45 Best Places And Things To Do in Arles, France

Arles, located in the Provence region of France, is a picturesque city with a rich history and a vibrant arts scene. Known for its well-preserved Roman ruins, charming streets, and stunning landscapes, Arles offers visitors a wide range of attractions and activities. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Arles:

1. Arles Amphitheatre (Les Arènes)

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Start your exploration of Arles with a visit to the magnificent Roman amphitheater. This well-preserved structure is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks and hosts various events, including bullfights and concerts.

2. Van Gogh Trail

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Arles was an inspiration for the renowned painter Vincent van Gogh, who produced over 300 paintings during his time here. Follow the Van Gogh Trail to discover the locations that influenced his work, including the famous “Café Terrace at Night” and “Bedroom in Arles.”

3. Roman Theater

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Explore the ancient Roman Theater of Arles, which dates back to the 1st century BC. Admire the impressive architecture and enjoy performances during the annual Arles Summer Festival.

4. Saint-Trophime Church

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Visit this stunning Romanesque church, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and admire its intricate sculptures and beautiful cloister.

5. Les Alyscamps

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Take a stroll along the Alyscamps, a Roman necropolis that inspired artists like Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. The rows of ancient sarcophagi and the serene atmosphere make it a captivating place to visit.

6. Musée de l’Arles et de la Provence Antique

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Immerse yourself in Arles’ history by visiting this museum, which houses an impressive collection of Roman artifacts, including sculptures, mosaics, and everyday objects.

7. Place du Forum

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Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Place du Forum, a bustling square lined with cafes, bars, and shops. This lively gathering spot is a great place to relax, people-watch, and soak up the local culture.

8. Espace Van Gogh

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Visit this former hospital where Van Gogh stayed and admire the beautiful garden that served as inspiration for his paintings. The site also hosts contemporary art exhibitions.

9. Les Rencontres d’Arles

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If you’re a photography enthusiast, plan your visit around the Les Rencontres d’Arles festival, an internationally renowned photography festival held every summer. Explore exhibitions and discover the works of emerging and established photographers.

10. Camargue Natural Regional Park

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Just a short distance from Arles lies the Camargue, a unique wetland known for its diverse flora and fauna. Take a guided tour to observe the iconic white horses, pink flamingos, and enjoy the breathtaking landscapes.

11. Local Cuisine

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Indulge in the delicious Provençal cuisine of Arles. Try the region’s specialties such as bouillabaisse (fish stew), ratatouille (vegetable dish), and various Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Don’t forget to sample the local wines and olive oils as well.

12. Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles

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This contemporary art foundation showcases the works of Vincent van Gogh as well as contemporary artists who have been inspired by his legacy. It’s a must-visit for art enthusiasts.

13. Cryptoporticus

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Discover the underground tunnels of the Cryptoporticus, which once served as a covered gallery in ancient times. These atmospheric tunnels offer a glimpse into Arles’ Roman past.

14. Museon Arlaten

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Visit the Museon Arlaten, a museum dedicated to the cultural heritage of Provence. It exhibits a diverse collection of artifacts, traditional costumes, crafts, and everyday objects, providing insights into the local way of life.

15. Walk the Streets

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Arles is known for its charming, narrow streets lined with colorful houses and quaint shops. Take a leisurely walk through the Old Town (La Roquette) and soak up the atmosphere of this picturesque city.

16. Arles Market

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Experience the vibrant local culture by visiting the lively Arles Market, held on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Explore the stalls filled with fresh produce, regional specialties, handmade crafts, and more.

17. Museé Réattu

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This museum, located in an 18th-century building, houses an extensive collection of art, including works by the artist Jacques Réattu. From contemporary art to historical pieces, the museum offers a diverse range of exhibits.

18. Boat Trip on the Rhône River

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Embark on a scenic boat trip along the Rhône River, offering beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. It’s a relaxing way to admire the natural beauty of the region.

19. Les Thermes de Constantin

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Visit the ruins of the ancient Roman baths, Les Thermes de Constantin, and explore the remnants of this once-grand bathing complex. It provides a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of the Romans.

20. Les Ateliers de la Fondation

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Visit the Les Ateliers de la Fondation, an art center that supports contemporary artists. Explore the exhibitions, workshops, and artist residencies to witness the thriving artistic energy of Arles.

21. The Church of Sainte-Anne

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Admire the beautiful architecture of the Church of Sainte-Anne, a Romanesque-Gothic church with stunning stained glass windows and intricate sculptures.

22. Musee Reattu

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Explore the Musee Reattu, housed in an ancient Roman building. The museum showcases a wide range of art, including works by Pablo Picasso, as well as photography exhibitions.

23. Les Balades Camarguaises

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Experience the unique landscapes of the Camargue region on a guided horseback or jeep tour. Explore the vast wetlands, spot wildlife, and learn about the traditions and culture of the Camargue.

