An avenue in the beautiful walled Cité du Carcassonne, in southern France. Carcassonne is one of the many fairy-tale looking remade-from-ruins castles in Europe. Sadly, with many of these the re-creation and the history are not always seeing eye-to-eye. Still, so many of them are well done and a joy to explore. Carcassonne isn’t just a castle but is a fully walled and turreted city that feels as if it’s from a story book. There is an actual city of Carcassonne right next door and it’s worth a visit too, as is the lovely countryside surrounding the area. The walled city is a bit touristy, with tourist-trap shops and restaurants but I didn’t find it too irritating. The old, walled city is just close enough to be accessible if you want to visit, but just far enough away from other major tourist attractions not to have irritating mobs of tourists. Though there are some trendy spots to stay in the old city, you can also just as easily stay in a small spot in the real city. From there you can wander your way across the bridge to the walled city and saunter around for the day in the old castle at your leisure.