches, historical sights, hiking, shopping, and small town charm, while Carcassonne attracts visitors for its impressive beauty. Carcassonne is more touristy than La Rochelle and is known for its medieval history, walled fortifications, and well-known castle. La Rochelle is famous for its medieval towers, maritime history, and beautiful setting. It is also well known for The Old Port.

How is La Rochelle different from Carcassonne?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in La Rochelle or Carcassonne?

La Rochelle
Carcassonne

Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both La Rochelle and Carcassonne.

La Rochelle offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Filled with history, the town itself is like a living museum. Within town there are many sights such as the Vieux Port, La Rochelle Aquarium, Musée d'Histoire Naturelle, and Musée du Nouveau Monde de La Rochelle.

Many visitors head to Carcassonne specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The town is filled with medieval sights including the Château Comtal, the Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsus, and the Carcassonne Cathedral.


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

La Rochelle
Carcassonne

La Rochelle is very popular for its restaurants. Also, Carcassonne is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

Eat your way through La Rochelle, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. It may be small, but its filled with delicious cafes, bistros, and local restaurants. Seafood is the obvious choice in this coastal town and many visitors head to Vieux Port to eat, as many restaurants there offer waterfront views. If you want something a little less touristy, head to the St. Nicolas District, which was the town's former fishing district. Rue de la Fourche is also a charming road with many places to grab a bite or a drink. Or head to Rue St Jean-du-Perot, which is just off the old port.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Carcassonne. 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.

Is La Rochelle or Carcassonne Better for Nightlife?

La Rochelle
Carcassonne

La Rochelle is a good destination for nightlife. However, Carcassonne is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in La Rochelle. While it's known as a peaceful, seaside town, you'll still find wine bars, pubs, and even a club or two around town.

Carcassonne is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Is La Rochelle or Carcassonne Better for Beaches?

La Rochelle
Carcassonne

La Rochelle is a good destination for its beaches. However, Carcassonne is not a beach destination.

La Rochelle offers a nice beach destination. There are three main beaches in town that each attract a crowd on warm summer days. Plage de la Concurrence, Plage Chef de Baie, and Plage des Minimes are the closest beaches to La Rochelle, and they are popular for sunbathing and water sports. They have a mix of sand, pebbles, and cliffside views that attract locals and tourists alike.

Carcassonne is not a beach destination.


Is La Rochelle or Carcassonne Better for its Old Town?

La Rochelle
Carcassonne

La Rochelle is very popular for its historic old town. Also, Carcassonne is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its old town.

La Rochelle has a world-famous historical area. The old town is filled with wandering cobblestone streets, charming squares, and cafes that spill into the street.

Many people head to Carcassonne to see the old town. The medieval walled city is seeped in history and filled with atmosphere. Cars are not allowed in town.

Is La Rochelle or Carcassonne Better for Hiking?

La Rochelle
Carcassonne

La Rochelle is a good destination for its hiking trails. However, Carcassonne is not a hiking destination.

La Rochelle offers some nice hiking trails. There are many coastal walks just outside of town that take you along the scenic coastline. It's beautiful to stroll through the countryside and pass through many quaint villages.

Carcassonne is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in La Rochelle or Carcassonne?

La Rochelle
Carcassonne

La Rochelle is a good destination for shopping. However, Carcassonne is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in La Rochelle. The old town is filled with boutique shops as well as some name brands. Another fun place to visit is Les Halles, which is an indoor market with fresh produce, seafood, and many local cheeses.

Carcassonne is not a noteworthy shopping destination.


Is La Rochelle or Carcassonne Better for Families?

La Rochelle
Carcassonne

Kids will enjoy a visit to either La Rochelle or Carcassonne.

La Rochelle offers lots of family activities. It's a coastal town with a port that you can explore. There's also an aquarium and many great seafood restaurants. A nice day trip is to go to l'Ile de Ré, which has nice beaches, some with playgrounds.

Carcassonne is a family-friendly place to visit. Kids who love castles will enjoy wandering the maze of rooms and getting lost in the medieval atmosphere.

Is La Rochelle or Carcassonne Better for Couples?

La Rochelle
Carcassonne

La Rochelle is very popular for romance. Also, Carcassonne is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its romantic activities.

