Arles is in Provence in the southeast of France. Remote, uneventful, but definitely no waste of time, Arles is absolutely steeped in Provençal culture. The museums are small, but have some interested 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.
By train - SNCF Gare d'Arles.
By Bus - 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.
By Car - Once again, you can Take the Autorout from Salon or yet another from Marseille, but give preference to the smaller routes and Alpilles towns like Fontvieille, Paradou, les baux, etc...
By foot/bike - I think it's the GR6, I'll check up on it. 07:13, 17 January 2007 (EST)A Dub
The Roman ampthitheatre (les Arènes d'Arles) was built in the first or second century B.C.E. 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...
The Market and definitely think about researching for expositions and other events of the sort.
crazy crap from the markets and brocantes.
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)
For restos, check out the menu's on side street restaurants and see what sounds good at the time. La Boheme, Mule Blanc, l'entrevue... etc.
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...
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 bolder dedicated to two American WWII pilots shot down over Arles which you may sleep in the shelter of.
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. The Auberge de jeunesse, as mentioned above is very nice, I attest.
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.