Carcassone is a medieval town with plenty of history and is pretty much divided into the old city and the rest of town. The old city is developed around the Cite de Carcassone, and the fortress within was declared a UNESCO heritage site in 1997. Word has it the Walt Disney derived his inspiration for Fantasyland from here.
Even night views of the fortress are majestic.
The view of the expansive lower city as seen from the vantage point within the fortress on a clear day is pretty amazing. Much of the fortress was restored only in the 19th century and very well done, I might add. Yes, it's touristy but not overly so, and very enjoyable.
The city still houses many artisan shops, with carvings, traditional foods and produce, etc. This particular shop we went into stocks a myriad of preserves, breads, and of course visitors can bring home the packed version of the local specialty, Cassoulet de Canard.
Next up: fine dining in Carcassone.