A Travel Price Comparison for France Saint-Etienne vs. Carcassonne for Attractions, Food, Backpackers, and Families

Should you visit Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Saint-Etienne and Carcassonne. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Saint-Etienne

Saint-Etienne is a authentic, historic, and park-filled city. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, hiking, 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.

Saint-Etienne and Carcassonne: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable


Is there more to do in Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne?

Both Carcassonne and Saint-Etienne have plenty of things to do for visitors. Both offer a variety of sights, activities, and attractions for tourists. Saint-Etienne is very popular for its nightlife, hiking, and shopping, while Carcassonne attracts visitors for its museums, food, historical sights, and small town charm. Carcassonne is more touristy than Saint-Etienne and is known for its medieval history, walled fortifications, and well-known castle. Saint-Etienne is famous for its industrial and manufacturing past.

How is Saint-Etienne different from Carcassonne?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne?

Saint-Etienne
Carcassonne

Carcassonne is great for its historical sights. Also, Saint-Etienne is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its sights and museums.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Carcassonne. 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 Saint-Etienne. There are several great museums in town including the Musée d'Art et d'Industrie, Musée de la Mine, Musée des Verts, and the planetarium.


Is the Food Better in Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Saint-Etienne
Carcassonne

Carcassonne is great for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Saint-Etienne is not a good destination 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.

Saint-Etienne may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. Try the many local cheeses which are a defining part of the cuisine in the area. You'll find some local restaurants around town where you can sample local flavors.

Is Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne Better for Nightlife?

Saint-Etienne
Carcassonne

Saint-Etienne 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 Saint-Etienne. The nightlife is centered around sipping wine or visiting one of the clubs in town.

Carcassonne is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Is Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne Better for its Old Town?

Saint-Etienne
Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a good destination for its old town. However, Saint-Etienne 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.

Saint-Etienne does not have a historic old town.


Is Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne Better for Hiking?

Saint-Etienne
Carcassonne

Saint-Etienne is a good destination for its hiking trails. However, Carcassonne is not a hiking destination.

Saint-Etienne offers some nice hiking trails. You'll find several great hikes just outside of town. It's a great way to experience the surrounding countryside.

Carcassonne is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne?

Saint-Etienne
Carcassonne

Saint-Etienne is a decent place to visit for shopping. However, Carcassonne is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Saint-Etienne is a good destination for shopping. Shopping malls and several boutique shopping areas make up the city's shopping scene.

Carcassonne is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne Better for Families?

Saint-Etienne
Carcassonne

Both Saint-Etienne and Carcassonne are nice family-friendly destinations.

Saint-Etienne offers lots of family activities. There are several kid-friendly museums as well as plenty of natural settings just outside of town. Your kids can run around and stretch their legs nearby at Crest of the Partridge or on a rainy day, the planetarium is a fun place to visit.

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 Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne Better for Couples?

Saint-Etienne
Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a good destination for its romantic activities. However, Saint-Etienne is not a good destination for couples.

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.

Saint-Etienne is not always the best place to visit for a couple. There are museums, parks, gardens, and beautiful architecture that make this a wonderful place for couples.

Is Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Saint-Etienne
Carcassonne

Carcassonne is great for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Saint-Etienne is not a good destination for backpackers.

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

Saint-Etienne is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's not high on the backpacker trail, but there are hostels and plenty of activities to enjoy.

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

Saint-Etienne
Carcassonne

Saint-Etienne and Carcassonne both offer nice public transit to get you around.

While Saint-Etienne offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There are tram and bus options available in town.

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 Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne a more walkable city?

Saint-Etienne
Carcassonne

Carcassonne is an amazing town to visit for its high level of walkability. Also, Saint-Etienne is not as popular, but is still a nice city 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.

Saint-Etienne is a somewhat walkable city. There are several walkable areas in the city.

For even more information, also check out Is Saint-Etienne Worth Visiting? and Is Carcassonne Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Carcassonne or Saint-Etienne?

How long in Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Saint-Etienne 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 Saint-Etienne. However, 1-2 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Carcassonne than Saint-Etienne. 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 Saint-Etienne. 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 Saint-Etienne 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 Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne? Ideal Length of Stay
    Saint-Etienne 1-2 
    Carcassonne 1-2

One day in Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and museums when visiting the historic city of Saint-Etienne. One day should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Many travelers enjoy the food and museums when visiting the medieval destination of Carcassonne. Your budget might influence how long you stay. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then one day is just the right amount of time to spend here.

A weekend in Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne?

Visitors enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the undiscovered destination of Saint-Etienne. This city 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Carcassonne. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. A weekend is usually enough time to experience most activities.


Five days in Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne?

The industrial city of Saint-Etienne offers nightlife 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.

Travelers enjoy the food and museums when visiting the medieval destination of Carcassonne. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. 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.

A week in Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne?

