15 Best things to do in Agen (France)

In the Lot-et-Garonne department of Aquitaine, Agen is a traditional town that itself does not care much about tourism. But that’s not to say there’s nothing to see or do.

The Museum of Fine Arts complements just about anywhere in the region, and the Canal Garonne promises to ride a bike or boat along the verdant valleys and tall wooded hills alongside orchards forming the backdrop.

If you’re visiting with the family, you’re not going anywhere, with theme parks, tree-climbing centers, caves, and kid-friendly Roman ruins all easily closed nearby.

Let’s explore the best things to do in Agen:

1. Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Fine Arts

Agen’s Fine Arts Museum has inspiring paintings in four historic mansions from the 1500s and 1600s.

History nerds will get goosebumps in the archaeology department, where you can peruse more than 1,600 objects from Lebanon and Syria, including coins, statues, and children’s toys looted during the Crusades.

Art galleries are exceptionally rich for provincial museums, with works by Goya, Tintoretto, Camille Corot, and Alfred Sisley, to name a few.

But the splendid house that hosts these exhibits will also capture your imagination with its spiral staircase, expansive fireplace, courtyard, and 26-room furniture.

2. Agen Cathedral

Cathedral of Agen

This 12th-century Romanesque and Gothic church became the cathedral of Agen in 1801, after the former Saint-Etienne Cathedral was destroyed in the Revolution.

In 1998, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its location on the old St. James pilgrimage route.

The oldest part is the apse, dating back to the church’s origins in the 1100s.

The altar ceiling features paintings of apostles, evangelists, and kings of ancient Israel and Judah.

Check out the Stolz Organ, installed in 1858, the largest in the department.

Rumors are that Queen Eugenie donated it to the cathedral.

3. Piedon Avenue

Pieton Avenue

Agen’s four boulevards used to be notorious for traffic, especially on Saturday afternoons.

But reflecting improvements in public works in many French cities, in 2011 a large section of the Avenue de la République, east-west, was pedestrianized. This artery was originally drawn during the modernization of Agen in the 19th century.

Now known as Boulevard Piéton, “the pedestrian boulevard”, it’s the city’s liveliest street and the first stop on a shopping trip to Agen.

There are fountains and atomizers to cool the air when the mercury rises in summer

4. Agenda Aqueduct

Agen aqueduct

Crossing the Garonne was an astonishing feat of 19th century engineering.

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The Agen Aqueduct leads the Double Sea Canal onto the river, and when it was completed in 1849, it was the longest navigable aqueduct in the country at over half a kilometer.

The structure is composed of white Quercy limestone and has 23 arches, each 20 meters wide.

Also groundbreaking at the time was the width of the channel, which at eight meters allowed two ships to pass from different directions.

5. Walibi Sud-Ouest

Walibi Sud-Ouest

The region’s premier theme park for the youngest family members around the age of 13. The park is set in 30 hectares of wooded park, surrounded by an authentic 18th century castle, and is now an elegant setting in one of 6 restaurants. garden.

Older kids will head straight for Boomerang, the park’s fastest roller coaster, hitting speeds of up to 90 km/h.

you will have five main r

While all of this draws a midsummer crowd, you can cut the queues by paying a little extra for a “fast pass”.

6. Suagen

Suagen

The town’s rugby team is the Agen institution, teetering between France’s top two professional divisions: they’ve been too good for Pro D2, but haven’t quite stayed in the top 14 for more than a season at a time in recent years.

Suarang, however, has a rich history as an eight-time champion and has opened up a long line of world-class players such as current France international Maxime Marcheno and full-back Blaise Doolin.

Races are held approximately every two weeks at the 14,000-capacity Stade Armandie.

7. Église Notre-Dame de Moirax

Église Notre-Dame de Moirax

A few minutes south of Agen, you will come to the village of Moirax, with a stunning Romanesque church that was once part of the Cluniac Abbey.

One of the most striking things about this site is that you will have it all.

The 11th century building has been barely touched since it was built, and apart from its sympathetic restoration in the 1800s, nothing beats a perfect seclusion.

If you know a little about biblical stories, you can decipher the capital letters carved over the millennia, convey temptation, St. Michael slaying the dragon, and general motifs like cats, birds, and leaves.

