Train to Barcelona, 55 minutes, loads of shops, cafes and restaurants, and lots of live music during the summer.
If you want a taste of big city life Perpignan is the place to go. Lots of things to see, boutiques to shop in and restaurants to eat in.
Perpignan wasn't a bad place to be stuck for a few hours to wander around to see the city, but I'm not sure if I would plan multiple days there. This is the southernmost part of the south of France, and consequently one of the warmest places year-round. It seems that a lot of drifters from around France end up here living off their benefits. Perpignan is also a gateway into the beautiful regions of the Pyrenees.
Perpignan is where the Pyrenees flatten out to join the Mediterranean. It's a city of narrow medieval streets, outdoor cafés, markets and grand monuments. Chateau de Salses is a must see structure in Perpignan and makes a great day trip.