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Arles is a town in the Provence in the southeast of France.


Romanesque Cathedral of Arles

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.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

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).

By bus[edit]

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.

By car[edit]

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.

Get around[edit]

  • Walk. Arles is for the most part small enough to enjoy by foot, if you aren't lazy. Otherwise, rely on taxis and buses. It's not even worth doing anything besides walking. Rent bicycles for day trips in the alpilles.

See[edit][add listing]

les Arènes d'Arles


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.

  • Among Arles other Roman attractions are the Classical theater, the Cryptoporticos and a few building that incorporate gallo-roman columns, etc.
  • You can learn all about Roman Arles at the 'Musée d'Arles et la Provence Antique.
  • Other museums and monuments include Musée Réattu, Lou Museon Arlaten, the early christian burial site called les alyscamps.
  • The Pont Van Gogh is a bit removed from town.
  • Check out the Saturday market for sure.
  • Eglise Saint Trophime

Do[edit][add listing]

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.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • markets and brocantes.

Household linen and pottery from rue Cavalerie and around the amphitheatre.

Eat[edit][add listing]


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[edit]

For restos, check out the menus on side street restaurants.

  • La Boheme
  • Mule Blanc
  • Querida, 37 rue des Arenes, 04 90 98 37 81, [1]. lunch from 12pm; dinner from 7pm; closed Tue&Wed.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Pastis, the local wines are good with food. Take advantage of the proximity of Nîmes for wines.
  • There's the embarassingly touristy Café Van Gogh, painted to look like his Night Café painting and lots of Japanese tourists who seem to be on the verge of a euphoric break-down when they see it.
  • Check out some of the other cafés in place du Forum, Rue Wilson, etc...
  • La Fée Gourmande, 3 Rue DuLau, 0033 490 182 657. lunch from 11.45h / dinner from 19.00h / booking recommended / menu of the day from 11E to 17E / Average card : 33 to 40  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

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.

Other hotels:

  • [2] Résidence Club Le Domaine de l'Estajan +33 1 58 21 55 84, The residence is made up of several small buildings, no higher than one floor, spread around the Maeva Camargue estate: Les Roselières, Les Oliviers, Les Amandiers, Les Piboules, etc. A large number of leisure activities (riding, tennis, golf, etc.) and relaxation facilities (balneotherapy centre) are available on the site.

Stay safe[edit]

Keep a low profile.

Get out[edit]

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.

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