The ancient city of Perpignan is very near to the Spanish border and so has a definite Spanish feel with many of the inhabitants of Spanish origin. It is in the glorious Pyrenees-Orientales department of Languedoc-Roussillon. It's an interesting city, a melting pot of Spanish, as well as North African, with both Arab and white French settlers who came here after the independence of Algeria in 1962.
There's an old town, which is easily navigable on foot, the 14th-century cathedral dedicated to St-Jean Baptiste and the massive Palais des Rois de Majorque which dominates the southern part of the city.
Perpignan also acts as the gateway to the gorgeous Cote Vermeille part of southern France. This region, way down, is well worth exploring.
Paris to Perpignan by Train
Paris Gare de Lyon train station (20 boulevards Diderot, Paris 12) all through the day.
Metro lines to and from Gare de Lyon
Ligne 1 – La Defence to Chateau de Vincennes
Ligne 14 – Saint Lazare to Bibliotheque Francois Mitterand
TGV trains to Perpignan station
Paris to Perpignan train station in 5hrs 08 mins.
Lille (which connects with Eurostar) to Perpignan train station in 6 hrs 41 mins.
Charles de Gaulle Airport to Perpignan train station in 5 hrs 45 mins.
Barcelona, Spain to Perpignan train station in 2 hrs 51 mins.
Brussels, Belgium to Perpignan train station in 7hrs 39 mins.
Book your Train Ticket
From the USA: Book online with Rail Europe
From the UK: Book online with Oui
Getting to Perpignan by plane
Marseille-Provence Airport is 20 km (12 miles) northwest of Marseille. It’s a major airport with national and international flights, including New York and London. 8 km (5 miles) southeast of the city.
MP2 is the connected airport for cheap flights. A shuttle bus taking 5 minutes connects the two.
La Navette shuttle coaches run regularly to St-Charles railway station taking about 25 minutes.
Destinations include Paris, Lyon, Nantes, and Strasbourg; Brussels; London, Birmingham, Leeds, and Bradford; Morocco; Algeria; Madeira; Munich and Rotterdam.
Getting to Perpignan by car
Paris to Perpignan is 850 km (528 miles) taking around 7hrs 45mins depending on your speed. There are tolls on the autoroutes.
From Perpignan the drive to Barcelona, Spain, is 196 km (122 miles), taking around 2 hrs, depending on your speed.
For information on hiring a car under the lease-back scheme which is the most economical way of hiring a car if you’re in France for more than 17 days, try Renault Eurodrive Buy Back Lease.
Getting from London to Paris
By train (Eurostar)
Eurostar between London, Paris, and Lille
By bus/coach Eurolines offers a cheap service from London, Gillingham, Canterbury, Folkestone and Dover to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris Gallieni. Six coaches a day; 2 overnight; journey time is 7 hours. The Eurolines stop is at the Paris Gallieni Coach Station, 28 ave du General de Gaulle, just by the Gallieni metro station near the Porte de Bagnolet (Metro line 3, final stop).
The French company OUIBus also operates between London and Lille and London and Paris. IDBus also goes from Lille to Amsterdam and Brussels.