EuropeFranceTravel Guide Arles, Provence and Best Things to Do
Cafe Van Gogh Arles

Travel Guide Arles, Provence and Best Things to Do

Arles is a small city in the south of France that is absolutely brimming with charm. The streets are lined with craft shops and sartorially savvy locals, and the wine bars and restaurants are inviting and cozy.
The Roman ruins remind the city’s rich history, and the galleries are a testament to its thriving arts scene. Arles is the perfect destination for those who appreciate the finer things in life. You will fall in love with this charming city’s wine, art, history, food and fashion.

What is Provence famous for?

Provence is a vast and rugged region of France that offers an array of landscapes and experiences. From unbelievable light and endless marshes of the Camargue to the medieval charm of Arles and Avignon, Provence is a place that could take months to uncover. The region is famous for its picturesque scenery, and Provence’s vast sprawl can be both exhilarating and daunting. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that Provence is one of the most popular tourist destinations in France.

And that’s not even mentioning the food! Provence is renowned for its culinary traditions, from mouthwatering Provencal rosé to succulent Nicoise salads.

Van Gogh in Arles…

Arles might be most famous as the city where Vincent van Gogh lived and worked for 15 months, during which time he created more than 300 paintings and drawings. But not a single van Gogh canvas remains in Arles today – not even at the Fondation Vincent van Gogh. This new museum hosts exhibitions by contemporary artists inspired by the great man. So what happened to all those paintings? Some were lost or destroyed, but many others simply left Arles, sold by van Gogh or his successors to pay the bills. As a result, Arles is a city with a rich artistic history but very little to show for it – a bit like London without the Tate Gallery or New York without the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Still, it’s worth visiting Arles for its atmospheric old town and charming Provencal market – and who knows, maybe one day a lost van Gogh canvas will turn up again.

Cafe Van Gogh

Le Cafe Van Gogh in Arles is a must-see for any fan of the famous post-impressionist painter. The cafe looks almost the same as it did in Van Gogh’s iconic painting “Le Cafe La Nuit,” so it’s definitely worth a visit. However, I personally have not eaten at the cafe and the Google reviews aren’t convincing either, so I can’t recommend eating there. But if you do try it, let us know how it is in the comments.

Arles is also home to many other well-known paintings, such as “Starry Night Over the Rhone” and “The Yellow House.” So, whether you’re a fan of van Gogh or just looking for a unique night out, Arles is the place for you!

Fondation Vincent Van Gogh

Fondation Vincent Van Gogh is a must-see for any fan of the late, great artist. Not only does it feature many of his original paintings, but it also showcases contemporary artworks inspired by his time in Arles. I had a great time here and would definitely recommend a visit if you find yourself in the area. And even if you’re not a big Van Gogh fan, it’s still worth checking out – who knows, you might just leave converted!


Walk along the banks of the Rhone River and enjoy the views. From the rocky shores of Switzerland to the sunny Mediterranean Sea, the Rhone River is one of the most scenic in all of Europe. And what better way to enjoy its beauty than by taking a leisurely stroll along its banks?

Travel Guide Arles, Provence and Best Things to Do

Wander the streets of arles

When I imagined that famous postcard-perfect French town, Arles was exactly what I had in mind. From picturesque, winding streets with flower pots perched on windowsills to friendly, curious cats moving about, the streets of Arles are made for taking long strolls and indulging in all the charm the city has to offer. Taste some of the world’s best pastries and cheese from one of its quaint cafes or forageries, mesmerize yourself with soothing lavender scents from a random soap shop… basically just enjoy being enchanted by everything this amazing town has to offer!

Arles is one of those places where you can just get lost for hours aimlessly wandering around the charming streets. It’s the perfect place to PEOPLE WATCH and do a little window shopping (or real shopping if you want to bring home some unique French finds!). One of my favorite things is grabbing a pastry or gelato from one of the many bakeries or cafes and enjoying it while slowly strolling around the town.

The yellow house

The yellow house was a modest affair, and it’s likely that it was chosen for its low rent and proximity to other artists’ studios. The yellow house became Van Gogh’s sanctuary, and he decorated it with his own paintings. He also installed gas lamps, which were a novelty at the time. The yellow house was the scene of some of Van Gogh’s most iconic paintings, including “The Bedroom” and “The Night Café”. Today, the yellow house is gone, but it lives on in Van Gogh’s paintings.

