Remote, uneventful, but definitely no waste of time, Arles is absolutely steeped in Provençal culture, with the particularity of being the capital of Camargue area. The museums are small, but have some interesting artifacts. Unfortunately there are no Van Goghs to be found in the city, despite the fact that his residence in Arles was his most productive. Chico Bouchiki, co-founder of the Gypsy Kings, as well as the rest of the band, is from Arles. Take a lazy stroll along the Rhône, dip into a café and continue strolling. Arles is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List because of its town center, which boasts indifferently Roman heritage and 18th century houses along its narrow streets.
SNCF Gare d'Arles. There are trains every hour from nearby cities like Marseille, Avignon and Aix en Provence. Detailed train timetables for all routes via Arles are available at every major train station in South of France. A typical journey from Marseille to Arles by Ter (Transport express régional) trains take 40 to 45 minutes - only 35 minutes from Vitrolles Aeroport Marseilles (Marseilles Airport SNCF station).
There are several bus lines from towns all over the Bouches-du-Rhône from which you can reach Arles. You can always buy your passage from the conductor.
There's a bus No. 18 which runs between Arles and Aix-en-Provence main bus station/gare routiere.
Take the Autoroute from Salon or yet another from Marseille, but give preference to the smaller routes and Alpilles towns like Fontvieille, Paradou, les baux, etc.
The Roman amphitheatre (les Arènes d'Arles) was built in the first or second century B.C. houses Corridas at Easter and the Rice Festa in September. Throughout the summer there are various courses camarguaises.
The Market and definitely think about researching for expositions and other events of the sort.
Walk along the embankment of the Rhone river. There are also boat excursions on the river just outside the old city wall of Cavalerie.
Household linen and pottery from rue Cavalerie and around the amphitheatre.
Saucisson d'Arles (traditionally made with a bit of donkey meat), marinated olives from the market, Languedoc cheeses from the market, etc.
Plats: Gardianne de Boeuf, Daubes, Fougasse d'Arles (with duck confit inside)
Places to eat
For restos, check out the menus on side street restaurants.
There is an Auberge de Jeunesse (youth hostel) at 20, avenue Foch. It's within walking distance of the train station. Another favored alternative is sleeping in the streets. Place de la libération offers a hospitable sidewalk with a boulder dedicated to two American WWII pilots shot down over Arles under shelter of which you may sleep.
There are a few hotels apparently built within parts of former abbeys, such as Hôtel du Cloître by Saint Trophime. Also, there are tons of hôtels de tourisme.
Keep a low profile.
Arles is centrally located. The town straddles Provence and the Languedoc. Profit from its positioning and enjoy the great nature that surrounds: the Camargue and beaches to the south, the Alpilles to the east, etc.
Aix-en-Provence the city of Cézanne and the Montagne Sainte-Victoire. Avignon, City of the Popes. Montpellier, so-called most pleasant city to live in in France. Les-Baux-de-Provence, Fortified village in a very dramatic setting.