La Rochelle is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. This beautiful coastal town is seeped in history. There are beautiful squares, romantic parks, and cobblestone streets that you can wander down. It's also nice to take a coastal walk before grabbing dinner at a local seafood restaurant.

Carcassonne makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. 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 La Rochelle or Carcassonne Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

La Rochelle
Carcassonne

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

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

La Rochelle is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There aren't a ton of hostels in the area, but there are just enough that you should be able to find a place to stay.


Is La Rochelle or Carcassonne Better for Students?

La Rochelle
Carcassonne

La Rochelle is a good destination for its student-friendly activities. However, Carcassonne is not popular with students.

Plenty of students visit La Rochelle. It's a touristy city with a lot for students to see and do, but the atmosphere is generally quiet and peaceful.

Carcassonne is not popular with students.

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

La Rochelle
Carcassonne

La Rochelle and Carcassonne both offer nice public transit to get you around.

While La Rochelle offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. Public transit around town is operated by Yeló, and mostly consists of buses.

Carcassonne has a few public transit options. 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 La Rochelle or Carcassonne a more walkable city?

La Rochelle
Carcassonne

Carcassonne is very popular for its high level of walkability. Also, La Rochelle is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal 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.

La Rochelle is a very walkable destination. It's filled with meandering cobblestone streets that are best explored on foot. Most places around town can be explored on foot.


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

Should I spend more time in Carcassonne or La Rochelle?

How long in La Rochelle or Carcassonne?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in La Rochelle or Carcassonne to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in La Rochelle than Carcassonne because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for La Rochelle, and 1-2 days is enough time in Carcassonne.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in La Rochelle than Carcassonne 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 La Rochelle.


  • How many days in La Rochelle or Carcassonne? Ideal Length of Stay
    La Rochelle 2-4 
    Carcassonne 1-2

One day in La Rochelle or Carcassonne?

La Rochelle is a small town with plenty to do. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Most people visit for the food. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Visitors enjoy the food and museums when visiting the historical town of Carcassonne. 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.

A weekend in La Rochelle or Carcassonne?

La Rochelle might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. This coastal 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.

Visitors enjoy the museums and food when visiting the historical destination of Carcassonne. 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.

Five days in La Rochelle or Carcassonne?

Because La Rochelle is a small town, it's easy to explore in a short amount of time. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. 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.

The medieval town of Carcassonne 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.


A week in La Rochelle or Carcassonne?

Since La Rochelle is a small town, it's easily explored when your time is limited. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people visit for the food. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

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


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Paris, The Best 10-Day Tours from Paris, The Best 2-Week Tours from Paris, and The Best Family-Friendly Tours to France.


Which place is cheaper, Carcassonne or La Rochelle?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in La Rochelle is €114, 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 La Rochelle and Carcassonne in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    La Rochelle 67
    Carcassonne 61
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    La Rochelle 134
    Carcassonne 122
Compare Hotels in La Rochelle and Carcassonne

Looking for a hotel in La Rochelle 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 La Rochelle


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: La Rochelle Hotel Prices and Carcassonne Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    La Rochelle 17
    Carcassonne 7.14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Rochelle

Also for La Rochelle, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer from La Rochelle Port to Nantes Airport (NTE): $89
  • Private Transfer from La Rochelle Cruise Port to Nantes Hotels: $89

Is it cheaper to fly into La Rochelle or Carcassonne?

Prices for flights to both Carcassonne and La Rochelle 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
    La Rochelle 34
    Carcassonne 39

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    La Rochelle 13
    Carcassonne 14

Tours and Activities in La Rochelle

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

  • 3 Hour La Rochelle Private Tour: $92
  • 1.5 Hour Guided Tour in Poitiers: $65
  • Guided Walking Tour of La Rochelle: $44
  • Guided tour of La Rochelle The splendor of merchants in the 18th century: $22
  • La Rochelle "The Heritage" Segway Tour - 1h30: $60
  • La Rochelle : Discovery Stroll and Reading Walking Tour: $2.16
  • La Rochelle : Private Custom Private Walking Tour With a local: $61
  • La Rochelle : Private Custom Walking Tour With a Local Guide: $51
  • La Rochelle Grand Format Segway Tour: $88
  • La Rochelle Heritage Segway Tour: $61
  • La Rochelle Lighthouse at the end of the world Segway Tour: $44
  • La Rochelle Seaside Segway Tour: $44

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.: $208
  • Carcassonne 's Medieval Walls: A Self-Guided Tour: $20
  • Carcassonne Private Guided Walking Tour: $298
  • 2-Hour Private Walking Tour : $201
  • Castle and Ramparts Entry Ticket: $12
  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $6.50
  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.25
  • Fortress Walking Tour: $173
  • Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & Tour: $6.50
  • Medieval Walls Self-Guided Smartphone App Tour: $20
  • Photoshoot Experience: $163

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    La Rochelle 16
    Carcassonne 13

Sample the Local Flavors in Carcassonne

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Carcassonne:

  • Wine tour Cathar country: $477


When comparing the travel costs between La Rochelle and Carcassonne, we can see that La Rochelle 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 La Rochelle Expensive? and Is Carcassonne Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, La Rochelle or Carcassonne?

La Rochelle has a larger population, and is about 55% larger than the population of Carcassonne. When comparing the sizes of La Rochelle 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 La Rochelle 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 La Rochelle or Carcassonne in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both La Rochelle and Carcassonne. Most visitors come to La Rochelle for the beaches, the hiking, 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, La Rochelle is generally cooler than Carcassonne. Daily temperatures in La Rochelle average around 20°C (67°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 La Rochelle, it's very sunny this time of the year. La Rochelle usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Carcassonne during summer. La Rochelle gets 267 hours of sunny skies, while Carcassonne receives 275 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, La Rochelle usually receives more rain than Carcassonne. La Rochelle gets 35 mm (1.4 in) of rain, while Carcassonne receives 17 mm (0.7 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    La Rochelle 20°C (67°F) 
    Carcassonne 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit La Rochelle or Carcassonne in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to La Rochelle as well as Carcassonne. The autumn months attract visitors to La Rochelle because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and 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.

La Rochelle is cooler than Carcassonne in the autumn. The daily temperature in La Rochelle averages around 15°C (59°F) in October, and Carcassonne fluctuates around 17°C (62°F).

In the autumn, La Rochelle often gets less sunshine than Carcassonne. La Rochelle gets 141 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Carcassonne receives 161 hours of full sun.

La Rochelle usually gets less rain in October than Carcassonne. La Rochelle gets 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Carcassonne receives 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    La Rochelle 15°C (59°F) 
    Carcassonne 17°C (62°F)

Should I visit La Rochelle or Carcassonne in the Winter?

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

In the winter, La Rochelle is cooler than Carcassonne. Typically, the winter temperatures in La Rochelle in January average around 7°C (44°F), and Carcassonne averages at about 8°C (47°F).

La Rochelle usually receives less sunshine than Carcassonne during winter. La Rochelle gets 72 hours of sunny skies, while Carcassonne receives 88 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, La Rochelle usually receives more rain than Carcassonne. La Rochelle gets 81 mm (3.2 in) of rain, while Carcassonne receives 51 mm (2 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    La Rochelle 7°C (44°F) 
    Carcassonne 8°C (47°F)

Should I visit La Rochelle or Carcassonne in the Spring?

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

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

In the spring, La Rochelle often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Carcassonne. La Rochelle gets 187 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Carcassonne receives 178 hours of full sun.

La Rochelle usually gets less rain in April than Carcassonne. La Rochelle gets 47 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
    La Rochelle 11°C (52°F) 
    Carcassonne 14°C (56°F)

Typical Weather for Carcassonne and La Rochelle

La Rochelle Carcassonne
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 7°C (44°F) 81 mm (3.2 in) 8°C (47°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Feb 7°C (45°F) 64 mm (2.5 in) 9°C (49°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Mar 9°C (48°F) 53 mm (2.1 in) 11°C (52°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
Apr 11°C (52°F) 47 mm (1.9 in) 14°C (56°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
May 14°C (58°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 17°C (63°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Jun 17°C (63°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 21°C (70°F) 28 mm (1.1 in)
Jul 20°C (67°F) 35 mm (1.4 in) 24°C (75°F) 17 mm (0.7 in)
Aug 20°C (67°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) 24°C (74°F) 32 mm (1.3 in)
Sep 18°C (64°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 21°C (69°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)
Oct 15°C (59°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 17°C (62°F) 90 mm (3.5 in)
Nov 10°C (51°F) 84 mm (3.3 in) 12°C (53°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Dec 7°C (45°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 9°C (49°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)