Art in Arles

Arles has a long history of being associated with art and artists. Some of the most famous paintings by Vincent van Gogh were created during his time in Arles, and the city has also been home to many other artists. The Musée Réattu is a testament to this history, with its collection of artworks by Picasso, Gauguin, and other artists.

However, the museum also has a more unusual claim to fame: it is the only place where you can find a letter written by van Gogh. In this letter, van Gogh praises Wagner, bemoans “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” prose, and laments his psychological state. While the letter may not be the most exciting thing in the museum, it is a reminder of the fascinating history of Arles and its connection to one of the most famous artists of all time.

Modern Art

But the city isn’t only about vintage paintings; the current scene is thriving with art and street photography galore. Everywhere you look there are shops, galleries, murals and street art—each more enchanting than the last! It’s enough to satisfy any creative soul.

Roman ruins

The small town of Arles has come a long way from its primitive roots – from being known as ‘Arelate’ (which is Celtic for “surrounded by swamps”), it went on to become a Roman metropolis, and still today maintains much of its ancient charm. What’s more, the city’s impressive past has even earned it UNESCO World Heritage Site status. From wandering the streets to seeing the ruins in the massive Amphitheatre near the center, you can get a real sense of what grandeur Arles boasted all those centuries ago.

Today, the arena is still standing and is used for bullfighting events. Though it’s no longer hosting fights to the death, it’s surely still entertaining for those who enjoy watching grown men get gored by bulls. It’s also a popular spot for tourists who want to see some Roman ruins up close. So if you’re ever in Arles and are looking for something to do, why not check out the arena? You might just have a blast (literally).

Arles was first founded by the Greeks in the 7th century BC. But then it was conquered by the Romans in 123 BC and became an important Roman colony. You can still see evidence of this today, with 6 different Roman monuments standing around Arles. These were recognized as UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1981, so they must be good. And they’re all within walking distance, so you can easily visit them all in one day.


Restaurant L’Atelier de Jean-Luc Rabene is a degustation event that unfolds over two rooms. t. The second room is where the main event takes place. This is where you’ll find the kitchen, which is open so you can watch the chefs at work. The menu also changes with the seasons but features classical French dishes with a modern twist. Restaurant L’Atelier de Jean-Luc Rabene is the perfect place for a special occasion or just a night when you want to treat yourself to something truly memorable.

Arles market

The Arles market is a must-visit for anyone in the area! The market is open year-round every Wednesday and Saturday morning from 8am – 1pm. The Wednesday market is much smaller and is located on Boulevard Émile-Combes. The Saturday market has a lot more vendors and is located on Boulevard des Lices.

The market is filled with fresh produce, cheeses, meats, olives, food vendors, clothes, and much more. If you have time, I recommend stopping by to experience a market in the South of France! The people-watching alone is worth the trip, as you’ll see a lively mix of locals and tourists browsing the stalls and bargaining for the best prices. And of course, all food is absolutely delicious – so be sure to try some of the specialties like socca (a chickpea pancake), nougat candy, or freshly-squeezed orange juice. Bon appétit!

Useful information for your Arles visit

Arles Discount Passes

Arles Discount Passes are a great way to save money on your Arles trip. The Pass Liberte gives you access to 4 monuments for one day, and you can save money by visiting the Roman monuments with the pass. The pass also includes a free map of Arles, so you can plan your trip in advance. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive Arles experience, I would recommend the Arles City Pass, which gives you access to all of the city’s monuments and museums. However, the Arles Discount Pass is a great option if you’re only interested in seeing the Roman ruins.

How to get to Arles

Arles is the perfect destination if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Located just a short drive from Marseille and Avignon, this quaint town is full of Roman history and charm.

Getting around Arles

Getting around Arles is a breeze – everything is within a 10-15 minute walk of each other! The city is so charming you will want to explore the streets as much as you can. For example, the Roman amphitheater to the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh is only a 7-minute walk.

I believe that you can travel the world without quitting your job. I believe that you can experience all the magic, the foodies and the cultures of the world while having a normal life. And, perhaps, two dogs. This is exactly what I’ve been doing for 15 years. This is exactly what my blog is about. Love, Lilia

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