Carcassonne is located on either side of the river Aude ', between the Pyrenees and the Montagne Noire.
The most famous landmark is the fully restored old town, called La Cité de Carcassonne. This "Ville fortifiée historique de Carcassonne" is since 1997 a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is the finest example of a medieval town in Europe, which is almost completely preserved, and the largest preserved fortress from the Middle Ages.
The Cité attracted 2.1 million tourists in 2012, making it the largest tourist attraction in France after Paris and Mont-Saint-Michel.
The actual town center, where you find the town hall, is the Basse Ville (Lower Town) or Bastide St. Louis. It was built in the 13th century as a refuge for residents of the neighborhoods that were once around the Cité built and were completely demolished. Two bridges over the Aude connect the old Cité and the new city together, called the Vieux Pont and the Pont Marengo.
Annually in Carcassonne from late June to early August the Festival de Carcassonne takes place. The performances are varied, of theater, circus and dance to classical and pop concerts. Many national and international artists have already honores Carcassonne with a performance. Furthermore Carcassonne is also a cozy city with many shops and restaurants. The airport "Salvaza" where Ryan Air flies on lies 3 kilometers outside of Carcassonne.