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Angoulême is a town that used to be surrounded by massive fortifications. These have now been replaced by boulevards which by the way still partly run over the former city walls and from where you have a beautiful view of the surroundings. Every year a street racing event is held on those boulevards (called Remparts) and Angoulême is also the center of comics with a Centre International de la Bande Dessinée and the Festival International de la Bande-dessinée in January.
The town has 45,000 inhabitants.
From way back Angoulême is a center of paper industry (one of the best known products being the Rizla cigarette paper). The paper production has significantly decreased in the last decades. There's a gunpowder factory near the city and machine (parts) and shoes are also made. Angoulême hopes to boost the local economy with a new exhibition hall. West of Angoulême lies the town of Cognac. Indeed, the heart of the region where this drink is being produced.
Aéroport d'Angoulême-Brie-Champniers is the full name of the airport which lies 15 kilometers northeast of Angoulême. Until recently, the airport was used by the Irish budget airline Ryanair, but they canceled the flights to Angoulême in 2010. It's not clear if flights will be carried out again soon, possibly by another budget airline.
The nearest international airport is Bordeaux (Mérignac) Airport, which can be reached by rental car via freeway A89.
Angoulême has a good system of buses, exploited by the company Société de Transport du Grand Angoulême. In most cases, buses run to destinations outside Angoulême, but they also stop at various places in the town itself.
The old center of Angoulême is a pedestrian zone. In the rest of Angoulême you will not have difficulties finding your way: you'll quickly reach your destination via the Remparts over the former city walls. It may be difficult to find a parking place in the street, but fortunately there are parking garages in and around the center, including two large ones near the train station. Their location is signposted.
Angoulême has a good choice of accommodations. You can find both typical French family hotels and branches of international chains. There are also good hotels in the city's vicinity, for example at the golf course Hirondelle southwest of Angoulême.
For more information about Angoulême, we recommend Google and the following sources: