Located close to the Spanish border, Perpignan is a great crossroads. This city is not only the Pyrenees Orientales’ préfecture (administrative capital city), but also the capital of the former province and county of Roussillon. The Perpignanais are proud to live in Perpignan la Catalane or Fidelissima Vila de Perpinyà. These nicknames refer to the history, identity and heritage of the city, as well as to the geographical location: Perpignan was the capital of the French Catalogne during the Middle Ages and is as a consequence home to the Catalan, Mediterranean and Roman cultures. Perpignan differs from the Provence, the Languedoc and the Côte d’Azur (French Riviera). With special geographical and cultural identities, this city spans the border between the last French towns on the Mediterranean coast and Spain.
Perpignan has inherited Mediterranean characteristic such as the weather. With 2,500 hours of sun per year and beautiful large beaches, it has the 2 main assets to seduce holidaymakers. But this Catalan city is also very interesting due to its traditions (gastronomy, art, etc.) and values. The city was indeed influenced by many civilizations (Vandals, Wisigoths, Arabs, Francs, etc) and its identity is therefore rich and complex. Due to a prestigious past, you will also find in Perpignan important monuments that are worth a visit.
Following the example of Montpellier, the Languedoc Roussillon region looks younger, more dynamic and many new properties are built. Property prices are pretty stable and there is a wide choice of houses on offer. As far as Perpignan is concerned, after several years of excessive increases, real estate prices are becoming accessible again. With an average of €2,170 / square metre for a property to buy, Perpignan is not amongst the most expensive cities in terms of property prices.
Many building projects are in progress in order to satisfy the growing demand. New build properties are more sought-after and diversified than ancient ones. Buying a property in quarters located in the north, such as the Vernet, costs less than in the south of the city.
Hard bargains can be driven in the north, you can find for instance gorgeous residential houses with swimming-pool and huge garden. Many apartments of a good quality are being built in Perpignan. Pay attention because they can be overestimated!
To get updated info about the property prices in the Pyrenees Orientales departement, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
Tourism in Perpignan is very important. The city is full of parks and beautiful monuments. Its tourism centre received in 2005 the “tourism and handicap” prize, which means that many installations allow disabled people to be able to live and move in this urban area. Everybody can then discover this great city.
Location: situated in a fortunate environment with on one side the Mediterranean coast – rocky and with many beaches – and the mountains on the other side with amongst others the imposing Canigou mountain. The city is close to many important towns in France and also Spain, such as Montpellier, Narbonne, Carcassone, Toulouse or Barcelona. Following a visit in 1963, Salvador Dalí (Catalan surrealist artist) even declared that Perpignan’s railway station was the centre of the World!
Culture: Perpignan has a strong history behind it. The city suffered from many invasions (Hannibal, Vandals, Wisigoths, Arabs, etc) and wars (war of the Spanish succession, Napoleon war), rivalries between French and Catalan people, etc. All these events have deeply influenced Perpignan’s culture. Former Roman town of Ruscino – capital of the Roussillon’s county – it kept remains from this period too. Perpignan perpetuates many traditions which highlight community values: celebrations, gatherings, brotherly dances, etc.
Dynamic city: with 117,500 inhabitants in the city itself and around 300,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area, Perpignan is one of the major French cities. The city became prosperous since its creation, but was especially active during the Royaume de Mallorca (Mallorca’s Kingdom, 13th-14th centuries) as it was its capital city. Many artists - amongst others troubadours - came to Perpignan and made the city renowned for attracting people with such a background. Today there are many art galleries and festivals that are a great entertainment way.
Places of interest: as a beautiful historic town, there are plenty of attractions in Perpignan, including churches, monuments and museums dating from the Middle Ages. Below are the major places of interests in this city: Le Castillet (Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions), the Hyacinthe Rigaud Museum of Fine Art, the Natural History Museum, the Museum of French Algeria, but also the Palace of the Kings of Majorca, the Cathedral Saint-Jean-Baptist, the Campo Santo (old cloister-cemetery), the church Saint-Jacob and the Couvent of the Dominican.
Transport links: only about 45 minutes from Narbonne by car, 1h30 from Montpellier and 2 hours from Toulouse and Barcelona, Perpignan is connected to many cities and towns that are reachable by car, bus or train. A TGV (high speed train) line between Paris and Barcelona that would go through Perpignan is planned. You can also reach the city by plane as Perpignan has an airport. The back-country is also well connected to the city thanks to good bus and road networks.
Properties in the south of France, in particular in the Languedoc Roussillon region, are always very colourful. There are different property styles that are typical from southern regions.
Colourful houses: in Perpignan’s city center, you will find many typical street with houses, sometimes pretty narrow, and always very colourful. These houses are painted in bright colours such as orange, yellow or pink and the shutters in another colour than the one of the walls. There are also iron balconies on these houses.
Lozere traditional houses: you will find in Perpignan’s surroundings character houses made of grey or beige Granite stones or basalt. These houses’ roofs are made of Lauze - schist or calcareous stones – and are in a L shape.
Villas: you can see many lovely and charming villas in this city. Often symmetrical with the entrance door surmounted by a triangular pediment, you will enjoy the beautiful architecture of these properties as well as the private swimming-pool and the large garden.
Click here for more info about the Languedoc Roussillon Architecture.
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