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Destination Guide: Perpignan

Picturesque France with Spanish flavour
French Perpignan is tucked away near the border of Spain and encapsulates the best of both French and Catalan culture. Amble around bustling pedestrian streets in the Catalan old town for a vibrant multi-cultural experience combining culture, shopping and eating.

Food and Drink

Sun-drenched Mediterranean dining on Catalan delights. Easygoing alfresco restaurant terraces serve fresh fish and seafood from the Mediterranean Sea. Catalan-style dishes often include aïoli, octopus, Serrano ham and peppers. Enjoy a mouth-watering snack of snails or tartines of fresh anchovies. Rue Llucia is the place to find Moroccan and Algerian couscous and tagine dishes, and drink mint tea.

Sightseeing and relaxation

A vibrant old town and centuries of Catalan history. Enjoy a coffee at a palm-shaded café on Place Arago, then feed your soul at the magnificent Gothic St Jean cathedral. See the Catalan sardane dance at Place de la Loge on a Sunday morning and admire the Venetian arches of 14th-century building, Loge de Mer.

Shopping

Track down local fabrics and jewellery. The narrow streets around Rue de l’Ange are perfect for shopping. Browse the chic or pick up something unique such as local Pyrenean garnet jewellery or colourful Catalan-patterned tablecloths and bedspreads. Visit the Sunday market on Place Cassanyes to experience the exotic colours, sounds and smells of North Africa.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Relax in a café or enjoy local live music. Sit back on a balmy evening with a glass of the local wine, Muscat de Rivesaltes, on the café terraces of Place Arago, Place Gambetta and along the River Basse. On Thursday nights in July and August, a vibrant street festival takes over the town with open-air theatre, music and markets.