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

You'll find museums and food around the town of Carcassonne. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


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 Saint-Etienne?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Saint-Etienne is €108, 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 Saint-Etienne and Carcassonne in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Saint-Etienne 46
    Carcassonne 61
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Saint-Etienne 92
    Carcassonne 122
Compare Hotels in Saint-Etienne and Carcassonne

Looking for a hotel in Saint-Etienne 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 Saint-Etienne


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: Carcassonne Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Saint-Etienne 44
    Carcassonne 7.14

Is it cheaper to fly into Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne?

Prices for flights to both Carcassonne and Saint-Etienne 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
    Saint-Etienne 34
    Carcassonne 39

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Saint-Etienne 25
    Carcassonne 14

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: $20
  • Carcassonne Private Guided Walking Tour: $298
  • 2-Hour Private Walking Tour : $204
  • 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
    Saint-Etienne 10
    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 Saint-Etienne and Carcassonne, we can see that Saint-Etienne 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 Saint-Etienne Expensive? and Is Carcassonne Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne?

Saint-Etienne has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Carcassonne. When comparing the sizes of Saint-Etienne 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 Saint-Etienne 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 Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Saint-Etienne and Carcassonne. The summer months attract visitors to Saint-Etienne because of the hiking and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, the small town charm and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Carcassonne this time of year.

In July, Saint-Etienne is generally around the same temperature as Carcassonne. Daily temperatures in Saint-Etienne average around 22°C (71°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 Saint-Etienne, it's very sunny this time of the year. Saint-Etienne usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Carcassonne during summer. Saint-Etienne gets 285 hours of sunny skies, while Carcassonne receives 275 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Saint-Etienne usually receives more rain than Carcassonne. Saint-Etienne gets 61 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Carcassonne receives 17 mm (0.7 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Saint-Etienne 22°C (71°F) 
    Carcassonne 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Saint-Etienne as well as Carcassonne. The hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Saint-Etienne this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Carcassonne for the small town atmosphere and the natural beauty of the area.

Saint-Etienne is cooler than Carcassonne in the autumn. The daily temperature in Saint-Etienne averages around 14°C (56°F) in October, and Carcassonne fluctuates around 17°C (62°F).

In the autumn, Saint-Etienne often gets less sunshine than Carcassonne. Saint-Etienne gets 127 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Carcassonne receives 161 hours of full sun.

Saint-Etienne usually gets less rain in October than Carcassonne. Saint-Etienne gets 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Carcassonne receives 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Saint-Etienne 14°C (56°F) 
    Carcassonne 17°C (62°F)

Should I visit Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne in the Winter?

Both Carcassonne and Saint-Etienne are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Saint-Etienne for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Carcassonne in the winter for the museums and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Saint-Etienne. In the winter, Saint-Etienne is much colder than Carcassonne. Typically, the winter temperatures in Saint-Etienne in January average around 4°C (39°F), and Carcassonne averages at about 8°C (47°F).

Saint-Etienne usually receives less sunshine than Carcassonne during winter. Saint-Etienne gets 62 hours of sunny skies, while Carcassonne receives 88 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Saint-Etienne usually receives around the same amount of rain as Carcassonne. Saint-Etienne gets 55 mm (2.1 in) of rain, while Carcassonne receives 51 mm (2 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Saint-Etienne 4°C (39°F) 
    Carcassonne 8°C (47°F)

Should I visit Saint-Etienne or Carcassonne in the Spring?

Both Carcassonne and Saint-Etienne during the spring are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Saint-Etienne in the spring for the natural beauty. Also, most visitors come to Carcassonne for the small town charm and the natural beauty during these months.

In April, Saint-Etienne is generally cooler than Carcassonne. Daily temperatures in Saint-Etienne average around 11°C (53°F), and Carcassonne fluctuates around 14°C (56°F).

In the spring, Saint-Etienne often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Carcassonne. Saint-Etienne gets 174 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Carcassonne receives 178 hours of full sun.

Saint-Etienne usually gets more rain in April than Carcassonne. Saint-Etienne gets 65 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Carcassonne receives 56 mm (2.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Saint-Etienne 11°C (53°F) 
    Carcassonne 14°C (56°F)

Typical Weather for Carcassonne and Saint-Etienne

Saint-Etienne Carcassonne
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 4°C (39°F) 55 mm (2.1 in) 8°C (47°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Feb 6°C (42°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 9°C (49°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Mar 8°C (47°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 11°C (52°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
Apr 11°C (53°F) 65 mm (2.6 in) 14°C (56°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
May 15°C (60°F) 85 mm (3.4 in) 17°C (63°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Jun 19°C (66°F) 75 mm (3 in) 21°C (70°F) 28 mm (1.1 in)
Jul 22°C (71°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 24°C (75°F) 17 mm (0.7 in)
Aug 21°C (70°F) 75 mm (3 in) 24°C (74°F) 32 mm (1.3 in)
Sep 18°C (65°F) 75 mm (3 in) 21°C (69°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)
Oct 14°C (56°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 17°C (62°F) 90 mm (3.5 in)
Nov 8°C (46°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 12°C (53°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Dec 4°C (40°F) 57 mm (2.3 in) 9°C (49°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)