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Perpignan Guide

Car hire Perpignan
Car hire Perpignan

Car Hire

Any traveller to Perpignan finds it a little strange that the city resembles, not the rest of France, but rather Catalonia in Spain. For the most part, it should. Perpignan saw its golden age when it became part of the Catalan Kingdom of Majorca. Now, this city of about 100,000 people is one of the jewels of the southern France. Hiring a car is a great way to see the many parts of the city and the beautiful region surrounding it.

Who to Book With
Many of the car hire companies found in Perpignan are located mainly in, or close to, the city’s gateways: Gare de Perpignan (the railway station) and Perpignan-Rivesaltes Airport. The car rental companies here include Avis, Europcar, Sixt, Hertz and local companies such as Car Go and UCAR. Before arriving, try to compare prices online to get the best deals.

Best Time to Go
As with the rest of southern France, Perpignan enjoys near perpetual pleasant Mediterranean weather, with summer highs of 29°C and winter lows of 4°C. Late spring or early summer is a great time to visit. During this time, temperatures begin to pick up and the possibility of rainfall is low.

Need to Know Essentials
When collecting your hired car, show the following to the car rental firm:

- A national driving permit (International for non-EU drivers)
- A form of ID with a picture
- The credit card of the renter
- Rental confirmation

For more info read our FAQ's.

Driving
From either France or Spain, the highway to take to reach Perpignan is the A9 autoroute, called La Languedocienne or La Catalane. Driving is a popular way to get around Perpignan, and there are many underground parking sites around the city. However, in high summer, traffic and parking may prove difficult at times as the town kicks in its peak tourist season. When visiting during this time of the year, it’s always best to plan ahead.

Our guide to driving in France has more information.

Transport

Many of the things to see and do in Perpignan are conveniently located within easy walking distance of each other. It is also possible to get around by car, although this can be a bit of a challenge when visiting in the high tourist season. Trains arrive frequently from Paris and Barcelona, and taxis can be hired from ranks or over the phone. Buses also ply routes around the city.

Trains
While there is no rapid transit or tram to provide transport within Perpignan, arriving from another destination by train is indeed possible. From Paris, a total of nine Trains à Grande Vitesse (TGVs) high-speed trains run to Gare de Perpignan. The journey takes about five hours and costs around €85. From Barcelona in Spain, there are three train services daily. This journey takes around three hours and costs approximately €35 for a direct train.

Taxis
Scattered around town are several outfits providing taxi services. These include Accueil Perpignan Taxi, Taxi Perpignan and many others. Most can be contacted by phone and offer set fares for certain destinations. A cab ride from the airport to the city costs around €22, for example.

Buses
Getting around by bus is easy. For inquiries, visitors can head to the information desk of the main bus operator in town, CTPM, on 27 Clemenceau Boulevard. A single ticket costs about €1.50, while a day pass will set you back about about €6. Bus lines 1 and 2 run around town and stop at the Gare de Perpignan.

Exploring

Many of the sights in Perpignan hark back to a time when the city was the capital of the mainland Kingdom of Majorca, widely considered as Perpignan’s golden age. Structures such as the Palace of the Kings of Majorca, Le Castillet and Casa Païral allow visitors to take a glimpse at that glorious history. Several scenic drives around Perpignan can easily be done with a hired vehicle.

Recommended Drives

Canet-plage - This is a town located close to Perpignan, is the best place near the city where visitors can get a taste of a beautiful Mediterranean beach. Highway D617 connects Perpignan directly to this attractive seaside town.

St Pierre dels Forcats - This is a nearby ski resort. Perpignan is lucky enough to be located within a stone’s throw of both the Mediterranean and the high slopes of the Pyrenees Mountains. St Pierre dels Forcats is the first resort visitors will encounter when driving west from Perpignan.

Tautavel - This is a town north of Perpignan, offers visitors a glimpse into one of the earliest human settlements found in Europe. Remains of a hominid subsequently baptised Tautavel Man were found in a cave in the area. The remains are now housed in the town’s Prehistoric Museum.

Perpignan

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