8. Velascopia

Velascopia

The Villascopia in Castelculier is a characteristic archaeological site, a site of remnants of Gallo-Roman houses from the 4th century.

But instead of a dusty foundation, the ruins are rendered in 3D using techniques borrowed from the theater and film industries.

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You’ll be immersed in the grandeur of the Roman Spa, from the bathroom through the cold, tep and teh, with projections and some of the sounds and smells you’ve experienced.

In addition, you can browse all the interesting objects excavated in Castelculier, such as mosaics, sculptures and ceramics.

9. Parc Naturel de Passeligne

Parc Naturel de Passeligne

Residents of Agen go there to recharge, and the Parc Naturel de Passeligne is a 60 hectares of green space and water at the southern end of the city.

There are two large lakes in the park, Passeligne and Pélissier, which provide fishermen with plenty of carp, bass and black bass.

Youngsters can burn off excess energy at three huge playgrounds, each designed for a different age group and carefully planned to help develop motor skills.

Older kids won’t want to miss the Chambre de Verdure, which has a long, fun zipline.

10. Les Montreur d’Images

Les Montreur d'Images

If you’re a movie fan and have been in France for a while, you know the value of a movie theater, which plays movies in their original language with French subtitles, rather than dubbing directly into French audio.

They are mostly independent theaters like this, which curate a top-notch French and foreign language film program, from new releases to classics, by the likes of Wim Wenders, Kurosawa and Nicolas Winding Refn.

The venue is very stylish, with a café and two luxurious auditoriums.

This is a good choice if you are wandering around Agen.

11. Happy Forest

happy forest

You better make sure the kids don’t get bored in Agen, because five minutes on the road is another top-notch family day.

Happy Forest offers a variety of activities for families such as laser tagging, “Zorbing” and petting zoos.

But the most important thing is “Accrobranche”. It’s a 14 adventure course hanging from a tree, like a kind of Ewok village.

They range from lessons that a 3-year-old can handle, to daunting challenges that are limited to 14+ and only for those at their best.

As you crawl, you’ll be strapped to your seatbelt, fumble over rope bridges and ride the longest zipline in the Southwest at over 300 meters on ‘Pierre Park’.

12. Grottes de Fontirou

Fontirou Caves

In 20 minutes, you can reach this network of limestone caves that have been hollowed out over millions of years.

The tour takes 40 minutes, and while you’ll need a good pair of shoes, it’s never tiring or dangerous.

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Stalagmites and stalactites and other bizarre nodules are illuminated in different colors to help them stand out, and throughout, you’ll be guided through stories of the cave filling up.

The cave’s steady 14°C makes them an educational way to cool off when the summer is hot.

13. Puyols

Puyols

One of the two “Plus Beaux Villages de France” in the Lot-et-Garonne department, Pujols is a medieval hilltop village atop an ancient Roman fortress.

Once you reach this summit, you won’t regret the trip, and you can observe the scenery for miles to the north.

A very stately way to enter the village is through the arches below the 15th-century church of St. Nicholas, which was built into the ramparts, making it sternly defensive.

There are five other historic churches in this small village, as well as several rustic stone and timber houses in a car-free core within the walls.

14. Canal Garonne

Canal Garonne

The aqueduct of Agen can also be a magnificent stepping stone to the Canal of the Two Seas, which in the 1850s was supplemented by a canal on the side of the Garonne.

Agen is one of the main springboards for boat trips on the canal, and if you plan ahead, you can float all the way from here to places like Carcassonne or Bethel in a week.

If that sounds like a big commitment, you can rent a bike and go on a professionally planned itinerary on towing trails organized by the Canal Tourism Office.

This is ideal for young people as you can see the delightful Garonne countryside without having to deal with road traffic.

15. Local Food

Prune d'Agen

Agen is the “pruning capital” of France, and although it may be an odd name, the town’s relationship with fruit began with the Crusades.

Agen prunes are made from Ente plums brought back from Syria in the 1200s.

They are a source of local pride, so much so that a festival, Le Grand Pruneau Show, is held on the last weekend of August to celebrate the first plums of the year.

For other Agen specialities, you can check out the inside track where they specialize, stop by the foie gras farm, the Brulhois AOC’s vineyards and cellars, the chocolate shop and the orchards where the precious Ente plums are harvested.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Agen, France
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