24. Montmajour Abbey

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Take a short trip to Montmajour Abbey, a medieval monastery located just outside of Arles. Explore the abbey’s ancient buildings, enjoy panoramic views from the top of the tower, and wander through the peaceful gardens.

25. Photography Workshops

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If you’re interested in improving your photography skills, consider participating in one of the photography workshops offered in Arles. Learn from experienced professionals and capture the beauty of the city through your lens.

26. Bullfighting

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Experience the cultural tradition of bullfighting by attending a bullfight at the Arles Amphitheatre or the nearby Bullring of Arles. Witness the spectacle and learn about the history and significance of this controversial practice.

27. Les Jardins de la Fontaine

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Venture outside of Arles to visit Les Jardins de la Fontaine in Nîmes. This beautiful park is home to Roman ruins, including the Temple of Diana, and offers a peaceful retreat for walking, picnicking, and enjoying the scenic views.

28. Arles Antique Museum

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Visit the Arles Antique Museum, which houses an extensive collection of archaeological artifacts from Roman times. Explore the exhibits to learn about the city’s ancient past and gain insights into the daily life of its inhabitants.

29. The Espace Mistral

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Immerse yourself in the world of Frédéric Mistral, a famous Provençal poet and Nobel laureate, at the Espace Mistral. Learn about his life, works, and his contribution to the preservation of the Provençal language and culture.

30. Attend a Provençal Market

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Experience the lively atmosphere of a Provençal market by visiting one of the local weekly markets in Arles. Browse through stalls filled with fresh produce, regional specialties, crafts, and textiles, and engage with the vendors for an authentic taste of the local culture.

31. Les Salins d’Aigues-Mortes

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Take a day trip to Les Salins d’Aigues-Mortes, a sprawling salt marsh located near Arles. Explore the salt pans, learn about the salt extraction process, and enjoy the unique landscapes dotted with vibrant pink saltwater pools.

32. Les Baux-de-Provence

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Take a short trip to Les Baux-de-Provence, a medieval village perched on a rocky hilltop. Wander through the narrow streets, visit the impressive Château des Baux, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

33. Explore Local Vineyards

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Arles is located in the heart of the renowned Provence wine region. Embark on a wine tour and visit local vineyards to learn about the winemaking process, sample exquisite wines, and savor the flavors of the region.

34. Maison de la Vieille Charité

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Visit the Maison de la Vieille Charité, an architectural gem that once served as a charitable institution. Today, it houses museums and exhibition spaces, showcasing contemporary art and cultural displays.

35. Rhône River Cruise

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Embark on a leisurely Rhône River cruise and enjoy panoramic views of Arles and its surroundings. Cruise along the river, relax on the deck, and soak up the beauty of the landscapes.

36. Museé de la Mode

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Fashion enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the Museé de la Mode, which showcases the history of fashion through a collection of garments, accessories, and textiles. Learn about the evolution of style and fashion trends throughout the centuries.

37. Les Ateliers de la Côte Bleue

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Experience the beauty of the nearby Côte Bleue coastline with Les Ateliers de la Côte Bleue. Join guided hikes, bike tours, or kayak adventures to explore the stunning Mediterranean landscapes and hidden coves.

38. Les Galeries d’Art

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Arles is home to numerous art galleries that exhibit works by local and international artists. Wander through the galleries, admire the diverse range of art styles, and maybe even find a unique piece to take home as a souvenir.

39. Maison des Artistes

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Visit the Maison des Artistes, a collective space where local artists showcase their work. Explore the studios, interact with the artists, and witness the creative process firsthand.

40. Les Baux-de-Provence Light Show

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In the nearby village of Les Baux-de-Provence, don’t miss the Carrières de Lumières, an immersive light and sound show that transforms the interior of an old quarry into a mesmerizing art spectacle.

41. Horseback Riding in the Camargue

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Discover the rugged landscapes of the Camargue on horseback. Join a guided horseback riding tour through the marshlands, encounter the famous white horses and black bulls, and appreciate the untouched beauty of this unique region.

42. Café Terrace Culture

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Arles is famous for its vibrant café culture. Find a cozy café terrace, sip a café au lait or a glass of local wine, and simply relax while soaking up the charming ambiance and observing the bustling street life.

43. Le Parc des Ateliers

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The Parc des Ateliers is a contemporary art center that hosts exhibitions, artist residencies, and cultural events. Explore the cutting-edge art installations and contemporary works that showcase the city’s commitment to the arts.

44. Les Cryptoportiques d’Arles

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Marvel at the impressive underground galleries known as Les Cryptoportiques d’Arles. These subterranean structures served as a foundation for the Roman forum and offer a unique architectural experience.

45. Arles Cinema

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Experience the world of cinema at Arles Cinema, a cultural hub dedicated to the art of filmmaking. Enjoy film screenings, retrospectives, and discussions with filmmakers and industry professionals.